Thirteen players turned out at Jefferson Field in Davenport for a sweltering 85 degree nine-inning baseball contest. The game featured a close ending with a lot of hits. In fact, each of the 13 players recorded at least two hits and one RBI.
Former general manager of the Gremlins, Ryan Barton, took up the captain spot for MIA Scott Raes for the Phenoms (3-9) against Anthony Reese's Playaz (8-5). The game shot off to a fast start, with both teams scoring multiple runs in each frame through 3.5 innings. The Playaz found themselves up 12-8 after four, aided by Bob Zerull's rare Veto League appearance. Zerull had two towering home runs to go along with three runs and four RBI.
Between innings, players tried cooling down, sucking down ice cold bottles of water and drinking from the official VLB water cooler trough.
The Phenoms fought back, scoring eight unanswered runs to give them a 16-15 lead after six innings of play. The Phenoms were led by Josh Paul's 7-for-8 with six RBI and Barton's three runs and four RBI along with two triples.
In the bottom of the 7th, with the score knotted at 16 apiece, Kiya Chambers found herself in a huge bases loaded situation with two outs. Chambers, making her VLB debut, had already shown off impressive speed throughout the contest, however, hadn't displayed much power. On a two strike pitch, Chambers drilled a pop-up over Justin Logsdon's head into left field, plating one run. Edwin Moore was thrown out attempting to score a second run, however, it was enough as the Phenoms held the Playaz scoreless for the final six outs, including a bases loaded strikeout for the final out in the game.
Rookie Tyler Mulder added three doubles and four runs. In what is looking to be the closest Rookie of the Year chase in years, Mulder took the rookie lead for hits (49), RBI (28) and doubles (12) while Donny Reul and Craig Thomas share the lead in runs (32).
In additional to Chambers, Veto League also had two more debuts – Matt Mahowski and Tony Castillo. The VLB has had 31 debuts this season for an 18-season total of 604.
Game continue on Saturadys for the remainder of the season at Jeffers