Match Report: Phoenix barbecue the Holstons, 10-5

The Holston Base Ball Club recently made their second sojourn west of the Cumberlands to meet the challenge of the Phoenix Club of East Nashville at Ravenswood Mansion. The bully boys adorned in their trademark gray shirts and crimson red trousers were eager to give the Knoxville boys a bout with pleasure. The match commenced in earnest at noon underneath a blazing sky. The bat toss was claimed by the Holstons who opted to open the first frame with their willows.

The Phoenix’s scouts made short work of the top of the Holstons’ roster as the latter club struggled to strike the onion past the former club’s basetenders. From the onset of the match, BBQ exhibited his artistry in the garden snagging scores of bounders, bug bruisers, and daisy cutters that he postmarked to Two Fingers at first sack for the hand dead. The Phoenix struck quickly and decisively in the bottom of the first frame as their onions rocketed off their bats beating both the Holston basetenders and scouts by a step or two. Even when the Holstons could manage to handle a skipping bounder, they failed, more often than not, to convert the hand dead with errant throws that fell far of their intended targets. Razzle Dazzle made his base and then promptly rounded the sacks to tally the first ace thanks to BBQ’s sacrifice to right field and Little Brother’s skimmer down the third sack line.

The Holstons opened the second frame with a bevy of single sackers that gradually moved Stove Pipe to third before Bugle Boy managed to make his base and score Pipe with a weak skimmer toward third that forced Lefty off his sack to make a play. With the sacks still loaded, Butter Bean fell victim to a cleverly hurled dew drop that left both him and Papaw grilled by BBQ’s speed as the Phoenix short stop turned a double play that slammed the Holstons’ second window shut.

The Phoenix tacked on two aces each in the second and fourth frames while the Holstons only managed a single ace. The score stood 5 to 2 after four full frames in the Phoenix favor when the Holstons’ timber awakened from their summer slumber. Molasses and Bugle Boy promptly made their base before Butter Bean sent a blooper that fell in between the Phoenix left and center fielders thus scoring Molasses. Doc them made his sack, moving Bugle Boy to third; however, Butter Bean was caught before he could manage second. Augie then unleashed a sockdolager that penetrated deep into center field for a double, scoring Bugle Boy and advancing Doc to third. With two hands dead and trailing by one ace, Doc opted to take off for home when Lil Skeeter struck a hard skimmer to BBQ at short. It was a gamble, but the Holstons were rewarded when BBQ’s throw home was bobbled by Udderguy allowing Doc safe passage to square the match. A flood of Holston aces was abruptly dammed up by the Phoenix center fielder who took handsomely to Mac’s cloud hunter.

The match looked to be won in the latter frames by which club could strike iron at the dish as the defense tightened up. Unfortunately for the Holstons, the bottom of the sixth proved to be their undoing. The Phoenix strikers found gaps within the Holston defense and suddenly opened up a five ace lead which they held when Counselor called the match in their favor after eight and a half frames. The loss brings the Holstons total to two this season and relegates them to the top of a three-way tie for second in the state. The Knoxville boys look to return to form before the surging Quicksteps of Spring Hill come calling at Colonel Ramsey’s House in less than a fortnight.