Story by Corey “Buster” Barnes
KNOXVILLE – THE HISTORIC RAMSEY HOUSE – In the second game of a doubleheader held at the beautiful grounds of Ramsey House, the Highland Rim Distillers defeated their hosts, the Emmett Machinists of Knoxville, 22-0. The Distillers willows were striking the onion well the whole afternoon while playing with lots of ginger on defense.
With the threat of rain and under warm and humid conditions, Arbiter “Bad Leg” Brown called the two teams to the field. The clever mascot of the Machinists introduced the teams to the estimated 250 assembled cranks. Cornstalk’s sure hands came out on the losing end of the bat toss which sent the Distillers to the line to start the game.
Cactus Mac touched the dish first for the Distillers on a stinger by Nips in the top of the 1st. Both teams played stout defense over the next two innings and the Distillers led 1-0 after 2 innings of play. In the top of the 3rd the Distiller willows started finding some holes out in the garden. Buster led off the inning with a double and Cactus followed with an infield single. Nips opened up the scoring with a four bagger that plated three tallies. Hamspoon’s speedy legs followed up with a triple; he was then sent home by the big stick of Cracker Jack making the score 5-0.
The Distillers willows were on fire the rest of the day with the bell being rung by many an ace. The visitors added 4 in the 5th, and 5 more in both the 6th and 7th to take a commanding 19-0 lead. Old Hoss hurled a complete game gem and his masterful hurling helped keep the Machinists from crossing the dish the entire afternoon. The Machinists had their chances and threatened to score several times in the later innings. In the 7th inning, (inspired by key plays in the field by Cornstalk and Buster) Nips fired a frozen rope to home plate where Big Red placed the tag on the oncoming runner to preserve the whitewash. In the 8th inning Mad Ax and Cornstalk made key catches to get Old Hoss out of a bases loaded no out jam. In the 9th the Machinists started off the inning with a one bagger but they could not bring him around to score.
GAME NOTES – The Conjurer tended his base well while also delivering at the dish; he had two tallies knocked in and rang the bell once himself. Big Red also made his way around the sacks to score an ace while also making an unbelievable play at the dish. In a new position, Mad Axe tended first base and made a diving catch to end a potential rally. Cactus handled several tough bounds early on to set the tone on defense. The ginger the Distillers displayed in the garden made them a formidable foe the entire match.
On defense it just wasn’t the Machinists’ day and the heart of the Distiller’s lineup took advantage. Hamspoon, Cracker Jack and Nips had a combined 16 tallies knocked in with Nips leading the way earning him the game ball.
Despite the whitewashing, the Emmett Machinists of Knoxville were gracious hosts who kept the local cranks entertained. With the win the Distillers are in sole possession of first place and remain the only undefeated team in the league. The Distiller’s next match will be Sunday May 31 at noon on the friendly grounds of Manskers Station, they will host the Mountain City team of Chattanooga.