The Scrappers snatched an 11-1 win Saturday from their rivals, the Knights, at the Cal Ripken’s division 1 playoffs held at Benicia Park.
The Scrappers certainly lived up to their name. They dragged the game right into the dust with an aggressive playstyle that resulted in a whole heck of a lot of stolen bases. This win makes ten for the Scrappers in their division, and their third in a row. At the moment they rank second, trailing the front runner, Dash, by just a couple wins.
Unfortunately going into the game the Knights couldn’t claim a similar record. They lay at the bottom of their division with ten total losses and not a single win to their name. What they lacked in victory, however, they more than made for in spirit, and could lay claim to a raucous dugout and enthusiastic cheering section in the bleachers.
Part of that is thanks to the tireless efforts of their temporary coach, Jason Smith.
“This is a great batch of kids, but with all kids they need to learn to work together and to trust each other,” Smith said. “You just have to bring it out of them. You have to take the kid that doesn’t believe he can hit a ball and turn him into a homerun hitter. And then after he becomes that home run hitter you tell him, ‘Are you gonna settle with great, or do you want to become immortal?’”
The Scrappers took the early lead after their player, Joseph Waterman, got on base from a walk. Not content to stay at first, Joseph stole second, third, and then stole home after a misthrone pitch by the Knights bounced out of their catcher’s hands.
That gave the Scrappers their first real taste of home plate, and it seemed to be one they liked. They tried to build on their lead through the rest of the first and second inning, but the Knights proved resilient.
It took until the end of the second inning before the Knights managed to get on the board. Fabian Bertozzi-Barber stepped up to bat. He tapped the ball with the most gentle of touches, but it was enough to push into legal bounds—then he took off like someone had lit a fire. The Scrapper catcher overthrew first base, so Fabian kept right on moving. He managed to reach to all the way to third before stopping. It took another hit, this one a pop fly to midfield, to bring him home, but home he went to the cheers and adoration of his team.
The Knight’s momentary elation wasn’t to last, however.
The fifth inning kicked off the Scrappers up to bat. Gavin Hunter smacked the ball to left field and then stole third. Nick Owen brought him home and took his place on base, only to be replaced by Asier Guadron a few hitters later. It kept going like that. Each in their own turn hit a single or double and brought the last home. The inning closed out with 5 total runs, the maximum allowed in one inning in the first division, and with the Scrappers maintaining their substantial lead throughout the rest of the game.
“I am very proud of the kids. They came a long way from the beginning of the season. We practiced hard to get to where we are,” Kurt Scheieron, Scrapper’s Coach, said. “It’s not dragging myself out here. I love coming out here. This is what I live for.”
Going into the playoffs now we’re looking good—we finally beat the #1 team last week, so I’m really excited for them.
Next up the Scrappers face off against the division leader, Dash, on Saturday, Oct. 20th at Benicia Park.
The Knights go up against the Iron Pigs at that same park just a couple hours later.