Alec’s 8th Inning 2-Run Homer Helps Ham Slams Even Series

29 Jul
The Ham Slams celebrate at home after Alec's 2-run homer in the top of the eighth put them ahead 3-1

The Ham Slams celebrate at home after Alec’s 2-run homer in the top of the eighth put them ahead 3-1

After struggling at the plate all game, Alec took Joey deep for a 2-run homer in the top of the 8th inning, putting the Ham Slams ahead for good 3-1 to even the best-of-five series with the Fish Sticks at one game apiece.

Joey, who had a disappointing season pitching for the Fish Sticks, started game 2 on the mound. Things didn’t start well, as Anthony, the game’s first batter, crushed a solo homer to left-center, putting the Ham Slams ahead 1-0 early. Joey struck out the next batter, Alec, and after Charlie singled with one out, Steve was retired to end the inning.

Steve started for the Ham Slams, and pitched one of the best games of his EWL career. He retired Ivan to start the game, and after Joey singled with one out, Dinger was retired for the second out of the inning, stranding the runner at first.

Joey started to pitch well in the top of the second, retiring Anthony and Alec in order in the top of the second.

Steve cruised through the bottom of the second, retiring Blose and Vassallo in order.

The pitcher’s duel continued in the top of the third. Charlie flew out to center for the first out of the inning, and after Steve singled with one out, Anthony grounded out to left to end the inning.

Ivan flew out to lead off the bottom of the third. Joey doubled with one out, but Steve stranded him at second, getting Dinger to fly out to left for the second out of the inning.

Joey continued to roll in the top of the fourth, sending down Alec and Charlie in order for a scoreless inning.

With the score 1-0, the Fish Sticks would even things up in the bottom of the fourth. Blose grounded out to left for the first out of the inning, but Vassallo followed with a towering fly to deep right-center field. The solo homer tied the game at 1-1. With one out, it looked like the Sticks were set to take the lead when Ivan singled, and Joey followed with a single putting runners on first and second with one out. But Steve got Dinger to ground out to the mound, stranding both runners and ending the inning.

The Sticks would maintain the tie in the top of the fifth, as Joey retired Steve and Anthony in order.

Blose led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a double, and the go-ahead runner was on second with no outs. But Steve buckled down, retiring Vassallo and Ivan by ground out in order, stranding the runner and maintaining the 1-1 tie.

Joey continued to retire Ham Slams in the top of the sixth, as Alec and Charlie were retired consecutively, each flying out to Ivan in right field.

The Sticks were one-run away from a 2-0 series lead, but couldn’t get a base-runner in the bottom of the sixth. Steve retired Joey and Dinger in order, ending the sixth and sending the game to extra innings.

Joey stated on the mound for the Sticks in the top of the seventh, and he continued to pitch well. He retired Steve, and Craig, who was inserted into the lineup, to end the inning.

The Ham Slams also kept their starting pitcher on the mound, and Steve continued to roll. Blose grounded out to left for the first out of the inning, and after a Vassallo single with one out, Ivan grounded out to center for the second out of the inning, stranding the runner at first.

The game headed to the eighth inning, the last inning that either starting pitcher would be available due to the 8 inning pitching limit. Anthony led off the inning with a single, the first hit for a Ham Slam since the third inning. Alec, who was 0-4 with a strikeout at that point, came to the plate and crushed a two-run home run to right field, putting the Ham Slams up 3-1. Joey avoided any further damage, retiring Charlie and Steve to end the inning.

Down two runs, the Sticks would need to respond to extend the game. Joey flew out to the mound for the first out of the inning, and down to their final batter, Steve fanned Dinger to end the inning and the game.

Steve and the Ham Slams had outlasted the Fish Sticks 3-1 in a marathon defensive struggle, and had tied the series at 1-1 with the Ham Slams heading home for games 3 and 4.

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

Box Score

Game Notes:
– Steve pitched the complete game win for the Ham Slams, scattering 7 hits and giving up only 1 ER in 8 innings.
– Anthony led the Ham Slams offensively, going 2 for 5 with a single, a homer, an RBI, and 2 runs scored. Alec went 1 for 5, but his 2-run homer in the top of the 8th won the game for the Ham Slams.
– Vassallo led the Fish Sticks at the plate, going 2 for 4 with a single, a homer, and their only RBI and run scored. Joey also went 3 for 5 with 2 singles and a double.

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