Last Sunday, the Dairymen hit their stride in finishing the Covid-19-induced preseason a perfect 4-0. Gone were the bobbles and popups of two weeks ago—replaced by sharp swings at the dish, secure defense, and frisky base-running. The opposite Mountain Athletic Club fought bravely but in both contests was overwhelmed by Dairymen offense that looked increasingly in mid-season form. Both contests were played by the rules of 1864.
Under a sky that promised rolling periods of sunshine while threatening to transform from muggy to downpour, both games began with some back-and-forth. In game one, the MAC held a 3-2 lead after four and a half frames. But the Dairymen offense sprang to life in the second half of the game, led by founding father “Burns-eye” Burns (4-4, 4R), “Train” Tucker (3-5, 2B, R), “Juice” Betterley” (2-4, R), and newcomer “Dan” Kehrer (1-4, 2B).
Bovina’s defense also stiffened, and twice erased leadoff MAC baserunners in the late innings to stamp down potential rallies by the boys from the broad, eastern valleys of Delaware County. The final score of game one was 11-4.
Game two saw the pesky MAC, now playing as the home side, tie the ballgame at six in the bottom of the sixth. The Dairymen jumped out to an early lead behind first-inning singles from “Gamer” Denison (4-6, 2 2B, 3R) and “Diesel” Cairns (1-4, SAC). Newcomer and Elk Creek legend “Tyler” Hymers (2-5, 2B, 2R) added another run in the third, while Captain “Roughcut” Frandsen (4-6, 2B, 4R) and catcher “Rulebook” Cairns (2-5, R) helped the Dairymen tally three more in the fifth.
But after the MAC plated two in the sixth to tie the contest and sat the Dairymen in order in the seventh, the dam broke. The vaunted Bovina offense tallied five in the eighth on six hits and one MAC error, and added two insurance runs in the ninth to take the contest by a score of 13-6. “Burns-eye” completed both games on the bump for the Dairymen.
As the ballists gathered for some socially distanced respite in the shade and to partake in the usual postgame shenanigans, the baseball gods smiling upon the day had waited long enough. Opening the heavens to a downpour, the deities of the diamond sent both teams scrambling for their carriages, to meet again another day. Thank you and a tip of the cap to all who came out to make the day a success—the return of baseball has lifted hearts across the nation, not the least of which reside in Bovina, New York. Three cheers, boys.
SEASON OPENER is SUNDAY, JULY 12 in Hamden, New York. Are you IN or are you OUT?
Captain, Bovina Dairymen