It's Always Sunny in Pburg (or Lopat)
The forecast called for a cloudy day but it turned out to be a Sunny day in more ways than one at the PAC. The Stateliners of Phillipsburg hosted the Vikings of Voorhees in a non-conference clash. Birthday Boy Jack Stagaard toed the rubber for his first start in two years. After a scoreless top of the first Sailor Stem drilled the first pitch up the middle for a leadoff single. With one out and runners on first and third the Buffalo Soldier lined a shot into right field. It looked like the Liners would take the lead but the Viking right fielder made a nice catch for the second out. While RayRay was racing home Marty Party (who was running on the pitch) was racing back to first to avoid being doubled off. Marty barely (yeah, we'll go with barely) beat the throw back to first and the Liners took a 1-0 lead. After an uneventful second inning the Viking shortstop Matt Kroll would drill a first pitch over the left field fence to tie the game at 1-1. The Stateliners went down in order in the third inning, which would be the only inning they didn't have a baserunner reach base. In the top of the fourth Voorhees struck for two runs and seemingly took command of the game with a 3-1 lead. With the Pburg faithful a little deflated, Buffalo walked to leadoff the bottom of the fourth. Rick Shmelman got Mom'd and Bryce-145 walked to load the bases. The Barnman strolled to the plate as a pinch hitter for his first career plate appearance. With chants of Barnbino echoing throughout Warren county, Matty Baseball drew a bases loaded walk to pull the Liners within one run. The threat would end there with the Liners down 3-2. The Pesky Viking would tack on a run to extend their lead to 4-2 and it was getting late early for the Garnet and Gray. Birthday Boy Jack Stagaard hammered the first pitch of the bottom of the fifth into the left center gap for a leadoff triple. Staggy Bear would score on a wild pitch to reduce the deficit to one run. Voorhees would escape the fifth still ahead 4-3. Big Willey Style took the mound in the top of the sixth for his first career pitching appearance. Free Willey may have broken the Pburg pitching height record but we're still waiting on confirmation. After two quick outs Willey decided to make things a bit interested but he struck out the final batter to keep the game within striking distance. Bryce-145 got Mom'd to lead off the bottom of the sixth and the Liners were in business. After a bunt and a groudout out, the Invisible Man Ray Stem chopped an infield single to tie the game at 4-4. Birthday Jack would make things interesting with a two out double but Pburg couldn't capitalize and thoughts of Thursday's Watchung game were in all the Stateliners heads. With a tie game and three pitchers used already the Pburg coaching staff decided to call on the scrappy Bryce-145 to pitch the seventh. Had it not been for a random conversation in Pre-Calculus class a couple weeks ago the thought of Bryce-145 pitching would have been nothing more than a semi funny joke. Bryce-aroni made quick work of the Vikings in the seventh and the Liners would try to win the game in the seventh. Buffalo, who was 0-0 on the day in 3 plate appearances got Patel'd (can't always say Mom'd, that'd be disrespectful) and the Liners were in business. After a fielder's choice Nice Guy Nick Helman worked a walk and the winning run was in scoring position. Bryce-145 would follow by getting Patel'd and the bases were now loaded with one out for Sunshine. The patient Sunny would work a 3-1 count which turned into a 3-2 count. With the game on the line in a pressure spot, Sunshine would take ball four for the walk off walk. The Liners bench erupted and happy times ensued. Blake was also 0-0 on the day with 3 plate appearances. At least 14 Pburg players got in the game and it was the definition of a team effort. The Liners improved to 2-1 and will get ready to travel to North Hunterdon on Monday. Hope to see you there.