Scouts Re-ascend the Highland Rim. Wander Down Victorious.

Fate is inscrutable.  So, to a man, mused the Scouts, facing now the prospect of a long summer wander far afield from the friendly grounds of the Sam Davis Home.  Their home grounds now unplayable, the local nine began their prolonged perambulations by making another ascent to the airy climes of the Highland Rim.  So must those in the face of misfortune accept their fates, gather their resolve, and forge ahead.

Sharing the fated wariness of the famed “Wanderer” of Anglo-Saxon verse, the visitors likewise came to terms with their wandering destiny.  Pursuing glories afield despite their itinerant condition, the Scouts faced off against a Distiller’s bunch eager for revenge.  In the wake of their dispiriting defeat to the rival Phoenix Club two weeks prior, the Scouts took to the pitch with their hearts still heavy and their battle-glories tarnished. And as the game commenced in that sloped pasture they approached the dish uneasily, likewise questioning the vicissitudes of fate within those steamy and forbidding terrains.

In kind, however, Scouts promptly answered those fates in their first innings with a robust series of rousing strikes afield. Sending the onion about the grounds in disparate directions, the Sam Davis batsmen amassed runners at the sacks, all ready to ascend the pathway up toward the keystone sack and then downward around toward home dish.  With a trio of well-timed blows sent afield in the wake of these favorable developments, the visitors soon found themselves having taken the initial frame by a margin of five tallies.  Beholden like all ballists to the twin furies of chance and fortune, the Scouts again found that grand work with their willows was efficacious in keeping those furies at bay.

While the Distillers waged a spirted battle in the middle frames to reduce that early advantage, their efforts eventually fell short as the Scouts matched their well-struck onions for some well-gathered worm-burners afield. Particular praise is due to the trio of the Elder, the Slow Poke, and Mitts, each of whom contributed grand fieldwork leading to the decisive result.  As noted in earlier dispatches, the denizens of the Highland Rim tend to prompt unease among Godlier cranks in light of their nebulous profession; but their own cranks support them to the end, and on this day observers were left impressed once again with their continuing resolve and their gentlemanly approach to the game.  A pair of timely aces in the contest’s seventh frame provided sufficient cushion to yield this final margin:  Scouts 8, Distillers 2.

Lofty praise must also be directed, once again, toward the Scotsman.  True to the ancient battle-deeds of his Pictish forefathers, this fine ballist earned kudos for his fine play at the first sack which nicely complemented his stout showing at the dish.  On this day Uncle Jessie, the wizened and battle-tested leader of the Sam Davis side, found occasion to pay rare tribute to this newest member of the Scouts, awarding the first-sacker with an unprecedented second game ball.  And with the contest thus concluded, both Scout and Distiller adjourned to the sidelines to celebrate the contest’s ardor with their cranks and teammates in spirited post-match conviviality.

The first stop on their season-long ramble is now complete, and in this contest the Scouts were thankful to find momentary glory in the golden light of victory.  Emerging from that glow, however, they face another prolonged perambulation, first a rigorous ascent across the craggy ridgetops of the Cumberlands and then downward toward Chattanooga Cavalry grounds.  Here they are slated to face the famed and formidable Mountain City Club on Saturday July the 9th.

Their cranks might remember the how the Scouts, in a shining moment of good fortune, snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in last season’s hotly contested match.  As that ancient Saxon verse proclaims, however, fortune soon deserts the warrior who takes his battle-treasure for granted.  Since that steamy August day the Mountain City side has grown more formidable, and they will surely be ready to test the mettle of the Sam Davis bunch.  Those interested in joining the side for this most arduous sojourn are, as always, advised to bring a chair or a blanket for their own comfort and victuals and libations for their nourishment.

Phoenix Rising; Scouts Begin Prolonged Journey with Defeat

We sing today of their willows and the Scouts, wishing that this song had a more celebratory tenor.  Venturing northward this Sunday last from the wounded Sam Davis Home to the State House Grounds, the Scouts took to the pitch against their familiar rivals, the noble Phoenix club of East Nashville, who joined the Scouts in remembering the tragic events that loomed in the backdrop of the contest.  Indeed, all stood reminded that base ball was but a diversion on this soggy, steamy day.  The day’s contest served both as a focus of larger celebration and an occasion to pay respects in light of the past week’s misfortunes. The pervasive dampness captured well the pensive the moods of the gathered ballists, but each was determined to give his best effort despite the melancholy circumstances of the day.

On this occasion the anniversary of statehood was also to be marked for the cranks there gathered, fulfillment of a vision akin to that expressed by the Aeneid of the grand bard Virgil. In their uncertain condition, the Sam Davis bunch, like the Trojan exiles cast adrift into the Mediterranean, likewise faced the anxious prospect of an uncertain pathway forward.  But even as Aeneas, the storied hero of Rome’s ascendency, labored with the vaguest premonition of a glorious world that he would never witness, so were the assembled throng of Tennessee’s base ball cranks thus gathered to celebrate the fruits of such pioneering labors, similarly undertaken.

