“I’m evil! I’m evil! Don’t play with me!” An unknown pedestrian shouted those words while passing the ATBC dugout after our game Monday night. It’s unclear if his anger was a reaction to our 4-2 extra-inning win against McKay club, or if something else was going on. I try not to speculate.
That wasn’t even the strangest thing that happened last night at English High School. I felt my cleats tighten around my ankles as I pulled the laces up, and before I could tie them using the single bunny ear method, my teammates burst out in laughter. Confused, I looked around wondering what all the fuss was about. I didn’t see anything, but I heard the faint sound of a brass instrument playing in the distance. Then I saw it. A man riding a unicycle while playing the tuba.
I don’t know what series of events occurred in this man’s life for him to hop on a unicycle with his 40-pound brass instrument and ride around the streets of Jamaica Plain, and I’m not sure I want to. Was he practicing for something? Was it a cry for help? Was it just for fun? Who knows, but it lit up our dugout and got us loose to play some ball. Oh yea, I’m supposed to be talking about the game in this. Here’s what happened.
Matt Rothermel made his first Al Thomas start since hurting his ankle a couple of weeks ago and it was refreshing seeing him out there playing his game. He threw two innings, struck out one, walked one, and gave up no hits. The best thing about it was that he didn’t skip a beat. Had he thrown more innings, I’m confident he would’ve dominated.
ATBC was the away team and didn’t score until the top of the second. Cam Plank stayed red hot to lead things off with a single to the outfield, and the silver fox Brett Julian followed up with a single of his own. Al Thomas was in business and Bill Donahue, who was born before colored television, slapped a fielder’s choice that drove in Cam Plank to put us on to 1-0.
Not much happened beyond that in the early stages of the game. In fact, ATBC would record another hit until the top of the sixth. With the score still 1-0, Kevin Falvey smashed a double to start us off hot. He reached third on a wild pitch and scored when Planky roped his second single of the night. Brett added on with his second single of the night, and with a two-run lead, we threatened to extend with only one out in the inning. We would have to be happy with the one run we got in the inning though because we couldn’t do any more damage, and it was the Beacons’ turn to hit.
They showed life in the bottom of the sixth. It started with Kenny Gumbs, the lead-off hitter and all-star outfielder, who reached base with a walk. Two-hole hitter Anthony Santosousdo crushed a double into the gap that got Kenny to third, and suddenly, a tie game was calling. Ben Oconnell picked up the phone with a single into left field, and it was 2-2 in the sixth. Neither team got anything going in the seventh, and we headed to extra innings.
I have never seen somebody fail so successfully in a baseball game the way I witnessed Bill Donahue do it last night. With Brett Julian on first and one out, he absolutely pissed on a baseball that screamed past the McKay Club outfielders and rolled to the rocks in center field that are about 500 feet from home plate. Brett scored easily, and Bill Donahue would have to if he remembered that we were the away team. Thinking he just hit a walk-off, he pulled up halfway to second base and started walking. He turned around expecting to see us running out to mob him, but instead saw us jumping up and down outside the dugout pointing and screaming to put his foot on the gas pedal. Looking back on it, the whole situation was hysterical. The shock, the chaos, the utter disbelief in manager Joe O’Hara’s voice when he yelled “Bill what the fuck are you doing?!”, and the fact that the oldest member of our team made such a silly mistake. Hey Bill, I know you probably don’t read these, but if by chance you’re reading this one, you’re dumb as hell for that one babe.
Paul Wydom closed out the game and secured the win for us in the bottom of the eighth, and a wild night came to an end. At least it did for everybody but Paul, who locked his keys in his car and drove all the way to Marlborough and back with Cam Plank to get a spare set of keys. Shout out to Planky for being a good-ass dude.
I talked to Jacob Perez after the game about the big win and what he does pregame to get ready.
Stats from the game: