Walter Fauntroy doesn't make a difference in much that Congress does. But when the legislators recess to the baseball field, anything can happen.
Last night, Fauntroy, the District of Columbia's nonvoting representative in Congress, reached base on an error, stole second and third and scored the winning run as the catcher's throw sailed into left field in the sixth inning. And the Democrats defeated the Republicans, 7-5, in the 21st Congressional baseball game, played before 1,169 at Four Mile Run Park.
Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn was among those in attendance.
The Republicans won last year's game, 6-4, and still lead the series, 15-6.
Ron Mottl (D-Ohio), who was recently defeated in the primary in his home state, pitched for the eighth straight year. He allowed seven hits and did not walk a batter, striking out one. Mottl was named the game's most valuable player.
The Republicans held a 4-2 lead after three innings. Sacrifice flies in the third by Jack Fields (R-Tex.) and Ron Paul (R-Tex.) made it 3-2. Back-to-back doubles by Dan Crane (R-Ill.) and Mike Oxley (R-Ohio) produced the fourth run.
The Democrats tied it in the fourth. Thomas Downey (D-N.Y.) tripled to right-center and scored on a single by David Bonior (D-Mich.). Bonior stole second and went to third on a throwing error by catcher Lyle Williams (R-Ohio). Mottl's single made it 4-4.
An RBI single by Martin Sabo (D-Minn.) gave the Democrats a 5-4 lead in the fifth and Carl Purcell (R-Mich.) tied it for the Republicans with a run-scoring single in the sixth.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Fauntroy grounded to short but Oxley could not field the ball. Fauntroy easily stole second and third (there were 18 stolen bases in the game) and beat Crane's throw from left field after Williams overthrew third. An RBI single by Mike Synar (D-Okla.) closed out the scoring.
Earlier, the Alexandria Dukes led Salem, 9-2, after six innings when the game was suspended so the Congressional game could be played. Ken Ford hit two home runs for the Dukes, one a grand slam in a seven-run second inning. The game will be resumed tonight at 6:30 before the regularly scheduled 7:30 game.