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Blue Rocks Take Series Vs Tarpons 2-1

By Dan Mele, 11/07/22, 10:15AM CST


Blue Rocks Take Series Vs Tarpons 2-1


Game 1 - Blue Rocks 11 Tarpons 3

I was planning on waiting until the season was over for my next article, but my Captain asked me to write one about week one in the playoffs, and to keep it positive…so obviously he has not read any of my previous articles.  The Blue Rocks visited the Tarpons in game one on field 4, with the wind blowing in from right field.  That didn’t effect the swing of Big Game Brian Babbit, who hit 3 home runs in this game.  Luke and Babbit had 10 of the 11 rbi’s in this game.  The defense and pitching were once again the most impressive part of the Blue Rocks game.  D-Bone made a nice sliding catch in this game, Matt Casey caught everything and anything hit to right field, and Banta pitching and fielding his position like he was 28 years old again.  Complete game on both sides of the ball.

Game 2 - Blue Rocks 3 Tarpons 7

Game two featured the Tarpons coming to the home team Blue Rocks field, where the Blue Rocks were planning on closing this series out.  The Tarpons came out of the gate with a couple of runs in the top of the first, but then were held scoreless for the next 4 innings.  We aren’t sure if it was the Blue Rocks bats taking a game off, or a new family edition to the cheering section, but we couldn’t get much going offensively in this game, and at the end of 5, it was a 2-1 ballgame.  The top of the 6th, the Tarpons put together a little rally, scoring 5, and it was just too much of a hill for us to overcome in the last couple at bats.  Curb Strull and Ozzie were again bright spots at the plate, as automatic as always.

Game 3 - Blue Rocks 9 Tarpons 8

After a 10 minute break, a nice pep talk from Captain Banta, and our cheering section cleared out, we started game 3 and scored 1 in the top of the first after a Luke walk and a D-bone rbi single.  We kept the bats going, scoring 5 in the 3rd, 1 in the 5th, and 1 in the 7th, to take a commanding 8-0 lead going to the bottom of the 7th.  Then the unthinkable happened.  A walk here, a walk there.  A bloop single here, a ball in the gap there.  A line drive off a diving glove, a line drive off a jumping as high as possible glove, a fly ball over a head.  Next thing you know, we are in a battle as the Tarpons came back and scored 8 in the bottom of the 7th.  If you were there, and you saw Daltons catch in LCF, you would have hugged him as I did, as that undoubtedly saved our season.  I don’t know who hit it, or how many people were on base, or even what part of the inning it was in, I just know that since I have returned to the league, I have played with the I guy, I have played with Vinnie Terhune, and I have played with Justin Reed, and this was one of the best catches I have ever seen by a left center fielder.  I am still not sure how he got to it.  Or how he held on after the full speed, full lay out dive to catch it. 

The Blue Rocks were shook after the bottom of the 7th.  After a quick pep talk about resiliency and everyone picking each other up, we started the 8th inning.  The Blue Rocks went 3 up and 3 down, and you could hear the confidence in the Tarpons dugout…but we have the secret weapon….Banta’s pitching.  He was able to hold their big guys again to a scoreless bottom of the 8th.  In the top of the 9th, we sent up Matt Casey to lead off.  Coming into this at bat, Matt was already 3 for 3 on the day, and he didn’t let us down, and smoked a ball to left field to get us started with a single.  Timmy Crites drew a 1 pitch walk.  Ozzie walked up to the plate, and told himself “I will not hit into a double play…it’s an out or a walk”…He may owe the Venezuelan’s a veinticuatro, but that decision led to the following….a single by Grayson to load the bases, and a Sac Fly from Lucas to plate the go ahead run.  The defense shut down the Tarpons in the bottom of the 9th, and the Blue Rocks seized the series.