Last Saturday, the home Mountain Athletic Club of Fleischmanns rallied for eleven runs in the last three frames to draw the season series even at two games apiece. The rubber match will be held in Bovina on September 5th at 11am.
It was a good day for baseball at the historic Mountain Athletic Grounds in Fleischmanns, New York. Warm and breezy, but hot enough for a pitcher to stay loose between innings. The Dairymen entered confident on the wind of a polished win at their home field opener two weeks earlier. And last Saturday’s game began as an extension in that glow as the Dairymen jumped out with two runs in the top of the first behind two hit batsmen, an RBI single by John “Chico” Finn, and a sacrifice fly by Ben “the Gamer” Denison.
But in what would become a theme for the contest, the MAC responded in kind, plating two runs of their own in the bottom of the first. Afterwards, Dairymen hurler Luke “Burns-eye” Burns settled in on the mound and threw a six-inning gem: twice sending the MAC down one-two-three, and allowing six runs (five earned) over six innings pitched. It was Burns’ first outing in three years. Three cheers, Sir.
The Dairymen took the lead in the fifth, when 62-year old Gary “Burns-eye, Sr.” Burns singled to begin the inning. After chugging from first to third on an Alex “AT” Taylor double, Senior tagged and scored on a Nick “Roughcut” Frandsen sacrifice fly. “Gamer” Denison swatted a double to plate two more runs in the inning to put the Dairymen up 7-5.
Bovina seemed to pull away in the sixth, when the Dairymen plated four more runs behind a leadoff double from Dan “Nickname Pending” Kehrer and singles by “Burns-eye, Jr.” and “Chico” Finn. After Burns blanked the MAC in the bottom of the sixth, the score stood at 11-6 in favor of the away squad. In the top of the seventh, the Dairymen added two manufactured runs behind walks issued to “Pending” Kehrer and Justin “Juice” Betterley. Things looked bright for the Dairymen, but there were dark clouds on the horizon—both literally and figuratively.
As ominous clouds gathered overhead, the Dairymen fell apart in the seventh as a pitching change brought fumbles and curses down upon the boys in black and white. Two walks, two hits, a hit batsman, four errors, and a heated exchange between the umpire and new pitcher “Roughcut” Frandsen later, the Mountain Athletic Club had tied the ballgame at 13.
The game seemed momentarily saved when catcher Jack “Shucks” Stanton caught a MAC runner attempting to steal third to end the eighth, but the Dairymen never fully recovered from their disastrous seventh. Bovina gasped and sputtered forward in the tops of the eighth and ninth, plating a run in each behind the consistent hitting of “Chico” Finn and “Gamer” Denison. The bottom of the ninth began with Bovina up by a single tally. As the rain drops began, the MAC bats found the gaps to put the winning run on third base with only one out and leadoff man Cody “Coco” Conrad at the plate. In the steadily increasing rain, “Coco” dropped down a bunt and lit off for first. Pitcher “Roughcut” Frandsen checked the runner and threw to first, but could not complete the throw to catch the speedy Conrad. The winning run crossed the plate. The home squad erupted in triumph. The away squad sank off in defeat. The rains poured down in earnest and scattered the boys of summer.
We doff our caps to a scrappy Mountain Athletic Club, who has never once in the years of our playing given up on a game. A respectful three cheers to you gentlemen—a worthier opponent there never was, and we look forward to the chance at redemption Saturday, September 5th at 11am.
Yours, Nick Frandsen
Cap’t, Bovina Dairymen