As the first innings commenced the moods of the Scouts were to dampen further as the re-fortified Phoenix Club, remembering their defeat at the Sam Davis grounds a month prior, set the tone in their first innings with three timely tallies.  However, in the “bello passus” (war and suffering) of the match, both sides found respite in the fog of competition. As testimony to the tonic powers of our grand ball game the Scouts were able to record timely aces in reply, and so the game stood deadlocked in its middle innings the sullen circumstances of the day were held at bay.

Eventually, though, the machinations of Fate would prove to serve in the favor of the Phoenix, who, capitalizing on some tepid work at the dish and some ill-fated miscalculations by the Scouts on the base paths, eventually took command with timely aces in the middle frames.  Then, fending off some late innings charges from their opponents, the East Nashville nine rose from their ashen den to reign triumphant, the final tally thus recorded:  East Nashville 8, Stewart’s Creek 4.

Thus was the Phoenix club able to fashion victory first out of despair, and then confusion and conflict, aligning themselves favorably with the fates as they grasped the sweet fruit of triumph.   On this day, with the unhappy events of the week past weighing on their minds and dampening their spirits, the Scouts were willing to accept defeat to a superior side in a contest where both were to be commended for keeping more important concerns—including the friends and family of a fallen warrior, and the safety of those in the proximity of their home grounds–foremost in their thoughts.  Nevertheless, on this day the game’s curative qualities on display; and many a crank in attendance expressed hope that base ball will come to assume an ever greater role in our healing Nation’s cultural fabric.

On a more hopeful note: tempus fugit!  Time will inexorably move forward and the Scouts will take the field again under happier—if no less forbidding–circumstances.  In two weeks’ time the Sam Davis nine returns to the airy summits of the Highland Rim, once again to take on the rival Distillers.  Their cranks might recall how the Scouts encountered unexpected success afield and in their innings in a recent visit to those tilted pastures.  And so should the denizens of Stewart’s Creek anticipate a spirited contest against a motley bunch that will surely have revenge on their minds as they seek to return the favor.  Any who are interested in attending this match would do well to bring a chair or a blanket for their own comfort and victuals and libations for their nourishment.  Hope to see you there!

Scouts Ascend the Highland Rim. Descend Victorious.

Unlike the waves making their way toward the pebbl’d shore, the Scouts did not hasten to ascend to the steamy summits of the Highland Rim this Sunday last. Cognizant of their poor showings against the League Champion Distillers over recently past seasons, the Scouts instead reached the Mansker’s outpost with game trepidation, both anticipating the stern test before them and anxious about the quirky character of the sloped confines they were there to play upon.

Like the spirituous fruits of their labor that lead unwary partakers into regrettable realms of error, the Distillers have likewise exerted diverting effect on recent opponents, plying opposing ballists with occasion to commit awkward miscues, to chase down well-struck salvos, to hurl wayward onions, and generally to lament the machinations of the Base Ball fates. In this way they have achieved noteworthy success against many an Association club. Such were the results last season in their lone contest with the Scouts, and such was the pattern to many of their stirring conquests on their way to last season’s league championship.

However, even as the Distillers drew first blood, the Scouts soon embarked upon a series of “sequent toils,” many of their strikers enduring the laborious struggle upward toward the second sack before rounding into form around third with another well-struck onion before hastening back downward toward the dish, thus winded, to record another tally. As the game’s nativity moved crawled towards its maturity, “crooked ‘clipses” continued to darken the visages and spirts of the Distillers as the Scouts matched well-timed aces with grand plays afield. Mammoth blasts from the willows of Elder, the Scotsman, and Bumpy all served well to pad the Scouts’ growing lead in those middle frames; and in the contest’s later stages the stout defensive efforts of Uncle Jessie and that same Scotsman kept the visitors’ lead intact.

It was soon revealed to the Mansker’s faithful that while time and tide had yielded to the Distillers many successes in previous contests, time on this day was now serving to confound their hopes—time, as aided by the Scouts’ efforts on their sacks, in their pastures, and at the dish. Thus did time “doth transflix the flourish” set upon the successes of the Mansker’s bunch in weeks past, and so had it “delved parallels” in their furrowing brows as they confronted the contest’s looming result.

Some of the Godlier cranks in attendance, wary of the effects of the intoxicating drop, might have regarded the Distillers’ chosen trade suspiciously. However, those witnessing the match were all quick to recognize how the denizens of the Highland Rim remained gentlemanly sportsmen to the bitter end of a contest where the fates were clearly not smiling upon them, one resulting in this unexpected final tally: Scouts 18, Distillers 4.

