DOWN 6-4, THE PESKY HALOS STAGE A MIRACLE THREE RUN RALLY IN THE FINAL INNING TO UPEND THE GRITTY RAYS AT CHRISTIE PITS TO TAKE HOME THE CHAMPIONSHIP PRIZE
Beneath a cool blanket of tranquil late summer skies, the Angels edged the Rays 7-6 in five nail biting innings this evening at Christie Pits Diamond 2 to win the 2016 Toronto Playgrounds House League Baseball Mosquito Division Championship Game.
Trailing 6-4, the Angels refused to go quietly into the night in the bottom of the fifth as Nikhil (5) stroked a leadoff single.After Nikhil stole second, Elliot (13) delivered a clutch RBI triple that allowed Nikhil to come home and trim the margin to one.
With no outs and the potential tying run at third, Devon (7) launched a grace under pressure two run home run blast to deep right centre field to bring home the tying and winning runs.
Right from the first pitch to the final run, this proceeding was a crisp, well played and highly entertaining affair. It was simply a magical Mosquito Division championship game that was contested by two talented and well coached teams, where the players from both sides gave it their all and left everything they had to give on the field of play.
The Rays charged out of the gates in the top of the first as they staked themselves to an early 2-0 lead. Following a one single by Jordan (14), Solly (12) crunched a two run home run blast to deep centre field.
Angels starter Dante (12) would strike out one in the first to subdue the Rays rebellion.
Dante also received some nice defensive help from his friends during the inning. With one out, Halos second baseman Jonas (9) battled the glare of the setting sun to catch an eight mile high pop up of the bat of Eli (11) to ring up the second out.
With two outs and two aboard, Angels third baseman Rorden (2) snared a screaming line drive off the bat of Elliot (5) in the shoestrings of his glove to chalk up the third out.Rays starter Solly (12) would strike out two in the bottom of the first to keep the Halos off the scoring ledger.
Solly also helped out his own cause during the frame. Following a leadoff walk and advancing to second on a steal, Alex (3) of the Angels stole third. As the throw to nab him sailed high and into left field, Solly hustled over to the third baseline and took receipt of the return throw to tag out Alex as he made a bid to score and record the first out.
With 1-2-3 efficiency, Halos reliever Elliot (13) would induce a groundout and strike out two in the top of the second to keep the Rays off the scoresheet and in the Ripley’s Aquarium.
In the bottom of the first, the Angels would tally a run to trim the deficit to one. Following a one out walk and stolen base by Evan (1), Elliot would stroke a clutch RBI single to bring Evan home with the Halos first run of the game.
With aplomb, Rays reliever Jordan (14) would strike out three in the second to quell the Angels insurgency.
However, the Rays answered with a four run surge in the top of the third to extend their lead to 6-1. After Elliot (7), Benjamin (15) and Jordy garnered consecutive walks with two outs to load the bases, Solly stepped into the batter’s box and delivered a clutch 3 RBI bases clearing double to bring them home to roost.
Following a steal of third by Solly, Eli (11) delivered a RBI single to bring him homeward.
With their championship dreams on the line, the pesky Halos replied with three in the bottom of the third to keep within striking distance. Following a leadoff single and a pair of stolen bases by James (10) that moved him to third, Lucky (4) stroked a one out RBI single to plate James.
After Lucky swiped a pair of bases to reach third, Andre (11) delivered a RBI single to bring Lucky home to crow.
Following a single by Zach (14) that put two ducks on the pond, Rorden (2) hit a RBI single that allowed Andre to blaze homeward and slice the margin to 6-4.
Rays reliever Rafi (1) would induce a pop up, groundout and ring up a strike out to douse the Angels mutiny in the third frame.
The Rays would threaten in the top of the fourth as they put a two runners [Joey (5) and Rafi] on base with a pair of walks. Rising to the challenge, Halos pitcher Dante would coax a groundout and strike out two to leave the Rays stranded.
After leading off the bottom of the fourth with a single, Dante would advance to third on a wild pitch and stolen base. With resolve, Rays pitcher Solly would strike out the next three Angels to preserve the two run lead.
In the top of the fifth, the Rays would threaten as Simon (8) walked and Graeme (13) singled to put two aboard. However, Halos first baseman Dante took the bull by the horns to get his team out of the inning unscathed with a sensational triple play. With runners at second and first, Xavier (3) ripped a sizzling line drive down the first baseline. However, Dante caught the ball in his the shoestrings of his glove to ring up the first out. Noticing that both Rays baserunners had wandered afar from their respective bases, Dante stepped on first to tally the second out and made a rocket throw to shortstop Nikhil, who stepped on second to chalk up the third out.
And it was at this juncture in the proceedings where the Angels came face to face with their destiny in the bottom of the fifth.
The TP House League Baseball Committee would like to congratulate Angels co-Head Coaches Roe Sivanandan and Michael Goldsmith for their time, patience and fortitude in guiding these talented Angels players through the highs and lows of a fun and successful championship season.