IN AN ENTERTAINING SEE SAW BATTLE, A NITTY GRITTY TORONTO PLAYGROUNDS SQUAD FENDS OFF THE PESKY CARDINALS TO PREVAIL FOR THE 2022 OPENING DAY EBA 11U SELECT LOOP VICTORY AT CHRISTIE PITS
Beneath a genteel blanket of cool Spring skies, the Toronto Playgrounds 11U Red Selects prevailed 11-6 over the Royal York Girl Cardinals in four innings of Etobicoke Baseball Association (EBA) 11U Select action tonight at Christie Pits Diamond 2.
The Mother’s Day contest was the 2022 EBA 11U Select Loop season opener for both teams. It was a fun and entertaining affair between two talented and well coached teams. When the dust had finally settled on the field of play, TP had snuffed out a feverish rally bid by the Cardinals in the final frame to prevail for the win.
With ornithological resolve, Royal York took flight in the top half of the first inning by staking themselves to an early 2-0 advantage.
After a leadoff walk by Bea (99), Adelaide (14) garnered a walk that put Cardinal baserunners at second and first. Brooklyn (7) followed by smashing a smokin’ line drive down the third baseline. However, TP third baseman Gabriel K. (13) snagged the hot tamale shot in the shoestrings of his trusty mitt to tally the first out.
Noticing that Bea had wandered afar from second base during the play, Gabriel K. quickly pivoted and made a lightning throw to second baseman Jack (16) to ring up the sweet 5-4 double play!
With two outs and a Red Bird on second base, Sarah (17) delivered a clutch RBI double that brought Adelaide home with the opening run of the game.
Not to be denied, Erin (8) followed suit with a grace under pressure RBI single that allowed Sarah to motor homeward with Royal York’s second run.
With the bases loaded, TP starter Tristan (19) extricated himself from the sticky wicket by ringing up a sizzling strikeout to bring an end to the Cardinals insurrection in the first frame.
With authority, Toronto Playgrounds quickly answered back with four runs in the bottom portion of the first to take a 4-2 lead.
With one out, Gabriel K. and Brady (7) drew back to back walks that put two ducks on the pond. Brayden (9) stepped into the batter’s box and muscled a 2 RBI single that brought Gabriel K. and Brady home with the tying runs.
Exercising patience at the dish, Kale (6) and Tristan drew consecutive walks that loaded the bases. Billy (24) followed with a RBI hit that brought Brayden home with TP’s go ahead run.
With the bases still juiced to the gills, Henry (27) stroked a RBI single that allowed Kale to bring home another TP run.
With a dash of relish and a dollop of Dijon mustard, TP 11U Red kept the high flying Red Birds off the scoring ledger in the top of the second.
Flashing the leather, TP first baseman Brady corralled a blazing saddle liner off the bat of Royal York batter Evie (19) to rob her of a hit and tally the first out of the inning.
Taking care of business, TP reliver Gabriel K. followed by ringing up two TP strikeouts in the frame to keep the Cardinals offense perched in their nest.
Toronto Playgrounds threatened in the bottom half of the second when Harrison (42) and Calvin (11) garnered respective walks that put two aboard. However, Royal York starter Adelaide rang up two deft strikeouts to keep TP off the scoresheet.
Refusing to go quietly into the night, Royal York rallied back with a three spot in the top portion of the third to retake the lead 5-4.
Following a leadoff walk by Bea, Adelaide reached base on a hit by pitch that put two Cardinals in flight. After a one out walk by Sarah that loaded the bases, Erin stroked a groundout that brought Bea home and trim the deficit to one.
With two runners on base, Olivia (1) delivered a clutch two out RBI hit that allowed Adelaide to hustle home and deadlock the proceedings at 4-4.
After a walk by Gemma (4) that reloaded the bases, Lauryn (34) took one for the team by reaching base on a hit by pitch that brought Sarah homeward with the Cards go ahead run.
Shaken, but not stirred, TP reliever Calvin tallied two strikeouts in the third frame to put a kibosh on the Royal York uprising.
In the bottom of the third frame, TP 11U Red patiently parlayed a Mandarin Buffet serving of six consecutive walks and a pair of errors doled out by the Cardinals to erase the one run deficit.
Following a leadoff walk by Gabriel R. (2), Gabriel K. drew a walk that put two mallards on the lake. A subsequent Royal York error would allow Gabriel R. to blaze home from third base with TP’s tying run.
After a pair of walks by Brady and Brayden loaded the bases, the Cardinals committed another defensive faux pas that gave Gabriel K. the opportunity to scoot home and give TP a 6-5 lead.
Following a walk by Kale that reloaded the bases, Tristan drew a RBI walk that brought Brady home with an insurance run.
Finding the groove, Royal York reliever Brooklyn mowed down the next three batters with three sterling K’s to extinguish the TP rebellion in the third inning.
Donning their rally caps, the pesky Cardinals refused to surrender as they made a last ditch comeback bid in the top half of the fourth.
After Sofia (6) was hit by pitch to open the inning, Emily (2) garnered a walk that put two Red Birds aboard. Subsequently, with runners on first and third, the Cards executed a brazen double steal. As Emily stole second base, Sofia charged home and scored a run that trimmed the shortfall to 7-6.
As the TP throw to erase Emily at second base sailed high into centre field, Emily turned on the afterburners and made a bold as brass bid to come around the horn and score the tying run. As she hustled homeward, centre fielder Tristan quickly retrieved the ball and made a laser throw to TP catcher Billy, who slapped an emphatic tag on Emily in a chitty chitty bang bang play at home plate to ring up an exquisite 8-2 defensive gem for the dramatic out that preserved TP’s razor thin one run advantage.
With one out and the potential tying run on third base, TP reliever Henry tallied two strikeouts in the fourth to vanquish the Cardinals rally and seal the deal on a hard fought victory.
Toronto Playgrounds added four more runs to their total in the bottom of the fourth to stretch their advantage to 11-6.
After a leadoff single by Harrison, Jack and Calvin garnered back to back walks to load the bases. Liam (37) and Gabriel R. followed with respective RBI singles to bring Harrison and Jack home with the bacon. A subsequent Royal York wild pitch allowed Calvin to come home to roost.
Following a walk by Gabriel K. that reloaded the bases, Brady drew a RBI walk that brought Liam home with TP’s final run.