28 innings in 24 hours

28 innings in 24 hours
May 17, 2013, 7:30 pm
Robert Braunstein

28 innings in 24 hours. The past two days I have shot three baseball games decided by a total of three runs. It all started yesterday when I arrived at Bellarmine newly renovated Bob Fatjo Field. The Bells are the fourth seed in the CCS Division one playoffs and playing great baseball over the past two weeks. They would play the 13th seeded Fremont Firebirds who lost to the Bells in a close first round game last season.

As the game went on it was clear this would be another close game. As the innings went on and the batters went down one after another the game was going along quickly. Each team had its chances to score but solid defense and fine pitching kept the game scoreless through seven innings. Finally in the tenth the Bells broke through with a clean single to left scoring the winning run. Once again the Firebirds would go down at the hands of the Bells, every so close to what could have been a joyous upset.

On Thursday I shot a double header. These were final games for both divisions of the West Alameda County league. First up, Piedmont and San Leandro. The Pirates from San Leandro were league champs four full games over the second place Piedmont Highlanders. But this game would give the winner the top seed from the league in the NCS playoffs.

The game was similar to the Bellarmine/Fremont game with pitching and defense dominating. It looked like the Pirates would break through first with a runner at third and one out when a fly ball was hit to medium deep right field. Out there was right fielder Spencer Gutterman who made the catch in good position to let go a terrific throw. The ball spun its way to the plate and into the catcher’s glose who put the tag on the base runner preventing the run from scoring. The Piedmont fans went nuts as Gutterman smiling broadly ran to the dugout to receive praise from his team. The Highlanders won the game, the run that scored meaning far less than the one Gutterman prevented.

Game two started at 6:50 with Alameda taking on Bishop O’Dowd. The Dragons from O’Dowd were the home team and scored first. But the game was tight throughout. The Dragons had seemingly taken control of the game with a 3-2 lead late. But right after they took the lead the lead off batter the next inning was Trevor Greenley, the Hornets outstanding Junior. Greenley took a pitch and sent it high and deep into the twilight settling in at San Leandro Ballpark with the hum of cars from nearby Interstate 880 drowned out by the cheers erupting from the concrete stands. The ball soared past the foul pole in left field, clearly fair despite the pleas from the Bishop O’Dowd bench. Greenley rounded third base with his poker face not letting on to the exhuberance about to erupt. As Trevor heared home plate his smile break through and then pure jubilance as Greenley hopped onto home plate before being greeted by a throng of teammates who battered Greenely as he headed to the dugout. The game was tied at three.

Like the Bellarmine game this one would go deep into extra innings. There were several crazy plays to keep the game scoreless. In the end a bases loaded hit batsman scored the game winning run. An anticlimactic way to end such a marvelous contest. But that’s baseball, when you see 28 innings of play in 24 hours anything can happen.