Fish Sticks Top Ham Slams in Bottom of the Seventh, Win Shootout 14-13

12 Jun
Joey's 2-run homer in the sixth sent the game to extras, and his walk-off double sealed the Fish Sticks victory

Joey’s 2-run homer in the sixth sent the game to extras, and his walk-off double sealed the Fish Sticks victory

Despite trailing multiple times in the game and having their worst fielding performances of the season, the Fish Sticks came from behind to beat the Ham Slams 14-13 on a walk-off double by Joey in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Sticks started Joey on the mound, and he pitched a scoreless top of the first, retiring Craig and Evan in order.

Alec started for the Slams, and he unveiled a new pitch. He discarded the stutter-pitch in favor of a breaking ball that cuts hard away from right-handed hitters. He was still developing it in the bottom of the first, when Ivan led off with a single. He moved to second when Joey followed with a single, and the next batter, Blose, emptied the bases with a triple, scoring Ivan and Joey and putting the Sticks up 2-0 early. Alec got Vassallo to fly out to the mound for the first out of the inning, but Ivan followed with a double, scoring Blose from third and moving the score to 3-0. Alec had given up 3 runs, but was starting to gain command of his new pitch. With Ivan on second, he fanned Joey for the second out of the inning.

Blose tripled in the bottom of the first and put the Fish Sticks up 2-0 early

Blose tripled in the bottom of the first and put the Fish Sticks up 2-0 early

The Ham Slams responded immediately in the top of the second. Alec led off with a single, and moved from first to third when Charlie followed with a double. With no outs and two runners in scoring position, Craig doubled, scoring both runners and cutting the score to 3-2. With Craig on second, Evan followed with a titanic blast to deep right-center, in what may be the longest hit ball in the history of the EWL. The homer put the Ham Slams on top 4-3. After blowing the early lead, Joey settled down, retiring Alec for the first out of the inning before striking out Charlie for the second out.

Evan's 2-run homer capped a 4-run second for the Slams and gave them a 4-3 lead

Evan’s 2-run homer capped a 4-run second for the Slams and gave them a 4-3 lead

Alec bounced back in the bottom of the second, retiring the side in order by getting Blose to fly out to left, followed by striking out Vassallo for the second out of the inning.

Alec was eventually hit by the Fish Sticks, but his new pitch had them on their toes, swinging uncomfortably all game

Alec was eventually hit by the Fish Sticks, but his new pitch had them on their toes, swinging uncomfortably all game

Craig flew out to right to start the next inning, but the Slams would add to their lead in the top of the third. With one out, Evan singled, and moved to second when Alec followed with another single. With runners on first and second, Charlie singled, driving in Evan and pushing the score to 5-3. The Slams had runners on first and second again, but Joey escaped without further damage, getting Craig to fly out to the mound for the second out of the inning.

Ivan led off the bottom of the third with a double, but Joey followed by flying out to the mound for the first out of the inning. But the Sticks would get to Alec, as Blose doubled, driving in Ivan and cutting the deficit to 5-4. Alec held Blose on second, getting Vassallo to fly out to the mound to end the inning.

Evan doubled to lead off the top of the fourth for the Ham Slams, but Joey stranded the runner at second, getting Alec and Charlie to groundout in order, ending the inning.

Alec had held the Fish Sticks in check the previous two innings, but they started to figure him out in the bottom of the fourth. Ivan flew out to lead off the inning, but Joey followed with a one-out solo homer, tying the game at 5-5. The next batter, Blose, followed with a solo shot of his own, making back-to-back home runs and putting the Sticks back on top 6-5. Alec retired Vassallo for the second out of the inning, but the lead had changed hands again.

Hoping to save innings of eligibility for their second game, the Sticks pulled Joey from the mound and replaced him with Blose from the bullpen. The Slams hit him early and hard. Craig led off the inning with a single, and the next batter, Evan, crushed his second homer of the game, a two-run shot that put the Slams back ahead 7-6. Alec and Charlie each followed with singles, and the Slams had runners on first and second with no outs. Craig grounded out to center for the first out of the inning, but moved both runners into scoring position. With two on and one out, Evan blasted another homer, his third of the game and second of the inning, and the 3-run home run opened up a 10-6 lead for the Slams. Blose retired Alec for the second out of the inning, and ended the big inning for the Slams.

