GOODLETTSVILLE – HISTORIC MANSKER’S STATION – With the overnight storms giving way to mostly cloudy skies the game between the Highland Rim Distillers and the Oak Hill Travelers went on as planned. The home town spectators were not disappointed as their Distillers won the hard fought battle.
The field setup crew arrived just after 10:30 and did their best to find some dry ground for home plate and the backstop. Both teams took a few warm-up swings and the pregame festivities were under way. At 12:05 the agreed upon arbiter, Bill “Amen” Scarborough called for the teams to introduce themselves. A crowd of maybe 15-20 watched as the Travelers won the bat toss and elected to take the field first.
The game featured some brilliant defense by both teams in the early going. In the bottom of the first the Travelers threatened to score when they advanced a man to 3rd with only 1 hand down. Cactus and Nips both made fly ball catches to prevent the run from scoring.
The Distiller bats were silent through the first 3 innings and the Travelers made several good defensive plays. In the bottom of the 3rd the Travelers scored on a play that had some comparing the Distillers to the Bad News Bears. One run scored on the play as the ball traveled completely around the infield, into foul territory and then finally into the hands of the unexpecting catcher, Big Red.
The Distillers tied it in the 4th but the pesky Travelers answered with a run in the bottom of the inning. The Oak Hill team held the Distillers silent again in the 5th and took a 2-1 lead into the 6th. After 2 trips through the order it looked as though the Distillers had left their bats back at the Distillery.
Cracker Jack started a 5 run rally with a hit to center. The next 5 batters singled and then Old Hoss doubled to knock in the 5th and final run of the inning. The Distillers stranded 3 men on base but held the lead, 6-2. In the bottom of the 6th Oak Hill answered with 1 run to bring the score to 6-3.
Nips led off the 7th inning with a shot that sailed over the right fielder and into the fence for a ground rule double. Buster lined a ball to 3rd for an infield single. Cracker Jack singled to score Nips and The Conjuror bounced out to center allowing Buster to score. Oak Hill responded with 3 in the bottom of the inning to make the score 8-6.
The Distillers added 2 more in the 8th on RBI singles by Mad Ax and Hotspur to push the lead back to 4. Oak Hill failed to mount much of a rally in the 8th and 9th and the Distillers held on for a 10-6 victory.
Notes of the game – 9 of the 14 Distillers had 2 hits while Cornstalk led the team with 3. Piccadilly Willy, Mad Ax and Hotspur led the team in RBIs with 2 a piece. On defense Hampsoon and Buster played a solid left side of the infield while the outfield robbed the Travelers of several hits early in the game.
The next game will be held at 12 noon on May 3rd at the Carnton Plantation. The Distillers will go up against the undefeated Stewart’s Creek Scouts in a game where the winner will retain a portion of first place. The game will be highly anticipated in these parts and it is expected that both teams will bring several dozen rooters to the match.