The Le Bleu Drinkers came back from an eight-run deficit to defeat Price-WaterhouseCoopers 21-20 in a wild game at the Field of Dreams last Sunday.
Le Bleu, 4-0 on the season, dug themselves a hole early, allowing six runs on several errors in the top of the first inning.
‘We looked like the Bad News Bears out there in the first,’ said pitcher-coach Alan Markoff, ‘and I was Papa Bear, throwing the ball away twice.’
The Drinkers scored two runs in the bottom of the first, but when PWC answered with four runs in the second to take a 10-2 lead, it looked like it was going to be a long day for Le Bleu.
Still hopeful they could get back into the game with an offence that averaged 21 runs per game during the first three games, the Drinkers never game up.
‘When we scored five in the bottom of the second, I knew we had a chance,’ said Markoff.
But PWC kept the runs coming, scoring two in each the third, fourth and fifth innings,.
In the meantime, Le Bleu only scored single runs in the third and fourth innings and entered the bottom of the fifth trailing 16-9 and were precariously close to being knocked out by the 10-run rule.
That’s when the Drinkers started the comeback in earnest.
Mark Wallace had one of the two key hits in the inning after three of the Drinkers’ girls had gotten on base.
‘I came up with the bases juiced with girls and I unjuiced them,’ said Wal-lace, who continues to deny reports that he juiced himself with vitamin supplements during the off-season.
Wallace’s grand slam was followed three batters later with a three-run homer by Stephen Ebanks, who played despite suffer-ing from the Locker Flu he had contracted the day before.
‘It’s all about the vomit,’ said Ebanks, who had to have bottles of refreshing Le Bleu drinking water poured over his head to revive him after the home run.
Le Bleu’s Laine Smyth was horrified.
‘I hate seeing ultra pure Le Bleu being used in such a way, but it did help him,’ she said. ‘It just goes to show you how good our water really is.’
With an eight-runs fifth inning, Le Bleu took a 17-16 lead, but PWC came right back with four runs in the sixth to regain a three-run lead.
After only tallying a single run in the sixth to narrow PWC’s lead to two runs, the Drinkers defence finally came through.
Following back to back hits to start the seventh inning, it looked like PWC would add to their lead. But a fine play by shortstop William Foster to get the lead runner set the stage for the key defensive play of the game.
A hard smash to third baseman Mark Wallace turned into a double play, as the Drinkers kept PWC off the scoreboard for an inning for the first time in the game.
Down two runs, Le Bleu had the top of the order coming to the plate.
Wallace walked to open the inning and Jordan doubled him to third.
Alan Markoff then doubled both runners home and then scored on a single by Stephen Ebanks to seal the victory.
For the game, Wallace went 3 for 4 with a home run, four runs and 5 RBI; Markoff went 4 for 5 with two home runs, 4 runs and 6 RBI; and the flu-stricken Ebanks went 2 for 5 with a home run and 4 RBI.
‘I don’t know how we won that game,’ said Coach Markoff afterwards. ‘They hit better than us and they fielded better than us. We did make some clutch hits and defen-sive plays, and we did work more walks than them, so I guess the saying is true that bases on balls will kill you.’
Le Bleu’s girls played a key role in the game, scor-ing five of the team’s runs.
The Drinkers were forced to play four girls in the field because of the un-availability of three men.
Pat Haag was in Jamaica touring the Tastee Cheese Factory; Steve Walsh was in Tampa try-ing out for the Devil Rays AAAAA(-) farm team; and Mark Connolly, who de-cided to go boating at the last minute.
‘That’s all right,’ said Rachel Smyth of Connolly. ‘We played better without him.’
After the game, the Drinkers earned their name in a celebration at the new sports bar Davie Jones’ Locker.
The establishment’s name confused Laine Smyth. ‘Why did they name a sports bar after the lead singer of the Mon-keys?’ she asked.