DESPITE FALLING 9-4 TO THE YORK RIVERDOGS IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, TORONTO PLAYGROUNDS FINISHED WITH A STELLAR 3-1 SHOWING IN THE TOM ASHIZAWA LITTLE “BIG 8″ TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONSHIP GAME AT SMYTHE PARKGame Post composed by Bill Evans. Collage Photos courtesy of Kyle Lo-Rowe.
The Toronto Playgrounds Mosquito Select Team came up short in the Little “Big 8″ championship final this afternoon at Smythe Park, losing 9-4 to the host team, the York Riverdogs in seven innings.
Although the tournament was using a double elimination formula, with the weekend of rain and a scheduling error from the convener, both teams agreed to play a one game final.
TP started sharp in the first inning by retiring three of the first four Riverdog batters.
Once they got to hit, TP plated four runs in the bottom of the first as Jake (30), Nigel (20), Alex (2) and Leandro (10) all scored. The Mosquito Select offensive surge was powered by a single from Nigel, a crushing double from Alex and a hard hit triple from Adam (14). A spectacular double play from York cut the TP attack to four runs during the frame.
Subsequently, the two teams battled through the next four innings with only York scoring a lone run in the third.
TP witnessed excellent defence during the game:
- Leandro relayed an outfield hit to second baseman Aaron (18) at the cutoff position, who fired a strike to catcher Alex at the plate to nail York’s attempt at a second run.
- TP third baseman Jake made two excellent back to back throws to first baseman Nigel, who made a Gold Glove stretching catch on both plays to record two outs in the fourth.
- Shortstop Adam recorded all tree putouts in the sixth by catching two pop-ups and devouring a ground ball to relay to Aaron at second. GO! TP! GO!
The Riverdogs bats came to life in the top of the fifth as the rain descended on Smythe Park Diamond ‘A’ and they we able to plate six of their nine runs. In twenty-two innings in the field this weekend at the tournament, the top of the fifth was TP’s only tough inning.
TP rallied in the remaining innings with eight base runners reaching base. However, the York defence stymied the potent TP attack and our baserunners were unable to reach their desired return to home plate.Once again we received some excellent pitching from Aaron (18), Adi (1), Nigel (20) and Ben (4) [making his pitching debut in the tourney]. In two innings pitched, Aaron surrendered only one hit and one walk – no runs while striking out two batters.
Alex was our leader behind the dish, as he caught the entire seven innings to help lead his team, along with his double and single and run scored. Alex confidently stepped in to replace an injured Jake in the second tournament game and caught seventeen consecutive innings.
While the team did not get the outcome they had hoped for, they exhibited true sportsmanship and have consistently improved to play their best baseball of the season thus far. The core of this team has been playing baseball together for the past four summers – the first two without even recording a win. This was the first game the team played together in a tournament final and their play has improved tremendously. We are all proud of their spirit and commitment to their teammates. The results in the tournament proved that TP will be ready and raring to go at the upcoming EBA Mosquito Select playoffs in August.
A special thank-you to the coaches John Hill, John Rowe and Mike Pett and to the parents for their commitment to our baseball team, not to mention their infectious enthusiastic energy.
The Mosquito Selects will take a couple of weeks off for a mid-summer break before resuming practices and games in early August in preparation for hosting the EBA Mosquito Select playoffs in mid August at Christie Pits and Ravina Gardens
GO! TP! GO!
ADDITIONAL NOTE: The TP Baseball Committee wishes to commend Mosquito Select Head Coach Bill Evans; Assistant Coaches John Hill, John Rowe and Mike Pett for their fortitude and patience in steering this talented group of Mosquito Selects into the championship game at the Tom Ashizawa Little “Big 8″ Mosquito Select Tournament in Etobicoke
The Committee also wishes to congratulate all the Mosquito Select players, coaches and parents for representing the core values of the Toronto Playgrounds Baseball program with honour, dignity and professionalism on and off the diamond at the tournament.
Way to go, TP!