Coming into last night’s game, momentum was in our favor. We were on a 5 game heater, laying waste to all comers, including the always difficult Jortsville Fightin’ Jorts. There were certainly reasons for confidence to be high with Tony “The Calf” Vitello and the Wigsphere Chuggers coming into town for a three game set.
Still, there was reason for concern. The Chuggers, though they hadn’t exactly tested themselves with their out of conference schedule, had a team ERA in the mid twos. Further, their Friday starter, Jr. RHP Garrett “Kevin” Stallings, had won his previous two starts against the Diamond Dores. Further still, they drink Franzia with their butts. That has nothing to do with baseball, but it is concerning.
The first batter Safari Planet faced, Justin Ammons, took him deep... which was suboptimal. With Austin Martin out due to a collision on a grounder Tuesday against Lipscomb, and DMC out for at least this series with a hamstring injury, Fellows could not rely on a football score to bail him out.
Our offense started slowly, as well, doing nothing until the 8th batter, DH Ty Duvall, hit one over some fencing they had set up.
In the 4th, Bleday continued his Bleday-Bomb show, with a no doubter to reclaim the SEC Dinger lead, and give the boys a 2-1 lead in the game.
After the 1st, Fellows settled in, and held THEM scoreless for the next four innings. Though a Landon Gray groundout would plate the tying run in the top of the 6th, Safari Planet had a quality start, overall—6 IP, 2 R, 6H, 2 BB, 4 K.
The game would not remain tied for long, as Chili P led off the inning with a rip double to left that juuuuuust hit the top of the Monster to stay in play. Chinfante bunted him to third, Duvall drew a walk, and then Austin Martin’s replacement, Man Mountain Jayson Gonzalez, hit it where it was pitched, and plated Paul with an oppo single. Cooper Davis singled them loaded, and though Harry Ray struck out, Bleday worked an RBI BB to provide some cushion for the pen.
In addition to their work at the plate, a hat tip to Chili P and Gonzo for their excellent glove work. Chili P was a double play machine, and Gonzo robbed a Chugger double down the line.
Though he did not contribute as much at the plate, a head nod to Chinfante for picking some tough throws at first, and for taking one off his melon that caused me to react, “Holy fuck! Chinfante just got hit in the eye” on the live thread. Luckily, it just hit his face protector, but that one was frightening.
Back to the mound: Zach King K’d the side in the 7th, Tyler “The Delivery Man” Brown closed things out effortlessly, and we all let out a collective sigh of relief, and then allowed ourselves to remember how the Chuggers ended Tuesday’s game against ETSU.
Told you I’d be streaming that all week.
See you at noon:30 for game two. Stream it live on SECN+, or wait until 8pm for the replay on SECN.
Stream it live, though. Smart TVs are basically free now.