Friday, November 13, 2009

GQ Style (Or the Kiltic Crew: Cubed)

Sadly, this was probably the best play-by-play article I ever wrote. I was never meant to be a sports reporter, but I faked it well.

Published June 17, 2005, in the Keizertimes

The McNary High School seniors dealt a final, crushing blow to the school’s faculty last Thursday when the students won the senior vs. staff softball game, 11-4.

However, according to the testosterone-laden seniors – the team featured no female players – the game had little to do with their athletic prowess.

“This game was all about looking good on the field and I’m talking about physical attributes, not athletic ability,” said senior Michael Miller.

“We wouldn’t even take the field if we weren’t looking good,” added Lawson Smith.

Modelesque features aside, the nail in the faculty’s coffin was the seniors’ dominant run production and stifling defense.

The faculty took to the plate first, but the seniors took them down 1-2-3 with senior Matt Phillips catching two pop flies. Smith threw out the faculty’s Larry “Weaker” Keeker at first.

Senior Dusty Bowers landed safely at first on a pop fly that ended with a bungled catch. He advanced to third on a double by Tyler McCann. Brian Aebi drove in both runners on a single.

Casey Miller batted into a double play which cleared the bases, and Smith popped out to end the inning with a 2-0 lead.

Social studies teacher Eric Jesperson was the only faculty member to make it on base in the second inning, but he was left stranded at first.

Senior Jeremy Dunigan started the seniors off with a double and took two more on a single by Phillips to expand the seniors’ lead to 3-0.

The faculty showed their first spark of life on offense in the top of the third. The science department’s Molly Gehley made it safely to first on a dropped pop fly. She was driven in by Keeker with a triple. Miguel Camarena brought in Keeker on a single.

The seniors answered with the first home run of the game off Aebi’s bat. Aebi loosed a pop fly deep to right field that had to be chased down by science teacher Kristine Walton; Walton made a long throw to Keeker at short center who made the cut, but was too slow by a hair’s breadth to catch Aebi at home plate.

The seniors expanded their lead to 6-2 by the end of the inning.

Both team’s remained quiet until the sixth inning. With two out and bases empty after the faculty’s second double play of the game, senior Matt Phillips made it to first base on a bobbled catch. Adam Jones drove in Phillips with a triple to bring the score to 7-2.

After a rendition of “Take Me Out To the Ball Game” that was more “hairy” and less Carey, the teams took the field for the seventh inning.

With the game slowly slipping beyond their reach the faculty was driven to desperation. Walton hit a hard grounder to third baseman Casey Miller, who made the stop, but his throw to first was disrupted by faculty pitcher Eddie Franz, who tossed his glove into the air.

Walton was caught out at second later in the inning, but she was replaced by Tracy Rhoades of the physical education department. Rhoades made it safely home on an in-park home run by Keeker, closing the scoring gap to 7-4.

In the bottom of the frame, Casey Miller batted in McCann and Aebi on a single and scored on a single by Dunigan to bring the score to 10-4.

With the outcome of the game almost certain, the seniors took the field with bravado in the bottom of the eighth. Rather than going for small hits to move runners around the bases, the boys went for the big finish.

The faculty’s answer was fine arts teacher and student activities director Jason Heimerdinger who, backing up Jesperson in center field, stole the seniors’ thunder twice, coming up with defensive big plays.

Despite Heimerdinger’s noble efforts in the outfield, the seniors got Jones onto base with a double and advanced him to third on a sacrifice fly by Michael Miller.

Jones scored on a long grounder by Bowers for the Celts’ final run.

The faculty left a runner stranded on second in the top of the ninth to end the game.

“They got distracted by their children showing up, and it took their attention off the game where it should have been,” said Michael Miller.

Miller gave the faculty credit for the abilities on the field, but reiterated that it wasn’t a contest of skill – just appearances.

With the crowd in attendance comprised of fans under the age of 10 and mostly rooting for their opponents, Miller said the team’s visualization techniques came in handy.

“We came out as though there were 100 screaming girls in the crowd that we were out to impress,” he said.

“But we don’t sign autographs until after a game,” noted Casey Miller.

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