Despite the many successes they enjoyed on this day, the Scouts collectively agreed that laudatory mention in particular must be directed to “The Iron Belly.” A Man of God and a purveyor of his own “holy spirits” to boot, the Scouts’ backstop also proved to be a veritable force of nature on the field and at the dish, garnering a pair of ticked “fouls” for timely outs and striking a pair of colossal missiles to the deep reaches of the Mansker’s grounds, blasts leading to felicitous aces. Thus were the Scouts moved to “praise his worth,” celebrating The Belly’s grand day by awarding him the Game Ball. Wherewith being thus crowned, he called for all on both sides to “feed on the rarities” of the day’s events in a post-contest atmosphere of conviviality and well-wishing.

For their part, the Scouts remain aware of this salient fact: only a foolish ballist, assuming that his side’s celebratory verses will stand perpetually, inquires too closely into—or places too much faith in—the often “cruel hands” of the Base Ball Gods. Although dispatching the Highland Rim bunch on this day, the Scouts recognize that the moment will pass and that battle-ready opponents await. The Sam Davis side next takes the pitch at the grounds of the Statehouse Mall on June the 5th to do battle once again with that game Phoenix Club of East Nashville; and again on June 19th, the Sam Davis nine return to these same airy pastures of Mansker’s to take on these Distillers, surely revenge-minded, once again. Cranks interested in attending either of these contests are advised to bring a chair or a blanket for their own comfort and victuals and libations for their nourishment. Hope to see you there!

The Charge of the Scouts’ Brigade

Half a league onward rode the Sam Davis bunch into their home grounds, once more into the breach toward their first home league match of the 2016 campaign. Having in the previous match endured cannon and blast, having committed blunder and miscue, the dismayed Scouts sought to regain their bearings and hoped to recover the fine form to which they are accustomed. However, for their home opener on this day, the Scouts again faced an ominous panorama: the Phoenix Club of East Nashville to the left of them; the Quicksteps Club of Spring Hill to the right of them; and a full slate of spirited league play in front of them. As the first of the day’s two contests approached the East Nashville bunch was primed and on their marks, ready to reclaim their former glories on the Scouts’ home turf.

Alas, the Scouts soon found that it was theirs not to question the stern test before them or to lament their lots. Instead, it was theirs but to do what all sound clubs do—that is, to strike well and gather their onions to their advantage, to put their blunders behind them, and to hold the opposition on the pitch at bay. And even as the Phoenix bunch claimed the bat toss and took to the field for their first innings, the Scouts’ batsmen approached the line and soon began to give rest to the lingering frustrations which had surfaced in the previous match, three weeks prior.

Soon the Phoenix club was in the midst of a thunderous assault: salvos to the left and salvos to the right, all signifying that the Scouts willows were alive and well, storming at their opponents “with shot and shell”; and so in their early innings the Sam Davis bunch claimed advantage. However, they also remembered the gameness of the Phoenix club, having tasted defeat at the hands of the East Nashville nine before and having only bested them by the thinnest of margins last season. And despite their early disadvantage the Phoenix proved to be, like their fiery namesake of myth and lore, ever at the ready to rise from the ashes. Although their visitors struck gamely to keep the contest close the Scouts never relinquished their lead, preventing that Phoenix rising by quelling several rallies with some fine play afield, and by tallying timely aces to keep their lead intact. The visitors mounted a comeback in the game’s middle innings, but the Scouts’ batsmen answered in later frames to assure that they would hold matters in their advantage. On this point the Scotsman, the Scouts’ newest member, deserves laudatory mention for his fine performance at the dish and for his fine efforts in manning the initial sack, and his teammates were soon to celebrate his grand day by awarding him the game ball. And so the locals held things in their favor to the contest’s end, the final tally standing thus: Scouts 24, Phoenix 13.

In the second of the day’s matches the Sam Davis nine, buoyed by victory, were further helped by an old friend and stoutly towering presence who returned for the day to help the cause as the locals battled the upset-minded visitors from Spring Hill. Like Ajax, the great Greek hero of ancient warfare wielding his signature spear, so did the mighty Tiny, brandishing his carotene willow to wonderment of all, strike a salvo forward to the remote corners of the grounds where pasture met forest. Thus he sent a pair of perplexed visitors to “step quickly” into uncertain terrain in search of the wayward onion. Likewise did this battle-tested alum of the locals assert his presence about the first sack, gathering many a well-hurled onion from his mates to secure matters on the defensive side. Even as the Scouts added tallies and recorded their outs the cranks there assembled at the Sam Davis home were heard to remark that the Quicksteps side features many formidable ballists. Murmurs from the Scouts’ bench pointed to the expectation of stout competition from this Quickstep bunch in coming seasons. But on this day “[t]hey that had fought so well/ Came through the jaws of Death” to emerge victorious. At conclusion the second contest’s ledger read: Scouts 22, Quicksteps 9.

