Winless no more, Oilers slide into home and defeat Eagles 6-5
on March 26, 2013
The Richmond Oilers’ baseball team defeated the Kennedy Eagles 6-5 on Friday to win a baseball game for the first time in three years – since the average price of gasoline was $2.81 per gallon.
Now it looks as though the high school on 23rd Street has refueled its tank. After the game Oilers’ head coach Rob Collins mustered his team of Spanish-speaking players in left field and said, “Gentlemen, si se puede!” The coach’s declaration got a rousing ovation as one player shouted, “It’s a new age.”
Before the game Kennedy was confident. And as the Oilers’ first two batters waited in the on-deck circle for the players in red pinstripes to take the field, the Eagles circled their head coach and received orders not to play at their cross-town rival’s level. “If they’re not as good as us so be it,” Tim Logan said. “We are playing at our level. If we’re dominating pitching then we’re dominating pitching. If we’re dominating batting then that’s what we’re doing.”
After the game, Logan and his own crew of Spanish-speaking players congregated in the other green corner of the outfield and soul searched for answers. He asked his players what they thought of the game. One player responded they made too many bad decisions; another said they didn’t know where to throw the ball. Logan then scratched his head and said, “We made simple basic brain farts. We didn’t swing the bats.”
The game started out well for Kennedy. Starting pitcher Angel Navarro struck out four of the first five batters he faced, and the Eagles bats came alive for a 2-0 first inning lead.
But the Oilers would step on the gas in the second and third inning with six unanswered runs. Navarro lost his fuel-efficient control and the Eagles’ outfield made two costly errors on routine fly balls.
In the fourth and fifth inning Kennedy’s bats came back to life. The Eagles sent 11 players to the plate against starting pitcher Armando Gomez and scored three runs. But the sophomore pitcher reclaimed his sidearm form in the sixth and seventh inning and struck out three of the last four batters he faced.
After the game Gomez said he knew the offensive strengths of Kennedy’s team because he played summer ball with them. His strategy was to stay away from their strong points and throw them the complete opposite, he said.
“I’m speechless,” Gomez said after the game acknowledging his complete-game performance. “I’m glad to be the first pitcher to win [in three years].”
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