Timely hitting, great fielding, terrific sportsmanship and true baseball heroism: Sunday’s double-header between the Portsmouth Rockinghams and the Lynn Live Oaks had all this and more.
In Game 1, the Rockinghams rode a steady offense and excellent defense to a 16-6 victory. The Rockinghams tallied runs in nearly every inning of the game. Rockingham hurler Shaheen Mohammadipour had Lynn’s strikers off balance most of the game, and when Lynn did hit the ball hard, it seemed the fleet-footed Rockingham outfielders were always exactly where they needed to be.
In Game 2, however, Lynn’s strikers started finding the gaps. In the first inning Lynn jumped to a lead and held it, due in no small part to the defensive efforts of shortstop George Birmbas, who despite two lamed ankles made several acrobatic plays to quash Rockingham rallies. After Portsmouth tied the score in the sixth, a determined Birmbas led off the sixth with a single and gamely stole second. But Lynn’s hopes sunk moments later when Birmbas, trying to advance on an out to left field, broke his wrist sliding into third.
Leaving the field for the hospital, Birmbas exhorted his Lynn teammates to “win this thing,” and in the eighth frame the Lynn bats went to work, tallying six runs and holding Portsmouth to just one. Lynn tallied six more in the ninth, then held back a six-run Portsmouth rally in the bottom of the inning for the 21-16 win.
Lynn dedicated the long-awaited win to Birmbas. A hearty HUZZAH to George, and to all the Lynn and Portsmouth players for a great afternoon of base ball.