Hats off to the Gray Bats: Guest Blog, by Fall Ball Champion of the Universe, Larry Zalewski

pittsburgh NABA

The game’s actual score : Gray Bats 9, Ghostbusters 8


By Larry Zalewski, author of Gray Bats Fall BallBlog…

A game for the ages. Where do I begin? Let’s just say that the second at bat of the morning set the tone for the day. Larry Zalewski’s sure-hit line drive grounder was somehow retrieved by SS Tony Casale, who threw to first for the out. Personally, that was one of the best defensive plays I’ve seen all year. That is, until Casale did an encore a few innings later on a ball hit by Rich (%$&!@##$%!) Ament. Anymore thefts like that at shortstop and I was ready to call the County Police . In any event, this was an exciting nail-biter from beginning to end.

The Ghostbusters has a good team pitching effort by Smith, Schwartz, then Ron Kuhns, while the Gray Bats again relied on their workhorses BJ Rankin, who pitched innings one through four, and “barely-legal” rookie phenom Ben Sorosky.

The Bats were held without a run, until they scored one in innings three, four and five. The floodgates opened in the sixth when a Zalewski double scored Graff and Sorosky. The game went back and forth until the top of the final inning. Spicer singled and stole second and third. Graff and Zalewski walked. BJ Rankin and Brian Slavicek doubled and singled respectively, with Rankin scoring the winning run on a rare mishandled ball by CF Ben Gwin. The morning sun was hidden most of game until the late innings. Unfortunately, the sun seems to rise from directly behind home plate. A major goof in the design of the field, I guess. But probably nobody expected games to be played there at 9 am in November.

Memory is failing me now a bit, but this game had a fair number of oddities. Ben Sorosky hitting Ghostbusters starting pitcher Smith on the bill of his helmet early in the game gave everyone a scare. Later, pitcher Ron Kuhns’ throw plunked Larry Zalewski in the helmet when diving back to first base, rendering him dazed and confused enough to call for a pinch runner.

Both teams played with inspiration and guts. It was a battle that one team had to eventually win. Luckily for the Gray Bats, losers of four straight until this game, they were on the winning side.

A hard fought victory.


One more time…

  • Barely legal indeed.
  • Good game.
  • Eric Lee stole home on a past ball despite the short backstop
  • I got another cheap RBI off Sorosky, on a flair to center
  • Vinny Gala was the Ghostbusters’ most consistent hitter this fall, he had three RBI vs. the Gray Bats, I think
  • This was the best I’ve seen Adam Smith hit in two years
  • I went 0-15 against Rankin this fall
  • 5-12 against everyone else
  • Dr. Venkman, have you ever discussed the Big Lebowski in your class?
  • To my five readers, feel free to leave comments about what non-pittsburgh naba filler you’d like to see in the blog during the off-season, I can probably throw together two-three posts a week until Ducks’ season.
  • The Blues are still working on fund raising, and rounding out the roster for the Florida Citrus Classic Jan 17th-19th
  • I’ll have a fall ball/ghostbusters season recap probably a couple days after the all-star game
  • I’ll have updates on the winter meetings, and such…
  • Vote, today

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