Game four of the Como Blitzball season featured two teams that looked vastly different in their first games of the season. The Mustangs went out and pulverized the Crushers 10-5, in their first game as an organization. Meanwhile, the Badgers went up against a new-look Redbirds squad and looked lost, losing 7-0. This game had blowout potential written all over it and the Mustangs knew it. Captain, Sammy Reazer won the bat toss and was confident enough to choose to be the away team. If that doesn’t exude confidence, I'm not sure what does.
Captain of the Badgers, Reece Clapp, opted to start Jesse yet again for the second game in a row, a decision that seemingly paid off. Apart from a Bobby Brian error and a Tyler Davis walk, Jesse was able to finish the top of the first with his third straight scoreless inning, even featuring a killer knuckleball.
The bottom of the first was eerily similar. Sammy was the featured starter. In the first at-bat, Drew hit a deep fly ball, but due to the wind, the ball died just inches before vacating. Reece then managed to walk and Matthew got his first hit to put runners at 2nd and 1st. Sammy managed to strike out Jesse and after a dribbler right back to the pitcher, the score remained 0-0.
The top of the second inning featured the first two runs of the ball game. Bobby saw himself on the mound for the first time as a Badger, looking to see some redemption after a rough rookie season. Sammy ended up cranking one off of the fence, but Reece made arguably the defensive play of the year, pegging him just moments before Sammy hit the bag. Sam was next up at the plate and smashed a single right up the middle. This brought up rookie, Tyler Davis. Although not being known for his hitting, Tyler managed to work to a 3-2 count and blasted a homer to right field. Right when the bat hit the ball, everybody knew it was gone. “Oh my god,” Jesse exclaimed as the ball flew over his head. Matthew would proceed to hit a pop up and later in the inning, Bobby struck out Sam to put the score at 2-0.
Tyler would step up to the mound in the bottom of the second. Tyler carried on his momentum from the sunflower series and had another solid inning. A shaky start resulted in two walks, but once he managed to connect with the zone, it was over. Due to his excellent movement, Tyler sat down three consecutive batters on three consecutive strikeouts, proving yet again why he is a serious ROTY favorite.
In the top of the third, the runs continued to surge for the Mustangs. After a pair of singles from Tyler, Matthew, and Sam, the score became 3-0 with only one out. Drew Sappingfield was elected to come in relief for Bobby, hoping to change the momentum and get out of the current jam with two runners on. Up came Tyler. Tyler, who was already seeing the ball well, had an opportunity to increase the lead. He did just that. After a foul ball (arguably a home run), Tyler hit another homer to right field to bring the lead to six. Drew would manage to get out of the inning.
In the bottom of the third, the Badgers began to finally see some light at the end of the tunnel. Matthew was able to walk and get on first. Tyler managed to strike out both Bobby and Drew, but walked Reece with two outs, bringing up Matthew. Matthew would wait patiently at the plate and hit a bomb to right, cutting the lead to just three. Tyler afterward struck out Bobby to end the inning.
The fourth inning featured a pitcher's duel. Jesse was able to pitch his fourth straight scoreless inning and this gave the Badgers the chance to win the game, possibly making the bat toss decision a regrettable one for the Mustangs. Drew walked and Reece managed to hit a fielder's choice and get on first. Sammy would get deep in the count on MG but opted to intentionally walk one of the most clutch hitters in the league. After a Jesse strike out, Drew hit a clutch single with two outs. This brought up Reece. The stars were aligned for a walk-off grand slam, the perfect ending to any kind of blitzball game. So, did it happen? Nope, Reece went fishing and chased a ball low to close out the game. The Mustangs walked away 2-0, but the Badgers showed improvement and fought until the final out.
Tyler ended up winning player of the game (no surprise their folks.) “Honestly just seeing the ball well. In-game one I walked a lot, today I swung, and hey look, I hit two out so let’s go.” Tyler said. As stated previously the Badgers looked much improved today and look to continue this trend as the season goes on. “We had a big problem walking people and giving up home runs last game, so having Bobby here was important. We had runners on the whole game, but Sammy and Tyler are a heck of a duo. The Redbirds are better though.” Captain, Reece Clapp said confidently.
The Mustangs walk away 2-0, while the Badgers still seek their first win of the season. Can the Mustangs continue their winning ways and complete an undefeated season? Can the Badgers get their first win here soon? I guess we will have to wait and see on these much-anticipated questions.