GNARLY BUCS TERMINATE FURIOUS RALLY BY LOOTIN’ CARDS TO HANG ONTO GOLD DOUBLOONS OF VICTORY
On the high seas of Bickford Park Bay this evening, the Pirates beat back a furious rally attempt by the pesky Cardinals in the final inning to hang on to a razor thin 9-8 win in four innings of exciting Mosquito Division play.
Sailing to what seemed to be a 9-3 victory, the gnarly Pirates hit rough seas in the bottom of the fourth as the lootin’ Cardinals gamely laid siege to the buccanner’s vessel and staged a dogged comeback attempt to wrest the gold doubloons of victory away.
The Cardinals offense began to make the most of their opportunities as they took control of the mizzenmast and score five runs. Ben (3), Jasper (7), and Brian (5) drew consecutive walks to lead off the inning and load the bases. Evan (6) was hit by a pitch to bring home Ben. Kevin (11) drew a one out walk to bring home Jasper. Brian took advantage of a Bucs error to blaze home from third and trim the deficit to three.
With two outs, the Cards continued to pillage the Pirates leaking ship with kraken gusto. Evan (12) hit a RBI single to bring in Kevin. Xavier (8) singled and Adam (14) followed with a walk. As the Bucs uncorked a wild pitch, Evan came motorin’ home from third with another run to trim the margin to 9-8.
With Cardinals runners at third and second (representing the tying and winning runs), and the game on the line, Pirates closer Piper (2) stared icily at Ben of the Cardinals in the batter’s box as he delivered his fateful pitch. Ben ripped at the offering and lined a screaming line drive back towards the mound. However, Piper cooly stuck out his glove and caught the ball in his mitt to record the third out and preserve the Buccaneers victory by the slimmest of margins.
The Pirates charged out of the docks with four runs in the top of the first to take an early lead. With one out, Piper (2) and Quinn (12) reached base respectively on a fielder’s choice and a single. Both players came home on a series of wild pitches. Jian (4), Daniel (3) , and Flynn (11) drew consecutive walks to load the bases. A walk to Harrison (7) brought Jian home. Piper was hit by a pitch and this allowed Daniel to come home with the final run of the inning.
However, the Cardinals answered back with three runs in the bottom of the first to trim the margin to 4-3. Evan (6) and Kevin reached base on a respective walk and a hit by pitch to lead off the inning. With one out, Evan (12) hit an RBI single to bring Evan (6) home. Adam drew a walk to load the bases. Bases loaded walks issued to Xavier and Jasper allowed Kevin and Evan (12) to come homeward bound.
The Bucs scored two runs in the top of the second to widen their lead to 6-3. Quinn reached base on a catcher’s interference call to lead off the inning and proceeded to steal two bases to reach third. Jian stroked a RBI single to bring Quinn home. With one out, Flynn and Harrison drew back to back walks to load the bases. Piper hit into a 4-6 fielder’s choice that allowed Jian to hustle home with a run; Kudos to Pirates reliever Daniel (3) who tossed a scoreless third while striking out one Cardinal.
Cardinals reliever Evan (6) pitched a workmanlike inning with a strikeout to blunt the Pirates offensive thrust. With two outs, Evan was helped out by an all star defensive play by his catcher Adam (14). With the bases loaded, Adam stealthily noticed that Quinn of the Pirates was wandering too far from first, and he cooly threw a laser strike to first baseman Jasper, who quickly applied the tag on the wayfarin’ buccanneer to record the third out.
Pirates southpaw reliever Jian (4) mowed down the Cardinals in 1-2-3 order in the bottom of the second. Using a repertoire of pitches, Jian struck out all three batters that he faced and kept the Cards offense grounded in their nest.
In the top of the third, the Pirates added two more insurance runs to their treasure chest. Jian hit a double to lead off the inning. As Jian proceeded to steal third, an errant Cardinals throw to catch him stealing bounced down the third baseline. Jian slid home with a run. With one out, Flynn drew a walk and subsequently reached third on a steal and wild pitch. Flynn came home on a Cardinals error to increase the Bucs lead to 8-3. However, Cardinals reliever Ben (3) curtailed the Pirates plundering by limiting them to two runs with three strikeouts.
In the bottom of the third, Daniel (3) continued the Pirates bullpen’s success in keeping the Cardinals offense grounded. Daniel threw a scoreless inning while striking out one. Daniel was also helped out by a super defensive play by his teammates. With Evan (12) of the Cardinals attempting to steal third, Pirates catcher Jian threw a bullet to his third baseman Piper, who cooly applied the tag on the sliding runner to record the first out of the inning.
The Pirates added another run in the top of the fourth to widen their lead to 9-3. After Daniel was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, he proceeded to steal two bases. On a Cardinals error, Daniel blazed home with the run. However, Cardinals reliever Adam (14) limited the Bucs to one run on two strikeouts to keep his team within striking distance.
With their backs against the wall and trailing by six, it was at the juncture in the proceedings where the Cardinals stared destiny in the face in the bottom of the fourth and stubbornly refused to accept defeat.
EXTRA INNINGS: Kudos to Pirates reliever Jian (4) for throwing a stellar 1-2-3 second inning with three strikeouts. Jian also went 2 for 3 at the plate (single, double) with a RBI, three runs scored, and four stolen bases. Plus, Jian was rock solid as the Pirates catcher in the the third when he threw out a Cardinal baserunner at third; Kudos to Evan (12) of the Cardinals who went 3 for 3 at the dish with two RBI’s and two runs scored. Evan also caught two strong innings behind the plate; Kudos to Flynn (11) of the Pirates who garnered four walks in four trips to the plate. Flynn scored one run and also had a RBI and a stolen base; Kudos to Cardinals reliever Adam (14) who allowed only one run in the fourth while striking out two. Adam also threw out a Pirate at first base in the second when he was the Cards catcher; Kudos to Pirates reliever Daniel (3) who threw a scoreless third while fanning one Cardinal.