Thursday, November 6, 2008

Raining Sideways Stage Late Season Push: Qualify for Playoffs

A rejuvenated Raining Sideways squad took the field Wednesday against the lengthy-named A Swift Kick In the Grass with one thing in mind: “Thank God it’s not as cold this week as it was last week.”

Also, they were thinking about what it meant to them to finish the season with a winning record. Going into Wednesday’s match up 3-3-1, the Ollies were fighting to stay above .500.

Perhaps still chilled from last week’s loss, the Ollies started slowly, only managing a single hit in the first inning. However, the defense remained resolute in the bottom of the inning despite a 1st-kicker walk perpetrated by Big. Ashley made the first of a pair of big centerfield catches to blank the Kicks.

The Ollie’s offense finally got started in the second inning with a two run kick by Pete on which Big scored easily from second with Wayne charging all the way from first and beating a close play at home that had some of home fans grumbling. Raining Sideways took the run, however, and were able to add another in the third on a shot from Spartacus, who kicked in her first RKI of the season, scoring Seamus.

Kick In the Grass were never far from breaking a big rally, however, as they had runners on almost every inning. Only another strong catch by Ashley in shallow centerfield, calling off Asian coming over from shortstop prevented further damage with bases loaded. Great defense held the Grass to two runs through the fourth inning.

Leading 3-2 going into the fifth inning, the Ollies were looking for some insurance runs and quickly put runners on. With the bases stuffed and two outs, Big stepped up and was able to find a hole in the outfield, kicking his first homerun of the season and his first career grand slam.

“I just swung away and hoped for good things,” Big said in the dugout. “I was looking for that pitch away and was able to put it in the opposite field. I’m just happy to help the team.”

The Ollies took the five run lead into the bottom of the fifth. The Grass found were charged, however, and staged a rally that had many Ollies fans wondering if their beloved team would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Raining Sideways held on, however, allowing only three runs in the inning and securing their winning record.

Raining Sideways ends finishes the 2008 MA Recess Fall Season with a record for four wins, three losses and one tie. They have a +4 run differential on the season.

“I’m looking forward to playoffs and the season standings,” said Eric on Thursday. “I’d like to know where we sit.”

Wherever they stand, the Ollies will most likely be without star third baseman Wayne, who suffered two hair line fractures during Wednesday’s game. Doctors say he may be off the foot for a few weeks, effectively ending his season. However, he should be back for the Spring Season.

Returning next week will be reliable and productive utility player BK, who suffered a crippling back injury in the tie against Where My Pitches At and missed the following three games. He will be a welcome addition to the Ollies’ lineup and fielding squad.

“I’m at 97.3% right now,” BK told reporter this afternoon. “I’ll be at 110% next week. I’ll be ready to go.”