July 16, 2009
By Alex Buscemi
FAIRFAX, Va. — Looking for redemption, the Carney Pirates came into June 16th's game against the Vienna Senators with fire in their eyes after losing 0-11, then 1-7 the last two times they met. After a hard fought ten innings, the Pirates got their revenge and regained the season series (now 4-3) against their rivals in a 2-1 victory.
“It was a good ballgame, but we couldn't get it done,” said Senators Manager Chris Burr, “In the end, they outlasted us.”
Starting on the mound for the Senators was Kyle Hald, a junior from Old Dominion University. Hald pitched phenomenally and lasted almost all night for his team. In nine innings, the south-paw racked up 10 strike outs in 30 at-bats, allowing a measly three hits and one run.
“It was definitely one of the better games for me,” said Hald on his hard day's work, “I kept the ball down where I wanted it to be.”
Behind the plate the Senators weren't giving their pitcher any room to relax. With six hits on the night, they only managed to get one runner home after leaving eight men in scoring position.
“Kyle wanted the ball and did everything he could,” said Burr in defense of his pitcher, “[On offense] we just couldn't get it done for him, we need to do a better job in situational hitting.”
The Pirates started things off with a bang after an unproductive top of the first for the Senators. Alex Guerra sent one soaring over the left-field wall for a home-run, putting up the first point of the night and leaving a dent in Hald's otherwise flawless performance. The team wouldn't see another man reach home until their game winning score in the 10th.
The Senators finally responded at bat in the fifth. Ty Wiesemeyer doubled with a shot that rolled to the right center wall, then advanced to third off of Alfred Rodriguez's groundout to short. Then, Austin Booker doubled to centerfield bringing home Wiesemeyer for their first run, which would also be their last.
Towards the end of the game, emotions ran high and both teams caught some bad breaks. In the 8th, Nick Kuroczko, who could've easily gotten a stand-up triple off of his hit deep into right center, was forced to settle for two after the ball rolled under the fence. Many held a Pirate outfielder responsible, claiming he kicked the ball under. This technicality proved devastating for the Senators, as Jaime Bruno's follow-up groundout to second would've brought Kuroczko home for the game winning run rather than advancing him to third. Controversy also surfaced in the bottom of the ninth when the Pirates' Matt Snyder sent a pop-fly into leftfield. The umpires claimed the ball was caught while the Pirate coaching staff insisted it was dropped.
Fueled by the previous innings' call, the Pirates dugout erupted as the team rallied in the bottom of the tenth against closer Josh Davis. First, Matt Murakami reached first on an underthrown toss to first by Rodriguez at short. Then, Davis walked John Ralston and beaned Tim McCormick, loading the bases and putting the Senators in a sudden death situation. Zach Costello's single to right center sealed the deal, bringing home Murakami for the game-winning run, a thrilling conclusion to a night of ups and downs.