ON A RED LETTER DAY, THE BIG RED MACHINE STAGE A DRAMATIC THREE RUN RALLY IN THE FINAL INNING TO OVERTAKE THE RED BIRDS AND EARN A SWEET VICTORY AT CHRISTIE PITS
Beneath hazy and warm skies in the heart of summer, the Reds edged the Cardinals 9-8 in four innings of Mosquito Division action this evening at the Bickford Park South Diamond.
Down 8-6, the Reds staged a dramatic comeback in the bottom of the fourth to overtake the Cardinals and emerge victorious in a thrilling Battle of the Reds.
Nicholas (10) singled and Jake (13) doubled to lead off the inning to put two Reds on base. Alex (12) followed with a grace under pressure two RBI triple that brought Nicholas and Jake home and tie the proceedings 8-8.
With one out, Yona (5) delivered a clutch RBI single that allowed Alex to blaze home with the Big Red Machine’s winning run.
The game was a well contested affair between two talented and well coached teams from the get go as the exciting seesaw battle offered a cornucopia of entertainment to the dedicated bleacher fans in attendance.
In the top of the first, the Cardinals exploded out of the gates to take an early 4-0 lead. After a leadoff single by Joseph (5), Jacob (2) and Thomas (6) followed with a pair of walks to load the bases. At this point, Piper (8) stroked a RBI single that brought Joseph home with the first run of the game.With the sacks filled with Cardinals, Nigel (4) stepped up and powered a mojo jojo bases clearing three RBI triple that allowed Jacob, Thomas and Piper to motor homeward.
The Reds answered with a run in the bottom of the first to trim the deficit to three. After Gabriel (2) singled to lead off the frame, he stole a pair of bases to reach third. From that perch, Gabriel used speed and guile to steal home and score the Big Red Machine’s first run.
Subsequently, Cardinals starter Isaac (12) would strike out one to quell the Reds uprising. In addition, Isaac would help his own cause with a 1-5 double play gem. With one out and the bases loaded, Isaac induced the Cards batter to pop up to him to record the second out. Then Isaac threw to third to catch a wayfaring Cardinal off base for the third out.
The Cardinals would load the bases in the top of the second. However, Reds reliever Alex (12) would keep the Cards off the scoreboard by striking out one and inducing a pair of pop fly outs.
Trailing 4-1, the Big Red Machine surged to life in the bottom of the second as they utilized five hits to score four and take a 5-4 lead. After a leadoff triple by Gabriel, Matthew (4) delivered him home with a RBI single.
After a single by Nicholas put two Reds on the base paths, Jake delivered a RBI single that brought Matthew home. On the play, a Cardinals error would allow Nicholas to zoom home and tie the game 4-4.
With Jake at third on the error, Alex hit a RBI single that brought Jake homeward with the Reds go ahead run.
The gritty Cardinals replied with a run in the top of the third to even the proceedings at 5-5. After a one out double by Nigel, he proceeded to steal third. With the Cardinals throw to nab him sailing high and down the third baseline, Nigel motored home with the tying run.
However, Reds reliever Matthew (4) icily mowed down a pair to limit the Cardinals to a run during the inning.The frame was highlighted by a super defensive play by the Big Red Machine defense to record the first out. In a brazen bid to stretch a double into an inside the park home run, Piper was gunned down at the plate on a sizzling 7-4-5-2 putout with Reds left fielder Gabriel throwing to second baseman Yona, who in turn relayed to third baseman Nicholas, who made a laser throw to catcher Alex, who adroitly applied the tag on the sliding Piper.
In the bottom of the third, the Reds answered with a run to retake the lead 6-5. With Ibi (7) on base with a lead off walk, Gabriel delivered a RBI sacrifice hit that brought Ibi home with the go ahead run.
Cardinals reliever Nigel (4) would fan one to limit the Reds to a lone run during the inning.
With authority, the never say die Cardinals replied with three runs in the top of the fourth to take an 8-5 lead. After a leadoff walk by Jacob, Piper stroked an one out RBI single that allowed Jacob to come home and tie the game. After a pair of stolen bases to reach third, a subsequent Reds error would allow Piper to steam home and put the Cards up 7-6.
Next, Nigel walked and Isaac singled to put a pair of Red Birds on base. Sara (3) would follow with a RBI single to bring Nigel home.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Reds reliever Gabriel (2) stepped into the fire to strike out next batter to extinguish the Cardinals insurrection.
And it was at this juncture, in the bottom of the fourth, that the Reds took a collective breath and came face to face with their moment with destiny.
BONUS CARDINALS GAME SUMMARY by Steve Yacht.
Another electrifying match-up last night as the Cardinals faced the Reds at Bickford Park on a beautiful mid summer evening in Toronto.
Joseph (5) led off the first inning with a quick single, eventually developing into a bases loaded situation for Nigel (4). After going down in the count, Nigel unleashed a blast into the gaping hole at centerfield for a grand slam.
Cards starter Isaac (12) shone in the bottom of the first, with a solid pitching performance allowing only one run by the Reds.
The Cardinals were unable to capitalize on a second inning of solid hitting as Reds reliever Alex (12) kept them scoreless, making a superb infield catch to close out the inning.
The Reds came alive in the bottom of the second. After a heads up catch for the first out by Isaac, the Reds battled back with a triple followed by a pair of big hits and took the lead.
The third inning started with a bang as Piper (8) made another attempt at extra bases on a double shot. The aggressive base running that led to a game winning home run last game was met with less success this time around with a dramatic tag out at home by the Reds. Nigel followed with a run off two stolen bases to keep the Cardinals in the game.
The bottom of the third saw great fielding by the Cardinals with a cannon to first by Isaac and a great grab by Thomas (6). Cards reliever Nigel and catcher Joseph (5) picked off a runner at home to hold the Reds to one run.
The fourth inning featured Thomas again, with a sacrifice grounder to bring Jacob (2) home, and an RBI single by a Piper to tie the game. Sara (3) followed with another hit bringing her to 3 for 3 in the game and leading to a two run lead for the Cardinals. After a pitching change, the Reds managed to close out the inning.
The Reds came out swinging in the bottom of the fourth and overtook the Cardinals for a 9-8 win.
Lots of excitement and a memorable night for the fans at Bickford.