Monday evening, the Beagle Brigade survived yet another late inning scare… sort of. Leading 12-11 entering the bottom of the fifth, the Beagles as usual allowed a comeback. But this time, the defense stepped up and stopped the bleeding after only one run had scored. Time restrictions prevented the game from going any longer, and both teams were happy to leave with a tie.

It didn’t look so promising early on for the Beagles, who trailed 7-2 after three innings. Casey Dahl’s 2-run homer was all the team had to show for offensively. But then came the marathon fourth inning.

After a leadoff strikeout by Sarah’s friend Erin, the next six batters walked, including me, amazingly. The Kops’ pitcher had completely lost control, as pitches sailed over the catcher’s head or skipped to the plate. It wasn’t too tough for anyone to lay off the pitches. After a hit and a couple more walks, the team had completely batted around, bringing me up for a second time in the inning. I took a hack at the first pitch, sending an opposite-field flyball over the head of the right-center fielder, then rounded the bases for a grand slam, capping our furious 10-run inning.

Our 12-7 lead wasn’t safe though. The Kops battled back with 4 runs the next inning before an out was recorded. In the end, both teams were thrilled to earn a tie. The Beagle Brigade entered with a record of 1-3, winning only on a forfeit. Two of the three losses were heartbreaking final at-bat collapses where the team was leading heading into the final inning. The Keystone Kops had gone 0-4 prior to this game.

Afterwards, in a goodwill gesture, Luke Katuin, who supplied the Beagle team with beer throughout the game, passed out beers to the opponents. The other team agreed with us that more teams in the league should be like our teams and not take things too seriously. We are in the D-League, after all, which is meant to be more of a casual, just-for-fun type of league, and that’s not what we’ve seen so far. What we’ve seen in this league has been a lot of teams better than D-League that are very competitive that just want to win more easily.

Next week is Memorial Day, but the week after play resumes.