The club nine of Northville made the journey into Chelsea to test its ability against some foreign talent in the annual Ironclad Festival. In the opener, the Eclipse fell behind early to the Livery Brewers from Benton Harbor. Having never seen pinstripes fashioned on the field before, the Northville club seemed distracted and resulted in a two run deficit before finally grasping their own sticks of lumber. Toes and Bender tallied the first two runs for the Eclipse and at first glance an onlooker may get the impression by looking at the vast field of partially sun-bleached grass that runs would come without much effort. However excellent fielding of the sphere was on display by both clubs for the many cranks in attendance. The Brewers tallied a go ahead run in the third, but the Eclipse responded in the fourth inning with five consecutive singles, initiated by Jaundice, to score two runs and take a one run lead. Mac would single home Jaundice and would later plate home on a Frisco single to right field.
An inning later, Cuppa would connect wood with leather into a soft patch of grass between the left and center fielder resulting in two hundred and seventy feet of running and would score on the ensuing hit by Rev to left. The Eclipse continued to play well on the defensive side of the field and ensured that the game was well in hand by adding three more tallies in the sixth inning. Stitch would double to center and score on Frisco’s hit to deep right that also enabled Frisco to circle the bases unimpeded. The final tally would show the Eclipse besting the Benton Harbor club seven runs to three.
The second match for the Eclipse resulted in great exercise while swinging at delightful offerings from the hurler by way of the Ghostriders from Wyandotte in Ohio. The first five strikers from Northville reached base safely and resulted in four tallies before an out was recorded. Five additional safe passages for the Eclipse tallied three more runs in the first inning before Wyandotte was permitted to strike.
The second frame offered no consolation for the Ghostriders as the club nine from Northville continued on their impressive display of hitting to tally seven additional tallies. The third inning brought little relief as the Eclipse tallied six more runs and coupled that with fine fielding on any solid hit from Wyandotte.
All Eclipse players struck well, with Jaundice and Ribs noticeably providing well-deserved recognition. Ribs plated three runs and struck five hits, while Jaundice plated five runs of his own, singled in six appearances and drove in five runners. The final tally showed the Eclipse with 28 runs to 7 runs for the Ghostriders.
In the final match of the day the club nine from Northville was paired up with the Stars from Sidney. The Stars caught the Northville club sluggish for most of the game as their fielding was a demonstration of how to properly play the game. Few Eclipse strikers were fortunate to move freely about the bases and only one ballist was able to score successfully through four innings of play. Rev showed fortitude and speed when he was able to plate home ahead of a tag for the third out at second base by Shorty from Sidney. The lone run was important for team morale as every solid hit for the Eclipse seemed to find its final resting place in the capable hands of an awaiting Star fielder. A breakthrough came in the fifth inning for the Northville club when Frisco led off with a triple to right. He would score on Bender’s one out double to right and cut the Stars lead to a reachable score of six to two. A few strikers later, Jaundice would plate Bender with a well-placed strike to right. More runs may have tallied for the Eclipse on the very next hit to left field by Ribs, but the pill took an absolute unfortunate hop and was cradled for the inning’s last out. As the Eclipse began to once again play secure defense while out on the field, their bats returned to form while striking. Trailing seven runs to three, Mac led off the sixth inning for the Eclipse with a nice strike to the left side of the diamond and promptly moved over to second on a bound out by Stitch. Frisco duplicated his feat an inning earlier with another three bag hit that seemed to catch no one off guard. Toes and Bender followed with consecutive singles, plating Frisco in the process and setting up Rev to drive home Toes from second on a two out single. Jaundice continued the hitting with a single to plate Bender and Ribs ended the scoring with a two run double driving in both Rev and Jaundice. Six runs in the sixth inning provided the Northville club with a nine to seven lead, its first of the game. More inspiration came in the eighth inning as a result of solid defense from Jaundice. Having some trouble earlier in the game with the unusually hilly terrain, Jaundice made the play of the afternoon with a grab in deep left field on a bound that halted the progress of more runs to score for the Stars. As a result, the Sidney club could only score one additional run while the Eclipse added two runs in the final inning resulting in an eleven to eight win.
A fantastic ending to an incredible hosting event by the Monitors and Merries of Chelsea and their sponsors. Many thanks to Honest Jon and his tireless team of supporters for the invite and sportsmanship.