Day 3 – Part 2
After a very short break under the sixteen inches of shade, we took to the field against the Lithuanians. They had only 12 players and normally that would hinder a team enormously, but given the average
age was somewhere around 16 youth and energy negated the weather conditions that were felt hard by the pasty Irish. (I think our average age is 39. Sarah Nolan and Ciara keep it south of 40).
We started off well and scored 4 runs while holding the opposition to zero. But it was clear that we were not going to get anything cheaply. All these young Lithuanians had strong arms and great reactions. In
one example Declan lined the ball to left field for a base hit and before he had rounded 1B the girl in CL had ranged quickly to her left and gunned the ball in to 2B. Declan managed to hold up but only by
letting his feet fall out from underneath allowing him to land on his ass. The shortstop in particular stood out as a great young player. Snagging a sharp line drive from Matt and running the bases aggressively to score their first run.
Fortunately we started to pull away and it came to Sal to bust things open by hitting a Grand Slam HR to centre field. We also managed to hold the Lithuanians in spite of Frank’s “Statue of Liberty”
presentation of the ball to the umpire. Lying face down in LF he dramatically raised the ball to the sky. It was a routine fly ball and catch so he was duly ignored when he ran in to the dugout. But that wasn’t the end for Frank. The coach finally had enough of his antics and pulled him from the game after he called time to stretch out his hamstrings – milking it was the reason.
The game ended 16 – 1 to Ireland and we finished the day with 2 wins and a loss. The loss against the Czechs was a lesson in focus. Hopefully we can bring the level of intensity and support tomorrow when we play the next three games. Like the coach said, “Noone out-shouts the Irish”
No major injuries to report. Everyone is feeling the heat but doing enough to stay watered and fed. Spirit is still really good and we plan on making the next few days very successful!
Day Four Part 1
This guest blog is brought to you by Conrad Hotel Group; “Be our guest.” Written by Marc, but the official scorers will probably give Panda the credit. anyway
Team dinner last night in the local Italian restaurant was memorably for the lack of imagination in our order, Spaghetti Bolognese for nearly everyone. Half way through the main course and we witnessed a natural pheromone, Matt Steerman was full! Our night finished up with a quick night cap, and a certain team member was spotted in a local bar getting caressed by a local Bulgarian temptress.
Thursday started with a welcome lie-in (until 9am) and a solid warm up in the heat. We carried in plenty of momentum from yesterday’s final game, but that all out the window as Germany’s lead-off (Wolfgang –
think wolverine wannable with wicked power), smashed a HR over the centre field fence. The heat was on, the game was on and we found ourselves 5 runs behind to a plucky German side eager for revenge. Our
bats didn’t get going at all, and we went 7 up, 6 down with Frankie being the sole Irish batter to get on base in the first two innings. The coach’s plea for calmness in the box, and hit the ball hard was duly ignored by all and the Irish fell behind by 12 runs. German power hitting and inning extending errors left us on the back foot. Some exceptional play from Barry Casey in OF to pull a HR back over the fence and some not so surprising theatrics from Frankie in LF bolstered our team, as we tried to summoned a comeback.
The comeback came in the form of 6 runs in the 3rd inning, and the Germans looked rattled, solid hitting from all with Frankie & Barry lifting the ball UP UP AND AWAY over the fence. Unfortunately as we
tapped away at the lead, our chances of a comeback were dashed as they tacked on three more runs at the top of 7. Final Score Ireland 11 – Germany 15.
We’re currently sitting around hoping that Ruth Lillis actually brings back enough ice creams for the whole team this time, and not just her boyfriendtongue emoticon Lithuania are up next and win is all that will do.
Frankie is creeping me out by staring at me at the moment, I think it’s the longest period all week that I haven’t been around to entertain the on-form slugger. For fear that Frankie might having a mental breakdown I’ll go back to babysitting.