I had the third and fourth overall picks in the fall ball draft, with those two selections I chose Dan Morgan and BJ Rankin. In the name of competitive balance Rankin was moved to the Gray bats without playing a game for the Ghostbusters.
On Saturday Rankin demolished his former team, pitching four scoreless innings and hitting a two run triple to lead the Bats to a 5-4 victory over the Avalon Ghostbusters of the North Hills.
Here is the recap from Gray Bats coach, Larry.
Rankin did not earn the win, as Avalon erased a 3-0 Bats lead, on the strength of strong pitching from Adam Smith, and a clutch RBI triple from Eric “Winston” Lee.
Avalon led 4-3 after six, but the Gray Bats blindly screetched their way to an unearned run in the top of the seventh, and added another on a semi-routine “haunted” flyball which eluded the Ghostbusters outfielders.
Alex Warren retired the Ghostbusters in order in the bottom of the seventh on three hard hit ground ball outs.
It was a tough loss; Vinny Gala’s day at the plate was symbolic of the Avalon effort, knocking the cover off the ball in three at bats only to wind up 0-for-3 with three line outs to the Bats left fielder.
The Ghostbusters won their first game in dramatic fashion, erasing deficits of 3-0 and 4-2 on the way to defeating the Orange Crush 9-5.
Game two of the double header featured Ducks starter Mark “Captain America” Guthrie, on the hill for the Orange Crush, and Dr. Dan “Venkman” Morgan of the Ghostbusters.
Guthrie started the game off the bottom of the first with a strike out of Ducks’ infielder Les Gies.
Guthrie had the Ducks number in game two, Ben Gwin was 0 for 3 against Guthrie, and Eric Lee was 1-3.
Crush third baseman, Stay Puft Marshmellow Man, hit a hanging curve ball by Morgan down the left field line for a two run double to put the Crush ahead 3-0.
Avalon continued to hit the ball right at the opposition.
Morgan turned in a courageous performance allowing two earned runs over four innings, despite a hamstring problem that almost forced an early exit.
“I can go one more” he said after pulling up lame in the third, and he proceeded to pitch a scoreless fourth inning, retiring the Crush in order.
Trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth, Avalon loaded the bases with one out, and tied the game on a busted double play.
Then the Ghostbusters scored on back to back squeeze bunts, the first with Eric Lee on third and Mike Watson at the plate, which scored two runs after a throwing error.
Watson reached third and Guthrie was pulled for Brian Strom. On the second pitch Watson broke for the plate and Tony laid down a perfect bunt, the run scored and Tony beat the throw to first.
The Ghostbusters added another insurance run on Adalino’s third hit of the day.
Mark Kuhns (1-0) was the pitcher of record for the Ghostbusters earning the win on the mound after allowing one run in two innings. The run came in the top of the fifth when Stay Puft ined a single to center.
Mark’s son Ron recorded the save. Ron Kuhns worked out of a bases loaded no outs jam in the bottom of the seventh. Blues’ left fielder Brian Strom lead off the inning with a single to left, followed by three straight walks.
Kuhns struck out the next batter, and enticed a 1-2-3 game ending double play from Crush shortstop, “Wino”