BRASSBALL LEAGUE
THE STANLEY SIOUX

August recap, amazing highlights 

Stanley ND, AP

Edited version compliments of the Stanley USA Today.

Stanley, ND: 

After going 20-8 against the N.L. East in July, the August schedule brought the challenge of the A.L. Central to town.  The Sioux would need to play decent baseball during the month to maintain a slim division lead over Columbus and Fleetwood.  About the only consolation was to know that Columbus and Fleetwood would be facing these same A.L. Central foes. 

Cook County

First series on the calendar was the big challenge.   Cook County came to Stanley sporting an 85-27 record.  Whoa.   Game 1 featured Robert Person (12-1) versus Cal Eldred.   Kevin Young received a rare DH start and provided the Sioux with an early 2-0 lead with a first inning Double scoring Menechino and McGwire, with Bubba Trammell being thrown out at the plate.  After a Mark McGwire home run in the 3rd made it 3-0, the Maulers pulled to within 3-2 with single runs in the 4th and 5th.   Trammell redeemed his lack of speed with a 2 run HR in a 4 run 5th, giving the Sioux a 7-2 lead and helping lead to a knock out of Person.  Maulers fought back with a 3 run 6th against a tiring Eldred.  Tim Crabtree came in and shut down the Maulers for 3 1/3 innings earning himself a save in the Sioux 9-5 victory, and handing Person only his 2nd loss of the year. 

August 2nd match-up figured to be somewhat of a pitchers duel with Kevin Brown of the Maulers going against strikeout king Randy Johnson from Stanley.    The Sioux struck for 3 unearned runs in the first thanks to a Nomar Garciaparra error.  Vlad Guerrero and Mike Piazza launched solo HR's in the 2nd to cut the Sioux lead to 3-2.   Brown shook off a Troy Glaus error in the 2nd and escaped unscathed, but his defense just seemed to leave him shook up a bit.  Moises Alou led off the Sioux 3rd to give Stanley a 4-2 lead, and then came up with the bases loaded in the 4th and WHAM, it was grand slam time for Moises.  A 9-2 lead was more than enough for the Big Unit and the Sioux went on to win 9-3.

August 3rd came and the Sioux fans brought the brooms to the Tee-Pee Tomb hoping to keep the momentum going against 19-1 Pedro Martinez.  Kevin Appier went to the mound for Stanley.  Cook County pounced for 2 in the top of the first for their first lead of the series.  Stanley suffered a blow in the bottom of the first when Mark McGwire injured himself on a check swing strikeout.  The day wouldn't get any brighter for the Sioux, leaving fans to use their brooms only to clean out the stands after the game.  Edgar Martinez and Carlos Delgado provided the HR pop, while Pedro pitched 7 shutout innings en route to win #20 in an 11-0 thrashing of the Sioux. 

With little time for travel, the teams headed to Cook County for a 4 game set beginning on August 4th.  16 game winner Rick Helling appeared to bring about the best Sioux matchup in the series against struggling Scott Williamson. Helling was shaky in the early going, and the Maulers built a 3-1 lead after two innings.  The Sioux scored 3 runs in the top of the 3rd when Williamson walked the bases loaded, and then gave up back to back singles to Bubba Trammell and Frank Menechino.  Stanley had its first lead at 4-2.  Helling worked around potential trouble to get the Maulers in the 3rd and 4th keeping the score 4-2.  His patience was rewarded by a Bernie Williams grand slam in the top of the 5th that capped a 5 run uprising in the 5th.   The Maulers couldn't recover this game and Helling was credited with his 17th win by giving up 3 ER in a 10-3 Sioux victory. 

August 5th matchup featured Pat Hentgen against Chan Ho Park.  Hentgen did his job and limited the Maulers to 2 runs in 5 innings, and left with a 3-2 lead.   Unfortunately for him the Sioux bullpen failed in the tight contest with Felix Rodriguez giving up key hits in the 8th with two outs.  With the score tied Armando Almanza came in to plunk Griffey and give comrade Jay Buhner a shot with the bases loaded.  Sioux brought in closer Alfonseca to face Buhner.  Turnabout is fair play in the series when BOOM, it was grand slam time for the Maulers.   Cook County wins 7-3. 

August 6th would bring together the same starters from game 1, Eldred versus Person.  Person seemed stunned from his 2nd loss from the previous 5 days, and allowed an early HR to McGwire to give the Sioux a 1-0 lead.   4 walks and an error later, the Maulers found themselves down 3-0 before getting to bat.  Eldred brought the "A" game, and limited to Mauler offense to 1 run on 3 hits and 5 walks over 6 innings.  Meanwhile Robert Person struggled with control all day, giving up 8 runs (6 earned) on 6 hits and 9 walks in 5 1/3 innings.  Sioux bullpen gave up late runs but coast in to win 9-4. 

August 7th brought together Randy Johnson and Kevin Brown for the 2nd time this month.  Unlike Person in game 6, Brown was unfazed by his previous tough outing.  The Unit brought his K's with him, but a 3 run HR by Griffey in the bottom of the 2nd put the Maulers ahead 4-0.  Brown pitched shout-out ball for 7+ innings, and the Maulers cruised to a 10-1 victory on 4 HRs, including two by Griffey. 

The 4-3 series win by the Sioux was a great start to the month and provided a lift for most of the month. 

Iowa

A four game homestand against Iowa proved to be the low point of the home schedule in August.  Iowa took the first 3 at Stanley, with the Sioux bullpen suffering defeats in game 2 & 3.  A Cal Eldred shutout in game 4 prevented a Rube 4 game sweep.    

