The Washington Township Senators always had a philosophy that goes like this: the team on the field Sunday morning is the team. In other words, the players who can't make it on that day don't exist that morning. The Senators got a chance to play that out in South Philadelphia Sunday against the 35+ Royals, as they showed up for their game without their #1, #2, #4, #5 and #7 hitters. The missing included their starting catcher and shortstop.
The result? An exciting 10-5 victory over Steve Porrini and the talented Royals. The Nats used a 7-run seventh to break open a 4-3 game, and John DiPietro tossed a complete game, sucking it up for 157 pitches.
The Senators jumped on Royals starter Scott Waseinko for three runs in the top of the first, with wildness a big factor in the rally. Bill Trotman led off with a single, and one out later, Waseinko hit Mark Alessandrini with a pitch and walked Miles Reader to load the bases. Jim Toth followed with a sharp single to left to bring one run home, but Waseinko fanned Hector Colon looking for the second out.
The Royals stormed right back in the bottom of the inning. DiPietro nicked Bryan Arner with a pitch leading off, and Jimmy Candelora singled to center. On that play, Candelora moved up to second on the throw, and Michael Resnick stroked a two-run single, also moving up a base on the throw from the outfield.
Resnick scampered to third on an infield groundout, and then he alerted scored on a pop-up to the infield when the Senators were a little lax in getting the ball back in. That quickly it was 3-3.
The Nats stranded five more runners over the next two frames, as Waseinko skated around four walks and an infield error to keep the Senators off the board. Porrini took the hill to start the fourth.
The Royals got Porrini a lead in the bottom of the fifth. Ryan Spill smacked a one-out double, and Steve Kaminski's soft single to left with two outs made it 4-3 Royals.
That's how things stayed until the seventh, when the Senators batted around and broke things open for good off Porrini. And it was the bottom of the order that got the ball rolling.
Gabe Mastrangelo got an infield RBI single in the 1B/2B hole, and a second run scored when the throw sailed into left field. Alessandrini followed with a walk to re-load the bases, and Reader smoked another RBI single to left to make it 7-4 Senators.
Porrini finally got an out, fanning Toth looking, but Colon then delivered a two-run single to make it 9-4. Frese followed with a tapper over the mound that went for another infield single and a 10th run scored. Porrini stopped the bleeding there despite a two-out walk to Frank Rose.
DiPietro survived a leadoff single by Vince Spagna and a hit batter to start the seventh, but the Royals got a single run in the eighth thanks to consecutive two-out singles by Arner, Candelora and Resnick.
The Senators closed things out with a defensive gem. With runners at first and second and one out, the Nats got a force at second on Doug Powers's grounder to short. Taking the relay, Colon turned and fired to third to catch Rich Callahan wandering off the bag for the game-ending putout.
Each team collected 12 hits on the morning, but the Nats clearly made better use of theirs. Trotman led the way with three singles, and Frese had two hits and three RBI. Candelora had three hits for the Royals, while Resnick and Spill had two each.
DiPietro had just a single 1-2-3 inning, but he managed to bend without breaking all game long. The Royals stranded 10 runners, but DiPietro did not hurt himself with his control, walking just one batter. Porrini threw very well for most of his outing, striking out seven in his six innings of work. But the one bad inning was his Waterloo.
Next up: the Senators have their first look at 45+ competition, facing off against the 45+ Royal. The game was originally scheduled for Roslyn, PA, but is being moved to Washington Township High School because the Roslyn field is not available.
Notes: The Senators used Trotman in the lead-off spot for the first time in quite a while, and the second sacker responded with a three-hit performance...Fanelli played an excellent shortstop subbing for Angel Rivera. He did exactly what a shortstop needs to do: he made all the routine plays without incident. In fact, with the exception of two miscues by DiPietro, the Senators played errorless ball...both teams got offense from both ends of their lineups -- the hits came from just about everybody, as only four of the starters went hitless...the Nats have played some VERY tough 35+ competition this year. Seems like their last three games were against teams as good as any they saw all of last year. They'll be happy to see some older folks next week!