Dirt Dogs Fall to Heat, Split with Athlete’s Edge

This weekend saw the first full pair of double-headers against the Worcester Heat and Athlete’s Edge. The Worcester Heat took both of Saturday’s games with scores of 5-1 and 13-2. Nuf Ced, except to say that a little sportsmanship goes a long way and 12 year olds (and the grownups who coach them) who think they are the Masters of the Universe need either a good dose of humility or a strong enema for attitude. It’s one thing to be good players, it’s quite another to be players who are good in the existential sense.

Sunday’s games were the “Sandlot Classic” against Athlete’s Edge Black which shares space in the same mill building with North East Baseball. The two programs are literally across the hall from each other, and this pair of games was for both bragging rights on the block and also a matchup between Matt, Mike P. and Mike D. of NEB against Christian, Nick and Chris of AE, all of whom are also members of the Littleton Tigers All-Stars squad (Cal Ripken). Athlete’s Edge took the first game 8-5, and NEB took the second game  4-1 to split the contest and prove that both teams are well-matched.

Game #1 started strong for the Dirt Dogs who ran up 4 runs in the 2nd inning while Matt took the mound, going 3.3 innings and striking out 7. The lead changed hands in the 4th inning when AE scored 3 runs due in part to weak NEB defensive fielding, and the Dogs never made it back. Scott pitched in relief for NEB and struck out 2 more batters, but Matt took the Loss on this one. Following a well-deserved gut-check and pep talk by coach Scott, the Dogs came back in Game #2 and played like they meant it.

For Game #2, Rohit started on the mound and went 4 innings while relying on strong NEB fielding with Matt at 1st, Aaron at SS and Collin in RF which held the game scoreless for AE until the 4th inning. Aaron pitched for 2 innings in relief and was on the money with his knuckleball which kept AE stymied while the Dogs went to work with their bats. The web gem of the day went to Aaron & Matt as the 1-3 combo when Aaron tripped up while fielding a dribbler towards 3rd, making a desperate throw across the diamond while still on his ass. Matt pulled off a miraculous scoop-pick to complete the play one step ahead of the runner for the 1st out of the 6th inning. Facing Chris who is a LHP for AE, Matt took his at-bats as a switch hitter from the right side for the first time in a game situation and went 2 for 2 with singles including an RBI and a run, making him the finesse hitter of the game. Scott also stroked a 2 RBI double and was the heavy hitter of the game. Aaron, Matt, Mike P. and Collin all scored the runs.

A hearty welcome back and congratulations to Collin who has rejoined the active NEB roster after being sidelined with a concussion from a training accident in early March when he was struck in the head by a bat. Key plays in the outfield and a run scored were all his today, looking forward to many more!

Stay tuned for next weekend’s action against the Triple-Play All-Stars and Groton Bulldogs…

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