2023 Tigers Outlast Stars for 55+ Spring Crown in Houston Hardball League

Houston Hardball League, 55+ Spring Division 

Tigers 8, Stars 4 

Submitted by Neil Miles, Tigers manager

Like two punch-drunk fighters, the Tigers and the Stars slugged it out last Sunday on a scorching hot summer day at Morton Ranch HS. The Stars were the defending champs winning the last two years straight, while the Tigers came in searching for redemption from a long drought.

2022 Stars Dominate Houston Hardball League

The first inning set the tone for the game.  Al Wall was on the hill and promptly plunked Stars center fielder Shawn in the knee. On the next play Shawn, with metal spikes, then crashed into second base on a force-out, sending shortstop Les Guest to the hospital to get 16 stitches in his leg.  With blood flowing from a huge gash and meat hanging out, “Marine” Roy Alexander pleaded with Les to “tape it up and get back out there and play.”  My guess is Roy would probably make a good combat medic, but not so much on the diamond!

To see Les leave the game and limp away like that was very sad. “It’s as if we were doomed to fail.”  Now with only 11 players on the bench, Randy McKey moved over to short, Lance McArthur entered to play third base, and Roy moved into Les’s spot in the batting order.

The Stars struck first with three runs in the third and one in the fourth. The Tigers got on the board in the fourth with a run thanks to base hits by Giacco and Lonnie. In the fifth inning the Tigers loaded up the bases and scored two runs with hits from Randy and NeilAl pitched a one, two, three inning and then had to leave the game to tend to family matters with the score now Stars 4Tigers 3.

The Tigers were down to 10 players and the Stars pitcher Keith Larsen was cruising along with a lead and the shorthanded Tigers were all sucking wind. A good example was when our right fielder never moved when a ball was hit his way… when I asked myself why I didn’t move, my answer was “I never saw the ball.”  Despite poor vision, dehydration, and low testosterone levels, somehow the resilient Tigers refused to yield.

Enter Lonnie Guest on the mound and Roy to second base. The sixth inning saw the Tigers score four runs on consecutive hits by Joe M, LanceJoe AGiaccoLonnie, and BennettNeil also had a hit and an RBI.

Lonnie was able to shut down the potent Stars bats and the Tigers added insurance in the seventh with another run by Joe M.

With Lonnie facing the Star’s top of the order in the final inning and the score 8-4 Tigers, the Stars could only muster a walk and a hit batsman and no runs to show. Our pitching was again excellent today and everyone stepped up and contributed to the victory, offensively and defensively.  Lonnie had three hits, LanceGiacco, and Neil had two, RoyJoe MJoe A, and Randy chipped in with one apiece. Great job, this was a total team effort.

In the beginning of the game, we hit the ball hard but unfortunately right at the defense. Finally, we started to get some breaks when Roy Alexander played some AC/DC – “Bad to the Bone” in the dugout to fire us all up. It was good and loud and may have fired up the other team as well.

After the game the boys celebrated, and the beer never tasted so good. There was the usual locker room talk about who should be the MVP and how many Stars players does it take to change a flat tire? LOL

Boz and Les, God speed on your recovery. Remember Les, chicks dig scars and glory lasts forever!