Rusty offense, pitching reins-in Unicorns
With manager Greg Weaver on vacation, the responsibility of getting win #2 on the season fell to bench coach Bobby Weaver. So, after an extended break of nearly a month, due to the July 4th holiday and a rain postponement, the Unicorns of the Apocalypse took to the Princess Anne Athletic Complex's Red 4 field to close out VBC Softball's Spring 2011 season.
The game started off promising enough with the night's DH1 Nick Wasilewski getting on base with a single, and moving to third on two weakly hit balls back to the pitcher. With two outs, 2B Elisabeth Edge worked a walk before slugger LF Ryan Cahill lined a double to right - plating both Wasilewski and Edge, and moving to third on the throw.
The early lead soon evaporated though as the bane of the Unicorns pitching staff, the base-on-balls, once again reared its ugly head. No one particular inning got away from them though - ZDUB was patient at the plate and able to take advantage of the few defensive errors made in the game. The Unicorns' opponent was consistent both offensively and defensively, stifling the VBC team on both sides of the game.
The Unicorns tried to come back from their deficit in the later innings, with Cahill hitting his 5th home run of the season in the top of the 4th inning. Another run was added in the top of the 5th after a pair of singles, from RC Romeo Villanueva and 1B Alaina Coletti, and a walk of LC Matt Portner. Newly acquired 3B Kevin Carpenter followed with a shot to right center, but the runner at 3rd was unable to tag up for the sacrifice fly. The game was called for time and the 12-run rule when ZDUB scored two more times in the bottom of the 5th inning, bringing the final score to Unicorns 4, ZDUB 16.
Although a loss seems to tell a different story, the Unicorns played a fairly solid game defensively and have noticeably improved over the course of the spring season. And while the score did eventually reach the 12-run deficit limit, this wasn't a blow-out as had been experienced previously - if the offense had been better able to create baserunners, as they did in the 1st inning, and take advantage of the opportunities they ultimately had, things could have turned out different. For a new franchise only a year and a half into their existence though, such growing pains are to be expected.
Highlights: LF Ryan Cahill further bolstered his case for Spring 2011 MVP with stellar defensive play in the field and batting 2 for 2, while knocking in 3 of the team's 4 runs.