IN A SCORCHING BARNBURNER, THE CARDINALS RALLY TO PREVAIL OVER TORONTO PLAYGROUNDS IN HOT TAMALE EBA 9U SELECT LOOP GAME AT CHRISTIE PITS
Beneath a hazy canvas of hot and humid midsummer skies, the Royal York Cardinals defeated the Toronto Playgrounds 9U Selects 16-12 in 5½ innings of Etobicoke Baseball Association (EBA) 9U Select Loop action this afternoon at Christie Pits Diamond 3.
The firecracker proceeding was a highly entertaining contest between two talented and well coached teams. In the end, the pesky Cardinals staged a dramatic rally to prevail over a gritty TP squad and take home the victory prize.
TP jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top half of the first inning. With two outs and runners on second and first, Hudson (18) stroked a clutch RBI hit that brought Charlie (8) home with the opening run of the game.
In the bottom of the first, TP flexed its defensive prowess to stymie Royal York. TP Centre fielder Julian (13) made a nice catch to take away a hit from Cardinals leadoff batter Dylan (3), With two outs, TP turned a nifty 1-4 putout to keep the high flying Red Birds offence perched in their nest.
With unbridled passion, Toronto Playgrounds sent eleven batters to the plate in the top of the second and exploded for eight runs to increase their advantage to 9-0. Following back to back singles from Chase (9) and Elliot (27) put two ducks on the pond, Wyatt (1) connected for a one out RBI hit that allowed Chase to score.
Killian (30) followed suit with a RBI single that advanced Wyatt to third and brought Elliot home with the bacon.
Like a classic Top 40 radio station, the TP hits kept coming as Charlie delivered a RBI hit that allowed Wyatt to motor home with a run.
Following a single by Bear (6) that loaded the bases, Hudson hit into a fielder’s choice that erased Bear at second base, moved Charlie to third and brought Killian home with another run that put TP up by five,
With runners on third and first, Hank (77) brought Charlie home with a grace under pressure two out RBI single.
A Cardinals defensive error during the TP’s next at bat allowed Julian to reach base safely, advanced Hank to third, and brought Hudson homeward with a run.
With runners on third and second, Asher (22) delivered a two RBI single that allowed Hank and Julian to scoot home with the Baskin Robbins ice cream.
Royal York stirred to life in the bottom portion of the second as they scored a run to shrink the margin to 9-1. With one outs and two runners on base, Owen (6) hit into a fielder’s choice that allowed Thomas (9) to come home with the Cardinals first run.
Once again, TP played some solid D as they hampered the Red Bird’s offensive momentum with a pair of groundouts and a pop out in the second inning.
In the top of the third, Royal York returned the favour with some stellar defensive plays (groundout and a double play) that kept TP off the scoring ledger.
Taking flight, the Cardinals stormed back with five runs in the bottom of the third to slice and dice the shortfall to 9-6. After a leadoff hit by Hayden (21), Jameson (11) and Luke (34) stroked back to back singles to load the bases. Dylan followed with a RBI single that allowed Hayden to score. A TP error on the play allowed Luke and Dylan to respectively advance to third and second and brought Jameson home with a run.
Ashlyn (2) stepped into the batter’s box and connected for a RBI single that moved Dylan over to third and brought Luke home with another Royal York run.
Hunter (8) followed with a RBI hit that advanced Ashlyn to second and allowed Dylan to motor homeward and close the gap to four.
As the momentum began shifting in the Cardinals favour, TP came up with a big defensive play to stymie the Royal York rally, With no outs and a runner on second, Justin (15) cranked a fly ball to right field. With the ball descending like a dying quail, TP right fielder Charlie made a spectacular diving catch that rung up the first out. Noticing that Hunter had strayed afar from first, Charlie got back on his feet and made a rocket throw to first baseman Bear to complete the riveting 9-3 double play.
With two outs, Thomas delivered a clutch two out RBI single that brought Ashlyn home with a run.
Following a single by Mitchell that put two aboard, TP shortstop Julian battled the blinding glare of the midday sun to reel in an eight mile high pop fly off the bat of Shaymar for the third out.
Unfazed, Toronto Playgrounds answered back with a pair in the top of the fourth to widen their lead to 11-6. After a two out single by Hudson, Hank powered a double that put two otters on the pond. Julian followed with a grace under pressure two RBI hit that allowed Hudson and Hank to scoot home with the pizza.
Royal York counterpunched with three in the bottom of the fourth to trim the margin to 11-9. After a one out double by Andrew, Hayden singled to put two aboard. Jameson followed with a fielder’s choice that erased Hayden at second and allowed Andrew to come home to roost.
After a two out single by Luke put runners at second and first, Dylan delivered a clutch RBI double that brought Jameson home.
With runners at third and second, Ashlyn stroked a RBI hit that allowed Luke to come home and make it a two run game.
Toronto Playgrounds added a run to their tally in the top of the fifth to extend their upper hand to 12-9. Following a leadoff triple by Chase, Elliot hit into a groundout to bring him home.
Donning their rally caps, the Cardinals exploded for seven runs in the bottom portion of the fourth to take a 16-12 lead. Justin, Thomas and Mitchell (10) opened the inning with three consecutive singles to load the bases. Shaymar (30) followed with a two RBI hit that brought Justin and Thomas home with a pair of runs that shrunk the gap to one. On the play, a TP error allowed Mitchell to blaze home with Royal York’s tying run.
Following a single by Owen that put two runners on base, Andrew delivered a RBI double that allowed Shaymar to zoom home with the Cardinals go ahead score.
With runners at third and second, Hayden muscled a two RBI single to bring Owen and Andrew homeward with a pair of insurance runs.
Subsequently, with one out and the bases loaded, Ashlyn capped off the Royal York comeback with a RBI single that brought Jameson home.
Refusing to go quietly into the hot afternoon sun, TP valiantly went down swinging in the top half of the sixth.