IN AN EPIC TOOTH AND NAIL BATTLE, THE ‘STROS SNAP A 5-5 DEADLOCK IN THE FINAL INNING TO PREVAIL OVER THE PANTHERA TIGRIS AND TAKE HOME THE CHAMPIONSHIP PRIZE
Beneath a sweet blanket of genteel mid September skies, the Astros edged the Tigers 6-5 in a nail biting five inning affair this evening at Christie Pits Diamond 2 to win the 2019 Toronto Playgrounds House League Baseball Tournament Mosquito Division Championship Game.
With the score deadlocked 5-5 in the bottom of the sixth, Orion (14) hit a one out double that put an Astro on base. Jacob (15) followed with a RBI double up the middle to centre field that allowed Orion to motor home with ‘Stros championship winning run.
The epic proceeding between two talented and well coached teams was a highly entertaining and well played contest from start to finish. Runs came at a premium as pitching and defence came to the forefront of this riveting affair.
In the top of the first, the Tigers threatened after Liam T. (4) led off the inning with a single and a pair stolen bases that advanced him into scoring position at third base.
Cool as a cucumber, Astros starter Oliver (2) rang up a pair of strikeouts and a fly out to subdue the Tigers insurgency. Oliver was assisted by a nice catch from centre fielder Henry (11) for the second out.
With authority, the Astros staked themselves to an early 4-0 advantage in the bottom portion of the first, After Henry drew a one out walk that put a duckling on the lagoon, Julian (5) crushed a RBI triple that brought him home with the opening run of the game. A subsequent Tigers error allowed Julian to come home with another run.
After a single and stolen base by Milo (3) that positioned him at second base, Jesse (1) delivered a RBI double that brought him home to crow.
Following back to back walks by Angelo (6) and Stefano (10) that loaded the bases, Orion patiently garnered a bases loaded RBI walk that allowed Jesse to shimmy homeward and do the Gangnam Style.
In a spirited effort on the hill, Tigers starter Cooper (3) struck out one Astro in the first frame.
The Tigers quickly answered back with a run in the top of the second to trim the margin to 4-1. Following a leadoff single and a pair of stolen bases that advanced him to third base, Cooper pounced upon an Astros wild pitch to zoom home with the Tigers first run.
Exercising patience at the dish, Julian (5) and Arturo (13) garnered back to back walks that put two mallards on the lake. Shaken, but not stirred, Astros reliever Julian found his mojo and tallied three strikeouts to vanquish the Tigers threat in the second.
Not to be outdone, the Astros replied with a run in the bottom of the second to widen their lead to 5-1. After a leadoff walk and a pair of stolen bases by Jacob (15) that moved him to third, Griffin (8) hit a groundout to first that allowed him to come home to roost.
Tigers reliever Jacob (10) chalked up two strikeouts and a groundout in the second frame to silence the Astros rebellion.
In the top half of the third, the Tigers stirred to life as they roared back with four to tie the proceeding 5-5. After a leadoff single by Will (11), Jasper (6) and Liam N. (2) garnered back to back walks that loaded the bases. Solomon (1), Njal (7) and Liam T. followed with respective bases loaded RBI walks that allowed Will, Jasper and Liam N. to come homeward and slice the deficit to one.
With one out and the bases still juiced to the gills, Rocco (12) stroked a RBI single that brought Solomon home with the tying run.
In a nitty, gritty, foray on the mound, Astros reliever Henry struck out one Tiger in the third inning.
With a little help from his friends, Tigers reliever Julian (5) kept the potent Astros offence tethered to the launch pad in the bottom of the third with a strikeout and two groundouts. Tigers first baseman Boaz (9) vacuumed up a sharp grounder off the bat of Eric (13) for the first out. Subsequently, with an Astros baserunner on first base following a two out walk, second baseman Grant (15) scooped up hard hit ball off the bat of Oliver to erase Quinn (7) at second.
The Panthera Tigris threatened in the top of the fourth after Evan (8) drew a walk and swiped his way around the horn to third base. Nonplussed, Astros reliever Jesse mowed down the Tigers with three strikeouts to put a kibosh on their coup d’état.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Astros threatened to break the 5-5 logjam after they put three ducks on the pond. However, Tigers reliever Rocco struck out two to quell the ‘Stros insurrection. With one out, the Tigers were also the beneficiaries of a ‘no slide’ call at home plate by the Astros that disallowed a run.
The Tigers threatened to snap the impasse in the top of the fifth when Grant and Boaz garnered back to back walks that put the potential go ahead runs on base. With a dollop of mustard and relish, Astros reliever Milo found the groove and struck out three to terminate the Tigers threat.
And it was at this juncture in the proceedings where the Astros went up to bat in the bottom of the fifth frame and came face to face with their moment with destiny.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: As an added bonus for those dedicated and rabid TP Baseball Website followers who are enamored of additional photos from the 2019 Mosquito Division Tournament Championship Game, please keep scrolling downwards to access more picture collages from the game and postgame ceremony. Enjoy!]