After a scratchy win against last season’s runners up the big hitting league champions the Brawlers were next up for Sliders at a scorching Dixon Park. The Brawlers are undefeated since 2015 and last week scored 70 so Sliders knew they had a game on their hands. There was only one change to last weeks line up – Andrew coming in at catcher with Tim moving to 3rd in place of the unavailable Dave.
Phil gave the Sliders rookies a taste of what the Brawlers batting line up could do with a huge triple first up. Unlike last week though, the Sliders defence was on it from the start. John took the first catch of the day before Dan caught a huge hit from Tom and another from Sean holding to 1. Unfortunately, Sliders batting didn’t match their fielding. 3 batters in green went up and three batters in green came down. This was to be the theme of the game. Despite getting 2 early outs in the 2nd the Brawlers scored 4 only stopped by an excellent relay from outfield involving Paul, John and Tim to get Elaine on 3rd. Batting continued to be inconsistent and it wasn’t until the 3rd innings that Sliders got their first score, following some good running by Johnny. By that point, despite the infield’s best efforts the Brawlers had 8. In the 4th Johnny and Marian combined to take all 3 outs in return for 2 more to the score and we had our second dog pitch invasion in two games! The Sliders failed to add to their tally. The league champs couldn’t add to their score in the 5th, Johnny striking out two and a 4th catch of the game for Dan in the outfield whilst Sliders got 1, Johnny once again getting round. The Brawlers added 4 in the last two innings meaning it was 14-2 going into the last.
Then something clicked and Sliders managed to string some hits together. Johnny dug it out to get on first. Andrew hit one over short stop whilst on two strikes to move things round. A kind bounce for Dan meant the bases were loaded for Kirsty who was then caught by Phil. Tim found the gap between 2nd and 3rd to get Johnny and Andrew home and getting a double for himself making the score 14-4. A good hit from Marian was taken well leaving Michal coming up for only his second at bat with 2 outs on the board. On 2 strikes (and accompanied by Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us!”) he launched on into the outfield for a double also bringing Dan and Tim home. Score 14-6 and Sliders were starting to put the pressure on the Brawlers fielding. Emma K stepped up and nonchalantly smashed one over third to bring Michal home. Unfortunately that was where the rally ended.
In the end, despite a good defence keeping the score down and making sure they were never out of the game, Sliders left themselves too much to do with the bat in the last. Final score 14-7.
Line up: Johnny, Marian, Kirsty, John, Tim, Andrew, Laura (Emma K), Dan, Paul (Michal), Emma D.
Highs: Michal hitting a 2 rbi double on his Sliders debut, Johnny having a great game both pitching and with the bat, the relay to get Elaine out on third, solid defence all round and temperatures making the outfield curse every time they had to chase a ball!
Next up are the Brawlers sister club the Aces at Dixon Park on 18 June.