TORONTO PLAYGROUNDS PREVAIL OVER THE WOLVERINES IN A LAWDY MISS CLAWDY EBA 11U SELECT LOOP AFFAIR AT CHRISTIE PITS
Beneath the warm twilight of a serene midsummer’s night, the Toronto Playgrounds 11U Blue Selects defeated the Weston Wolverines 8-6 in four sparkling innings of Etobicoke Baseball Association (EBA) 11U Select Loop action tonight at Christie Pits Diamond 3.
The tooth and nail proceeding was a very entertaining and well played contest between two talented and well coached teams. Taking tiger mountain by strategy, a nitty gritty TP squad made the most of its opportunities to methodically build an early advantage on the scoring ledger. Then TP utilized some workmanlike pitching and sterling defensive play to thwart a late comeback bid by the pesky Wolverines and emerge with the slender tenderloin victory.
Weston threatened in the top half of the first. After a one out walk by Lucas (28) and a single by Javi (2), Kelvin (86) garnered a walk to load the bases.
Cool as a cucumber, TP starter Cohen (22) escaped the sticky wicket by mowing down the next two Wolverine batters with a pair of hot tamale strikeouts that left the bases loaded.
In the bottom of the first, TP staked itself to an early 1-0 lead. After leading off the inning with a walk, Dash (00) flexed his Grand Theft prowess by brazenly swiping second base. On the play, the Weston defence committed a two base error that allowed Dash to hustle homeward with the opening run of the game.
Unfazed, Wolverines starter Lucas retired the next three batters with a groundout and two strikeouts to end the TP disobedience.
Taking care of business, TP reliever Dash deftly kept Weston off the scoresheet in 1-2-3 fashion in the top of the second frame with a pair of scintillating strikeouts and a groundout that left the Wolverines in their lair.
Exercising patience at the dish, Toronto Playgrounds feasted on a scrumptious Mandarin buffet serving of five walks by Weston in the bottom portion of the second inning to plate three runs and expand their advantage to 4-0.
Following a leadoff walk. TP baserunner Simon (10) put pressure on the Wolverines defence with a bold as brass theft of second base.
After Simon advanced to third base on a groundout by Madeline (15), Alex (13) and Tristan (19) drew back to back walks to load the bases. Ethan (80) stepped into the batter’s box and muscled a one out bases loaded two RBI single that brought Simon and Alex home with a pair of runs. On the play, Weston also allowed Tristan and Ethan to respectively steal third and second.
After Theo (43) drew a walk to reload the bases, Dash followed with a bases loaded RBI walk that allowed Tristan to come home to roost.
With the bases still juiced to the gills, Weston reliever Skylar (67) entered the fray from the bullpen to ring up two strikeouts to terminate the TP insurgency.
Taking umbrage at their predicament, the Wolverines clawed back with three ferocious runs in the top of the third to trim the gap to 4-3. After a one out single by Josiah (85), Ethan (84) hit a double that put two ducks on the pond. Lucas followed with a two RBI single that brought Josiah and Ethan home with the Wolverines first runs.
With a runner on second base, Javi delivered a RBI double that allowed Lucas to come homeward and make it a one run game.
As the tide began to turn in Weston’s favour, the TP defence rose to the challenge with a big time play that shifted the momentum. Taking advantage of an errant TP pickoff throw, Javi made a brash move to steal third base. However, TP second baseman Tristan quickly retrieved the ball and made a laser throw to third baseman Madeline. who slapped an emphatic tag on Javi to ring up a sweet 4-5 defensive gem for the second out.
Unruffled, TP reliever Simon found the groove and chalked up a strikeout to extinguish the Wolverines uprising.
With the wind back in their sails, TP patiently replied with four in the bottom half of the third to increase their upper hand to 8-3. After back to back walks by Jonas (25) and Simon to begin the inning, Alex drew a one out walk to load the bases. Tristan followed with a bases loaded RBI walk that allowed Jonas to score.
With the bases filled to the max, Ethan worked the count in his favour to garner a bases loaded RBI walk that brought Simon home with a run.
Subsequently, with two outs and the bases still loaded, Dash drew a RBI walk that sashayed Alex home.
For the icing on the cake, Dante (36) followed with a RBI single to cash in Tristan with another TP run.
Refusing to go quietly into the night, Weston rallied with three in the top portion of the fourth to slice the shortfall to 8-6.
Following a leadoff walk by Skylar, Denise (6) drove a fly ball into centre field. However, TP centre fielder Dash battled the enveloping darkness to make stellar basket catch with his trusty mitt to tally the first out.
With the game slipping away, Skylar threw caution to the wind and made an unabashed move to steal second. As he stepped on the base, the TP throw to nab him sailed away into the outfield. Seizing the moment, Skylar turned on the afterburners and charged homeward to score a dramatic run for the Wolverines.
Reinvigorated, Weston proceeded to load the bases on three consecutive singles by Darius (88), Evan (1) and Matthew (87). With two outs, Ethan stroked a clutch two RBI single that brought Darius and Evan homeward with a pair of runs.
Down by only two, Lucas drew a walk to reload the bases. With the game on the line, TP reliever Madeline dug deep into her reserve tank and coaxed the next batter into a groundout that extinguished the Wolverines rebellion.
In the bottom of the fourth, TP proceeded to load the bases with respective walks by Cohen, Simon and Madeline.
Unrepentant, Weston reliever Ethan rang up three strident strikeouts to vanquish the TP threat.
And it was at this juncture where time expired and the curtain came down on the proceedings.
Sweet dreams and a pleasant good night.