3 April 2016
Big Rec Park, San Francisco
The cold, foggy marine layer peeled back over Big Rec Park on Sunday just in time to reveal a Base Ball match between the visiting Journals of Hayward and the newly-revamped San Francisco Pelicans.
The Pelicans gave debuts to two rookie hurlers, while the Journals handed the ball to veteran Jose “Tomahawk” Corral. Though the match was well-fought and close, it proved once again there is no substitute for experience. “Tomahawk” hurled a complete game for the J’s, confusticating the Pelicans’ sticks with his high-release, short-armed fastballs and quick-pitches, followed by looping Eephus lobs. “Hawk,” too, fielded his position with aplomb, adroitly tagging out a Pelican runner who exercised undue faith in the long backstop of Big Rec in an unfortunate attempt to steal home.
The Pelicans stayed close with the help of centerfielder, Nate “Bean” Underwood, who allowed nothing, not one bomb, not one dying quail, to fall in centerfield. By the end of the game the Journals had all but given up on trying to strike the ball in his direction. The Pelicans’ infield held its own as well, as second baseman, Steven Starfas, stabbed a wicked opposite field line strike with his backhand off the stick of Haywards’ newcomer, “Twig,” and doubled the runner off second, killing another J’s rally in the sixth. The other half of the Haywards’ battery, “Stubbles,” not only provided pop from the striker’s box, hitting a tape-measure triple and driving in runs; he also called a wonderful game from behind the dish. Working together, “Hawk” and “Stubbles” never let the count run over three balls and “Stubbles” kept almost every hurl in front, only allowing two balls to escape to the remote backstop of Big Rec, thereby slowing the Pelicans’ running game.
What’s more, the Journals possessed an intangible factor that contributed to their win- Nick “Heels” Jeffrey, returning from devastating injury last year bearing a new, smaller version of himself to Crank it up for the J’s, provided the extra bit of inspiration for the Haywards to overcome a strong Pelican side.
-Turgiss McGuillicutty, Sunset Dispatch