With this “wild charge” the Sam Davis club regained a bit of the sheen of former glories, leaving their cranks and supporters to “[h]onour the charge they made.” And so did the assembled crowd, ballists and cranks alike, raise more than one celebratory toast in commemoration of the day’s events.

Amidst the celebrations the returning champion Tiny posed with Pig Pen, a well-chosen representative of the Spring Hill nine who fully embodies her side’s grit and determination. This meeting showed to all assembled the very contrast that occurs when solstice meets equinox, when occident meets orient, and when day meets night. A daguerreotypist was on hand to record this meeting of team representatives, which is included here for the benefit of readers.

Tiny and Pig Pen

A meeting of true sportspersons:  Tiny and Pig Pen

However, the Scouts are in no position to rest on their laurels for too long, as they journey to Mansker’s Station this very next Sunday to face the Distillers of the Highland Rim. Supporters of the Sam Davis club know the intensity of this rivalry, and are also familiar with the slanted “home field advantage” that the Mansker’s bunch enjoys on their grounds. The bat will be tossed promptly at noon, and all who are interested in attending are advised to bring a chair or a blanket for their own comfort and victuals and libations for their nourishment. Hope to see you there!

The Battle in Brentwood

As the rose-red fingers of dawn gave way to reveal the tawny rays and verdant hues of early spring, the Sam Davis nine ventured toward Brentwood this Sunday last. Knowing the formidability of the side they were facing off against, the Scouts approached the contest with the Brentwood Travellers anticipating a stern test. Having emerged triumphant in last year’s Sulphur Dell Cup Tourney, the Travellers, newly relocated to the Ravenswood grounds, stood ready to defend their new home turf before the motley gathering of cranks there assembled. And those cranks, anticipating a heated battle, were instead treated to a contest that, at times, resembled something like a war.

Like two well-conditioned pugilists engaging in spirited fisticuffs, the combatants matched each other in the early innings. Those familiar with the sweet science know that within the prize ring, skillful practitioners are prone to exchange blow for blow, feint for feint, parry for parry, each looking for that elusive opportunity to land his foe on the seat of his trousers. In a similarly contested fashion the ballists from each side matched each other into the middle frames, strike for strike, tally for tally, well-hurled toss for well-gathered onion.

For their part, the Scouts continued as in previous weeks, wielding their willows with grandness and striking many a mighty blow. And for their part, the Sulphur Dell Cup Champions answered on cue, sending more than one exploratory salvo into the farthest reaches of their new home grounds. The withering heat gradually sapped the gusto of ballist and crank alike, but nary a mollycoddle was to be found among the ranks of either side. As the contest unfolded into its later innings many in attendance began to wonder what the fates would reveal.

Perhaps a telling analogy for this contest might be found in the works of Homer, the grand blind bard. For on this day those assembled saw unfolding a ballists’ reenacting of the Iliad. Here the Travellers assume the role of Achillies, the Argive champion of the armies of Menelaus and Agamemnon who, lately summoned to battle, turns the tide toward the favor of the Greek besiegers. The Scouts, protectors of former glories now fading, assume the role of Hector in their efforts to forestall the inevitable champion’s march. Such were the epic dimensions witnessed on this afternoon on the Ravenswood pitch.

And just as the fates in Homer’s verse revealed themselves in the form of Achilles, so did they come to figure in this spirited see-saw match between Scout and Traveller. Returning triumphant to the battle field begirt in the well-fashioned armor of Haphaestios, the mighty Achilles brandishes his magic shield against the reluctant Hector. And just as Troy was content to celebrate its precarious peace with the Greeks seemingly departed, so were the Scouts seen protecting a precarious lead in the game’s late stages. And so were the Sam Davis bunch fated confront their own Trojan horse in the 7th frame as the Travellers, like Greek warriors emerging from their equine den to begin the sack of Troy, raced around the base paths, tallying nine. Dispirited by a series of defensive miscues and mighty blasts that led to this unexpected turn, the Scouts mustered only a paltry pair of aces in the remaining frames and so were soon to admit defeat to a superior side. And so the hosts laid waste to the aspirations of their upset-minded visitors, and when the carnage was set to ledger the final result stood thus: Travellers 29, Scouts 24.

We are happy to report that with the proceedings decided, the din of battle receded into distant echo, and the climate of competitiveness gave way to an atmosphere of congratulation and conviviality. Both teams were quick to recognize the grandness of the day’s ball match, and both were quick to compliment their cohorts on the opposite side. Both teams were equally relieved to abandon the pitch to nurse their spirits and lick their wounds, and many an exhausted ballist was soon thereafter seen enjoying a healing elixir. With their next matches scheduled for mid-May, both clubs will have chances to heal and return to the pitch at full strength.

