IN AN ALL TORONTO PLAYGROUNDS FAMILY AFFAIR. THE BLUE FEND OFF A FINAL INNING RALLY BY THE RED TO PREVAIL FOR THE EBA 11U SELECT LOOP VICTORY AT CHRISTIE PITS
Beneath a thick blanket of hot and muggy summer skies, the Toronto Playgrounds 11U Blue Selects prevailed 8-6 over the Toronto Playgrounds 11U Red Selects in five active periphrastic innings of Etobicoke Baseball Association (EBA) 11U Select Loop action this afternoon at Christie Pits Diamond 2.
Despite the pea soup humidity prevalent at the ballpark, the proceeding was an entertaining and well played contest between two talented and well coached teams.
Utilizing a combination of solid defence and workmanlike pitching, TP Red kept TP Blue off the scoring ledger in the top portion of the first inning.
Following a leadoff hit and stolen base by Simon (10), Madeline (15) hit a fly ball to centre field. As the ball dovetailed towards the green grass, TP Red centre fielder Sydney (14) swooped in like an Australian Magpie to make an elegant catch in his trusty mitt to tally the first out.
Noticing that Simon had wandered afar from second base on the play, Sydney made a laser throw to TP Red second baseman Jack (12) to chalk up the sweetie pie 8-4 double play.
After issuing a walk, TP Red starter Tristan (19) rang up a strikeout to end the TP Blue revolt in the first inning.
In the bottom of the first, TP Red staked themselves to an early 1-0 lead, After garnering a two out walk, Ethan (80) used his Grand Theft skills to swipe his way around the horn into scoring position at third base. Following a walk by Sydney, Ethan took advantage of a TP Blue error to blaze home with the opening run of the game.
Unfazed, TP Blue starter Jonas (25) chalked up two strikeouts and a pop out in the first inning to put a kibosh on the TP Red insurgency.
Not to be denied, TP Blue struck back with four runs in the top of the second to take a 4-1 lead. After Alex (13) reached base on a fielder’s choice, Dash (00) drew a one out walk that put two ducks on the pond. Dante (36) followed with a two RBI triple that brought Alex and Dash home with TP Blue’s go ahead runs.
Following a walk by Lex (88) that put two aboard, Dante pounced on a TP Red wild pitch to bolt homeward with a run.
After advancing to third base courtesy of a stolen base and a wild pitch, Lex motored homeward on another TP Red wild pitch to score TP Blue’s fourth run.
With a dash of relish and a dollop of mustard, TP Blue starter Jonas retired the TP Red batting order in 1-2-3 fashion in the bottom half of the second with a strikeout and two 1-3 groundouts.
Not to be outdone, TP Red reliever Brayden (9) returned the favour in the top of the third by retiring TP Blue with 1-2-3 efficiency courtesy of a flyout, strikeout and a groundout.
TP Red scored a run in the bottom of the third to trim the margin to 4-2, Following a two out walk, Ethan stole a pair of bases to advance to third base. Taking advantage of wild pitch by TP Blue, Ethan charged homeward with the bacon.
The Red continued to exert pressure as Sydney and Brayden garnered respective walks that put two aboard.
However, TP Blue starter Jonas bookended two strikeouts around a groundout to vanquish the TP Red revolt in the third frame.
Exercising patience at the dish, TP Blue parlayed four walks into four runs in the top half of the fourth to widen their advantage to 8-2. After Jonas garnered a leadoff walk, Jack (1) drew a walk that put two mallards on the lake. Alex followed with a majestic two RBI double that allowed Jonas and Jack to come home to roost.
After a brazen steal of third base, Alex seized upon a TP Red error to charge home with bold as brass aplomb to score a dramatic run for TP Blue.
Following respective walks by Dash (00) and Lex that put two aboard, Cohen (22) reached base on a TP Red faux pas with two outs, which also allowed Dash to motor home and score another TP Blue run.
Refusing to accept their circumstance, TP Red replied with a pair in the bottom of the fourth to trim the margin to 8-4. After drawing a two out walk, Jack turned on the afterburners to advance to third base with a two derring-do steals. A TP Blue error would allow Jack to bolt homeward with a run.
Following a walk and stolen base by Brady (91), Theo delivered a clutch RBI hit that brought Brady home and close the gap to four.
Unruffled, TP Blue reliever Alex tallied a groundout, strikeout and a line out to terminate the TP Red insurgency in the fourth inning.
TP Blue threatened in the top of the fifth after Simon and Madeline stroked back to back singles to open the inning and put two swans on the lake.
Free and easy, TP reliever Sydney found the groove and chalked up a pop out, strikeout and groundout to end the TP Blue mutiny in the fifth frame.
Donning their rally caps, TP Red refused to go down quietly as they valiantly battled in the bottom of the fifth to stay alive.
With two outs, Tristan and Kale (6) garnered back to back walks that put two geese on the pond. Grover (93) followed with a grace under pressure RBI hit that brought Tristan home with a run.
After a walk by Jack that put runners at third and first, Kale motored home on a TP Blue wild pitch to score a run which sliced the deficit to two.
Following a walk by Brady that loaded the bases, the TP Blue defence noticed that a TP Red baserunner had wandered afar from third base. As Grover dived back towards the base, TP Blue third baseman Jonas caught a laser throw from catcher Dante and slapped an emphatic tag on Grover to ring up a heebie-jeebies 2-5 putout play that brought the curtain down on the proceedings.