Friday's game against contender Deer Park Indians ended after 1 1/2 innings, when the Indians had to forfeit as a result of losing two players to ejection. An argued call left the Indians with less than the minimum number of players, effectively ending the game. The victory gave the season series to the Knights, two games to one.
But let's move on to the real action - the much bally-hooed doubleheader against the Port Jefferson Blue Jays. Both teams had looked forward to the end of the schedule to have this matchup, one that pitted two excellent offenses against one another. Oh, and it doesn't hurt that two current Knights pitchers once played for the Jays. Both teams came prepared to hit and the offenses produced 34 runs and countless moonshots that would have gone for home runs had there been an outfield fence.
Game 1 featured a spirited Knights comeback. The Knights spotted the Jays a 9-2 lead after three innings. Dan O'Shea (5-0) then took the ball in the fourth against his former team and shut them out the remainder of the game. The ferocious Knights' offense kicked in, scoring seven men in the top of the sixth. Anthony Chiaramonte tripled with the bases loaded to tie the game at 9, and catcher Jeff Ryan subsequently knocked in Anthony for his second game-winning hit of the year. More insurance runs came in the seventh, which included consecutive triples by Sean McGuire and Tommy Reilly.
Reilly reached base five times and scored three runs. Designated hitter Hector Rolon drove in three runs. Bosch, and outfielders McGuire and Frank Giglio each scored twice.
O'Shea pitched four shutout innings, allowing just four hits and striking out three.
Game 2, however, saw the Knights fall to the Blue Jays, 9-2. Despite a looooong home run by John Bosch to tie the game at 2, the Knights' defense betrayed them in the fourth, when the Jays scored seven times. Starting pitcher Greg Holmes (0-2), the other former Blue Jay, went the distance, striking out a Knights record 11 batters, but took the loss.
The second game contained a particularly large number of hard hit balls, including four titanic shots by Bobby Gruttadauria that all somehow fell into the glove of the deep-playing Jay's centerfielder. Bosch's was the only home run of the day, a 400-plus foot shot to left field that rolled another hundred more.
Giglio drove in the other Knight run, and O'Shea contributed three hits.
Good readers, the Knights have finished their most successful regular season yet. When this reporter thinks back to his college days in the late 60s, he thinks of a few things. First, those things they gave him lacked both the taste and texture of "mushrooms". Second, when figuring out how much water a condom can hold, it is best not to be caught experimenting in the women's lavatory in the dormitories by night patrol. Third, and most importantly, he thinks about how he discovered that baseball is a microcosm of life itself. Really, it is. How? Too complicated to explain here - just take his word for it.
Or how about this: take some time out of your busy schedule and came to watch the Knights in the playoffs. Game 1 will be on or shortly after Wednesday, August 8th. If you can guess my identity, I'll be glad to explain my theory.
* File this one under "No Money, Mo' Problems"; ALL PLAYER MONEY is due by the next game. That means do whatever it takes, be it breaking the piggy bank or borrowing against the 401(k) retirement plan - get your money to manager Paxton Provitera by the start of the first playoff game (8/8/2001).
* By finishing the season with a winning percentage of .667, the Knights have now finished each of their three seasons at .600 or higher.
* Quips of the day:
"They didn't have any MetRx bars, so I got you a Carvel Sundae." - Tommy to Bosch after returning from a food run between games. Perhaps an explanation for the loss in the second game?
"Let's see how many times you can bench press me." - 160-pound Sean, trying to settle a conversation between John and Anthony.
"I think we're going to need a phone book to put in the batter's box." - consensus among Knights (even the taller ones) because of the "foxhole"-sized hole dug into both sides of the plate.