Fall League, Week 2: Rats Beat Pats, Millers Outlast Hornets
Updated: Sep 25
Diamond Rats 4
WP: Rick Fleurent
LP: Morriss Partee
The Diamond Rats improved to 2-0 on the year, holding off a furious Patriots comeback for a thrilling 4-3 win. The D-Rats drew first blood, scoring a pair against Pats hurler Morriss Partee. Micah Winston led off with a walk, Greg Elbaum singled, Diego Ortiz’s RBI single scored Winston and Elbaum came in on Mike Olkin’s RBI groundout. The D-Rats added another pair off of reliever Mike Dietlin in the 3rd. After walks to Tom Neilson and Elbaum, 2 runs came in on an RBI grounder to 3B by Mark Caputo, which turned into a double error (fielding/throwing).
Meanwhile, D-Rats starter Rick Fleurent was dominant, allowing only an unearned run in the 3rd in 4 innings, fanning 4 and permitting one hit, by Ryan Dietlin, who scored on an error.
Ken Sloat came out to the bump in the 4th and shut out the D-Rats offense the rest of the way, allowing 3 hits, walking none and whiffing 1.
Elbaum relieved Fleurent in the 5th, and the dormant Pats bats came to life. Matt Boulanger led off with a single, and with one out, after consecutive hits by Marin Goldstein and Nolan Anaya, Ryan Dietlin lofted a 2-run single to left, before Elbaum shut the door. In the 6th, Mike Dietlin and Ken Sloat led off with singles, but Elbaum buckled down with a K, a pop-out and a groundout. Closer Mark Caputo came on in the 7th, but allowed a lead-off single to Partee, and after a big K, an infield hit to Anaya. However, Caputo slammed the door with a clutch K and a foul pop-out to John Malikowski to end the game.
Ryan Dietlin was 2-3 with 2 RBI’s to lead the Pats O and Diego Ortiz had a pair of knocks for the D-Rats. The defensive highlight was by 2B Mike Dietlin, who ranged up the middle on what looked to be a sure single and threw out the speedy Winston by half a step.
Murder Hornets 2
WP: Jeff Whitehead
LP: Steve Ostrowski
After a night of rain Anniversary Field was surprisingly playable and ready to go for a match up between the defending champion Murder Hornets and the upstart Millers.
The game was a pitching clinic all the way: the Millers sent Jeff Whitehead to the mound, and the Murder Hornets' starting pitcher was Steve Ostrowski. Both were dominant, went the distance, and were tough to hit.
In the bottom of the 2nd Chris "Chaka" Scanlon singled, but was out at second on a John Wills fielders choice. Jeff Cahill was able to reach on an error, and with two on John "Sulli" Sullivan hit a single that scored Wills for the first run of the game. Despite having the bases juiced and one out, Ostrowski kept his cool and dug in, striking out the next two batters to retire the side. At the end of two it was the Millers up 1-0.
The Murder Hornets opened the 4th inning with Michael Ringler, Larry Pietras, and Bill Evans all hitting singles to load the bases with no outs. Jon "JR" Ross hit a sacrifice fly to right field that brought Ringler home and the Hornets were on the board. Whitehead was able to pitch out of the jam, stranding two men on base, but the score was now tied 1-1.
For the next three and a half innings it was a pitchers' duel battle royale: Whitehead gave up 1 hit and struck out 4, while Ostrowski gave up a hit, 2 walks and struck out 3. At the end of 7 it was still tied 1-1 and it was on to extra innings.
In the top of the 8th Jon Ross stood at second as the automatic runner, and the Hornets got to work. With one out, Ostrowski hit a single that advanced JR to third. Donnie Edwards then hit a grounder to John Sullivan at short, who held Ross at third, then threw to get the out at first. Ross immediately dashed home while first baseman Jeff Cahill reached for the throw from short, but was pulled off the bag: the runner was safe! Cahill immediately pivoted and fired to Ron Totten at home, but Ross was able to narrowly beat the tag and scored.
The next play was even wackier: with runners on first and second Jim "Kruk" Fogarty hit a line drive to pitcher Jeff Whitehead, who caught the ball and fired to first to get dead duck Edwards, who had had ventured too far off of first base. The ball went over the first baseman and into the brush. After some confusion and debate about how the play should be ruled (a tag up, a overthrown dead ball, etc.) Ostrowski eventually advanced to third and Edwards to 2nd. Whitehead was finally able to induce a 4-3 ground out but the Hornets had the lead 2-1.
In the bottom of the 8th John Sullivan was the automatic runner at 2nd base. Pres Pieraccini tried to lay down a bunt but flew out to the catcher. One away. Jack Eisenstadt was patient at the plate and earned a pivotal walk, runners on 1st and 2nd. Justin Gaudette hit a pop fly to first base, and the Millers were down to their last out. Up came Chris Krezmien, who hit a bullet that evaded Hornets' infielders, scoring Sullivan. Game tied. It was now up to Mike Krezmien, who responded by hitting a bomb over the left fielder and brought Eisenstadt home! The ballgame was over in extras: Millers 3, Murder Hornets 2.
MURDER HORNETS PLAYERS OF THE GAME: Steve Ostrowski (8 IP, 2 ER, 5K, 5 H), Don Edwards (1-3, 1 RBI)
MILLERS PLAYERS OF THE GAME: Jeff Whitehead (8 IP, 1 ER, 4K, 6 H) and the Krezmein Brothers (Chris & Mike) for hitting the game tying and winning runs, respectively.
Game photos courtesy of Jeff Whitehead