When Scranton was going into the field for the beginning of the eighth inning, the vast crowd settled down for an interesting close, because when two teams are as nearly matched as these seemed to be, it is a toss-up which will win the game.
A HOT FINISH
“It’s anybody’s game so far!” one of the Scranton boys was calling out.
“Well, I told you that Kinsey would grow better the longer he was in the box,” laughed the local rooter, who had spoken before. “Why, he’s just getting warmed up by now. Your fellows will be lucky to touch him again from now on. It’s as good as sewed up already.”
“Don’t crow too soon,” Scranton told him, unflinchingly, for boys are not to be so easily bluffed; and the Scranton fellows still had great confidence in their team, led by Hugh Morgan, as strong finishers.
It began to look very much like a pitchers’ battle from that time on. Kinsey was fast becoming invulnerable, and batter after batter failed to connect with his wizard delivery. He would smile at them, and then proceed to give them something they were not expecting, so that the heaviest Scranton batters struck out.
On the other hand, Alan Tyree was doing almost as well, and if he fell a trifle short his teammates made up the difference, for they performed splendidly. Several hummers that apparently were ticketed for two-baggers, perhaps more, were hauled down by expert fingers before they could get out of the diamond, while the fielders caught several particularly vicious flies that would have counted heavily against Scranton were they allowed to fall safely.
The ninth inning saw no change, for the tie was still unbroken. This sort of thing pleased the crowd immensely, as an extra inning game always means additional excitement, and added thrills for the money.
Even the tenth did not break the monotony, although at one time it looked as if Belleville might add a tally to their score, and possibly clinch matters. Leonard, their hard-hitting backstop, sent one out in short center, failing to give it enough force to take advantage of that incline back of “K.K.” Then Conway, who had been hitting savagely latterly, tried to knock the cover off the ball, but only succeeded in popping up a high foul which Thad smothered in his big mitt after dancing around for several seconds, as though the twister were difficult to gauge correctly.
Gould bunted unexpectedly when the stage was set for a mighty blow, with the fielders playing away out. He advanced Leonard, although caught himself, thanks to the quick work of the pitcher, who closed in on the ball, and tossed it to first ahead of the sprinting Gould.
So Leonard was on second, with two out, and another slugger at the plate in the person of Wright, with Waterman to follow.
Some of the Belleville boys started cheering and they appeared to be almost certain that a run was as good as counted, but for once they made a mistake, because after Tyree had gotten himself into a bad hole, with three balls and one strike called, he forced the batter to foul, and then shut him out on a dizzy inshoot that he failed to connect with, being called out by the watchful umpire.