The brand new softball affiliate of the Rocket City Trash Pandas took the field for the first time this weekend with tons of talent and potential, cheered on by our rabid fans—I swear we had at least 6! While it wasn’t a perfect performance, it was darn good and Captain Alexander was very pleased with the early season results.
First up was the potent offense of Sardi’s Tiburones. In the initial inning, Captain Alexander gave up a solo bomb--into the wind--to John Kilburn which put the home team Pandas in a hole. The TPs couldn’t scavenge a run in the bottom of the first or the second frame, quickly falling behind 2-0 after two. Panda-monium broke loose in the top of the third when an “incredible,” delayed overturned third out call at 3B brought the home team back out of the dugout only to quickly give up 2 more runs to the heart of the Sharks order before the fourth out was recorded. The Ring Tails were now down 4-0 but a little ticked off (ask Sean), and the bats finally came to life. With the bottom of the line-up due at the plate, the next seven batters reached base before Captain Alexander made the first out (he hit like trash most of the day). Rookie Chuck Taylor reached on a walk; Travis Olander and Chris Licurse singled loading the bases; crafty veteran Ronn Forniglia took a RBI walk; lead-off Joshua Forniglia (in his first game back from the IR) doubled 2 home; Chenz Terhune followed that with a rocket, another double scoring two more; Sean Greeley scored Vinnie with a sneaky single; and Jacob Forniglia later got his first RBI of the young season, bringing Sean home with a sac fly. The Pandas took the lead 7-4 after three and never looked back. Final score 9-5 good guys in a tight contest. Look out for the Tiburones!
Next we traveled to field 2, where the wind wasn’t blowing in, to visit the dangerous Miller’s Flying Squirrels in a face-off between the two small woodland creatures. The Trash Pandas got off to a better start in this battle, scoring 2 in the top of the first powered by a Joshua F hit, another double by Chenz T, and a sac fly by Greeley. Facing the wrecking crew that is the top of the Squirrels order, the defense with Captain Alexander on the bump was doing fine until the trash-hurler hung a belt-high 12 inch yellow softball to Troy Steele who promptly planted it over the fence in left center. 2-4 home team Tree Chickens after one inning. The resilient TPs responded quickly in their first AB of the second inning, a solo hit-and-sit blast by non-rookie Kennin Doyle (I called it). Two batters later, squirrely Travis Olander used just enough inside-out spin to squeak one by the right fielder, the ball rolling to the corner for his first inside-the-park home run! *That I can remember. Our defense held, and it was a tie ball game 4-4 after two frames. The TPs took the lead 7-6 after three, when blind-squirrel Alexander hit a ball 301 feet to right center--trying to make right for two solo dingers he gave up--with Terhune (still perfect for the day) and Greeley on base. The big innings came in the fifth and sixth though, when the good guys broke it open, trashing the Squirrels with 13 runs to their 2. The bottom of the order stayed hungry with multiple hits by Olander, Licurse and Ronn F providing RBIs (2) for Joshua F on a double and a SAC; Chenz with a 3 run bomb; Dan Mele (clutch at second base all day) with a 3 run jimmy-jack; Greeley (3 RBI) on a timely double, and garbage-time Alexander (2 RBI) hitting the TPs sixth HR of the game to dead center. The Flying Squirrels fought like angry caged animals and hit their own fair share of HRs (look out for some guys named Ortega and Jamieson), but it wasn’t meant to be for the fake-winged rodents on this fair Sunday. Final score 20-8 for the sweep!
Everyone contributed all day, I couldn’t be more proud of my guys :)
Panda Power Players:
Vinnie “Chenz” Terhune – 7-7 with 2 doubles, HR, 6 runs and 6 RBI (*IPOW candidate)
Sean Greeley – 5-6, double, SAC, 4 runs and 6 RBI
Mike Glosier – 4-6 with a SAC, solid SS play
Travis Olander – 4-6 with an inside-the-park HR!
Ronn Forniglia – 3-5 with an RBI walk in the 12 hole!
Chris Licurse – 3-5 with a walk, key in turning the line-up over.
Joshua Forniglia – 4-7, 2 doubles, 4 runs and 4 RBI
Tag(s): Captain's Corner