Scouts vs. Phoenix—what’s brought to the mind of the zealous crank? Competitive zeal? Yes. Gentlemanly deportment? Yes. Anticipation of a low-scoring, defensive-minded base ball grudge match? Most definitely.
And so the occasion certainly did not disappoint, this Sunday last, at the State House Fairgrounds. For on that occasion your Stewart’s Creek Scouts took to the pitch once with again with their ancient and noble adversaries, the Phoenix Club of East Nashville, on a day that featured a back-and-forth match with both sides enthusiastically reclaiming the lead throughout. And so despite the reservoir of good will that is on display when these two clubs engage in spirited contest, the Phoenix once again, as is their wont and habit, thwarted the Scouts’ efforts to achieve a positive result: brothers, and yet bothers, in base ball battle.
With the Phoenix winning the bat toss and elected to strike second. In kind, the Scouts struck first, plating five tallies in their early innings and looking forward to adding more to that total. Alas, however, that goal proved elusive as the game reached its middle frames, with the East Nashvillians chipping away at the margin and ultimately cutting into the lead as the contest progressed. Stellar play afield was on display by both sides throughout the day, with the Phoenix pasture-minders ably toiling in the sylvan reaches of the Statehouse grounds. Meanwhile, the Stewart’s Creek nine showed some defensive ginger of their own, making equally acrobatic stops to secure needed outs.
In their seventh inning the Phoenix recorded the tying tally, and as the match progressed toward the final frames all assembled cranks bore witness to a tense, skillfully played contest. Plating a run in their half of their ninth inning, the Scouts needing to retire three hands to emerge triumphant. Alas, the Phoenix responded to the circumstance by placing runners about the sacks and securing the tying ace. The game’s final play, a closely-watched encounter at the first sack, turned toward the favor of the Phoenix nine and the Scouts were forced to admit defeat with the final ledger reading thus: East Nashville 9, Stewart’s Creek 8.
Despite this dispiriting result the Scouts still remain optimistic, with a return to their home grounds scheduled two weeks hence. That contest will pit the locals against another of their storied rivals, the Distillers of the Highland Rim. As always, any interested cranks are urged to bring a chair or a blanket for their comfort and victuals and libations for their nourishment. Hope to see you there!