By Jesse Ferguson, 4BRANT
On a beautiful Friday night, cars packed the lot at Arnold Anderson Stadium– parked legally and otherwise– to catch two games for the Brantford Red Sox for the price of one.
Allow me to explain: Last time the Barrie Baycats were in town on June 3rd the game was suspended suddenly in the eighth inning due to weather. Normally the game would be called then and awarded to the team winning the game. However, when the game is tied, a win cannot be granted. So the winner is decided by playing at a later date.
And that date would be Friday, June 15. It worked out since Barrie was already coming to Brantford for a regular season game tonight. The end of the game that got washed out would precede the full game that was originally scheduled for today.
This was good timing for the Red Sox as they were scuffling at the time of June 3rd, but have now actually won three straight contests.
I learned that the start of the game was preempted though for the sun to settle below the trees. As a Jr. Red Sox outfielder back in the day, I am incredibly envious of this tactic– it would’ve saved me many o’struggles with the sun (my view in left field, below…).
However, this waiting for the sunset made me realize that a late start combined with a full game plus the end of another, meant in short, it was to be a long night ahead (I mean seriously, how much text have I supplied prior to one pitch being thrown? I, however, do think the backstory is pretty necessary).
So, now to the first pitch…
And it was a STRIKEOUT! What? you may be asking. On one pitch?? How is that possible?
Well I’ll explain: Due to the resumption of the contest from the very pitch of last game when it was called meant the count was one-and-two at the first pitch because that’s what the count was when the game was postponed. Same batter, same pitcher, same runner (photo from Crystal Young Photography upon first pitch).
Barrie worked itself into a jam early. The first two batters reached for the Red Sox but then Brantford got unlucky. The Brantford player laid down a bunt to advance the runners to second and third with just one out. But not to get ahead of ourselves… that was just the goal of the play.
The bunt was put down in the field of play. Either the runner wasn’t off on the pitch or the bunt didn’t have enough juice on it and the catcher quickly scooped it up and gunned it to third in time (narrowly) for the force-out at third.
Brantford could not recover from this and the inning fizzled from there. Barrie avoided the bullet from Brantford, Matrix style (below, scene from The Matrix).
Barrie used that momentum in the next inning to get runners on and Brantford compounded the problem by kicking the ball around, relenting a run.
Then the wheels fell off Brantford completely. How quickly a game can get away.
Barrie gets the win from the June 3rd game, 8-3… they just had to wait for it. Who would’ve thought on June 3rd that the outcome wouldn’t be decided until almost two weeks later? More importantly, how could Brantford ruin eight past innings in a matter of moments?
Find out how the teams fared in the second game by clicking here (when I finish writing it / if I remember)