For the Scouts, that return will take place on May 15th at their grounds, the Sam Davis Home. After such an exhausting foray into the heart of Brentwood, that return will be welcome. However, the Phoenix Club of East Nashville, formidable opponents to the Scouts in years past, will be making the trip down to Smyrna with conquest on their minds. The match begins at noon, and will followed by a bonus match against the Quickstep Club of Spring Hill at 2:30. As always, cranks and their families are urged to bring a chair or a blanket for their own comfort and libations and victuals for their nourishment. Hope to see you there!

Scouts Best Farriers! Carnton Curse Reversed!

Even as the storms were passing and the promise of warmer weather beckoned, the Farriers stood on their home grounds against a stark backdrop of cloudy April skies and a damp early spring chill. Such was the ominous panorama that greeted the visiting Scouts at Carnton Plantation, where they stood to square off against the Franklin nine in a highly anticipated Base Ball match this Sunday last.

More than one Scout could be forgiven for fretting some at the prospect of taking the field against the Farriers, given the “Carnton Curse” that has plagued them over the last two seasons. However it was the spirits of the locals that would be dampened on this day, even as cloudy skies and light rains gave way to breezy warmth.

For the Scouts, the fear of any dreaded encounter with the Four Horsemen, or any other ominous spirit for that matter, was quickly dissipated. Losing the toss, the Sam Davis nine took to the willows for their first innings and promptly pounded out six sound hits, establishing an early cushion that would keep for the duration of the match.

For their part the Farriers played with their accustomed nobility, but observers were prone to remark that most of their hard hits went directly toward well-positioned Scouts, who handled the onion and manned their sacks with surprising but welcome finesse. The Fates were clearly working in the favor of the visitors on this day, whose good fortune was reflected in the final tally of 22 aces against four for the home side.

Have no doubt. Conquest, War, Famine, and Plague await, metaphorically at least, in the coming season. Several sides have reconfigured their rosters and with their recent regular season successes the Scouts have emerged as prime targets for many an opposing ballist. Another stern test awaits them on Sunday, April 24, at the Ravenswood Mansion. The Travellers Club, formerly of Oak Hill and now calling Brentwood home, will be standing at the ready. This same club played Lady Nemesis to the Sam Davis bunch last season by muting the Scout willows and claiming victory on two occasions, once during their surprising but well-earned march to the Sulphur Dell Cup. Those cranks wishing to attend the match will be rewarded with what will surely be a spirited contest!

The bat will be tossed promptly noon. As always, cranks and their families are encouraged to bring chairs or a blanket for their own comfort and victuals and libations for their nourishment. Hope to see you there!

Season Underway: Scouts Strong, Base Ball Back

FRANKLIN, TN – Much to the dismay of the entire County Rutherford, and most assuredly myself as well, the Herald has learned of some mischief surrounding its recent publications. Alas, we have discovered the cause of such outward nuisance having found our newest delivery runner has been hiding all our previous publications in a chicken coop. Aside from your obvious questions regarding the employee’s standing within society, he has been removed from our offices and we shall regain normal publishing thus forth.

Now that’s out of the way, I again re-welcome you to the Rutherford Herald! After a long hiatus at the end of the base ball season last, we arrive at the Herald’s second coming – which shall no doubt come with much improvement over the course of the newest Stewart’s Creek Scouts Base Ball Season. In fact, I find now a fitting time to announce the addition of a well-educated mind to the ranks of beat base ball reporting here at the Herald for this upcoming season: Dr. W. Tormey. Many of you likely know of him already, as he is well-received as one of the brightest minds in the county – so please look forward to his regular publication!

As such, it is also fitting to announce the return of base ball to the state of Tennessee – and, of course, the return of our favorite club, the Scouts, who this year will fall under new leadership with Uncle Jessie and Brass Hands championing the men on and off the grounds.

Having already taken part in a few trainings this spring, the Tennessee league not only invited ballists from Ohio to partake in matches at the home of Andrew Jackson, but had a few of its clubs invited to matches at Lowe Mill in Huntsville, Alabama. Perhaps most important to all of this was the inclusion of the first annual Sam Davis Cup, which was played between your hometown Scouts, the Farriers of Franklin, the Huntsville Red Caps, and the Quicksteps Club of Spring Hill. While your Scouts could not secure the cup in the pre-season tournament, they did play admirably and were a joy to watch as they continued to prepare for the season.

