Distillers Wilt in the Sun

SMYRNA – THE SAM DAVIS HOME –  With temperatures in the low 90’s and the sun shining down on the Sam Davis Home the Highland Rim 9 tried to rebound after their heartbreaking loss last week. Roughly 50 fans filled in under the trees to catch the first game of the double header. The field was put into top shape by the host Stewart’s Creek Scouts. The garden grass was freshly mowed, lines were painted and there were even paths mowed between the bases. The tall grass beyond the outfield garden added to the look of the field and each bench was fitted with a canvas canopy for shade.

The two teams took some practice swings and then the Arbiter – Black Widow – Called the two teams to the field. After the introductions it was time for the bat toss. Some might say this was the first indication that things were not going to go in favor the team from Goodlettsville. The representative for the Oak Hill 9 pulled some “Tricky Stuff” and used the old flat hand method when he realized he had been beaten. Thinking it was a joke Gingerbread proceeded and was then promptly named the loser of the toss. Confused about the ruling the Distillers headed to the line for their first at bat.

Buster opened the game with a line shot to right which was grabbed on the bound. Hamspoon was retired on a roller to 1st. With 2 hands dead Nips hit a deep shot into the tall grass out beyond the garden. By the ground rules it was ruled a foul ball. After 2 more shots into the tall weeds Nips was able to single to right. Shooter hit into a force out and the top half of the inning was over. The Travelers came out firing on all cylinders and the Distillers showed that there may be signs of weakness in their defense. The bell rang just one time and some felt the Distillers had escaped.

The next 2 innings played out in much the same way. No runs for the Distillers and runs for the Travelers. After 3 innings of play the score stood and 4-0.

The 4th inning came and went and then the 5th; not a single Distiller reached base. The Travelers hurler was pitching a beauty and he retired 13 men in a row. Trailing 4-0 in the top of the 6th Nips came to the line and doubled to short right. Shooter followed with a double of is own and there were signs of life from the Distiller bench.  Cactus grounded out but Nips scored on the play. Cracker Jack singled bringing home Shooter. The inning fizzled out but now the Distiller trailed by just 2 runs.

The writer would like to take a break in the account of this game…  As far as we know the game of base ball has been clean since the infamous 1919 Chicago “Black” Sox scandal in which 8 Chicago White Stockings were accused of throwing the world series. I’ll say this, if 8 players were banned for suspicious play in that series then I’m pretty sure a majority of the Highland Rim 9 would have a hard time getting a jury to acquit them for their actions during this inning. Questions have to be raised when a team who yields 6 runs per game gives up 11 runs in just one inning. For the remainder of this game summary I will assume that everything was on the level and that no gamblers had any hand in the events that took place on the field.

With the Distillers within 2 runs the Oak Hill bats went back to work. First there was a line shot into the garden and then another and then another. After the dust settled 11 Travelers had circled the bases and 16 batters had straddled the line. The game was all but over – after 6 innings of play the Travelers held the advantage at 15-2.

The Distillers showed signs of life in the top of the 7th. Cornstalk and Mad Ax reached on a singles. Old Hoss and Big Red picked up RIBs. It was too little too late. The Travelers were not done yet. They answered the 2 runs with 2 more of their own. The final score stood in favor of the Travelers, 17-4.

NOTES… Credit should be given to the Traveler’s, they hit the ball well and the bags were full of Travelers nearly every inning. On Defense there were no holes to be found, 5 times they held the Distillers to hitless innings. The Highland Rim 9 had just 9 hits on the day while Oak Hill had over 30.

At the plate both Shooter and Nips had 2 hits. Buster hit the ball hard and was rewarded late if the game with a bloop double. Catus, Cracker Jack, Old Hoss and Big Red all came up with RBIs. There was little to get excited about on defense though Shooter made a big out in center when he raced back and got the ball on the bound to record the first out of the 6th inning. 1 inning later Nips ended a 2 run rally with a one handed catch on a deep fly to the left-center gap. Cornstalk made a great play at 2nd base when he beat a Traveler to the bag and hurled the ball upwards as he spun to avoid contact with the runner. Crack Jack showed his sure hands at first base while the left side of the infield recorded several outs.

The Distillers now stand at 4 wins and 2 losses. The next game will be against the Nashville Maroons for what could be solo possession of second place (or a even a piece of first). The game will be at 12 noon on June 21st at Mansker’s Station in Goodlettsville. June 21st is Father’s Day so be sure to arrive at the park early to catch the Father’s Day festivities before the game.

Week 6

2 Members of the Oak Hill Travelers struggle to hold the lopsided scoreboard level after their 17-4 drubbing of the Highland Rim Distillers.