WITH NITTY GRITTY RESOLVE, TORONTO PLAYGROUNDS PREVAIL OVER THE PESKY A’s AT CHRISTIE PITS
Beneath a somber duvet of autumn skies, the Toronto Playgrounds 11U Selects defeated the Annette A’s 12-6 in a 5 ½ inning Etobicoke Baseball Association (EBA) Mosquito Select game tonight at Christie Pits Diamond 2.
For 3 ½ frames, the proceeding was a tightly contested chess match between two talented and well coached teams. In the end, a gritty TP squad put the pedal to the metal as they scored seven runs in their final two innings to pull away from the pesky Athletics for the victory.
In the top of the first, Annette jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. After drawing a leadoff walk, Stefano (22) swiped his way around the horn to third base. After Sawyer (13) garnered a walk that put two aboard, Carter (7) hit into a groundout at first that allowed Stefano to motor home with the opening run of the game.
As Sawyer made a brazen move to steal third on the play, TP first baseman Holden (19) made a laser toss across the diamond to third baseman Hudson (18), who tagged Sawyer out for a sweet 3-5 double play.
With two outs and a runner on base, TP starter Kaiden (16) rang up a strikeout to pacify the A’s rebellion.
Toronto Playgrounds answered back with a run in the bottom of the first to knot the affair at 1-1. After a leadoff single by Henry (14), Jacob (9) drew a walk that put two ducks on the pond. With one out and runners at third and second, Kaiden hit into a groundout that allowed Henry to come home with TP’s tying run.
Annette starter Tyler (19) sandwiched two strikeouts around a groundout in the first inning to subdue the TP insurgency.
The Athletics threatened in the top of the second when they put two runners on base courtesy of walks from Marshall (32) and Spencer (29). Unfazed, TP starter Kaiden found the inner groove and chalked up three strikeouts to vanquish Annette and keep them off the scoring ledger.
Exercising patience at the dish, TP tallied four in the bottom portion of the second to take a 5-1 advantage. After stroking a leadoff single, Tyler swiped a pair to get into scoring position at third base. Following a walk by Mike (31), TP executed a bold as brass double steal that advanced Mike to second and brought Tyler home with the go ahead run.
After Hudson (18) and Oliver (35) drew back to back walks to load the bases, Milo (13) garnered a bases loaded RBI that allowed Mike to shuffle homeward with a run. An Annette error allowed Oliver and Milo to advance respectively to third and second and brought Hudson home with another TP run.
With one out and two aboard, Henry hit into a groundout that allowed Oliver to dart home with TP’s fifth run.
In a workmanlike foray on the hill, A’s reliever Spencer (29) recorded a strikeout and a groundout in the second inning.
Like a gazelle, Annette struck back with three runs in the top of the third to slice and dice the deficit to one. After a leadoff single by Will (9), Stefano and Sawyer drew consecutive walks to load the bases. With one out, Henry (97) worked the count in his favour to garner a RBI walk that brought Will homeward.
With the bases still juiced to the gills, Tyler delivered a two RBI double that allowed Stefano and Sawyer home and trim the shortfall to 5-4.
Shaken, but not stirred, TP reliever Henry (14) found his mojo and tallied a strikeout, flyout and groundout in the third frame to extinguish the A’s third inning insurrection. On the second out, TP right fielder Tyler made a highlight reel catch in the shoestrings of his trusty mitt. After vacuuming up the ball like a Kirby, TP first baseman Mike combined with second baseman Milo for a major league 3-4 defensive gem at first to ring up the third out.
TP threatened in the bottom of the third when Julian (17) and Payton (3) drew respective walks that put two swans on the lake. Nonplussed, Annette reliever Sebastian (15) tallied a strikeout, flyout and groundout to leave them stranded and keep TP off the scoresheet.
The A’s continued to battle in the top of the fourth as Spencer and Sebastian drew back to back walks that put two rainbow trout on the skillet. With one out, TP reliever Mike (31) entered the fray from the bullpen and rang up an emphatic strikeout for the second out.
At this juncture, Spencer bolted from second base in a brazen attempt to steal third. However, TP catcher Jacob made a rocket throw down the line to third baseman Henry, who slapped a no pussyfootin’ facial tag on a sliding Spencer to end his Grand Theft dreams on a MY! OH! MY! defensive play for the third out.
With the wind in their sails, Toronto Playgrounds added four to their booty chest in the bottom of the fourth to stretch their advantage to 9-4. After a leadoff walk by Mike, Hudson drew a walk that put two Wild Alaskan pollock on the grill. Oliver followed with a RBI single to bring Mike home.
Subsequently, with one out and two aboard, Holden (19) cleared the bases with a two RBI double that allowed Hudson and Oliver to come homeward bound.
Following a single by Henry that put runners at second and first, Julian stroked a clutch two out RBI hit that brought Holden home to score on a chinny chin chin nail biting play at the plate.
In a gritty foray on the hill, Annette reliever Carter (7) tallied a lineout and flyout in the fourth inning.
The Athletics continued to chip away in the top of the fifth as they scored a run to trim the margin to 9-5. After Stefano reached base on a hit by pitch to open the inning, Sawyer and Carter garnered back to back walks to load the bases. Henry followed with bases loaded RBI walk that brought Stefano home from third.
With no outs and the bases loaded, TP came up with a huge defensive gem that helped them get out of a sticky wicket. As the A’s Tyler hit a screaming line drive back towards the mound, TP reliever Mike snagged the hot tamale offering in his glove to tally the first out. Noticing that the Annette baserunner had strayed afar from first on the play, Mike quickly threw over to first baseman Milo to complete the nice 1-3 double play. Mike coaxed a groundout out from the next batter to ring up the third out and extinguish the Athletics threat.
TP tacked on three insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth to secure their lead at 12-5. Following a one out walk by Payton and a single by Tyler, Mike connected for a RBI hit that allowed Payton to come home to roost.
After a walk by Hudson loaded the bases, Oliver drew a RBI walk that brought Tyler homeward. Subsequently, with two outs and the bases still loaded, Holden garnered a RBI walk that allowed Mike to sprint home with another run.
A’s reliever Marshall (32) tallied a groundout and a pair of strikeouts to to end the TP uprising in the fifth.
Refusing to go quietly into the night, Annette scored a run in the top of the sixth to close the gap to 12-6. After hitting a single to lead off the inning, Marshall used his guile and speed to steal his way into scoring position at third. A subsequent TP wild pitch would allow Marshall to blaze home with a run.
Invigorated, the A’s proceeded to load the bases courtesy of Spencer’s hit by pitch and consecutive walks from Sebastian and Will.
Cool as a cucumber, TP reliever Hudson (18) chalked up a pair of K’s and a popout to bring the curtain down on Annette’s comeback bid.