You may question why this has not been reported sooner, and I do not blame you. I shall apologize for this as my steam printing press, perhaps too literally, ran out of steam. Fixed now, there should be no shortage of content – especially since we’ve solved the mystery of the missing papers and the chicken coop. Perhaps one day I’ll write of a consulting detective, using this most mysterious event as my inspiration…

And yet, base ball has begun! Having no doubt snuck up on many due to the strangeness of our spring-time weather, this past weekend saw the Scouts of Stewart’s Creek make the trek to the Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee to take on old friends – and old rivals – the Farriers at their home grounds. Having never had much luck at the Carnton grounds, the Scouts were forgiven if a few men questioned their ability before the match. However, with the wind blowing straight out to the center garden, the Scouts took the line with a determination unseen in any ballist before, smacking the onion all around for an impressive tally and a strong showing to open the season.

In fact, it is fair to say that whichever poltergeist may have plagued the Scouts in Franklin the last two seasons was sufficiently beaten down Sunday as the Scouts tallied four aces before recording a single out – and went on to tally a total of eight across the dish before the top of the first inning had completed. The Farriers, in the throes of a strong Stewart’s Creek clubbing, could only tally two aces in return in the inning.

However, with the second inning underway, it looked as if the Farriers of Franklin may have figured out the Scouts and extinguished the blaze early, killing three hands over the next four strikers and then recovering yet another tally in the bottom of the inning. For the Farriers, though, that was the most they could manage until the bottom half of the ninth inning – and by then, the  match was far too out of hand to hope for a comeback as the Scouts had taken a commanding lead and had not relinquished, winning the match by a tally of 22 aces to 4.

The Scouts play next on Sunday, 24 April at 12:00 pm to take on the Travellers Club of Brentwood at their new grounds of the Ravenswood Mansion. Having won the Sulphur Dell Cup last year (and, don’t forget, having knocked the Scouts out of contention in the tournament), the Travellers were purchased by the Ravenswood family and shall no longer have ties to Oak Hill. The weekend will surely not be one to miss as a welcomed rematch between the two strong clubs will likely go down to the wire. Be sure to let your Scouts know you are cheering them on, whether in attendance or from afar, and don the bowlers!

D.PLATZ

12 April, 2016 – The Rutherford Herald

Sam Davis Cup Action!

The inaugural Sam Davis Cup tournament is in the books, and the host Stewart’s Creek Scouts congratulate the victorious Huntsville Redcaps. The Alabamans earned the title by virtue of a hard-fought 19-14 victory against the Scouts, whose willows faded in the late afternoon sun. Feeling perhaps a bit of fatigue after their stirring 24-10 defeat of the Quickstep Club of Spring Hill in the opening round, the Scouts nevertheless demonstrated unprecedented prowess at the dish throughout the day. Earning the opposing spot in the final by defeating the Farriers of Franklin in the semifinal round, the Redcaps won the day with their fine efforts.

Scout and Farrier alike will look to rebound this Sunday, April 10, at the Carnton Plantation in Franklin. Having been doomed on those grounds in recent seasons as much by the fates as by their untimely ineptitude around the sacks and in the pastures, the Scouts will look to reverse their “Carnton Curse” against the locals. That will prove to be a tall order, however, as the Farriers have proven to be a formidable foe against the Sam Davis bunch. The Scouts narrowly prevailed in a muddy match last year on their home field, and later won a nail-biter against the Farriers on the grounds of the Bicentennial Mall. The Farriers will surely be looking to gain a measure of revenge against the visitors, and many a crank will be well served and well entertained by attending this match. The bat will be tossed at 2:30, following a scheduled 12:00 contest between the Distillers of the Highland Rim and the Lightfoots of Chattanooga.

As always, be sure to bring a chair or blanket for your own comfort and some victuals and libations for your nourishment. It promises to be a grand day of sporting entertainment, so see you on Sunday at Carnton!

Scouts Walk Off; Clinch 2nd

CHATTANOOGA, TN – After safe arrival in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia Saturday, 29 August, the Scouts unloaded their carriages and took to the stands to watch the day’s first match as fans amongst the throng in attendance. The match, played between the Highland Rim Distillers and the Lightfoot Club of Chattanooga, would give form to this season’s Sulphur Dell Cup Championship bracket–and it was more than just the Distillers’ future that lie within the final three hands dead.

A close match, the teams’ two benches surged with anticipation, and both clubs looked onward to the final bell. Heading into the ninth, the Distillers maintained a one-tally lead over the hometown, and home team, Lightfoot Club. It was in this inning of which the two teams’ fates would play: the Distillers hoping to win the Pennant–and the Lightfoot Club hoping to keep them from it.

Watching closely, knowing they, too, would be impacted by the victor, the Scouts watched as the Lightfoot Club headed to the dish down one in the bottom of the final inning. A rally by the Lightfoot Club would give the Scouts a chance at reclaiming the Pennant in consecutive seasons, but, for the Scouts, the Pennant was not in the cards; the Distillers got the final out, stranding the tying tally on third, and won first place to take home the Pennant.

