Will’s Crown Knights won an exciting, nearly bench-clearing game this past Saturday morning, besting the Nashville Monarchs be a 9-6 score.
With the Knights playing the part of the visiting team, Will was the first batter of the game. As he stepped in the box, Tanner’s dad Jay’s deep, professional voice boomed out over the loudspeakers: “Batting first for the Crown Knights, the third-baseman, number eleven, Will “Cuddly Bear” Murphy!” Fans and players from both sides erupted in laughter.
Crown got off to a great start, scoring six runs in the first, and another run in the second.
This is when the complexion of the game began to change. As the pitcher peered in for a sign from the catcher, Will broke for third and stole the base while the pitcher held the ball on the mound. The play was close, and perhaps Will was out, but the umpire signaled safe. The
On the next pitch Perry dribbled a grounder toward the shortstop. The third-baseman cut to his left and made a sweet play spearing the ball. He then had to turn his body to fire to first, with his momentum still headed toward second base. As Will trotted home to score, the throw rolled about 15 feet away from the first baseman as Perry crossed the bag. Though this wasn’t far enough away for Perry to advance, he took off for second anyway. The throw beat Perry by ten feet, and as the second-baseman applied the tag the eight other
The field umpire, positioned on the pitcher’s mound side of second base, dramatically signaled safe. The
Andrew had been pitching well for Crown, allowing just one manufactured run as he pitched through the Monarchs batting order for the first time.
Then things grew worse in the top of the third. Crown’s hard-playing catcher led off the inning. Patrick hadn’t been playing well since his father passed away last year, from an extended illness. On Twitter he often boasted of getting thrown out of games and starting brawls. But two straight doubles had Patrick’s mind on playing hard again. Now working the concession stand, I noticed stickers on the back of Patrick’s batting helmet. I moved in for a closer look: they were several sets of four tick marks, with the fifth tick mark across the other four. I asked what they stood for, and several joked that they were the times he’s been tossed, or fights he’d started.
Patrick worked the count full, walked, and stole second. The next two batters had both singled in the first, and the speedy Patrick would have no trouble scoring on a hit. Though
With momentum on their side, the Monarchs rallied in the bottom of the third. After the leadoff batter doubled, the
Sam led off the fourth for Crown. After knocking in eight runs in the 9 am JayVee game, he promptly collected his third straight varsity hit. But another Crown baserunning mistake kept the
Andrew quieted the crowd by striking out the first two batters in the fourth. Next up was the tall first baseman Jake, a former teammate for Perry’s in
With Braeden leading off the top of the fifth, in the concession stand I told Mr. Lusk that a home run would go a long way to quieting things down. The tall Crown first-baseman granted my wish, parking a high fly ball just over the distant centerfield fence. Perry then walked, took second on a wild pitch, stole third, and scored on an errant pickoff attempt at first.
With time running down, Crown just needed to hold one more time. But after the first
As the plate umpire called the game over, some