Vassallo’s Walk-Off Bomb Caps Stunning Sixth Inning Comeback as Fish Sticks Beat Caucasians 6-5

28 Jun
Vassallo continued to deliver in the clutch for the Fish Sticks, hitting a walk-off 3-run homer in the bottom of the sixth

Vassallo continued to deliver in the clutch for the Fish Sticks, hitting a walk-off 3-run homer in the bottom of the sixth

Despite trailing the entire game and heading into their final at-bat down 5-2, the Fish Sticks scored 4 consecutive runs in the bottom of the sixth to shock the Caucasians 6-5.

After missing over a month of EWL action, Dinger made his return to the Fish Sticks and the hill against the Caucasians. The first batter he faced, Morrison, tripled to lead off the game. He scored when the next batter, Ron, singled, and the Caucasians would take an early 1-0 lead. Ron moved to second when Les grounded out to left for the first out of the inning, but Dinger would strand him there, as Guthrie flew out to center to end the inning.

Morrison led off the game with a triple and scored, giving the Caucasians an early lead

Morrison led off the game with a triple and scored, giving the Caucasians an early lead

Although they gained Dinger after a long absence, the Fish Sticks would be playing without their leadoff batter and the league’s leading hitter, Ivan. Les, the EWL’s hottest pitcher coming into the game, started for the Caucasians. He cruised through the first inning, retiring Joey and Vassallo in order.

Dinger returned the favor in the top of the second, sending down Morrison and Ron consecutively to hold the score at 1-0.

Dinger was effective in his first pitching performance in a month

Dinger was effective in his first pitching performance in a month

The Sticks couldn’t hit Les in the bottom of the second, as Blose and Dinger each grounded out to end the inning.

The pitcher’s duel continued in the top of the third, as Les and Guthrie were sent down by Dinger for another scoreless inning.

Dinger makes a spectacular catch in the field as the Sticks rush in to back him up

Dinger makes a spectacular catch in the field as the Sticks rush in to back him up

Joey led off the bottom of the third with a shot into the tree. He reached first safely, but was retired for the first out of the inning after trying to stretch the hit into a double. Les then retired Vassallo, who grounded out to the mound, to end the third.

The Caucasians added to their lead in the top of the fourth when Morrison led off the inning with a solo homer to left-center, increasing the lead to 2-0. After Ron flew out to right for the first out of the inning, it looked as if the Caucasians would rally. Les singled, and moved to second when Guthrie followed with a single. But with one-out and runners on first and second, Morrison flew out to center, stranding the runners and ending the inning.

The Caucasians celebrate at home after Morrison homered in the top of the fourth

The Caucasians celebrate at home after Morrison homered in the top of the fourth

The Fish Sticks would finally get on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Blose led off the inning with a solo blast to right field, cutting the score to 2-1. Dinger followed with a single, but Les stranded him at first, as Joey and Vassallo each flew out to the mound, ending the fourth.

Dinger got into trouble in the top of the fifth, starting when Ron led off the inning with a solo homer, making the score 3-1. Les followed with a single, and moved to second when Guthrie singled. Morrison hit a third consecutive single for the Caucasians, scoring Les from second and pushing the score to 4-1. With runners on the corners and no outs, Ron doubled, scoring Guthrie from third and extending the Caucasians lead to four runs. The Caucasians had runners on second and third with no outs, and it looked like the wheels were falling off for Dinger. But he got out of the jam without further damage, as Les flew out to the mound, leaving Morrison unable to tag from third, and Guthrie grounded out to the mound, ending the inning.

Ron connects on a homer in the top of the fifth, putting the Caucasians up 3-1

Ron connects on a homer in the top of the fifth, putting the Caucasians up 3-1

Down 5-1, the Fish Sticks started to rally in the bottom of the fifth. Blose led off with a double, and moved to third when Dinger followed with a single. With no outs and runners on the corners, Joey smacked another shot into the tree in left. Blose scored on the play, but for the second time in the game, Joey was caught trying to extend a single into a double, and the Caucasians picked up the first out of the inning. The base-runner error left Dinger at second, and Les stranded him there as Vassallo grounded out to left to end the inning.

With the score 5-2, the Caucasians put runners on quickly in the top of the sixth. Morrison singled, and moved to second when Ron followed with a single. With no outs and runners on first and second, the Caucasians were poised to add some insurance runs. But Dinger clamped down, as Les flew out to deep left, followed by Guthrie grounding out to left, stranding both runners and ending the inning.

The Sticks came into the bottom of the sixth down three runs, had fielded miserably, and had struggled against Les all game. Blose started the inning by hitting a double off the wall. He moved to third when Dinger singled, and there were runners on the corners with no outs. Joey, the tie runner, singled to left-center, scoring Blose from third and cutting the score to 5-3. With runners on first and second and no outs, Vassallo stepped to the plate and delivered in a huge way for the Fish Sticks. As he did throughout the 2011 playoff run, he picked up yet another clutch hit, hitting a mammoth blast to right-center field, a 3-run walk-off homer that put the Fish Sticks ahead 6-5 for the victory. After picking up only 6 hits through the first 5 innings, each of the Fish Sticks reached base safely in the bottom of the sixth, culminating with Vassallo’s walk-off bomb.

The win moved the Fish Sticks to 9-4 on the year, while the loss dropped the Caucasians to 7-6.

W: Dinger (3-1)
L: Les (2-1)

Box Score

Game Notes:
– Dinger pitched 6 innings, giving up 12 hits while scattering 5 runs in the win in his first game back to the Fish Sticks. He also went 3 for 4 at the plate with 3 singles.
– Les gave up 6 runs on 10 hits, taking the loss for the Caucasians.
– The walk-off bomb was Vassallo’s only hit of the game.
– Blose led the Fish Sticks on offense, going 3 for 4 with 2 doubles, a homer, an RBI, and 3 runs scored.
– Morrison led the Caucasians at the plate, going 4 for 6 with 2 singles, a triple, a homer, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored. Ron also performed well at the plate, going 4 for 6 with 2 singles, a double, a homer, 3 RBI, and a run scored.

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