The Hounds nearly completed a bottom of the 7th comeback victory at Southwest Park on Tuesday, leaving 4 runners in scoring position (DiCola always considers himself in scoring position, even while batting).
With his family in attendance, Mike DiCola (#2, P/1B)) turned in a dazzling pitching performance, allowing only 3 hits and 2 runs in 5-2/3 innings. Had the Marlins first baseman not insisted he tuck his shirt in and wear a belt, he surely would have taken a shutout through 7. Post-game research shows CMBA bylaws and MLB rule 1.11 do not require belts or shirt-tucking, a rules oversight by fill-in and in-waiting team manager Tony Correa (#13, C). Relief duty by Kurt Kerrigan (#12, 2B/P) was spotless, allowing no hits and facing only 4 batters. Overall solid defense play included a sweet and clutch 5-4-3 double play by Charlie Arron Kruse (#11, 3B) and Kerrigan, nullifying a lead-off single in the 4th.
Both the Marlins and the Hounds played with the minimum 9 players on the day. With all Hounds on the field in the bottom halves of innings, Melanie Harmon, burgeoning expert-scorekeeper, skillfully kept the book. Unclear if the Marlins had a fan as capable for their book.
But for the Hounds, the story of the day would be the men left stranded. Excepting the 3rd, the Hounds stranded at least two runners every inning. The Hounds ultimately stranded the maximum in the 7th inning, following a 2-out near-comeback starting with a single from Nick “Gumby” Schmidt (#23, CF), continued with walks by Matt “Daddy” Burch (#6, 1B/2B) and Justin “New Guy” Thornton (#9, SS), and a bat-sacrificing, high-hopping RBI infield single by TJ “TJ” Rinaldi (#1, RF). The effort, however, fell short and the Hounds lost by a final score of 2-1.
After the game, a few Hounds collected at Hooters, where one “cute” slugger was slipped a note from the bartender with a phone number (but no hearts).
The 12-13 Hounds continue the season this weekend with a pair of games at Winnemac against the Aviators (Saturday, 12:15) and Ramirez Baseball (Sunday, 9:30). The Hounds will be looking to win the weekend to get back above .500 and increase their playoff chances.