P1 Opens Season with Double-header Wins
Rommen Baseball Field, 7 May 2016
The Pretenders opened the 2016 season with two wins over the Kristiansand Suns at sunny Rommen. With forceful pitching and clutch hitting, P1 overmatched the young and talented squad from Kr.sand.
Game 1: Matt Carries P1 to Narrow Victory, 6‒5
SP Matt Connell started off P1’s season by throwing a fastball strike, then proceeded to pitch a complete-game gem. Matt had a no-hitter going until two outs in the 5th – having retired 14 of the first 16 batters he faced – and he struck out 11 Suns’ batters on the day. Backed by generally solid defense and just enough runs, Matt earned the 2016 Pretenders’ first W, giving up just 3 hits, 4 BB and a HBP.
Henrik Hanselman pitched the complete game for the Kristiansanders, scattering 9 hits (to 9 different P-batters), 4 walks and 4 HBP while stranding 8 baserunners.
In the 1st inning, both RF Martinius Hars and Matt were beaned with two outs. 3B Glenn Wells then opened the scoring with an RBI single.
Newly acquired 2B Ryan Goedecke wasted no time in getting his first Pretender hit in the 2nd inning, a sharp grounder up the middle. He later scored with the bases loaded on Leif’s FC grounder. Also in the 2nd, Anders Tveten singled to left-center and scored on an E3 to put P1 up 3‒0.
In the 5th, the Suns nearly tied the score after a 2-out error, a walk and their first hit, a grounder that found its way into the outfield, plating two unearned runs.
The P-offense responded in the bottom half as Martinius led off and scored the Pretenders’ 4th run through sheer footspeed: he beat the third baseman’s throw to first base, then slid into 2nd on a close steal, then raced and slid into third base after Matt’s groundout, then sprinted home on Glenn’s grounder to SS – again sliding in, just under the tag! Later, with 2 outs in the inning, 1B Gary Maloy lined a clutch single to left to score Glenn from 3rd, bolstering the P1 lead to 5‒2.
The eventful 7th began with a Suns’ popout, so the Pretenders were just two outs from victory. But after two walks and a fielding error, K’sand had loaded the bases. An RBI groundout and a single up the middle scored all three, tying the contest at 5‒5 and setting the stage for a dramatic finish.
CF Nate Peterson led off the bottom of the 7th with a single to represent the winning run. After Nate advanced on Ryan’s flyout and a wild pitch allowed him to third, Gary drew a one-out walk. Next, LF Darren McKellep hit a hard grounder down the 3rd base line to plate Nate for the winning run – Pretenders walk off 6‒5!
2B Ryan made the defensive highlight reel by fielding a grounder with his wrist, shoulder, stomach and chin and then bobbling it 5 to 7 times while running toward first base, then finally throwing out the batter at the last second.
Game 2: Leif’s Arm Strong in 14‒4 Win
SP Leif Petter Sandvik was firing bullets in the second game. Once he found his fastball rhythm, Leif struck out 5, while yielding 5 BB and scattering 5 hits. Sandvik pitched his 400th inning for the Pretenders in the 2nd inning of the game - making him only the 2nd Pretender ever to reach this milestone (the first one was Glenn Wells, now at 790 IP).
P-batters drew 11 walks (6 in the first inning alone) and ran aggressively, stealing 5 bases. But the normally potent lineup managed only 5 hits (two by Nate, including a long 2-RBI double over CF). The only other Pretenders to hit safely were C Terje Hoaas, Matt and Glenn.
Promising young Suns’ pitchers Nicholas and Jonathan combined for four strikeouts.
Defensively, Terje threw out a would-be stealer at 2nd, SS Glenn made a terrific, running, over-the-shoulder popout catch in left field. and RF Peter Pederson made a nice running catch towards the foul-line. Rookie Erling Elind also made his P1 debut in the second game.