tournament diary, round 1: lankford v smith (cont.)

lankford (7) v ozzie (10)
lankford swatted five homers in the first three games of this series and took two of them, but ozzie made it clear he would not be a pushover. click "read more" for the series conclusion.

ozzie '87 lankford '99
ozzie '91 lankford '97
ozzie '92 lankford '96
ozzie '96 lankford '00
ozzie '85 lankford '98
ozzie '89 lankford '95
ozzie '93 lankford '01
ozzie '88 lankford '94
ozzie '86 lankford '92

GAME 4
the wizards seize the initiative early --- two walks, three singles, and a steal in the opening frame net a 2-0 lead. the lankfords tie it up in the 3d on --- what else? --- a homer (by lankford '99, his second of the series), but the ozzies unknot it an inning later (double, rbi single) and add an insurance run in the 5th. ray '98 homers in the 6th, and ozzie carries the 4-3 advantage rather uneasily into the bottom of the 7th. the first two men reach, and the circumstances cry out for a bunt; oz '92 swings away instead and hits a seeming double-play ball. but no --- error! just like that, the tide turns: a base knock brings home a pair, a single and a double bring home two more, and the rout is on. 12 ozzies come to bat in the 7th, and 9 of them reach base; by the time it's all over, the score's 11-3 and the series is deadlocked at 2-2.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
lankford 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 1 0   4   7 2
ozzie 2 0 0 1 1 0 7 1 x 12 15 0

H/AB: lankford 7/34, ozzie 15/41
2B: ozzie 4     HR: lankford 3
BB: lankford 1, ozzie 4     SO: lankford 7, ozzie 3
SB: lankford 1, ozzie 3

GAME 5
best game of the series. ozzie scores first again, for the fourth time in five games --- single, steal, single in the 2d inning. but the rbi hit (by oz '93) is followed by an unsuccessful steal attempt, ozzie's first after 7 consecutive thefts. he gets caught again in the 3d (ozzie '87 this time). in the 5th, the lankfords tie it on a two-out single --- and then immediately take the lead on a three-run bomb. but the ozzies start chipping away at once, getting one babck in the bottom of the frame and another in the 8th inning. with nobody out and the tying run at 2d base, the ozzies inexplicably fail to bunt the runner over; three groundballs later, the inning ends with the man stranded at 3d. the opportunity recurs in the 9th, which smith '93 opens with a double; this time the wizard does bunt, successfully, but oz '86's ensuing grounder can't bring the man home. it's all up to '87, who hits it on the ground for the game-ending out . . . . but the lankfords boot it! the tying run crosses, and the teams head for extras. nothing happens in the 10th; lankford '96 leads of the 11th and hits it high, deep, and over the wall --- he's back in front, 5-4. three walks and two strikeouts ensue --- ray-ray in his full three-true-outcomes glory --- but a two-out single ices the game. the lankfords are batting just .218 for the series, but they lead it 3-2 and are heading home.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
lankford 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 3 7   8 1
ozzie 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 4 11 1

H/AB: lankford 8/39, ozzie 11/42
2B: ozzie 4     HR: lankford 2
BB: lankford 7, ozzie 2     SO: lankford 13, ozzie 1
SB: lankford 1, ozzie 5     CS: lankford 2, ozzie 2

GAME 6
the ozzies make like to score first yet again, with a walk and a single in the first inning --- but both runners are caught stealing. a first-class botch job. the lankfords, smelling blood, race out to a 5-0 lead after three innings --- and they do it without benefit of a home run. with nothing at all happening in the 4th --- two out, nobody on --- the ozzies suddenly put four singles together and pick up a couple of runs; there's hope. the leadoff man walks in the top of the 5th; a steal and a groundout move him to 3d with one away. and then the impossible happens: ozzie hits one out. it comes off the bat of '91, and it makes the score 5-4. the very next man singles and steals 2d, and it looks as if oz will come all the way back and draw even. . . . but no. still, it's only the 5th; plenty of time. the lankfords pad the lead to 6-4 in the bottom of the inning, and the ozzies lose another man stealing --- smith '87, for the third time in two games. it's still 6-4 with two outs in the 9th when ozzie '88 laces a double; never say die. but die he does, as the next man grounds out to end the series. the ozzies outhit the rays .300 to .238 and are almost even in OPS (lankfords .791, ozzies .761), plus they win the stolen-base battle 32-6. but the lankfords have the edge in home runs, 8-1, and that carries them to the series win.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
ozzie 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 4 10 1
lankford 1 1 3 0 1 0 0 0 x 6 11 1

H/AB: ozzie 10/34, lankford 11/32,
2B: lankford 5     HR: ozzie 1
BB: ozzie 2, lankford 5     SO: ozzie 4, lankford 10
SB: ozzie 4     CS: ozzie 3
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