Additional photos can be found here :::
One of the things that I don't love about living in Connecticut is how fickle the weather is. I have this weather app on my phone and from Monday until Sunday what the weather could hold for Sunday will change seemingly a hundred times. (Is it like this everywhere?) There were threats of thunderstorms at one point and then a day later Sunday would just look sunny and warm. So it really is a lot of waiting until that day to see what actually happens outside. But I'll save the drama and skip right now to say that the second game was suspended as first lightning was seen then the thunder came. When I left it had begun raining but I never really saw a heavy rain- it was mostly just the threat of lightning which got the game paused.
When the Banditos first moved to the CNMSBL the first thing I did was check the site to see who the other teams were and if there was anyone on them that I knew. At the time, the Meriden Fighting Irish were simply known as "Meriden" and they didn't have a roster up but I thought "Oh, two Meriden teams, cool". My uncle doesn't always like to travel so I figured too if the Banditos were on the road he could catch the game at Ceppa and be happy. After a few weeks, the Meriden Fighting Irish were updated with their name and then the roster came in. The one name which obviously stood out to me on this team is Charlie Hesseltine, who can also be seen on the Record-Journal Expos.
As someone who somehow got into local baseball recently, I have followed two teams because they are both from Meriden: The Record-Journal Expos and the Silver City Banditos. The Expos have been known for the pitching of Charlie Hesseltine while the Banditos have been known for the pitching of J.D. Tyler. I didn't know what circumstances could bring these two pitchers together but the CNMSBL answered that for me and my uncle and I got to see somewhat of a Meriden pitching dream match up during this Battle of Meriden game.
The story of this game was J.D. Tyler being fairly unhittable for the Fighting Irish while Charlie Hesseltine was either putting up the K's or allowing runs. The Banditos put up two runs right away in the first inning but then in the second inning, there were two strike outs before a ground out. It seemed as if Charlie Hesseltine was finding his groove, as the third inning ended with a strike out as well. In the fourth inning the Banditos managed to score from second on a passed ball that the Fighting Irish catcher just couldn't seem to find and that would account for a five run inning.
It was tough because it felt like when Charlie was on, he was on but when he was off it was costly. The only Fighting Irish run of the game came from an RBI up the first base side by Charlie Hesseltine as well. The Fighting Irish, for all of Charlie's efforts, just couldn't seem to get a hit off of J.D. Tyler who had multiple innings of multiple strike outs, including the bottom of the fifth which all three outs were Ks.
In the fifth inning the Banditos put up two more runs with a double by Ricky Marrero. The seventh would see three more runs and seal the fate of the Fighting Irish. We made it into the bottom of the third inning before the first lightning was seen. The Fighting Irish were up 4-0 at the time as well, so this could potentially be the first win for the team. I'm not sure when/how it gets picked back up but I do hope it is finished eventually since it is two Meriden teams they can obviously do it in Meriden.
What was interesting about this game was the weather, as well. It was hot at one point where I put sunscreen on. Then the clouds moved in with a breeze and it got cooler. If it wasn't for the storm the second game could have been played in such perfect weather. Also, right away in the first inning- as the second batter- J.D. Tyler hit a shot right near me that I was unprepared for but luckily didn't come that close to getting me. That was the closest a ball has ever come to me over there I think and it was hit hard.
The Banditos go through a home stretch which will take them through June, aside from an away game in Southington (which is really not that far) and so it will be interesting to see the few teams we haven't seen them play yet plus the other teams such as the A's are going to be coming to Maloney. It's going to be a great summer for baseball and especially for Sundays in Meriden.