TORONTO PLAYGROUNDS IS 0-1-1 AFTER TWO SATURDAY ROUND ROBIN GAMES IN THE LARRY JONES DIVISION OF THE TOURNEY AT ETOBICOKE VALLEY PARK
The TP Rookie Ball Select Team arrived bright and early for their first game at the Lloyd McConnie Memorial Tournament in Etobicoke.
Toronto Playgrounds players were still rubbing the sleep from their eyes at 8 a.m. as a strong Bloordale (1) Bombers team took charge early Saturday morning and cruised to a 19-1 victory at Diamond 4 at Etobicoke Valley Park.
After a midday skills competition, in which Spencer (15) of the TP Rookie Ball Selects placed fourth in the hitting competition amongst batters from sixteen teams participating in the weekend tournament, Toronto Playgrounds faced a tenacious team from East York at Diamond 4.
TP held the East York Bulldogs to four batters in the top of the first as our infielders turned well hit grounders into routine outs at first.
The TP bats came alive in the bottom of the first inning with solid hits and aggressive base running creating an early 7-0 lead.
However, East York did not pack it in though; the Bulldogs clawed back into the game during the second inning and shut down TP in the bottom of the inning.
The lead swung back in forth over the next few innings and came to a climax in the bottom of the final inning.
Trailing 13-11 in the last inning, TP made a comeback with two outs. Emmett (3) started the rally using his speed to outrun a throw to first. Oskar (6) advanced Emmett to second base with a hit over third base.
With runners on second and first, Jacob (7) hit a big clutch double to knock in two runs and tie the proceedings 13-13.
Next at the plate was Eli (22), who tore the ball into deep centre field. All held their breath as the East York centerfielder tracked down the ball and made a great catch to end the game in a tie – a fitting end to a thrilling back and forth game.
All the TP Rookie Ball Select players contributed to the final outcome of their game against East York:
- Declan (13) played a superb first base, collecting balls hit his way and scooping some errant throws to make outs.
- Jacob’s (7) bat connected well with the ball, with a clutch hit at the end of the game as well as hard hit line drives.
- Oskar (6) was a reliable shortstop gathering some well hit grounders and a tricky pop fly.
- Aaron (21) had an excellent day at third base; he not only caught some difficult balls down the line but also made some hard and accurate throws to make outs.
- Emmett (3) shut down short hits to the pitcher, siphoning both grounders and poppers.
- Eli (22) had a solid game back catching and also drove home some key runs with his big bat.
- Hassan (9) was a reliable rover and truly shined at the plate – he wired several balls down the third baseline and extended those hits to triples with speed and courage.
- James’ (35) quick reflexes lead to spectacular catches on line drives hit towards the mound; he also hit some hard line drives that drove in multiple runs.
- Dexter (4) calmly gathered balls hit to second base to make key outs; as well, his solid hit and aggressive base running in the next to last inning helped TP regain the lead.
- Colby (28) played an effective outfield and saved the game on three occasions. By backing up his infielders on errant throws, he spared TP from giving up extra bases and prevented extra runs by holding runners on third.
- Spencer (15) came through with two hard hits that advanced runners at critical times in the game.
- Daniel (10) was a valuable outfielder and showed great spirit at the plate by coming through with clutch hits while down in the count.
The Rookie Ball Selects (0-1-1) are scheduled to play their third (and final) tournament round robin game in the Larry Jones Division tomorrow (Sunday, July 14) morning. TP will face off against the North York Blues at 8 a.m.
GO! TP! GO!