TORONTO PLAYGROUNDS PREVAIL OVER THE CARDINALS IN A TOOTH AND NAIL TBA MOSQUITO REP BATTLE AT CHRISTIE PITS
Beneath a luscious blanket of late summer skies, the Toronto Playgrounds 10U Reps defeated the Etobicoke Cardinals 9-7 in a cracker jack 5 ½ inning Toronto Baseball Association (TBA) Mosquito Rep game this afternoon at Christie Pits Diamond 3.
The proceeding was a highly entertaining and well played affair between two talented and well coached teams. In the end, a gritty TP squad took the bull by the horns in the latter innings to eke out a hard fought victory over the pesky Cardinals.
In the top portion of the first, Etobicoke jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. After a leadoff walk by Jaime (24), Hudson (23) garnered a walk that put two aboard. Following a one out walk by James (99) that loaded the bases, Jake (54) stroked a two RBI single to right field that brought Jaime and Hudson home with the opening runs of the game.
Shaken, but not stirred, TP starter Max (1) tallied a groundout and strikeout in the first inning to subdue the Red Birds rebellion. Max was also helped out by a sweet defensive play from his friends when TP right fielder Farouk (77) made a rocket throw to TP second baseman Jack (11), who tagged out Jake, (who was trying to stretch his big single into a double) in a pretty 9-4 play for the second out.
Toronto Playgrounds answered back quickly with a pair in the bottom of the second to tie the game 2-2. Following a leadoff single by Michael (31), Jack drew a walk that put two ducks on the pond. With runners at third and second, Caz (7) delivered a grace under pressure two out two RBI hit that allowed Michael and Jack to motor home with the tying runs.
Etobicoke starter Luke (1) racked up a flyout, strikeout and a lineout in the first to quell the TP insurgency.
Taking flight, the Cardinals struck back with four in the top of the second to take a 6-2 advantage. Following a two out double by Luke, Colin (34) connected for a clutch RBI single that brought Luke home with the go ahead run.
After a walk by Gianluca (27) put a pair of Red Birds on base, Jaime stroked a RBI double that advanced Gianluca to third and allowed Colin to come homeward with a run.
With runners at third and second, Hudson delivered a bases clearing two RBI double that delivered Gianluca and Jaime home.
In a nitty gritty effort on the hill, TP starter Max recorded a pop out and groundout in the second inning.
Answering the clarion call, TP replied with two in the bottom half of the second to trim the shortfall to 6-4. After a one out walk by Max, Henry (21) connected for single that put two aboard. However, an Etobicoke error on the play allowed Henry to move over to second and brought Max home with a run.
With a swan on the lake, Ciaran (2) delivered a RBI single that allowed Henry to come home to roost.
Unfazed, Cardinals starter Luke rang up a pair of strikeouts in the second frame to snuff out the TP rebellion. Luke also received a big play from his D for the second out when Red Birds catcher Thomas (22) made a lightning throw to shortstop Justin (25) to erase Ciaran’s attempt to steal second.
Etobicoke added another run to its ledger in the top of the third to stretch their lead to 7-4. Following a leadoff single and stolen base by Justin, Jake connected for a RBI single that allowed Justin to fly homeward with a run.
Nonplussed, TP reliever Henry (21) tallied a strikeout and a groundout in the third frame to subdue the Cardinals mutiny. Henry also was the beneficiary of a nice defensive gem from TP catcher Nico (38). Nico made a rocket throw to second baseman Farouk. who tagged out Jake to thwart his Grand Theft attempt on a 2-4 putout.
With the wind in their sails, TP exploded for three runs in the bottom of the third to deadlock the affair at 7-7. Following a leadoff double by Jack, Nico brought him home with a a RBI single.
After Malito (99) was hit by a pitch that put two freshwater trout on the skillet, Caz delivered a RBI single that brought Nico home and make it a one run game.
Subsequently, with two outs and a runner at second base, Eamon (13) connected for a clutch RBI single that brought Malito home with TP’s tying run.
Cardinals reliever Hudson (23) tallied a groundout in the third to end the TP uprising. With nobody out, Hudson received a huge defensive play from his teammates during the inning. After snagging a scorching line drive off the bat of Farouk in the shoestrings of his mitt for the first out, Red Birds shortstop Nick (11) made a laser toss to first base to erase Caz, who had wandered off base, and ring up a sweet 6-3 double play.
Etobicoke threatened in the top half of the fourth after Luke reached base on a one out double. However, TP quickly terminated the threat with a pretty defensive jewel. As Luke bolted from second base in a brazen attempt to steal third, TP catcher Nico fired a lightning bolt to third baseman Michael, who slapped an emphatic tag on Luke to foil his Grand Theft dreams with an exquisite 2-5 putout play.
TP reliever Henry deftly bookended the fourth frame with a groundout and lineout to keep the high flying Cardinals off the scoresheet.
In the bottom of the fourth, Etobicoke reliever James (99) chalked up a pair of groundouts and a strikeout to keep TP off the scoring abacus.
The Red Birds threatened again in the top of the fifth. Following a one out single, Hudson swiped his way into scoring position at third base.
Reaching into his bag of tricks, TP southpaw reliever Henry craftily rang up a groundout, pop out and strikeout to vanquish the threat and keep the hungry Cardinals away from the bird feeder.
Toronto Playgrounds took the lead in dramatic fashion in the bottom portion of the fifth. After powering a fly ball down the left field line to lead off the inning, Jack turned on the afterburners and hustled around the horn for a Holy Cow inside the park home run that gave TP an 8-7 advantage.
Holding onto a slender tenderloin one run lead, TP proceeded to tack on an insurance run for good measure. After stroking a single, Nico stole his way into scoring position at third. Malito followed with a RBI single that brought Nico homeward to do the Gangnum Style.
Etobicoke reliever Navin (29) found the groove and tallied a pair of flyouts and a groundout in the fifth to extinguish the TP insurgency.
Refusing to go quietly, the Cardinals continued to battle in the top of sixth. Following a leadoff single by Jake, Navin drew a one out walk that put two Red Birds on the base paths.
With the game on the line, TP reliever Henry chalked up a pair of strikeouts and a flyout to seal the deal on the victory.