Well, even though all four top seeds would eventually advance, you can’t exactly accuse yesterday’s games of being boring. Okay, well maybe the first one was, as The Gumbo Bengals easily dispatched The South Cackalacky Game Penises 10-3.
After that, though, it took a 7th inning Salami by Dr. Oz’s favorite player, Wegner, for the Pigs to come back on The Milkmen Cultists. Even then, aTm would tie it up in the 9th with a Donger by Bost, only to eventually be undone in the 11th as Arky’s Diggs his one over some fencing they’d set up to win the game 6-5.
The Jorts vs. Gumps game was even wilder, though much more slowly paced in the early innings. In short, the Jorts looked a little frayed, and the Gumps may not be a smart team, but they knew was love is. In non-code form, that meant though Florida jumped out to a 2 run lead in the first, Ramajama would slowly, but surely, come back like the T-1000, taking a 3-2 lead in the 6th after plating one run in the 4th, 5th, and 5th, respectively.
In the 8th, though, the Gumps would allow the Jorts to get back to level after a simple sac bunt by Robertson turned into a defensive horror show, and after a comedy of errors, Turner scored the tying run on. This game, too would go to extras, eliciting a groan from every Diamond Dore and War Tiger fan not living in the Pacific time zone.
In the top of the 11th, it looked like the Gumps would be the victors, as Grandpa Seidle hit a bases clearing two out double over the RF’s head. That three run lead would, somewhat improbably, not be enough, as The Jorts’ best hitters were due up, and the Gump’s closer would not even record an out before back to back to back singles from Langford, Jacky Cags, and Rivera set the scene for a walk off Grand Salami by the Riot Bell.
In the late game (seriously, first pitch wasn’t until like 10:45pm), Sr. RHP Sam “The Perfect Stranger” Hliboki got the start for the Diamond Dores, whereas some guy named Catsup got the ball for the War Tigers. Neither were dominant, but both battled. Hliboki went 4 IP, and the only runs he surrendered were 2 solo shots. Note 1) This has been a problem for Hliboki Bartokomous all year, 2) The War Tigers were swinging for the fences on damn near every pitch, for some reason, and 3) He did his job to keep us close, as when he handed the ball to Reilly, we were tied 2-2.
Those two runs were largely manufactured, as after Foster went Bananas on one in the top of the first, EBJ lead off the bottom with a BB and then promptly returned to his alter-ego, Enrique Shockwave, and stole 2nd and 3rd on the first two pitches to Diaz. Diaz would then infield single EBJ home, and The Bulge would sac fly in Diaz.
We wouldn’t score again until the 6th, but with Patrick Reilly once again proving that while he’s shaky at best as a starter, he’s dominant as a reliever, the War Tigers would be kept off the scoreboard until the 9th.
Diaz would again score in the 6th, as we manufactured that run, but really it was Auburn’s shitty defense that turned a pretty easy inning ending DP by LaNeve into an FC RBI.
Diaz would then single in EBJ (who reached on a two bag throwing error, then advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch) in the 7th to give us the 4-2 lead.
In the bottom of the 8th, we asked Jobu for insurance runs, and the Voodoo God of Bats obliged. With Auburn’s Armstrong looking not just wild, but feral, both Noland and Bulger reached on 4 pitch BBs. LaNeve—whose situational hitting was just dumb last night—was up there swinging from the start. Thankfully, Jobu was not vengeful, and LaNeve would single on a 1-2 count to load ‘em up. A Vastine single and Silent Cal sac fly gave us the 4 run lead, which we would need, as Corbs decided to keep Reilly out for a 5th inning instead of calling for Maldo.
Note that Corbs made the right call if we’re trying to win this tourney, as we’ll need to conserve pitchers like Nevadans need to conserve water. Still, it was pretty obvious that Reilly was running out of gas, as he started out the inning with a BB and a 2 run homer allowed. Thankfully, he would calm himself after to get a ground out, fly out, and K to end the game. Dores win 6-4 after midnight.
Eight strikeouts later...#VandyBoys | #AnchorDown pic.twitter.com/LwOLqxhJRJ— Vanderbilt Baseball (@VandyBoys) May 25, 2023
*Note; Only the 1st one is likely to start at that time, so keep tabs on the SEC Baseball site and whatnot if you care about this type of thing.
9:30 AM: South Carolina vs. Texas A&M (SEC Network)
1:00 PM: Auburn vs. Alabama (SEC Network)
4:30 PM: LSU vs. Arkansas (SEC Network)
8:00 PM: Vanderbilt vs. Florida (SEC Network)
I’ll put up a specific game thread for our late game vs. The Jorts, but use this to talk about the three games before ours.