The early season baseball showdown between the Grasshoppers and Muckdogs was this week’s most anticipated game. The cool afternoon made the first meeting of the teams feel more like a fall championship game. During preseason, the Coaches heckled one another when passing on Hanover Street. Even DraftKings and FanDual traffic skyrocketed as both Grasshopper and Muckdog players were feverishly added to last minute rosters.
In the 6-7 year old league, the Coaches pitch to their team players. Grasshoppers Coach John Pregmon answered Grasshopper Coach Brendan Graf’s signals behind the plate calling for Coach Pregmon to throw his dazzling split finger fast ball. Coach Pregmon struck out the first few Grasshoppers before realizing that he was pitching to his own team. On the other side, Muckdogs Coach Steven Siciliano also got caught up in the rivalry as Muckdog Coach Stephen Labella signaled behind the plate for Coach Siciliano to throw surgically precise inside fast balls brushing back the first few of his team’s batters off home plate. Muckdogs coach Charlie Kim stepped in early to remind both coaches that a high ERA is the objective during the game. In the end Coaches Pregmon and Siciliano settled in and pitched an incredible game that allowed their respective teams to hit the ball very well.
The Muckdogs jumped off the bench taking the infield first. They ran laughing and smiling in unison like a well-organized pack reminiscent of their team name. Nothing seemed to intimidate them as they dug into their positions readily waiting for a Grasshopper to hit a ball to them. The whole game, the Muckdogs put on a defensive clinic as hard hit grounders seemed to effortlessly roll into their gloves. The defensive duo of Angela Wells and Kolton Kelleher proclaimed left infield a black hole as nothing got through them. On the right side of the infield, Preston Horan, Tian Gabrovic, and Aiden Hamill naturally backed each other up as if they knew each other’s thoughts. Grasshopper powerhouse batters Joseph Cincotti, Henry Gonzales and Jeff Cahoon found the tiny holes in the Muckdogs’ defense that allowed them solid base hits.
Next the Grasshoppers took the field in true Biblical form. The setting sun on the Boston horizon emphasized the Grasshopper’s sheer size as their team cast an intimidating shadow on the whole infield. The Muckdogs had a difficult time throughout the game getting any hits through as Grasshoppers Ferdinand Carangelo and Leo DelloRusso proclaimed the infield being shut down. They threw the balls like lasers to first baseman Elliz Chara who’s glove was like a net catching everything that stopped all Muckdogs runners at first base. Muckdog players Tejas Reddy and Julia McDonald hit solid line drives several times that advanced their teammates around the bases keeping the offense alive.
Throughout the whole game, rival players tried to hypnotize each other by drawing circles in the dirt. There was a tense moment at second base when Muckdog Madeline Kim and Grasshopper Nell Jacobson hugged each other after Nell’s excellent at bat. They continued to try and intimidate each other by laughing and talking the rest of the inning.
The hard fought game came to a close with both teams lining up for the traditional handshake. The final Grasshopper-Muckdog showdown will be held on June 8. Stakes will be high as winner gets pick at the Mirabella Pool snack shack. Hope to see you at the game.