IN AN EPIC TOOTH AND NAIL BATTLE, THE WOLVES PREVAIL OVER THE BUCKEYES IN THE SECOND EXTRA INNING TO TAKE HOME THE PRIZE AT DOMINICO FIELD AT CHRISTIE PITS
Beneath a genteel blanket of a warm mid September night, the Wolves edged the Buckeyes 6-5 in a thrilling seven inning battle this evening at Dominico Field at Christie Pits to win the 2018 Toronto Playgrounds House League Baseball Bantam Division Championship Game.
The tooth and nail proceeding was an epic clash that saw a dramatic comeback in the final frame and necessitated two extra innings to resolve.
Down 3-2 and with their season on the line, the Wolves refused to surrender as they donned their rally caps in the bottom half of the fifth to tie the proceedings. After reaching base on a hit by pitch, Jamie (10) quickly stole second base to position himself into scoring position. With one out, Jack (3) stroked a RBI single that allowed Jamie to motor home with the tying run.
Subsequently, with two outs and baserunners at third and second, Buckeyes reliever Liam (6) ended the threat as he induced a groundout to vanquish the Wolves insurgency.
In the top of the sixth, the Buckeyes loaded the bases courtesy of a leadoff walk by Petra (2), a single by Liam and a walk by Josh (1). With two outs, Nick (5) delivered a clutch two RBI single to bring Petra and Liam home and give the Buckeyes a 5-3 lead.
Shaken, but not stirred, Wolves pitcher Daniel (8) found the mojo as he struck out three in the sixth to snuff out the Buckeyes rebellion.
With their backs against the wall, the Wolves fought back in the bottom of the sixth. After reaching base via a hit by pitch to lead off the inning, Thomas (9) stole second base. Maggie (1) followed with a single that moved Thomas to third. As the Buckeyes uncorked a wild pitch to the backstop, Thomas bolted homeward. However, Buckeyes catcher Josh retrieved the ball and made a lightning throw to reliever Will (12), who tagged out a sliding Thomas to thwart his brazen bid to score.
Subsequently, with two outs and runners at third and second, the Buckeyes uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Albie (4) [who reached base on a two out walk] to move over to third and Maggie to blaze homeward with a run and trim the gap to 5-4.
At this juncture, the Buckeyes were called for a balk that allowed Albie to shimmy home with the tying run.
Nonplussed, Buckeyes reliever Will would strike out a pair in the sixth to extinguish the Wolves insurrection.
Wolves reliever Jamie (10) would retire the Buckeyes in 1-2-3 fashion in the top of the seventh to keep them off the scoring ledger. Along with a strikeout, Jamie also got a sweet 6-3 double play from his defence to bring the curtain down on the inning.
After garnering a leadoff walk in the bottom of the seventh, Jona (6) proceeded to swipe his way around the horn to third base. Jack stepped up to the plate and delivered a RBI single to bring Jona home with the Wolves championship winning run.
The nail biting championship game was a riveting and well played contest from start to finish between two talented and well coached teams.
The Buckeyes threatened in the top of the first when Liam and Jack (15) led off the frame with back to back walks. However, the Wolves stymied the Buckeyes offence with a pair of sweet defensive plays tokeep them off the scoreboard. After stealing second, Liam made a brazen bid to swipe third. However, Wolves catcher Jona made a bullet throw to his third baseman to erase Jona on a 2-5 putout and tally the first out.
Subsequently, with two outs and a baserunner at second, Nick (5) stroked a single to centre field. As Jack rounded third and charged homeward, Wolves centre fielder Matthew (12) retrieved the ball and made a quick throw to cut off man (and starting pitcher) Daniel. With Jack about to reach home plate, Daniel pivoted and made a lightning toss to catcher Jona, who applied the tag on a sliding Jack to thwart his bid to come home on a well executed 8-1-2 gem.
In the bottom of the first, Buckeyes starter Josh tallied a groundout, strikeout and pop out to keep the Wolves off the scoring ledger and in the woods.
The Buckeyes would take an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second. After Thomas (16), Diogo (10) and Emilia (7) drew consecutive one out walks to load the bases, Teddy (14) followed with a RBI walk to bring Thomas home with the opening run of the game.
Wolves reliever Rory (5) would chalk up a groundout and a pair of strikeouts in the second frame to end the Buckeyes threat.
Buckeyes reliever Nick rang up three K’s in the bottom of the second to keep the Wolves off the scoresheet and in the den.
The Buckeyes would add a pair in the top of the third to widen their lead to 3-0. Exercising patience at the dish, Georgia (13), Raffi (9) and Petra drew consecutive walks to lead off the inning and load the bases. Jeremy (4) followed with a RBI walk to plate Georgia.
With no outs and the bases juiced to the gills, a balk call on the Wolves forced Petra and Jeremy to move up a base and brought Raffi home with a run.
Wolves reliever Jamie would eventually find the groove to extricate himself from the bases loaded jam in the third via a pair of strikeouts and a groundout that terminated the Buckeyes threat.
The Wolves offence surged to life in the bottom half of the third as they scored a pair to trim the margin to 3-2. Following a two out walk and stolen base by Jona, Jack stroked clutch RBI single to bring Jona home with the Wolves first run.
After taking second base on a wild pitch, Jack made a brazen bid to steal third. As the throw to nab him sailed away and down the third baseline, Jack bolted homeward to score a run.
Buckeyes reliever Nick tallied two strikeouts and a groundout in the third to curtail the Wolves rebellion.
In the top portion of the fourth, Wolves reliever Jona rang up a groundout and a pair of strikeouts to keep the Buckeyes off the scoreboard and in the garden,
Buckeyes reliever Liam chalked up three strikeouts in the bottom of the fourth to keep the Wolves off the scoring abacus and in the animal shelter.
The Buckeyes threatened in the top of the fifth when they placed baserunners at third and second. However, Wolves reliever Jona rang up a groundout and two strikeouts to keep the Buckeyes off the scoresheet and in the valley.
And it was at this juncture in the proceedings where the Wolves came up to bat in the bottom of the fifth and came face to face with their moment with destiny.