The travel to Iowa proved to be what the doctor ordered.  Sioux teamwork came to life with wins of 9-3, 3-1, and 6-5 in 11 innings.    Mark McGwire and Bernie Williams each had two HR's in the series, with Bernie's 2nd HR coming in the top of the 11th in game 3 proving to be the deciding factor.

Sioux series win of 4-3 was hard earned against a feisty Rube squad. 

Plaza

2nd place Plaza came to Stanley with the Sioux riding a 4 game winning streak.  The Sioux winning wouldn't stop while the Lions were in town.  Frank Menechino homered against his former teammates, Moises Alou drove in 5, but all of that wasn't enough until Rafael Palmeiro homered in the bottom of the 9th against Eddie Guardado to give Stanley a 10-9 win and a 5 game winning streak. 

Lion starter David Wells and Cal Eldred faced off in game 2 at Stanley.   Runs came early, but not often and not later.   Steve Finley drew a bases loaded walk in top of the first to give Plaza a 1-0 lead.  That lead wouldn't survive the inning as Palmeiro homered in the bottom of the first to make it 1-1.  After a scoreless second, the Sioux scored their last runs of the game on a McGwire sacrifice fly and a Palmeiro single.   That would prove to be it for the scoring.  Stanley won 3-1 to extend its winning streak to 6. 

Game 3 of the series brought a near capacity crown of 46,400 out to Stanley (population 1,900), to see Woody Williams of Plaza square off against Randy Johnson and the red hot Sioux.  Mark McGwire has been becoming a fan favorite and he didn't disappoint.  He homered in the bottom of the first to give Stanley a 2-0 lead.  Plaza rallied with 1 in the 2nd, and 2 unearned in the 4th to give the Lions a brief 3-2 lead.  Woody Williams and the Lion bullpen would give up at least one run in each of the next 5 innings.  The Sioux bullpen gave up 4 in the 9th, but it would still be a win for the home team by a score of 12-7. 

The bus trip to Plaza (population 200) brought the crowds with, but the Sioux arms finally tired a bit.  Plaza took game 4 by a score of 5-3.  The Lions knocked out Helling with 8 runs in the first two innings and went on to cruise 18-7 in game 5.   Game 6 went to Plaza 7-5, with Felix Rodriguez blowing a Pat Hentgen win for the 2nd time of the month.  Said Hentgen "Mistakes will happen, but really I do like Felix's card better than mine".   

With the season series now tied 3-3, Randy Johnson worked on 3 days rest to see if he could avoid a road sweep.  And avoid it he did.  7 shutout innings of 4 hit ball allowed Stanley to build a 6-0 lead before the bullpen gave up 2 late in the game.  The 6-2 victory came at the expense of Tom Glavine.  Glavine gave up 11 hits (10 singles, 1 double) in 4 1/3 innings to take the loss.  Stanley's A.L. Central series victories continued with the 4-3 series over the Lions. 

Box City

The Sioux returned home to face the last place, yet feisty Parcelmen.   Game 1 was a tight 6-5 affair with the Sioux winning off the Parcelmen bullpen.  Tim Crabtree won in relief, while Lou Pote picked up the loss.  Jermaine Dye was the offensive star going 4 for 4 with a HR and 2 RBI. 

Game 2 brought deja vu all over again.  Sioux win 6-5, this time in the bottom of the 9th.  Tim Crabtree wins, Lou Pote loses, Dye goes 3 for 5 but the key hit was a bases loaded single by Darrin Lewis in the 9th. 

Game 3 featured a pair of favorite pitchers in Sioux country.   John Halama versus Rick Helling.  Halama appeared nervous early on, allowing consecutive doubles to Neifi Perez and Darrin Lewis prior to a Mark McGwire 2 run HR.  At the end of the first it was 4-0 Sioux.  Rick Helling brought his good stuff to the park, allowing only 1 run on two hits over 7 innings for the win by a score of 4-2. 

Game 4 featured tough luck of the month pitcher Pat Hentgen.   Hentgen allowed 0 runs in 5 1/3 innings and left with a scant 1-0 lead.  Sioux bullpen failed (Felix Rodriguez with at least his 3rd blown save of the month) in the 8th giving up a walk, HPB, and then 3 singles with 2 outs in the top of the 8th.     Ricky Bones picked up the win in relief for the Parcelmen. 

After returning to Box City, Lou Pote vowed not to lose again this month.  Pote pitched 3 1/3 shutout relief innings to pick up the win against Sioux ace Randy Johnson by a score of 4-2.  Parcelmen led by Chad Kreuter 2 for 4 with a 2 run HR. 

Sioux bats woke up in game 6, pounding out 20 hits for a 13-4 win.   Cal Eldred was the winning pitcher, with Omar Oliveras suffering the loss.  Neifi Perez provided strong support from the 8 hole, going 5-5 with 6 RBI's (missing the cycle without the HR). 

The road bats continued strong into the last day and game of August.   Kevin Appier spotted the Parcelmen to a 5-1 lead, but Terry Mulholland couldn't hold it as Stanley erupted for 14 more runs in the series finale.  Final score 14-5.   Jermaine Dye homered in a 4 for 6, 4 RBI effort.  

Sioux finished the month with a 5-2 series win against Box City. 

Recap of the month provides hope for optimistic Sioux fans.

4-3 versus Cook County

4-3 versus Iowa

4-3 versus Plaza

5-2 versus Box City