Base-running Blunder Gives Republicans 5-3 Victory

Posted July 11, 2003 at 11:10am

Republicans held off the looming rain and a late rally by their Democratic opponents to win 5-3 in the 42nd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.

Democrats had a real chance to overcome a four-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning, but with the bases loaded Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) was picked off second base by Rep. John Shimkus (Ill.), the GOP pitcher and most valuable player.

“He’s a very aggressive base runner,” Shimkus said of Brown. “His coach went out there to calm him down and even a calmed-down Sherrod Brown is an aggressive base runner.”

After claiming their eighth coveted Roll Call trophy in 2002, Republicans took a 1-0 lead in the new five-game series with their win.

Shimkus, making his second straight start, limited the Democrats to just four hits over his seven innings of work but was plagued by an inconsistent defense, which posted five errors.

The miscues — three of which came in the Democrats’ final inning at bat — allowed the party to bring the winning run to the plate. But Brown’s base-running miscue took the wind out of the Democrats’ sails.

As always, the real winners in the game were local charities. The proceeds from the event, estimated at $95,000 at press time, went to the Washington Literacy Council and Metropolitan Police Boys and Girls Club, and other local charities selected by the game’s host, the Bowie Baysox.