Iron Belly Signals Two Hands Dead

With first place no longer an option, the Scouts still had something to play for in their match against the Mountain City Club. With a win, the Scouts would secure second place–and a first round bye in the tournament–but with a loss, the Scouts would fall all the way to fourth place. Although they could no longer win the Pennant, a second place finish was the club’s new goal, and with any luck they’d be victorious.

Having lost their last trip to the 6th Cavalry Museum, the Scouts also had their final record on the line, not wanting to finish the season with two losses in two trips to Chattanooga. Taking the field for the bat toss, Uncle Jessie continued his streak and won, sending the Mountain City Club to the dish first though they were on their home field.

Brass Hands Makes an Out

Hoping to continue their hot streak from their last match against the Maroons, the Scouts took the field primed and ready to keep their hard-nosed style of defense going strong, and they did. After keeping the offense-heavy Mountain City Club to no aces in the first, the Scouts went to the dish in want of keeping their offensive momentum moving forward.

Perhaps, however, after scoring 17 against the Maroons, the Scouts willows had fallen tired, as the scouts failed to even put ballists on the sacks for most of the game.

Of course, the Mountain City Club couldn’t get much going offensively, either, as the Scouts continued to play the defense they’ve defined their season on. But in the top of the third, the Mountain City Club finally broke through with timely, well struck balls and plated three across the dish to take the lead. With the way the Scouts had been swinging the willows, it looked as though three runs were all the club would need to knock the Scouts down to fourth place, their lowest spot of the season.

Elder Falls Making Catch

And so it played out, both teams struggling at the dish and playing fantastic defense. Only a few Scouts were able to consistently get hits, including Tiny, Uncle Jessie, and Chief, but the club had trouble ever advancing the men to third. Of course, some of that could be attributed to the defensive prowess of the Mountain City Club, who more than once made defensive gems, including a line drive double play catch at first off the bat of Bunyan.

The Scouts, too, continued to play spectacular defense, making the plays when they most needed to. While down three runs, the club continued to fight it out and refused to give up, even though the offense was struggling through, perhaps, one of its worst slumps of the season.

That undying determination has remained with the Scouts at some of their most critical points, but as the game reached the eighth inning, the club was facing a shutout square in the face, looking down at a fourth place finish, and starting to question whether or not they would catch a break from Lady Luck. She hadn’t given them the opportunity at first place, but maybe she’d help them find a spark.

Heading into the bottom of the eighth, the Scouts took to the dish behind the willows of Iron Belly and Cornbread, but while the two men made hard contact, the Mountain City Club’s flawless defense continued and the Scouts made their way to the top of the lineup down three with two hands dead in the eighth–and their seeding looked grim.

Tick Tock Hits a Home Run

Long Shanks, however, kept the inning alive with a well-struck onion through the middle of the infield for a single, which injected the club with a little bit of life. Still down three runs, however, it would take more than one single to get the ball rolling, and Tick Tock provided the momentum with a hard hit to the left-center garden. Taking advantage of perhaps the only Mountain City defensive miscue, a bad route to the ball, Tick Tock turned the nice hit into a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth, knocking the seemingly insurmountable three-run lead down to one. They were not, however, able to keep the inning going.

Down just one, the club headed into the top of the ninth determined to keep the Mountain City Club as far away from the dish as possible and, again, when they needed it most, the club dug deep down and made even more excellent defensive plays. After a diving catch in the center garden, and a superb defensive play by Elder in the left garden, the club made the final out of the top of the ninth and headed to the dish down but one run with the meatiest part of their lineup due up for the dish.

Dutch Walks Off

Leading off, Skeeter walloped the onion between the short scout and the second sack for a single. The momentum continuing, Bumpy moved Skeeter over with a single of his own, which was followed by another single by Brass Hands.

Scouts Celebrate

The real magic didn’t come, though, until Dutch stepped up to the dish. Down one, in the bottom of the ninth, with the bases loaded and one hand dead, the sweat dripped from Dutch’s bowler as he looked upon the Mountain City hurler with a look of determination and will. Watching a few pitches go by, it could not be denied that this moment was the type of moment in which legends were made. A buzz traveled through the fans as they watched each pitch until the silence was broken with the abrupt explosion of barrel to ball as Dutch socked one between the first basetender and the second. The ball easily scored Skeeter from third to tie the game, but after a costly blunder throwing the ball into the infield, Bumpy raced for the dish and the Scouts won the match off Dutch’s walk-off single!

Excitement was hard to contain for the Lads of Summer, who looked Lady Luck in the face and, instead, created their own in spite–and the men leapt for joy and celebrated one another on a hard-fought victory. The Scouts finished the season with a record of 8-3, tied with the Distillers and Holstons, and placed second in the standings.

