DOWN 5-4, THE DEVILISH RAYS RALLY FOR FOUR RUNS IN THE THIRD INNING AND TURN BACK THE GO GO LIZZIES FOR THE VICTORY AT BICKFORD PARK
Under a cheese soufflé layer of warm and humid skies, the Rays defeated the Lizzies 8-5 in 3 ½ electrifying innings of Mosquito Division action this evening at the Bickford Park diamond.
Trailing 5-4, the Rays rallied for four runs in the bottom half of the third to take an 8-5 lead.
After Joey (4) drew a lead off walk and stole second, Maya (10) followed with another walk to put two ducks on the pond. Following Joey’s advancement to third on a passed ball, the devilish Rays executed a delayed double steal whereby Maya took second and Joey blazed home with the tying run.
With one out, Xavier (3) and Jordy (14) drew back to back walks to load the bases. Solly (12) followed with a clutch 2 RBI single that allowed Maya and Xavier to come home to roost and propel the Rays into a 7-5 lead.
Standing on third, Jordy would brazenly steal home with an insurance run to give the Rays a three run cushion.
In the top of the fourth, Cassius (5) of the Lizzies led off the frame with a screaming line drive shot down the first baseline. However, Rays first baseman Benji (15) made a Gold Glove leaping catch to snag the sizzling ball in the shoestrings of his glove to rob Cassius of a hit and chalk up the first out.
Rays closer Solly (14) would strike out two to seal the deal on a hard fought victory over a tough opponent.
With resolve, the Lizzies charged out of the dugout in the top of the first and took an early 3-0 lead. After Kaijo (2) led off the frame with a single and Jeremy (3) drew a walk to put two aboard, Cassius stroked an one out RBI single to bring Kaijo home with the Lizzies first run of the season.
Owen (15) followed with a RBI sacrifice hit that allowed Jeremy to blaze homeward with the second run. With two outs, Finn (6) slashed a clutch RBI single that delivered Cassius home to the dish.
Shaken, but not stirred, Rays starter Eli (11) would strike out one in the first inning to quell the Lizzies insurgency.
Lizzies starter Finn (6) would strike out two in the bottom of the first to keep the Rays off the scoreboard.
With aplomb, Rays reliever Jordy (14) would strike out two in the top of the second to keep the Lizzies off the scoring abacus.
Seizing upon a pair of defensive gaffes by the Lizzies, the Rays would strike back with vengeance in the bottom of the second to score four and take a 4-3 lead. After drawing a one out walk, Benji would steal second. However, the Lizzies committed an error on the steal play and that allowed Benji to motor homeward with the Rays first run of the season.
After Elliot (7) followed with a hard hit single, he would eventually come home to roost in grand theft fashion by stealing three bases and allow the Rays to trim the deficit to one.
With two outs, Asha (2) and Simon (8) would deliver back to back singles to put two mallards on the lake. With Asha standing at third, Simon would steal second. At this juncture, the Lizzies D committed a faux pas that allowed Asha to blaze home with the tying run and Simon to speed homeward with the go ahead score.
Despite it all, Lizzies starter Finn gamely struck out a pair of Rays in the second inning.
However, the gritty Lizzies answered back with two in the top of the third to retake the lead 5-4. After an Arman (1) walk and Kaijo single put two aboard, Ian (12) powered a clutch two out 2 RBI triple that allowed Arman to scoot home with the tying score and Kaijo to motor in with the go ahead run.
Rocked, but not bashed, Rays reliever Elliot (5) would strike out three in the third to extinguish the Lizzies uprising.
And it was at this juncture in the proceedings where Joey and his teammates came face to face with destiny as he stepped gingerly into the batter’s box in the bottom of the third to commence the Rays comeback rally.
[Additional photos to follow…eventually.]