Under the harsh lights of McCarren Park field this past Sunday, the defending champion Commitments outlasted the third-seeded New Frontiersman, taking two of three games from their plaid shirt-outfitted opponents in the nightcap of the day’s quarterfinal matches of the Brooklyn Kickball league.
The Commitments will advance to the semifinals to play the second-seeded John Cougar Mellencamps, who eliminated Team Never Scared, 6-3 and 6-2 in afternoon action this Sunday, September 28. First seed Prison will meet newcomer Bacon Bits in the other semifinal match.
The Commitments and New Frontiersman were knotted up at 1, as the first game of their series went into extra innings, before MVP-candidate third baseman Jesse “Ballgame” Sports stole two bases in the top of the seventh inning following a force out involving second baseman Becky “The Sherminator” Sherman. All-Star outfielder Matt Sadewitz doubled in the go-ahead run with out, and The Commitments added an insurance run before taking the first game by a score of 3-1.
“We’re in the top of the order. Let’s get this right. Let’s get some RBIs! Who wants it! Let’s commit to it,” shouted Commitments team captain Randall Mixon, before ripping his shirt off.
Led by MVP-candidate outfielder Benny Thompson, who scored a run in the first inning, and catcher Kelly Young, who scored an RBI in the fourth inning, the New Frontiersman shut out the Commitments 3-0 in the second game.
Momentum appeared to be on their side, heading into the third and decisive game, but the Commitments struck early with four runs in the first inning. The Frontiersman’s comebacks were wiped out by two key base-running errors and they lost the final game, 4-1.
In the next round, the Commitments will face the John Cougar Mellencamps, in an intriguing rematch of last year’s semifinal contest. Led by MVP candidate first baseman Elana Luppino, the JCMs dispatched Team Never Scared and dedicated their victory to Jack and Diane and Little Pink Houses.
“After the game, we’re going to trim one inch off our shorts,” JCM spokesman Priest Fontaine said, pointing to teammates’ mid-thigh high jean shorts.
Kristen Baker, a member of the JCMs, teaches Pilates to a friend of Mellencamp’s and believes that the musician is aware of the team’s success.
“He doesn’t condone this,” Baker said.
Although Team Never Scared’s season ended in a disappointing fashion, they declared themselves the most fun and attractive team in the league, vowing to return next year at even higher levels of cheer.
“We were the sexiest team at the Kickball Ball. We looked the best and we danced the best,” said Rachel Josar of Never Scared.
Also eliminated was the Dream Team, who lost to the Bacon Bits 3-0, 0-3, 5-2. The Dream Team advanced further than any rookie team had advanced in four years of playoff games, and were already looking forward to a competitive campaign in the 2009 season.
“We’re going to take a week off and then we’re going to hit the gym,” Dream Team Captain Paul McKenna said.
Awaiting the Bacon Bits in the other semifinal match will be Prison, which crushed the Sugar T—s 8-1 and 6-2 amid gentle trash talking. Prison scored early in both games and never trailed while the Sugar T—s were never able to generate enough offense to withstand several Prison rallies.
Eli Myers, an ex-JCM member flew in from Los Angeles to help his team advance to the semifinals. Myers finished the day with 8 RBIs, 3 runs scored, and zero errors.
“It feels natural,” Myers said. “Sex appeal goes a long way.”
The Brooklyn Kickball League semifinals, with Bacon Bits v. Prison and The Commitments v. the John Cougar Mellencamps, will start at 5 PM, September 28 at McCarren Park on the Main Field (Bedford Avenue and North 12th Street). The final will start at approximately 9 p.m.