This article can be found published on the Southern Chester County Weeklies‘ website.
Editor’s note: In the spirit of 19th-century base ball, the story is written with the game’s terminology used in the late 1800s. Immediately following the term, in parenthesis, is the word used in today’s time. Players in the league also refer to themselves in nicknames, which was common during that period of time.
POCOPSON — It wasn’t a must-win for the Brandywine Base Ball Club, but it sure did feel nice to sweep a doubleheader against Diamond State on a sunny Saturday afternoon on Sept. 20.
It was close all afternoon, but Brandywine was able to stifle the visitors with two wins by just one ace (run).
“They were two huge wins for us,” said King, the field captain. “It felt really great. It was a perfect day for base ball. Diamond State is a pretty serious club, so the fact that we were able to come out here and play two really close matches against them and walk away with two victories — one in extra innings — is a huge victory for us. You can just tell the morale has been boosted and everybody is smiling. It’s a lot nicer going home after winning both matches than going home and losing both 14-3.”
… [Please continue the story on the Southern Chester County Weeklies website by clicking here.]
It was King’s first game as captain as he was replacing Stonewall, who is out on family leave to tend to his newborn.
“I couldn’t be happier as first match captaining to tell Stonewall that we walked away with two wins,” King said. “I have a game ball for myself and the other is going to Stonewall.”
The first match of the doubleheader was delayed almost an hour as the both clubs had to wait for some players to arrive from work or family obligations.
To make up for time, it was decided to just play seven innings for both matches.
But once things were underway, it didn’t take long for either side to start compiling the aces.
Colonel got things off for Brandywine. He was able to leg it (run swiftly) to first to beat the throw from third. He followed it up with a steal of second, advancing on a wild pitch and was brought home on a double from River.
Through the next two-and-a-half innings, Brandywine and Diamond State traded aces.
The bottom of the third proved to be fruitful for Diamond State when they scored four aces to take a 7-5 lead.
But Brandywine hurler (pitcher) Achy Pete wasn’t phased by it and kept his composure in the match.
What’s more astonishing was that it was his first game back after having to stop playing.
“Achy Pete returned to us from last year,” King said. “He was a full-time player, but had to move to New Jersey. He was able to make it out for this game.
“I wasn’t sure where I was going to put him. I asked where he felt comfortable and he said hurler. He was phenomenal. He was switching up speeds, he was keeping them off balance. They had a really difficult time picking up the ball from him.”
Brandywine was able to take a one-ace lead in the top of the seventh, but were unable to hold off Diamond State as Memphis scored the match-tying ace to send it to extra innings.
Keys became the hero as Triple B in left field was unable to catch the horsehide (ball) and got a double out of it, sending Achy Pete home for the winning ace.
Gator of Diamond State tried to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth as he attempted to steal home, but was out at the dish (home plate) for the final player dead (out) to give Brandywine the 10-9 win.
The second match wasn’t quite as eventful as the first, but was still just as close and exciting.
Muhl became the new hurler for Brandywine, replacing Achy Pete, as Thunder stayed in for Diamond State.
“(Muhl) is basically our fireballer,” King said. “He throws anywhere between 50 to 60 mph. He definitely keeps them off balance. There are a lot of foul tips, a lot of swing and misses.”
Brandywine also received an extra baller (player) for the second match as Leather arrived in time to hop in for the third inning to replace Achy Pete who was starting to fell, well, a little achy.
Diamond State had two quick aces from Lobo and Memphis, but Brandywine struck back in the bottom of the third.
Rev got just enough of the horsehide to throw off Diamond State and leg it to first, but the horsehide was overthrown and he was able to make it to third.
Leather, now in, contributed by his single and was brought home by King’s triple. Speakeasy also chipped in a single to get King across the dish.
Diamond State tacked on three additional aces, but were unable to overcome Brandywine as they added two more in the bottom of the fifth to hold onto the 6-5 win.
“It was a collective, team win,” King said. “I felt we had contributions from the top to the bottom of the lineup in both games. Everybody feels awesome about it.
“It’s amazing as grown men to come out and be able to play base ball and getting this giddy over two wins. It’s why we play the game.”