Steal at Home Hands Team First Loss of Season
Posted at 9:56 a.m. on June 19, 2012
(Aaron Guerrero/CQ Roll Call)
All Vols third baseman and left fielder Andy Steele put his last name in action on Monday night when he stole home against the previously undefeated Howard Bitewings (4-0), leading his team to a 23-16 victory in a classic Congressional Softball League game.
Down by one run in the bottom of the sixth, Steele hit what looked like a routine fly ball out. But the outfield of the Bitewings, a team of dental students from Howard University, couldn’t come up with it.
A speedy runner, Steele made them pay. He easily rounded second, then took third after the Bitewings overthrew their cutoff man. Using his high baseball IQ, Steele noticed the Bitewings pitcher and catcher sleeping and made a dash for home.
“Once you commit, you gotta go for it,” Steele said after the game.
Following the heads-up play, the momentum drastically shifted in the Vols favor. Larri Fish, the team captain, drove in another run following the steal at home, giving the collection of former Peace Corps volunteers the lead for good.
After the first inning, the game seemed destined for a blowout, with the Vols jumping out to a 6-0 lead.
But the Bitewings battled back, tying the game up in the third inning and taking a commanding lead of their own in the fourth, 11-6.
Up 16-13 in the bottom of the sixth, the Bitewings’ solid defense seemed to disappear in Chuck Knoblauch-like fashion.
While the final score wasn’t a one-run triumph, the game was competitive from start to finish. Fish commended the opposition for coming back from the early six-run hole.
“That was an intense game,” he said, adding “[But] our good moments outweighed our bad moments.”