Pretenders Split Two Nail-biters in Bergen
Fyllingsdalen artificial turf, Sat. May 13, 2017
Game 1: Narrow defeat, 8-9, after tense comeback
Dave Pratts made his first start on the mound for P1 on this cool, drizzly day. Dave’s velocity was very good and he struck out 3 batters, but he encountered location problems and yielded 6 hits and 7 walks in 2.2 innings. Defensive errors cost the Pretenders dearly, as only 4 of 9 Wetsox runs were earned. SS Dom Jacevicius took the mound for the third out of inning 3 (by strikeout) but moved to 1B due to shoulder pain. CF Darren McKellep relieved for the final 3 innings and strong defense behind him allowed no more runs, giving the Pretenders a chance for a comeback from a 9-2 deficit.
P-batters finally began to hit off SP Sjurd Skutlaberg. Dave blasted a deep drive to left-center for a 2-RBI triple. Dom hit a single and RBI double, and the Pretenders got RBI singles from CF Nate Peterson, 1B Alec Haralovich and Darren to bring the score to 6-8.
For the final two innings, the Pretenders would have to mount a comeback against closer Emil Fjellvang. In the 7th, New York transplant Jeff Olchovy made his mark with a pinch-hit hard grounder up the middle that he legged into a sliding double. He later scored on a wild pitch. P1 then managed to get two runners in scoring position with two outs and the tying run on 3rd base, but Emil induced a groundout from C Terje Myhrer-Hoaas for the final out.
Jeff’s double was his first hit as a Pretender! Matt’s solid defense at 3B accounted for a putout and 4 assists, one of them at home to Terje. Pretender batters drew 7 walks and stole 18 bases, but hit only .278 with runners in scoring position so too many runners were left stranded.
Game 2: Matt Earns Gritty CG Win, 4-3
Starting pitcher Matt Connell (1-0) fired 7 strong innings for the complete-game victory. Matt delivered a clutch performance for the much-needed win, allowing just 2 earned runs and holding the Wetsox to a .148 batting average while striking out 3 against 2 walks and 2 HP. Matt appeared to be tiring in the 5th and 6th innings, but in the crucial 7th it was apparent he had only been conserving his energy, as he got Emil to fly out to CF Nate with the tying run on second base.
As in the first game, every out counted hugely in this matchup. SS Ryan Goedecke’s spectacular sliding, over-the-shoulder catch of a popup to left-center for the second out of inning 7 was the pivotal defensive play. RF Pierre Laizet also made a critical catch in the 5th inning, charging without hesitation and snagging a line drive to save two runs. LF Dave Pratts made a fine running catch in foul ground for an important out. Stalwart catcher Terje logged all 13 defensive innings behind the plate. Offensively, Ryan and Dom hit consecutive ground-rule doubles to right field. Dom drove in his second RBI with a sac fly. Pierre and Terje laid down two consecutive perfect bunt hits in the 7th to load the bases.
Dom finished the day 3/4 with 3 RBI, 2 BB, 2 RS and 3 steals.
Nate had 3 singles, 1 RBI, scored twice, 4 steals.
Ryan: single, double, 2 BB, 5 steals.
Darren: 2/3, 2 RBI, 4 BB, 5 steals.
Dave: 2/6, 2 RBI, 2 runs scored.
Terje: 2/8, BB, 2 SB, CS.
Alec: 1/5, RBI, RS, 2 SB.
Jeff: 1/2, SB, RS.
Matt: 1/8, hard lineout to LF.
Pierre: 1/6, BB, RBI groundout.