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40 Plus Pirates Outlast Cardinals 20-19 in Five-Inning Slugfest

May 17, 2007 — The two cellar dwellers of the Raphael Jackson AA Baseball League slugged it out Wednesday night at the D.C. Canegata Ball Park, and when the dust cleared it was the 40 Plus Pirates emerging with their first win of the season.
The teams went back and forth like two boxers, just swinging at each other with no defense, trying to knock the other out. But in the bottom of the fifth in the time-shortened five-inning contest, Jeffery Narr’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly drove home the winning run for the Geritol Posse to clinch the win at 20-19. The game didn't have a scoreless inning.
The Cardinals drew first blood in the top of the first when they plated three runs on RBI singles by Shawn Morris and Raphael Almonte and a wild pitch. The Pirates answered immediately with four runs in the bottom of the inning to take the lead. The Pirates' four runs in the inning came on a two-run single by Juan Castro, an RBI single by Cruz Soto and a wild pitch.
The Cardinals retook the lead in the top of the fifth at 7-4, scoring four runs on an RBI triple by Javier Rodriguez, RBI singles by Norbert Pickering and Almonte and a wild pitch. The Pirates answered mightily in the bottom of the inning, erupting for 11 runs to take what looked at the time like an insurmountable lead, 15-7.
The big inning came about as a result of wildness by the Cardinals pitcher and some timely hitting by the Pirates. The Pirates 11-run inning was highlighted by a three-run double by Soto, Alejandro Rivera’s two-run double, an RBI triple by Josue Belardo and an RBI single by Eustace Davis.
The Cardinals, never saying die, responded with four runs in the top of the third to get to within four at 15-11. They scored four runs on a two run-double by Almonte, an RBI single by Rodriguez and an error by the Pirates' third baseman. The Pirates got two unearned runs in the bottom of the inning to lead 17-11 after three completed innings.
An RBI single by Kareem Dennis and a wild pitch brought the Cards to within four again at 17-13 in the top of the fourth. The Pirates answered with two runs of their own on a two-run single by Soto to push the lead back to six runs at 19-13 heading into the fifth and final inning of the time-shortened contest.
Refusing to go quietly, the Cardinals stormed back to tie the game in the top of the inning, plating six runs on a three-run triple by Dennis, an RBI double by Rodriguez, an RBI single by Pickering and a bases-loaded walk drawn by Sylvester McIntosh.
The stage was now set for the Pirates to record their first win of the season. Catcher Ray Defraitas led off with a single, followed by Davis with a lazy fly ball that the right fielder misplayed to put men on first and second. Rivera then singled to load the bases for Narr with no outs. With the defense drawn in, the lefty Narr sent a towering fly ball to right field, deep enough for the game winner to cross home plate.
Malcolm McGregor, the third pitcher utilized by the Pirates, picked up the win in relief of Soto. Pickering, the Cardinals' fourth pitcher, came on in relief and pitched effectively, but his defense let him down in the end, saddling him with the loss.
Cruz Soto led the Pirates offensively, going 3 for 5 with seven RBIs. Castro went 2 for 2 with two RBIs, Rivera 2 for 4 with two RBIs and Davis 2 for 3 with one RBI. For the Cardinals, Dennis went 5 for 5 with five RBIs, Rodriguez 4 for 5 with five RBIs, Almonte 4 for 5 with three RBIs and Pickering 2 for 3 with two RBIs.
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