In what may be considered to be the greatest triumph in their three-year history, the New York Knights defeated the top-seeded Nassau Reds late last night, 11-4, to advance to the championship game.
The game was originally scheduled for 7:15 PM at Shore Road Park, but the game was moved down the road to Tanner Park to make use of the better field. However, a Little League championship game was being held on that same field, a game that went into extra innings and didn't end until about 8PM.
And then came the news that the Yankee game had a rain delay. "Are they at home or on the road?" "Home," and those clouds are moving this way. Ominous clouds. Deep gray cumulus, and they were spitting out lighting. The umpires didn't think it was safe to play at that point, so they decided to wait it out.
After about an hour and a half, during which the Knights stayed loose on the field, the umps finally emerged, and at that point, it began to rain. Small drops, then bigger ones, then even bigger ones.
Nope - the rain subsided, and the Knights rolled out some thunder of their own.
It was close for a couple of innings, but the Knights broke it open in the third inning, scoring 4 runs and never looking back. Bobby Gruttadauria, with a bit of a boost from his new pregame 80 proof ritual, jacked two home runs including a prodigious three-run shot in the fourth inning to put the Knights ahead 9-2. The home run was estimated to be over 400 feet, and the ball would have gone much further had the game taken place away from the coast.
Tommy Reilly pitched a complete game, adding four runs on seven hits, striking out 9. Reilly, the all-time winningest Knights pitcher with eight wins, managed to overcome a creaky ankle to go the distance, striking out the last batter of the game as the clock showed midnight.
With the victory, the Knights advance to the championship game, which is to be held at 8PM on Thursday, August 16th at E.A.B. Park in Suffolk County. It is the home of the minor league L.I. Ducks, and the game will be taped for television. Expected in the crowd are some of the more, um, prized employees of one of the Knights' sponsors, Hooters.
At press time, it is unknown precisely which team the Knights shall face, but it is either the team they defeated last night, the Nassau Reds, or the Lindenhurst Reds. The Knights swept a doubleheader from the Lindenhurst squad earlier for two of their 20 victories this year.
Come one, come all. Watch the Knights play for the championship on Thursday! If you come and they win, they might let you stroke their trophies.
Knights Knotes: * Several Knights players are participating in today's home run derby. The results as of press time are Pat Conway and Frank Giglio having both reached the finals.
* It's been another great year for Knights quips, but this one may be the
year's best, a very clever and esoteric paraphrasing, courtesy of Tommy
"The lead umpire was chewing tobacco other there all day long - he looked like Charles Ingalls working on the farm."