Defense, or lack thereof, was the story last night as nine Democratic errors paved the way for a 5-2 Republican victory in the 46th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game at RFK Stadium. The GOP now leads the current best-of-five series 2-0.
The wheels came off for the Democrats in the third inning, when five errors — including three by their shortstop, Rep. Adam Smith (Wash.) — led to a four-run inning that put the Republicans up 4-1. The GOP starter, Rep. John Shimkus (Ill.), took it from there, tossing a complete game with seven innings of five-hit ball. He struck out four and walked two.
The other star for the Republicans was Rep. Zach Wamp (Tenn.), who went 2-for-3 and turned in several fine plays at shortstop.
“Solid defensive play made the difference in the game,” Wamp said. Rep. Joe Barton (Texas), the GOP manager, “substituted at will, and that speaks volumes about the depth of our team.”
Smith and Rep. William Lacy Clay (Mo.) paced the Democrats with an RBI single each. Highly touted freshman Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.