ON A DOG DAY EVENING, THE ARTFUL DODGERS ULTIMATELY CAGE THE RED BIRDS IN A CLOSE GAME AT BICKFORD PARK
Game Post composed with file from Ron Lopata
Playing beneath unrelenting heat and humidity this evening at Bickford Park, the Dodgers defeated the Cardinals 7-4 in an exciting 3 ½ inning Mosquito Division showdown.
In an entertaining and close affair between two quality teams, the artful Dodgers used a combination of strong pitching and an opportunistic offense to ultimately prevail over the powerhouse Cardinals.
The Cardinals jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. After Charles (8) led off the inning with a walk, Jake (2) drove him home with a sacrifice hit.
However, Dodgers starter Jacob (7) extricated himself from any further damage when his defense turned a picture perfect double play (unassisted all star play by Jian (4)) and also caught an errant Cardinals base runner attempting to steal.
In the bottom of the first, the Dodgers answered back and took a 2-1 lead. With the bases loaded on three consecutive walks to lead off the inning, Oliver (12) drew a RBI walk to bring home Jian (4) to tie the game. Jacob followed with a RBI sacrifice hit to score Kaden (13) and put the Dodgers in front.
Southpaw Dodgers starter Jacob struck out two Cardinals in the top of the second to keep them off the scoreboard.
With two outs, the Dodgers added another run in the bottom of the second to widen their lead to 3-1. Jian drew a bases loaded walk to bring home Oliver.
However, Cardinals reliever Zenon (10) struck out three to diffuse the artful Dodgers attack.
The Cardinals scored a run in the top of the third to trim the deficit to one. After Jake drew a lead off walk and stole a pair of bases, he daringly stole home to score the Cards second run.
Dodgers lefty reliever Jian (4) proceeded to strike out the next three Cardinals to close out the inning and preserve his team’s slender 3-2 lead.
Putting the pedal to the metal, the Dodgers scored four runs in the bottom of the third to stretch their lead to 7-2.
After Gen (10), Oliver and James (13) [an emergency roster call up from the Leopards in our Rookie Ball Division] drew respective walks to load the bases, Jian blasted a three RBI triple to the deep dish pizza regions of the outfield to bring them all homeward bound. After Kaden drew a walk, Jian stole home on a double steal to close out the scoring in the inning.
Down by five, the Cardinals refused to surrender and gamely scored two to trim the margin to 7-4. Charles led off the inning with a single and proceeded to steal a pair of bases. On his steal of third, the throw from the Dodgers catcher sailed high and allowed Charles to motor home with the Cardinals third run.
After Zenon (10) drew a walk, Jake powered a RBI triple to the nether regions of the diamond to bring home Zenon.
Shaken, but not stirred, Dodgers reliever Jian found his rhythm and proceeded to strike out the next three Cardinals to seal the deal and the hard fought victory.