AP (Allen, Texas) — The Mighty Peanuts are perched at the top of their division after five games for the first time in club history. Tonight, they will be striving to break a club record as they go to work against One Bad Inning (OBI) in an attempt to move to 6 wins and no losses on the season.
The Nuts are cautious, as they have not faced the One Bad Inning crew since last Spring when they topped the squad 12-7.
“Beating OBI and breaking the club record without Mason won’t be easy.” said Coach Matt Tenner, who is slated as the designated hitter in tonight’s contest. “Mason gives us a unique combination of speed and stealth that has really made the difference in several games this year. He’s definitely going to be hard to replace.”
Mason is on assignment in Asia. Replacing him at catcher will be Saavedra, who hopes to avoid injury while filling in at the difficult skill position.
Based on the strength of last week’s performance against Sons of Pitches, Nuts fans are optimistic about tonight’s contest against One Bad Inning. “OBI is in the middle of a 4-game slide” noted right fielder Cole, commenting on the Nut’s chances tonight. “We can’t afford to look past them, however. We just have to play one (good) inning at a time out there.”
Explosive Offense Carries Squad
Tonight, the Nuts are hoping for another strong offensive performance from both Coach Tenner and shortstop Paul Sebert, both of whom rocked the opposition in the second inning with in-the-park home runs last week. “Speed kills” remarked Sebert. “In fact, Matt was running so fast during his homer that I thought he was going to run over Robinson.”
Short-handed, the Sons Of Pitches (SOP) squad batted first last week, scoring three runs while the home team struggled to shake the cobwebs that always come after a two week break. “It was just hard to get going” said Saavedra. When you get injured as much as I do, you have to start slowly. The SOP guys scouting report must have clued them in, and they took full advantage.”
Power And Controversy
Most of the Nuts enjoyed strong performances at the plate, including Cole, who continues to impress with his “mister automatic” gold medal golf shots to center. After starting off the first inning tied 3.3, the Nuts rocked Sons of Pitches with the Tenner/Sebert homers in the bottom of the second, scoring 8 runs.
There was some controversy on the field as the officials struggled to identify Nuts right center fielder Cramer, who was unfamiliar to the boys in blue. “We didn’t really remember seeing #13 around here” said umpire Seymore Balls. “As far as we knew, that tall guy was not registered to play. Once we realized who he was, we knew he was simply a part-time player who was not putting the right priority on softball. We see that all the time.”
Adding to the confusion was the appearance of Brad Dean at first base, appearing in his first game for the Nuts this season. “We knew that guy was suspect too” said Umpire Balls, “because he wasn’t wearing a glove buddy like their regular first baseman.” Dean played well despite the lack of specialized equipment, chalking up several key hits on the evening.
As has become their custom, the Nuts faltered in the third, allowing 6 runs but answering with 5 of their own. That would be the last serious threat from the Sons Of Pitches outfit, as the Nuts would finish after 4 and a half innings with 20 runs.
Injuries Tell The Tale
One unexpected bright spot for the Nuts was second baseman Saavedra, who managed to play an entire game without injury.
While the Nuts escaped injury-free, SOP was not so lucky. Middle infielder Ben Nelson hit a shot to left, managing to take out a Sons player in the sixth with his fly ball. The SOP outfielder was moving on the ball when he went down. “I thought he had it” said Nelson, who had slowed down as he approached first in anticipation of a fly out. “The the guy just fell down and the ball smashed him in the rib.”
“We thought it was funny at the time” remembered Baker. Baker spent some time on the turf himself with a nifty sliding catch for an out in left during the second inning. “We knew he was hurt a little, but we figured it was mostly injured pride. When the guy came back up to bat, no one was laughing.”
Robinson, who did not have his best stuff last Thursday walking two, brought an inside high spinner to the injured left fielder. The batter swung hard, missed, and hit the turf. “I think i heard his rib snap” said Mason, “so I took a knee. They ended up carrying him off the field.”
The Nuts finished the contest with time expiring, winning 20 – 10 to move to 5-0 on the season. This week, they face the One Bad Inning squad at 8:30PM on Ford Field #2. Notably, OBI has allowed 59 runs this season, with their one and only win coming against the completely helpless Kone crew.