Midway through the Mid-Round. Let’s get to it.
(1) Wonder Years 1
(2) Scrabble Babble 8
Babble lead series 3-1
A seven-plus-inning pitchers’ duel took half an inning to turn into a blowout.
The Babble broke open the game with a seven-run eighth and took a 3-1 series lead by topping the Years 8-1.
Through the first seven frames, the game was a defensive battle. The Years took a second-inning lead when Rob Wilfong singled in Bobby Kielty, but Scrabble hurlers Bill Zuber and Alex Burnett kept Wonder’s bats to a minimum, only allowing a combined five hits through the match.
Meanwhile, Joe Mays shut out Scrabble for the first six frames before allowing a single tally in the seventh, giving up six hits through a septet of innings.
The eighth saw the game collapse for the Years.
With one out and runners on the corners, the dangerous Norm Zauchin singled in Frank Quilici for the go-ahead run. Jerry Zimmerman singled to load the bases and José Zardon walked to plate another tally. After a fielder’s choice at home, “Won’t You Come Home” Bill Dailey came to the mound in place of Mays, only to be greeted by Tom Quinlan:
Quinlan’s three-run double made the score 6-1, and Joe Quinn’s succeeding two-run blast set the Babble lead to seven.
Burnett retired the Years in order in the ninth to put Scrabble one win away from a shot at the title.
(1) Inside Baseballers 8
(2) Special Ks 6
Baseballers lead series 3-1
Twice, Special put the tying run to the plate and nearly knotted the score. But “almost” does not matter.
The Ks failed to tie the game in the sixth and seventh innings and left the tying run on deck in the ninth, falling to Inside 8-6 and coming to within one game of elimination.
Before the sixth inning, the Baseballers looked like they were going to run away with the game. Rich Rollins drove in two runs in the second and another pair in the third, and after two more Inside tallies came across in the fifth, the Benjamin top seed held a 6-0 lead and showed no signs of giving it up.
But the Ks were showing spark. After loading the bases (but failing to score) in the fifth, Special bats lit up in the sixth. Slugger Jim Lemon clocked the first pitch of the inning over the fence, and with two outs and two men on, a Zoilo Versalles error brought in the second run of the frame and extended the inning. Byron Buxton singled in Bobby Darwin to bring up Brian Dozier as the tying run, but Jim Kaat put three strikes past Dozier to preserve the Baseballers’ lead.
An inning later, with the score now 7-4 and another pair on base, Jesse Crain made Miguel Sanó whiff as the would-be tying run, keeping the Ks from getting closer.
Special had one final chance in the ninth. Down 8-4 with one out, Josh Willingham clouted a two-run home run to bring the Ks within two. But Joe Nathan struck out Harmon Killebrew and got Darwin to fly out; with that, the contest was over.