By Steve Bloom

The slugging stoners - HIGH TIMES' Bonghitters - scored 11 runs in the first 2 innings en route to a 17-12 victory over the DC Comics Bullets in a Central Park media-softball match yesterday. Before the game, the teams' respective coaches swapped magazines: the August issue of HIGH TIMES with a Penthouse model on the cover and the July issue of Mad with Alfred E. Newman being flattened by a car.

The non- umpired game appeared to be a rout when the Bonghitters - mimicking the Mets - stormed to a 6-0 1st- inning lead, with 5 consecutive hits to start the game. They tagged on another 5 runs in the 2nd, mostly on singles. The big lead and the hot, sandy conditions resulted in the Bonghitters faltering and allowing DC to climb back into the game, scoring 12 runs in the last 3 innings. DC batted around in the 5th, sending 13 hitters to the plate and tallying 8 runs - the biggest inning against the Bonghitters all season.

With another game ready to start a 7 pm, the contest had to be called after 6 innings. Who knows what would've happened had the game gone the usual 7 innings, DC having grabbed the momentum. An umpire would've sped up the game, but DC - the home team - chose not to hire one. When told that the HIGH TIMES umpire was available, DC's coach Joel Press commented, "We don't like your umpire."

The Bonghitters are 7-2-2 lifetime vs. the Bullets, going back to 1994. They've won the last 6 games in a row. DC will get another chance to break that streak when the teams meet for a rematch on HIGH TIMES' home field on August 3.

The Bonghitters are 6-0 in the 2006 media-softball season. Their next game is on June 29 vs. Wall Street Journal.

See Blooming Ideas for shots of the Bonghitters in action