The Grays Try to Stave Off Elimination
We’re back for Game 4 of the 1942 (Simulated) Negro League World Series, as the Homestead Grays are looking at a three-games-to-none deficit in the series. The Grays are sending Ray Brown to the mound today, and the Monarchs will be countering with Jack Matchett.
Matchett got off to a bad start in the top of the first as an errant fastball hit David Whatley in the head. Whatley was helped off the field but was seen in the dugout later in the game, so there’s hope he may return if there’s a Game 5. Jerry Benjamin forced pinch runner J.C. Hamilton at second, but Matchett walked Buck Leonard. Josh Gibson then loaded the bases, reaching on a one-base error by center fielder Willard Brown. Matchett walked home the first run of the game, issuing a free pass to Sam Bankhead. He managed to strike out Howard Easterling, but then issued another walk to Vic Harris for the second run of the inning.
The Monarchs didn’t manage even a minor threat until the bottom of the fifth. Joe Greene led off with a walk. Buck O’Neil bounced into an easy 6-4-3, but Bonnie Serrell then slammed a double down the right field line. Brown issued Jesse Williams a semi-intentional walk to bring pitcher Jack Matchett to the plate. Brown got Matchett on a line drive speared by shortstop Jesse Williams.
The Grays broke through for a couple more runs in the top of the sixth. With one out, Matt Carlisle drew a walk on a 3-2 fastball that went wide. Pitcher Ray Brown singled to right, bringing Carlisle all the way around to third. J.C. Hamilton singled up the middle, plating Carlisle with Brown stopping at second. After Jerry Benjamin hit a short fly ball for the second out, Buck Leonard loaded the bases with an infield single to deep shortstop or short left field, your choice. That brought slugger Josh Gibson to the plate with the bases loaded. Under the circumstances, Matchett probably did the wise thing, walking Gibson for the Grays’ fourth run.
The Monarchs mounted a last-minute threat in the bottom of the ninth. Newt Allen led things off with a sharp single to right-center. Ted Strong followed with a single up the middle, with Allen stopping at second. Unfortunately for the Monarchs, Willard Brown followed that with a ground ball to third base, which Howard Easterling turned into a picture-perfect 5-4-3 double play. Brown got Joe Greene on a fly ball to right to end the game, and the Grays had posted their first victory of the series.