Medina vs Cordoba
Final game of the evening was also our featured game and let me tell you, this game did not disappoint. Cordoba, (arguably the best team in the league) faced off against a powerhouse Medina (on paper at least) who are currently in the hunt for a playoff spot. A win would go a very long way for them.
As the away team, Cordoba took to bat first and put up a 7 run mercy inning to start the game. Medina responded with 4 runs of their own and from that point on kept the game close. Medina scored runs constantly throughout the game where is Cordoba had 2 big innings (1st and last). Although this game was close throughout the entire 5 innings played (that’s right, this game was cut short due to time restrictions), this game was all about the swag of W K. He went 4 for 4 including 2 homeruns and 5 RBI’s on the night. W K put on a clinic of patience and he let a couple of pitches hit the plate without swinging his bat. And here guys were thinking this guy swings at everything, pshh… more on W K later. Bilal Javed and Umair Wasim did what they do best as they both picked up a HR each combining for 6 RBI’s and 7 for 8 at bat and on the other side we had a pair of dingers from Hamid Malik and Zane Sheikh. Cordoba was missing their captain Yusauf Chaudhry as he was seen with a wrapped sweater around his leg. Hopefully its nothing too serious and we wish Yusauf a full recovery in time for the playoffs, Inshallah. The rest of the squad did what they could to fill in for their injured captain as they kept Medina on their toes all game. Fast forward to the 5th and final inning where Cordoba put up 5 runs to take the lead by 4 going into the bottom. With 2 quick outs, Medina was looking to rally as Zane Sheikh stepped into a 2 run homer cutting the lead to 2. After a couple of batters got on base, W K stepped up with a chance to win the game. All he’d have to do is put it over the fence which we all know he loves to do. He obviously didn’t swing on the first pitch (cause he’s crazy patient like that) but when he swung on the second one, he made sure that ball was GONE! W K stepped up when it mattered most and got Medina the win they so desperately needed. CAN YOU SAY CLUTCH??? This win takes a bit of pressure off Medina while Cairo and Istanbul battle it out for that final spot. The playoff standings still aren’t set and in 2 games, I don’t have to tell you that anything can happen. With Super Thursday around the corner, everyone better be ready to roll. Cordoba may have fallen to Medina but they are still one of the toughest teams to beat.
Medina 18- Cordoba 17
Istanbul vs Damascus
Game 1 this week pitted the top team in the league vs the bottom team in the league. But don’t let the standings fool you, as both these clubs could put on fireworks on any given day or put up a dud. With Istanbul fighting for their playoff lives, the team finally saw the most players they’ve had all year with 11 showing up. The game started quickly with the first 4 Istanbul batters getting on base, while the bottom of the lineup cleaned up and ensured that the boys in red would finish the 1st inning with a 7 spot. With all the momentum on their side and riding a high, as has been the case all year, the defense could not fully hold on to that lead and Damascus proved why they were the top team in the league, answering right away with a 6 spot of their own in the bottom of the 1st. Damascus also showed how important veterans are, as GM Safwan Khan could not make the game (congrats on the new addition brother), but leaders Tanseer Khawaja, Akif Waheed and Ahmad Ammad ensure the team kept their composure, even after being mercied.
Unfortunately for Istanbul, the majority of their runs were capitalized in the 1st inning, as they kept the bats going to the tune of 22 hits in the game but could not muster many more runs. The top 3 batters, Riyad Ramjaun, Umer Jabbar and Abdullah Akhter put up a combined line of 10/12, but when 3 batters make up almost half your hits as a team in a game, the rest of the lineup needs to cash them in. On the flip side, Damascus kept their foot on the pedal, scoring in every inning (including a mercy inning in the 3rd) to end up with 21 runs on 18 hits. The highlight for Damascus has been the bat of rookie Muzamil Mohammed who 3 weeks ago was batting .273 but has since figured it out and has risen his average by almost 100 points. When this league started up, the hope was for veterans of softball and BSL to develop a new crop of players and see them improve, and 2019 has been amazing in this regard.
With only 2 games left on the slate, Damascus is now vying for that 1st overall seed and will play the bottom seed on super Thursday. Meanwhile, Istanbul faces a do or die game on Tuesday against Cairo. A win will set them up nicely for a playoff spot come super Thursday, while a loss will all but eliminate them. Can the boys in red turn things around or is too little too late?