Fish Sticks Stave Off Downtown Bobby Brown, Survive Scare in 11-10 Win

3 May
Joey and the Fish Sticks came close to squandering another big lead against Bobby Brown and their rally caps

Joey and the Fish Sticks came close to squandering another big lead against Bobby Brown and their rally caps

One game after blowing a late six run lead to the Caucasians, the Fish Sticks came dangerously close to suffering another come-from-behind victory to Bobby Brown in the nightcap. After leading 7-0 through three innings, the Sticks gave up 10 runs in the final three innings, narrowly escaping with an 11-10 win.

The home squad, Downtown Bobby Brown, started Brad, who hoped to follow Gaurav’s electric performance in their first game of the season. The first batter he faced, Joey, led off the game with a triple, and after one batter the Sticks had a base runner 13 strides from the plate. The next batter, Ivan, flew out to the mound, holding Joey at third. But Brad couldn’t get out of the inning, as Vassallo roped a one-out double, scoring Joey and putting the Sticks up 1-0. Brad minimized the damage, retiring Dinger to end the inning.

Vassallo doubled off Brad in the first to drive in the games first run, and finished the game with 5 RBI

Vassallo doubled off Brad in the first to drive in the games first run, and finished the game with 5 RBI

The Fish Sticks sent Joey to the mound in his first appearance of the season, fresh off a 2011 campaign when he went 8-3 with a 3.28 ERA and had 3 victories in the Sticks postseason run. He got off to a good start, as Helal and Gaurav grounded out to Vassallo in left for a scoreless bottom of the first.

The Sticks got to work in the top of the second, and immediately added to their lead. Blose singled to lead off, and Joey followed with a single putting runners on the corners. Ivan then singled, scoring Blose and pushing the score to 2-0. The next batter, Vassallo, hit the fourth consecutive single for the Sticks, scoring Joey and increasing the lead to three. With runners on first and second, Brad got the first out of the inning, getting Dinger to groundout to left. But the rally continued, as Blose reached base safely for the second time in the inning, hitting a two-run double that scored Ivan and Vassallo, making the score 5-0. With Blose on second, Brad got out of the inning, as Joey grounded out to left, stranding the runner.

After flying out in his first at-bat, Ivan hit five consecutive singles, scoring two runs and driving in two

After flying out in his first at-bat, Ivan hit five consecutive singles, scoring two runs and driving in two

Down five runs early, Downtown struggled to get their offense going. Mark led off the bottom of the second with a single, but Joey retired the next two batters, Brad and Holly, consecutively to end the inning without giving up a run.

Ivan started the top of the third with a single, but Brad avoided another disastrous inning. Vassallo and Dinger were sent down in order, and the score remained 5-0 through two and a half innings.

Joey continued to roll in the bottom of the third. Helal flew out to Ivan in right, and Gaurav grounded out to left for the first and second outs of the inning.

Brad got into a deeper hole in the top of the fourth. Blose led off the inning with a solo blast to right-center field, extending the Sticks lead to six runs. Joey followed with a triple, his second of the contest, and scored when the next batter, Ivan, singled. The Sticks were up 7-0 with no outs and a runner on first. The Sticks couldn’t push the lead further though, as Vassallo and Dinger were retired, stranding a runner at first and ending the inning.

Blose hit a home run in the fourth, and led the Sticks going 4 for 5 with 3 RBI

Blose hit a home run in the fourth, and led the Sticks going 4 for 5 with 3 RBI

The deficit was seven runs heading into the bottom of the fourth, but Bobby Brown finally got to Joey and the Sticks defense. Mark flew out to the mound for the first out of the inning, and Brad followed with a one-out single. Holly moved Brad to second with a single of her own, and the next batter, Helal, destroyed a pitch to left-center field, his second three-run homer of the week, getting Downtown on the scoreboard. With the score 7-3, the rally ended there, as Gaurav flew out to Joey at the mound for the second out.

Helal hit two bombs against the Sticks and helped spark the Bobby Brown comeback attempt

Helal hit two bombs against the Sticks and helped spark the Bobby Brown comeback attempt

Downtown Bobby Brown made a call to the bullpen heading into the top of the fifth. Bobby replaced Brad, who had been hit hard, with Gaurav, who had two innings of eligibility left. The change didn’t pay off, as the Sticks quickly made up for the three runs they gave up in the fourth. Blose singled, and scored from first when Joey followed with a deep single. The next batter, Ivan, singled, putting runners on the corners with no outs. Vassallo came to the plate and hit a three-run homer to left-center, making the score 11-3. After giving up four quick runs, Gaurav settled and retired Dinger and Blose consecutively, ending the inning.

The Sticks put it to Brad, as he gave up 7 runs on 11 hits in 4 innings

The Sticks put it to Brad, as he gave up 7 runs on 11 hits in 4 innings

Despite being down 8 runs, Downtown continued to rally in the bottom of the fifth. Mark led off with a single, and moved to second on a Brad groundout to Vassallo in left. With one out, Holly doubled, scoring Mark and cutting the deficit to 11-4. The next batter, Helal, who took Joey deep in his previous at-bat, promptly crushed another blast out of the wiffle diamond. His two-run shot cut the Sticks lead to only five runs. After a good start, Joey was struggling on the mound, and things got ugly quick. Gaurav stepped to the plate and followed Helal’s home run with a solo shot, making back-to-back homers, making the score 11-7 with one out in the fifth. Following the four run explosion, Joey pulled himself from the game and the Sticks sent their closer, Blose, in to clean up the mess. Blose ended the Downtown rally, getting Mark to fly out to Vassallo in left, but Bobby was back in the game after their second big inning.

Holly went 3 for 5 with 3 runs scored and an RBI for DBB

Holly went 3 for 5 with 3 runs scored and an RBI for DBB

Their 8 run lead had been cut to 4, but the Sticks couldn’t make up for lost runs as they did in the previous inning. Gaurav returned to form, getting Joey to ground out, and following an Ivan single, retired Vassallo for the second out of the inning.

As the sun set and darkness settled in, Bobby Brown came into the bottom of the sixth down four. Blose retired Brad, who flew out to center, for the first out of the inning, and it looked as if the comeback bid would come to an end. But the Sticks, who struggled in the field in their first game, started to look shaky again. Blose gave up a single to Holly with one out, and Helal followed with a double, putting runners on second and third with one out. The next batter, Gaurav, singled with the help of Fish Sticks’ fielding errors, driving in Holly and Helal moving the score to 11-9. With Gaurav on first, Mark hit a lazy fly ball that wasn’t caught for a single, and Bobby Brown had the tying run on first with one out. The next batter, Brad, hit a double, again due to fielding errors, which scored Gaurav, and it was a one run game. Mark couldn’t score from first, but moved to third on the play. The tying run was on third, the winning run was on second, and Holly came to the plate with one out. After a long at-bat, Holly hit a towering fly ball to center field. Despite making numerous fielding errors in the inning, the Sticks made a play, as Joey got under the ball for the second out of the inning, ending the game and the miraculous comeback attempt by Bobby Brown. The Sticks held on to win 11-10, but almost let their second consecutive big lead slide.

W: Joey (1-0)
L: Brad (0-1)

Box Score

Game Notes:
– This game featured the first use of relief pitchers in the 2012 season
– By the time the game had finished, the sun was completely set and darkness was becoming a factor.
– Every player in the game reached base safely, except Dinger of the Fish Sticks

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