Hey Dude

Season 3 Episode 7

Dueling Ranches

0
Aired Weekdays 2:00 PM May 18, 1990 on Nickelodeon

Episode Recap

Mr. E has no luck getting tickets for this Saturday's big Wildcats-Tornado baseball game. And when he steps out of his office, the recreating kids launch a baseball through the window that destroys his radio. Unless it gets fixed, he won't even be able to listen to the game.

But Mr. Ernst soon finds out he has bigger problems. Lucy informs him that Lake Benjamin is drying up. It turns out the Snake Eyes Dude Ranch, are damming up Credence Creek so they can build a monster truck bog. Mr. Ernst, not realizing exactly whom he's dealing with, calls up Mr. Vleck, the owner of the Snake Eyes Ranch. Vleck tells Ernst that he's coming right over to whale on him.

Vleck and his two sons, Karl and Lonnie, tear into the ranch in their old, battered pickup truck. Mr. Ernst warmly greets them, but an irate Mr. Vleck will have none of it. While Vleck berates Mr. Ernst, a baseball appears from the sky and clangs on the hood of Vleck's truck. Vleck is really steamed now, especially when the Bar None staffers come looking for their baseball.

The grouchy Mr. Vleck arrogantly challenges the Bar None staff to a game. If the Snake Eyes win, Mr. Ernst pays to repair the Vleck's truck. If the Bar None wins, Vleck agrees to remove the dam from the creek. Mr. Ernst tepidly agrees, and the Vleck's drive off.

Mr. Ernst quickly assembles his staff to fine tune their baseball skills. The team gathers in a large corral that has been quickly converted to an all-dirt baseball field. To inspire confidence into his team, Mr. Ernst highlights great moments in Mets history, interspersed with his own glory days on the accountant college baseball team.

Several booted groundballs later, it's obvious that Mr. Ernst is no baseball player. In fact, he only played one game for the Digitheads, and he choked at bat in the bottom of the ninth. Knowing this game's a loser, the kids make up excuses and scatter.

Mr. Ernst wallows in his exposed ineptitude with his son, who is quietly supportive. Then Lucy charges up bareback with news that the Snake Eyes has enlisted a ringer: Bobby Bulp, Vleck's brother-in-law. Instead of panicking in his usual fashion, Mr. Ernst instead decides to "play hardball."

He gathers his team together again and tells them not to worry about Bulp. He points out that the Bar None Brawlers have jerseys, and they don't. The kids aren't impressed. Then Mr. Ernst lets out the big news. They have their own pro, Frankie "Flash" McGuire! The kids excitedly meet their newest teammate. Mr. Ernst warns them not to touch his trick shoulder, as it may easily pop out of joint. Flash starts working the eager kids on the fundamentals. Mr. E takes a seat and "manages".

Finally, it's the day of the big game. The sun is shining, the bleachers are sort of full, and the swaggering visitors from the Snake Eyes have arrived.. wearing double-knit black and white baseball uniforms.

Mr. Ernst grabs the PA mike and starts singing a flat, crackling version of our national anthem. He makes it to "broad stripes and bright stars" before Bobby Bulp yanks apart the microphone cable. Vleck gets in Mr. Ernst's face and tells him how much he hates baseball. But he finds it satisfyingly ironic that Mr. Ernst loves a game he's so bad at.

Finally, it comes down to the bottom of the ninth, and the score is tied. Melody singles her way onto base. Mr. Ernst is ecstatic, especially since Flash is coming up next! But in his excitement, he bumps Flash's bum shoulder. Flash howls in pain and it looks like he's out for the game. Mr. E has no substitute, so he must come to bat himself.

Vic Vleck takes the mound for the Snake Eyes, sneering and relishing the thought of putting away his rival. Mr. Ernst is battling more than Vic Vleck...he's reliving the horrible college choke. The team chants "Ernst! Ernst! Ernst!" as he watches strike one sail across the plate. Vleck delivers again, but Ernst is frozen. "Strike Two!" calls the ump. He brings it to the plate...Ernst swings...and connects! And its gone. Mr. Ernst takes his tour around the bases and dives headfirst into home for the victory. Vleck, true to his word, pledges to give back the creek, but not before trying to cut Ernst in on the monster truck bog deal. Naturally, Mr. Ernst refuses.

The kids find they had no time to repair or replace the busted radio, and Mr. Ernst is looking to listen to the big game between the Tornadoes and Wildcats. So the kids set the radio on the porch. When Mr. Ernst switches the radio on, Jake provides the play-by-play, fed by Buddy who's on the phone with someone. But the kids start flubbing the commentary, and Mr. Ernst figures out the scam. He chuckles to himself.
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