We went to the baseball game last night — University of Florida Gators vs. Florida Atlantic University Owls. We’re season-ticket holders, so we go to a lot of games, sit with the same people over and over, forming a nice community.
A perfectly-sedate game to start with, both teams doing pretty much nothing, FAU leading 1-0 after the top of the 5th inning. But then the bottom of the 5th inning, Gators batting, was the Strangest.Inning.Ever.
Our local newspaper, The Gainesville Sun, had a very prosaic account of the inning:
Offensively, Florida didn’t get going until the fifth. Trailing 1-0, the Gators sent 12 batters to the plate in the inning, scoring six runs on just
four hits. Shortstop Cody Dent squeezed in Florida’s first run before Turgeon’s two-run double put the Gators ahead to stay. Turgeon later
scored on a balk. Florida added a pair of runs on a Zack Powers RBI single and Harrison Bader bases loaded walk.
The Gators also took advantage of an FAU error and had three batters hit by pitches during the inning. Third baseman Josh Tobias was hit
twice in the same inning, something you don’t see every day.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that,” O’Sullivan said.
Actually, the inning was much stranger than the newspaper account today, though noting that three batters were hit in the inning is a start on acknowledging the oddness of it all. The paper didn’t tell us that FAU used three pitchers in the inning, that the second pitcher hit the first two batters he faced, and that the fielders started throwing the ball around somewhat aimlessly, not always to the base where they could get a runner out. The catcher allowed a runner to steal third because he apparently wasn’t watching him. When the coach came out to bring in the third pitcher of the inning, he summoned all the infielders to the mound, where he perhaps told them to start paying attention to the game. Maybe he asked them if they were all O.K.
Back in my section, with Pam and Sam there and some other friends in the row behind me, we were joking about whether or not Florida had offered complimentary Gatorade to the visiting team, and spiked it with a hallucinogen, and if said hallucinogen had taken effect all at once in the inning we were watching.
It was the strangest half-inning I’ve ever seen in a lifetime of watching baseball.