Scouts Clinch Second with Win

The race for the Cup begins Saturday, 12 September at the Carnton Plantation, with the Phoenix Club taking on Franklin’s Farriers and the Oak Hill Travellers matched up against the Emmett Machinists. Those matches will be followed by matches between the Nashville Maroons and the Mountain City Club and the Holstons of Knoxville and the Lightfoot Club of Chattanooga. The Scouts will play at 2:00 pm on Carnton Plantation’s Eastern Flank Field. Be sure to be in attendance as the weekend will close out the 2015 season and mark the ultimate champion!

*All photos courtesy of Joelle Platz

D.PLATZ

31 August, 2015 – The Rutherford Herald

Match Preview – The Final Weekend

SMYRNA, TN – Having handily won their last two matches–after dropping two in a row–your Stewart’s Creek Scouts have maintained their place amongst a three way tie for this year’s pennant. Playing well as of late, the club may be heating up at the right time of year to close out the season not only as Pennant Champions, but League Champions.

Of course, it won’t be as easy as simply proclaiming victory and taking the Sulphur Dell Cup by the arms. In fact, the Scouts’ ultimate league standing this season could very well boil down to them handling their own business–and getting some help from the old vixen Ms. Lady Luck.

That makes this final weekend all the more important–and not just for the Scouts. With three teams tied for first and a potential dark horse champion lurking on the fray, teams all around the league will be very impatiently awaiting word from the telegraph conveying which teams were victorious. Three of those four clubs, however, will be playing in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia this coming Saturday, 29 August. For them, they will not have to wait–could that be more harmful than good?–to hear how the other clubs fared in their matches.

With your Scouts prepped and ready for the long trek back to Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, they are very aware of what is on the line at the 6th Cavalry Museum. There is no doubt they plan on giving the Chattanooga crowd a better showing than the last time out–when they got utterly trampled by the surging Lightfoot Club. For the Scouts, though, it won’t be easy, as the Mountain City Club are that dark horse–and they are galloping their way into the fold off the big bats of nearly every member of the club.

But what the Scouts really need is an early morning loss by the Distillers, who play the Lightfoot Club in the first game of Saturday’s double header. A Distillers loss gives the Scouts a chance at first place, but if the Distillers win, the highest the Scouts can hope to achieve is second.

Looking back at the Scouts last match, though, may provide some hope for the Lads of Summer as they head out to face the Mountain City Club. After two weeks in a row of dusting off the funk and bringing the willows out of the shed, the Scouts appeared to take weeks worth of suppressed skill out on the Maroons, romping them in a lopsided 17 tally to 5 victory.

As I mentioned before their last match, the Scouts’ victory against the Holstons back on 2 August appeared to be the spark the club needed offensively–and in their last match against the Maroons, they fanned those flames. Now, they hope to set the pitch ablaze.

Not only has the Scouts offense lately seen a swing of success, their defensive prowess seems to have returned as well; during their 9 August match against the Maroons, they prevented the opposing offense from crossing the dish in seven of the nine innings. Their recent hot streak has evened out the advanced metrics for the club this year compared to the others–they now have the second most aces tallied this season and the third least given up.

However, if the Scouts hope to keep their chances of a pennant alive, they will have to continue this excellent play against the Mountain City Club, who are coming into the match riding a three-match winning streak where they outscored opponents 29 tallies to 15. They’re most recent victory being against the Emmett Machinists in Knoxville, 12 – 2.

We shall see how the club fairs at the dish this weekend as they face the Scouts, who’ve begun playing solid, hard-nosed base ball in the recent weeks. As they prepare to take the pitch tomorrow afternoon, let’s see how the clubs stack up.

Mountain City (6-4)

  • Total Aces Tallied: 102
  • Total Aces Allowed: 103
  • Last 5 Opponent Records:
    • 3-7
    • 7-3
    • 4-6
    • 5-5
    • 2-8

Stewart’s Creek Scouts (7-3)

  • Total Aces Tallied: 107
  • Total Aces Allowed: 74
  • Last 5 Opponent Records:
    • 4-6
    • 5-5
    • 4-6
    • 7-3
    • 5-5

This week’s match play for the Scouts will take place this coming Saturday, 29 August, at 2:30 pm at the 6th Cavalry Museum in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. The match is the second part of a double header and will follow the pivotal match between the Distillers Club of the Highland Rim and the Lightfoot Club of Chattanooga. Will a Pennant Champion be declared after the morning game? Or will it be decided in the second? You will only know if you make your way down to Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia to CHEER YOUR SCOUTS TO VICTORY!

D.PLATZ

28 August, 2015 – The Rutherford Herald