PLUNDERING BUCCANEERS STAGE MIRACULOUS RALLY FROM A 9-0 DEFICIT TO EARN A TIE WITH CUBBIES
“It ain’t over till it’s over.” – Yogi Berra
Beneath a sheath of thick humidity and unrelenting sun on the high seas of the Bickford Park South Diamond this evening, the Pirates stormed back from a 9-0 deficit in the final inning to tie the Cubs 9-9 in four innings of Mosquito Division play.
The Bucs capitalized on practically all of the offensive opportunities that were made available to them in the botttom of the fourth. The Pirates miracle comeback to earn a draw was predicated on taking advantage of a depleted and tired Cubs bullpen, where position players were pressed into service to fill the vacuum. As a result, the plundering Pirates seized the gold doubloons of good fortune and sent fifteen batters to the plate, resulting in nine walks, two singles, a fielder’s choice, and a hit batsman.
Trailing 9-8 and with two outs, Ellen (9) of the Pirates exercised great discipline at the plate to earn a bases loaded walk that allowed Adam (15) to trot home with the tying run.
With the bases still juiced, Cubs closer Ethan (13) struck out the next Pirates batter to record the final out and preserve the tie.
For the vast majority of the game, the Cubs had dominated both offensively and defensively. In the top of the first, the Cubbies jumped out of the gates by scoring four runs to take an early lead. After Adam (2) had led off the inning with a walk, Max (7) hit a two run home run to right field. With nobody out, Jake (14) was hit by a pitch and Cole (6) drew a walk. Jack (9) immediately followed with a two run triple to close out the scoring.
In workmanlike fashion, Cubs starting pitcher Max (7) kept the Pirates off the scoresheet in the bottom of the first by striking out three.
The Cubs scored another run in the top of the second to widen their lead to 5-0. With no outs and base runners on third and first, Number 15 of the Cubs came home on a double steal. However, Pirates reliever Adam (15) cooled down the high octane Cubs offensive machine by striking out the next three Cubbies.
Cubs reliever Jack (9) mowed down the Bucs in 1-2-3 fashion in the bottom of the second on three consecutive strikeouts to keep the Pirates off the scoreboard.
Max (7) of the Cubs led off the top of the third with his second homer of the game on a mammoth solo home run shot to the DEEP DISH PIZZA portion of centre field to increase the lead to 6-0. Afterwards, Pirates reliever Aaron (5) proceeded to icily strike out the next three Cubs batters to close out the inning.
In a deja vu pattern, the Cubs kept the Pirates off the scoring ledger again in the bottom of the third.
Some sloppy defensive miscues by the Buccaneers in the top of the fourth allowed the Cubs to score three insurance runs to increase their margin to 9-0. Iliana (12), Jaleelah (5) and Ethan (13) came homeward bound on a series of Pirate errors.
With their backs against the wall, the never say die Pirates regrouped in the bottom of the fourth and began to rally in tenacious Jolly Roger fashion as they sent six batters (five walks and a hit batsman) to the dish to score three runs before the Cubs were able to record an out.
Trailing 9-3 and with the bases loaded, Lucas (14) delivered a CLUTCH two run single that allowed Piper (2) and Nigel (6) to come home and cut the deficit to four. Daniel (3) immediately followed with a clutch single that brought Ellen (9) home. Lucas scored on a Cubbies error to trim the gap to 9-7.
After Molly (10) drew a walk, Adam hit into a fielder’s choice to allow Daniel to score and cut the deficit to one. With two outs and a baserunner on, the Pirates reloaded the bases on two walks. With the game on the line, it was at this juncture in the proceedings where Ellen stared destiny in the face in the batter’s box at the Bickford South diamond.
EXTRA INNINGS: Kudos to Max (7) of the Cubs for hitting two home runs against the Pirates while delivering three runs batted in (3 AB; 2 H; 2 R; 3 RBI; 2 HR); Kudos to Jack (9) of the Cubs for pitching two scoreless innings against the Bucs while striking out four (2 IP; 0 ER; 0 H; 1 W; 5 K). Jack also hit a two run triple; Kudos to a pair of Pirates pitchers who worked doggedly to keep their team in the game. Both Adam (15) [1 IP; 1 ER; 0 H; 2 W; 3 K] and Aaron (5) [1 IP; 1 ER; 1 H; 0 W; 3 K] threw one run innings against the potent Cubs offensive machine while respectively striking out three each; Kudos to Lucas (14) of the Pirates for his clutch two run single to keep the Bucs rally afloat; Kudos to leadoff batter Ellen (9) of the Pirates for cooly earning three walks in four trips to the plate. Ellen scored once while delivering two RBI’s; and a special kudos to Harrison (7) who bravely took one for the team in the bottom of the fourth when he was hit by a pitch while at bat during the genesis of the Pirates comeback and was removed from the game for precautionary purposes. Medical officials with Bucs report that he was shaken but not stirred, and is on the road to a full recovery.