In yet another contest in which a defibrillator was likely more essential than a scoreboard, the T-Wolves pulled off a seventh inning six run rally to defeat Del-Oro 13-10 in the final game of league play and, with a little help from other league games, vaulted into the third and final playoff spot.
The Woodcreek squad emptied their guns in this one with gritty performances by five different pitchers in the contest. Multiple highs and lows were seen as bouts of mental or physical errors seemed to alternate with brilliant flashes of leather and heads-up play as well. Woodcreek, trailing 7-10 heading into the seventh, “found a way”, hitting around the order to stack up six runs pulling ahead 13-10.
Leading hitters included Austin Hagarty 3x5 out of the two hole, Stephen Nogosek 2x3, Jay Standen 2B with 3 RBI’s, Mark Smith 2x4 2B and 2 RBI’s. That said, with playoffs on the line, every at bat was a clutch at bat and 11 hits were rung up to reach those 13 runs.
Perhaps the most valuable player could have been the legendary 10th man known as the “Bench Mob” who never let the team on the field forget they were in a battle and that this was Woodcreek’s time. Throughout the entire season the best, most raucous, dugout in the league kept the intensity level high. This group, some of whom actually sported batting averages equal or rivaling teammates who regularly took the field, who could flash leather, who sporadically filled gaps in the line-up pinch hitting, running, relieving, defending, some of whom saw a majority of their action in away games on unknown / uncomfortable and unfriendly turf where the majority of fans were cheering against them rather than enjoying performing in front of their classmates at home on a well known and comfortable field, who contributed to the team in every way they could while standing, (rarely sitting), in the dugout. Picking off signals, (this is baseball by the way), keeping the team loose though displays of comic talent, shouting warnings at pick-off attempts, heading to the bullpen to warm up pitchers or provide protection from foul balls, warming up outfielders between innings, shagging foul balls and even encouraging the very players that held their positions on the field as they eagerly but patiently awaited their opportunity to contribute in the spotlight one day. These guys, though they may have wondered why or how another guy may be out of the lineup while a different one was in, never disparaged their teammates in effort to gain a better position. These guys appeared to truly have the team interest at heart and are, overall and afterall, a close knit bunch who appear to understand the concept of team. Even though the bench may not contain a “glory spot” and there are as many different interpretations of the concept of fair as there are interpreters, the Bench Mob did everything within their power to contribute.
So…hat’s off to you Bench Mob guys, while your raucous ways have earned you identification pictures at security posts throughout the PGA tour and you may never be welcome in a gallery…or the library for that matter, you’ve been the glue that held the team together, would not allow lethargy on the field, and were the essential ingredient in that intangible thing called team chemistry that everyone wants but seldom truly find.