Utilizing a similar strategy as the Fish Sticks, the Slams pulled Alec from the game and called Craig in from the bullpen to preserve their 4-run lead. It didn’t work. Ivan led off the inning with a double, and scored from second when Joey followed with a triple, cutting the score to 10-7. The next batter, Blose, flew out to left for the first out of the inning, and the fly was too shallow for Joey to tag and score. But with one out, Vassallo tripled, scoring Joey from third and cutting the Slams lead to 10-8. Ivan followed with a triple, the third in the inning for the Sticks, scoring Vassallo and the lead was only a run. With the tying run on third, Joey singled, driving in Vassallo and the game was tied at 10-10. Craig finally got Blose to fly out to left for the second out of the inning, but the Slams had blown a 4-run lead.

Evan makes a jumping catch, holding Joey at third, although he later scored on a Vassallo triple

Evan makes a jumping catch, holding Joey at third, although he later scored on a Vassallo triple

It didn’t take long for them to get the lead back. With Blose still on the mound for the Sticks, Charlie led off the top of the sixth with a single. He moved to second when Craig followed with another single, aided by fielding errors. Blose got the next batter, Evan, to ground out to center for the first out of the inning, moving the runners to second and third with one out. The Sticks were an out away from escaping the inning, but Alec hit a two-run double off the fence, scoring Charlie and Craig and putting the Slams back ahead 12-10. Blose avoided further trouble, striking out Charlie to end the inning.

Charlie got the Ham Slams started in the top of the sixth with a single, and later scored on an Alec double

Charlie got the Ham Slams started in the top of the sixth with a single, and later scored on an Alec double

Down two runs, the Sticks were down to their final at-bat. The Slams removed Craig from the mound and re-inserted Alec, hoping to fool the Sticks and close the door. It started well, as Alec retired Vassallo, who flew out to the mound, for the first out of the inning. But the next batter, Ivan, doubled, and the tying run was at the plate. With one out and a runner on second, Joey stepped to the plate and blasted a two-run homer, tying the game at 12-12, drawing the Fish Sticks even. The Sticks needed one more run to cement a great win, but Alec settled down and got Blose to fly out to the mound for the second out of the inning, sending the game to extras.

The Slams wasted no time at all in the extra frame, as Craig led off the inning by cranking a solo shot to left-center field, making the score 13-12. Blose got Evan to fly out to the mound for the first out of the inning, but the next batter, Alec, singled with one out. The Slams were unable to extend their lead, however, as Charlie flew out to Vassallo in right to end the inning. But the resilient Slams had pulled ahead once again.

The Sticks were once again down to their final at-bat, needing a run to extend the game and 2 to win. The first batter, Vassallo, who had been fooled by Alec all game, finally solved the breaking ball, and crushed a solo bomb to right-center field, tying the game at 13-13. The next batter, Ivan, singled, and the winning run was on first with no outs. Joey, who tied the game at 12-12 in the sixth inning, came to the plate and hit a double off the wall, and Ivan raced home to score the winning run. The Fish Sticks, who had trailed multiple times in the game, had come from behind to beat the Ham Slams 14-13 in a crushing loss for the Slams.

The win moved the Fish Sticks to 7-3 on the season, while the loss dropped the Ham Slams to 4-6 on the year.

W: Blose (1-0)
L: Alec (1-2)

Box Score

Game Notes:
– Ivan led the Fish Sticks on offense, going 7 for 8 with 3 singles, 3 doubles, a triple, 5 runs scored, and 2 RBI.
– Joey also led the Sticks, going 6 for 8, and hitting for the cycle with 2 singles, a double, a triple, and 2 home runs. He scored 4 runs and had 6 RBI.
– Evan led the Ham Slams at the plate, going 5 for 8 with a single, a double, 3 home runs, a record-tying 7 RBI, and 4 runs scored.
– Ivan’s 3 doubles tied the single-game league record previously set by Blose (twice), Morrison, and Ivan earlier this season.
– Evan’s 7 RBI tied the single-game record previously set by Mike Marr in 2011 and Guthrie in 2012.
– This was the first game in 2012 to go to extra innings.

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