Democrats defeated Republicans 15-10 on Wednesday night at Nationals Park in the 48th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game, lifting the newspaper’s coveted trophy for first time since 2000.
Republican pitcher Rep. John Shimkus (Ill.) gave the Democrats an early lead, allowing 6 runs in the second inning. The GOP hurler started off the inning by walking Reps. Brian Baird (Wash.) and Christopher Murphy (Conn.), who both scored on a double by Rep. Tim Bishop (N.Y.).
Shimkus had thrown more than 50 pitches by the end of the second inning.
The GOP battled back in the top of the third inning, tying it up at 6. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.) led off the inning with a base hit, followed by a walk to Rep. Sam Graves (Mo.) and a long hit to the outfield by the GOP second baseman, Rep. Kevin Brady (Texas). Rep. Gresham Barrett (S.C.) hit a three-run triple to the gap in left before later scoring what was then the tying run.
With the game tied at 6, Republican manager Rep. Joe Barton (Texas) replaced Shimkus on the mound with Rep. Adam Putnam (Fla.) in the bottom of the third.
That’s when all hell broke loose for the Republicans.
The Sunshine State lawmaker proceeded to give up five walks, two base hits, a wild pitch, nine runs and, ultimately, the Democrats’ first win in nearly a decade. Graves ended the inning with a dazzling catch in center field after Shimkus had returned to the mound to relieve his reliever.
Republicans mounted a valiant comeback attempt in the seventh and final inning, but scored only 3 runs before freshman Rep. Duncan Hunter (Calif.) ended the game looking at a called third strike.
With a win on Wednesday night, Democrats take the first game of a five-game series.
Democratic first baseman Bart Stupak (Mich.) turned in the defensive play of the game, catching a foul pop as he tumbled over the dugout railing in the fourth inning.