DOWN 8-7, TORONTO PLAYGROUNDS RALLY IN THE FINAL INNING TO DEADLOCK THE CARDINALS AT CHRISTIE PITS
Beneath a ceiling of warm and pristine midsummer skies, our Toronto Playgrounds Rookie Ball Selects played to an 8-8 draw against the Royal York Cardinals in seven thrilling innings of Etobicoke Baseball Association (EBA) Select action this evening at Christie Pits Diamond 3.
Trailing 8-7, TP would rally with a run in the bottom of the seventh to deadlock the game. After Eitan (7) singled to lead off the inning, Markus (29) hit into a fielder’s choice that erased Eitan at second. With one out, Charlie (6) put the ball into play on the left side of the diamond. As Markus hustled into second, a hurried Royal York throw to nab him sailed high and the ball made a lengthy trek into right field. The resulting Cardinal error allowed Markus to come homeward and score the tying run and Charlie to make the trek to third.
With the game winning run standing only sixty-five feet away at third, the Royal York defense rose to the occasion and recorded the final two outs [line out to third and a 6-3 groundout] to turn TP away and bring the curtain down on the nail biting affair.
The proceeding was an electrifying battle between two talented and well coached teams from the first pitch to the final out. A previous June matchup between these same two squads ended in a 10-10 tie. After the dust had finally settled on the basepaths, this rematch was no different.
TP turned a Royal York challenge away in the top of the first to keep them off the scoring ledger. Shortstop Liam (17) set the tone for the game by making three stellar defensive plays [6-4; 6-3; 6-3] during the inning to stymie the Cardinals.
In the bottom of the first, TP would stake themselves to an early 2-0 lead. Liam would belt a dramatic lead off home run to deep dish pizza nether regions of centre field to open the inning.
Following a one out single by Emmett (8), Jordan (1) would deliver a clutch two out RBI single to bring Emmett home.
More stellar TP defensive play would turn the Cardinals away again empty handed in the top of the second. TP shortstop Liam would have a hand in the first two outs [6-3 and 6-4] of the frame. Third baseman Jordan would make a nice catch on a mile high pop up to ring up the third out.
TP would tack on a run in the bottom of the second to widen their lead to 3-0. Following respective singles by Thomas (10) and Rennick (4) to lead off the inning, Duncan (14) would stroke a RBi single to plate Thomas.
In the top of the third, the Royal York offense surged to life as they scored a pair to trim the deficit to one. After a lead off triple by Ariel (28), Edward (15) would launch a two RBI home run blast to deep centre field.
However, TP would answer back with a pair in the bottom of the third to widen their advantage to 5-2. After Emmett reached base on a fielder’s choice, Sam (2) delivered a grace under pressure two out RBI double that allowed Emmett to come home and rock ‘n’ roll.
Jordan followed with a RBI single that allowed Sam to come home and do the watusi.
The pesky Cardinals would reply with three in the top of the fourth to even the match 5-5. Following a lead off double by Kaine (12), Chris (19) would single that put two runners on board. Noah (20) followed with a RBI single that brought Kaine home to chirp.
Eammon (10) and Marco (3) followed with respective RBI singles that allowed Chris and Noah to come homeward bound.
With 1-2-3 efficiency, the Royal York defense would turn TP away empty handed in the bottom of the fourth.
In the top of the fifth, the Cardinals would score one to take a 6-5 lead. With a runner on second, Dylan (24) delivered a two out RBI single that allowed Aaron (2) to come home with the go ahead run.
TP would turn in the defensive play of the game in the fifth frame. Following a lead off double by Edward, Dante (21) slashed the ball to right centre. TP Rover Charlie would scoop up the ball and make a rocket throw to first baseman Sam to erase Dante and ring up the first out. After taking third, a hard charging Edward made a brazen bid to come home. However, Sam pivoted and made a lightning throw to catcher Thomas, who adroitly tagged Edward out to complete a stellar R-3-2 double play.
With grit and determination, Toronto Playgrounds would counterpunch with a pair in the bottom of the fifth to retake the lead 7-6. After Eitan and Markus singled to lead off the frame and put two ducks on the pond, Charlie stroked a RBI single to bring Eitan home with the tying run.
Subsequently, with one out and the bases loaded, Emmett would hit into a fielder’s choice that allowed Charlie to come with the go ahead run.
In the top of the sixth, Royal York would reply with two to retake the lead 8-7. With one aboard at second, Noah would stroke a one out RBI single to bring Chris home with the tying run.
Eammon would follow with a single. On the play, TP would commit an error that allowed Eammon to move up to second and Noah to shimmy home with the go ahead run.
Some great defensive play by the Cardinals in the bottom of the sixth would turn TP away empty handed.
The TP defense would reply in kind in the top half of the seventh as they kept the Red Birds off the scoreboard and in the nest. On the first out, shortstop Liam snagged a screaming line drive off the bat of Edward to rob him of a sure hit.
TP third baseman Jordan made a nifty catch on an eight mile high pop up off the bat of Dylan to chalk up the third out.
And it was at this juncture in the proceedings where TP came face to face with its moment with destiny in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The TP Rookie Ball Selects [6-0-2] will play their next EBA Select circuit game next Wednesday (July 26) when they host the Annette A’s at Christie Pits Diamond 3 at 6:30 p.m.