Chelten Baptist traveled across Mondauk to Field #5 Friday to face the New Life Kings for their second matchup of the season.
Chelten’s leadoff batter, Kevin, would reach base on every appearance, and started by leading off the game with a single. After a popout to short, Dan S hit a ball to the middle of the infield that took a skip and bounced off the forearm of Dan, New Life’s shortstop. Second baseman Andy reached out and grabbed the ball, but the call was not immediately clear. The bag had moved somewhat during the play, but when the dust settled, the ruling was that had the bag been tied down, the play still would have been made. A flyout to center followed to end the inning.
New Life loaded up the bases with singles by Jimmy, Anthony, and Brandy, and with one out Mark looked in for an RBI opportunity. In the only at-bat where he didn’t produce a single, Mark hit the ball deep enough to get a run home on a sacrifice fly. Josh produced the fourth hit of the inning, but the right-fielder gunned down the runner attempting to score from second, and New Life had only scratched out a 1-0 lead.
Chelten would not immediately respond, as Brandy induced three outs in the air during Chelten’s half of the second inning. With one out in the bottom frame, Dan legged out an infield single, then came home after hits from Luke and Andy. A fielder’s choice had two runners on with two outs, and hits from Jimmy and Anthony each brought a runner home. The final out was recorded, but the lead had been extended to four.
Chelten made some noise in the third, as Phil smoked a double over the rover in right-center field to bring home Mark for their first run. Phil then advanced to third on a ground out that way with some heads-up baserunning, but a lineout stranded him there.
Brandy worked a four-pitch walk to lead off the bottom of the frame, followed by a single from Mark. A fielder’s choice to third and a hit by Bret loaded the bases with one out. Dan skied the ball to right, and Mark tagged up and scored on the sac fly. A fielder’s choice ended the third inning with a score of 5-1.
Chelten went down quickly in the fifth, with Kevin’s single the only hit. Though the Kings loaded up the bases yet again in the bottom frame with one out, no runs would cross the plate. A shallow flyout was followed by Chelten pitcher Scotty’s best pitch of the night, a two-strike changeup that caused the lone New Life strikeout of the evening.
The visitors worked to chip away at the lead in the following two innings. Dan A and Brian came home on an RBI groundout from Scott and hits by Mark and Jared in the fifth. Back-to-back one-out doubles (Kevin and Stevie) in the sixth netted a run, but a groundout to third and flyout to the rover in right-center stranded Stevie to keep the New Life advantage by the slimmest of margins, 5-4.
Luke, Jon, and Jimmy singled to load up the bases for the Kings for the fifth time in six innings. A flyout to left was the second out of the inning, and it looked like New Life would squander another opportunity to extend the lead. But Stoney stepped in and laced a rare three-run single into the outfield, with Jimmy racing around to circle the bases from first. A flyout ended the frame, but the Kings now had a four-run cushion at 8-4.
As it turned out, the runs weren’t strictly necessary. Dan A led off the final inning with a single, but Andy and Dan rolled up the only double play of the game, and Brandy induced a flyout to center to end the game and sweep the season series.
Kevin led Chelten Baptist by going 3-3, while Dan A and Mark each added two hits. All 4 RBI came from different batters – Stevie, Scott, Jared, and Phil.
The Kings notched 19 hits, with every batter producing at least one. Jimmy led by going 4-4, with three hits from Anthony. New Life does not roster a “Matthew,” but the three Kings whose namesake is a gospel writer – Mark, Luke, and Jon – each contributed two hits. Stoney produced 3 RBI, with the others coming from Jimmy, Anthony, Mark, Dan, and Andy.
New Life (7-2) starts a two-game week on Tuesday, 6/19, hosting Jarrettown (1-8) at Field #2 for their second matchup. Then on Friday, 6/22, the Kings will take on top-seeded Trinity (8-1), who defeated the Kings in their first matchup in the first game of the season.
Also on a quick turnaround, Chelten Baptist (4-6) will host Calvary Church (3-6) on Tuesday, 6/19. Chelten won their first face-off, 7-5, just days ago.