It looked like the Republicans had wrapped up a win during Thursday’s charity softball game against the Democrats in Wethersfield.
The GOP led 14-9 in the bottom of the sixth inning when Joe Zone, the WFSB sportscaster who called the game, announced that the contest was being extended to nine innings instead of the agreed upon seven — a special session, if you will.
Click here to see photos from the game.
The Republicans built an early lead and had the Democrats on the defensive for the first six innings. But the Democrats, who hold the majority in the legislature, were only able to get five more runs in the eighth and ninth to tie the game and force a 10th inning on their way to a 15-14 win.
Former Republican Party Chairman and lobbyist Chris DePino was on the mound for Republicans and got the only strikeout of the game. Lara Herscovitch pitched for the Democrats and received the Most Valuable Player award. In addition to pitching a good game, Herscovitch, the2009-2010 state troubadour, batted in the game-winning run for the Democrats.
Of course, the real winner Thursday was the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, who walked away from the game with $2,000 in donations from players and spectators.
To kick things off, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, sporting her trademark four-inch heels, threw out the first pitch along with Wethersfield Mayor Donna Hemmann, who also welcomed everyone to town. House Speaker Chris Donovan even made a brief appearance, taking the first turn at bat. He got a hit and even made it around the bases to score a run at the bottom of the first.
Attorney General George Jepsen stopped by to give the Democrats a little encouragement, joining state Sen. Gary LeBeau and his wife, Joanne, who were in the bleachers to cheer on their son, Matt LeBeau.
The Hartford Courant’s Daniela Altimari was umpiring in left field, still working with her phone in her hand, while Sue Haigh of the Associated Press umpired in right field. Ken Dixon of the Connecticut Post umpired on the first base side and had a few spirited conversations with Republican team manager Rep. Sean Williams, R-Watertown, after he called out one of the GOP runners. While it may been a questionable call, he balanced his umpiring like he does his reporting and called a Democrat out during a similar situation.
The good news is that no one got hurt. And, technically, both sides won since Republicans were ahead at what was supposed to be the end of the game and Democrats won in extra innings. Bipartisanship at its finest.