THE WHITE SOX FEND OFF A SPUNKY TORONTO PLAYGROUNDS RALLY BID IN THE FINAL INNING TO PREVAIL FOR A RAZOR THIN EBA ROOKIE BALL SELECT LOOP VICTORY AT CHRISTIE PITS
Beneath a warm layer of sunny skies, the Martingrove White edged the Toronto Playgrounds Rookie Ball Selects 10-9 in an energetic seven inning Etobicoke Baseball Association (EBA) Rookie Ball Select Loop game this evening at Christie Pits Diamond 3.
The crackerjack proceeding was a highly entertaining and well played contest between two talented teams. In the end, a gritty White Sox squad rode on the coattails of a six run surge in the fifth inning to hang on for a slender tenderloin victory over an extremely pesky TP team.
Martingrove jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top half of the first. After respective singles by Josh (99) and Brayden (23) that put two mallards on the lake, Matthew (19) delivered a clutch two out RBI single that brought Josh home with the opening run of the game.
TP turned in a pair of nice defensive plays in the first inning to subdue the White Sox insurgency. First baseman Ciaran (2) vacuumed up a hot shot off the bat of Martingrove leadoff batter Benjamin (28) to rob him of a hit and tally the first out. Subsequently, with one out and a runner on first, TP pitcher Asher (6) snagged a sharply hit chopper from Oscar (9) and made a rocket toss to Ciaran to complete a nifty 1-3 putout to ring up the second out.
In the bottom of the first, TP quickly responded to the White Sox’s opening salvo by scoring three to take a 3-1 lead. After Jack (1) and Malito (20) led off the inning with back to back singles that put two ducks on the pond, Aaron (16) stroked a one out RBI single to bring Jack home with the tying run.
Following a single by Max (18) that loaded the bases, Nico (38) stepped into the batter’s box and delivered a two RBI single to bring Malito and Aaron home with the go ahead runs.
The TP defence turned Martingrove away in the top of the second with a pair of pretty plays. With no outs and White Sox runners at second and first, TP third baseman Max scooped up a hot tamale grounder off the bat of Nathaniel (39) and made the solo fielder’s choice putout at third to tally the first out. With one out and two seals on the lake, TP pitcher Theo (71) battled the bright glare of the setting sun to catch an eight mile high pop up off the bat of Adrian (15) to reel in the second out of the inning.
Toronto Playgrounds added a run in the bottom of the second to extend its advantage to 4-1. Following a leadoff single by Eamon (13), Caz (7) delivered a scintillating RBI triple to bring Eamon home.
Subsequently, with one out and a TP baserunner on third, the Martingrove White defence turned in a Gold Glove gem to get themselves out of the inning. As Michael (31) scorched a screaming line drive down the third base side, White Sox third baseman Matthew corralled the hot shot in the shoestrings of his mitt to ring up the second out. Noticing that Caz had wandered afar from third base on the play, Matthew hustled over and stepped on the bag to complete a solo double play that brought the curtain down on the inning.
Martingrove threatened in the top of the third when they got two baserunners on board. However, TP turned in two more sweet defensive plays to keep the White Sox offence in the laundry hamper. After corralling a hot tamale shot off the bat of Gabriel J. (33), TP shortstop Jack made a lightning throw to first baseman Eamon to chalk up a 6-3 putout to tally the first out. Subsequently, with two outs and two runners on base, right fielder Asher made a highlight reel catch to rob Brayden of a hit.
After TP went down in 1-2-3 fashion in the bottom portion of the third, the White Sox offence stirred to life in the top half of the fourth as they scored three to deadlock the proceedings 4-4. After a leadoff single from Matthew and a single by Tristiano (22) put two capybaras on the diamond, Justin (25) delivered a one out RBI single to bring Matthew home.
With two aboard, Nathaniel stroked a RBI single that allowed Tristiano to motor homeward and close the gap to one. Subsequently, with Martingrove runners on third and first, the White Sox executed a double steal that advanced Nathaniel to second and brought Justin home with the tying run.
The White Sox defence shone in the bottom of the fourth as they kept TP off the scoring ledger with a nice 5-3 putout and 1-3 gem.
With the wind in their sails, Martingrove exploded for six runs in the top of the fifth to increase their advantage to 10-4. After Gabriel J., Benjamin and Josh stroked respective singles to lead off the inning and load the bases, Brayden launched a bases clearing one out three RBI triple to bring them home.
Matthew followed with a RBI single that brought Brayden home. After a single by Gabriel P. (10) that put two aboard, Tristiano hit into a fielder’s choice that erased Gabriel P. at second and allowed Matthew to come homeward with a run. Subsequently, with two outs and a runner on third, Nathaniel stroked a RBI single to plate Justin.
TP answered back with a run in the bottom of the fifth to trim the shortfall to five. After stroking a leadoff single, Ciaran advanced to second on a Martingrove error. Asher followed with a single that moved Ciaran to third. A White Sox faux pas on the play allowed Ciaran to bolt homeward with a run.
In the top half of the sixth, TP defence starched the White Sox in 1-2-3 fashion. Pitcher Logan (5), shortstop Jack and second baseman Eamon hooked up with TP first baseman Nico on respective 1-3/6-3/4-3 plays to keep the Martingrove offence on the clothesline.
Refusing to go quietly into the night, a pesky TP squad continued to battle in the bottom of the sixth as they rallied with a pair to close the margin to 10-7. After a leadoff single by Michael, Malito launched a clutch two out RBI double to bring Michael home. Logan followed with a RBI single that allowed Malito to come home with the Oreo Double Stufffed Cookies.
After Toronto Playgrounds vanquished a Martingrove threat in the top portion of the seventh to keep within striking distance, TP donned their beloved rally caps in the bottom half of the inning in a final bid to overtake the White Sox.
With one out and two ducklings on the pond, Asher (6) delivered a RBI single that advanced Ciaran to third and brought Nico home and slice the deficit to two.
Eamon followed with a fielder’s choice that erased Asher at second and allowed Ciaran to zoom home and make it a one run game.
However, it was at this juncture in the proceedings that the TP rally fizzled out as the Martingrove White escaped with a 10-9 win.
The TP Rookie Ball Selects (1-4-1) take a brief sojourn away from the grind of the EBA Rookie Ball Select circuit this weekend when they partake in the West Hill Tournament (June 21-23). TP resumes EBA Select Loop action next Tuesday (June 25) evening when they host the Annette A’s at Christie Pits Diamond 3 at 6:00 p.m.