Matt Veto's Meteors (6-2) topped the SNK Crushers (2-6) in a close 8-7 game one and the Vandals (5-4), coached this evening by Josh Paul, nabbed a 13-12 win over Jon Escajeda and the Eskimos (3-7). It took an extra frame to decide.
Meteors 8, SNK Crushers 7
With runners on second and third and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, the Crushers threatened to spoil a good day of Meteor baseball. Bob Zerull, already with three triples on the day, strode to the plate.
Veto and Kilgard had each departed for work, leaving a pair of substitute captains in their absence. Josh Smith grabbed the reigns for the Meteors. Smith made the decision to walk Zerull to load the bases. The next batter popped out to end the threat and the game.
"That's a big decision by Smith to walk Bobbo," Veto said by phone after the game. "That's a huge win."
Veto broke out of a hitting slump with a 3-for-4 effort that included three doubles. Smith and Craig Fyfe also had three hits for the Meteors.
Ben Rankin played a stingy centerfield for the Crushers and also knocked out four base hits. Bryan Mier doubled twice in the contest and recorded one broken base after destroying second with a sliding double.
"Oh man, now I owe Veto a base," Mier said in despair. That's all right Mier. Just run three laps and we'll call it even.
Vandals 13, Eskimos 12 (8)
After securing what he felt was top talent in Andy Moeller, Zerull, Smith and Scott Ellefritz, Paul felt he was in a good position to give the Vandals an easy victory.
It appeared that way early as the Kiel Engstrom-absent wrecking crew tallied nine first-inning runs.
"I thought for sure it was going to be a blowout," Paul said. "I don't know if we let our guard down or what."
The Eskimos drove back. David Luker and Mier drove in three runs helping to lead the Eskimos back to 11-11 with two runs in the bottom of the seventh.
The Vandals went to work quickly, putting runners on second and third with one out. Escajeda decided to walk Zerull to load the bases. However, this time, it backfired. Ellefritz, already 5-for-5 on the day, smacked his sixth hit to drive in the go ahead run.
They added one more for insurance and walk away with the victory.
After Fyfe's 3-for-3 effort in game one, and a hit in his first at bat of game two, he had hit safely in 10 of his last 10 at bats before finally getting out. He scored three runs in the contest.
Moline Park Board president Roger Clawson stopped by again presenting a base for the VLB. Another base was requested since second was eliminated. Clawson also said he would alert Veto when the day is set for tilling the all grass infield.