IN A TOOTH AND NAIL AFFAIR, TORONTO PLAYGROUNDS PREVAIL OVER THE CARDINALS IN THE FINAL INNING FOR A DRAMATIC EBA 13U SELECT LOOP VICTORY AT CHRISTIE PITS
Beneath a checkered blanket of cool and somber Spring skies, the Toronto Playgrounds 13U Blue Selects edged the Royal York Red Cardinals 6-5 in four nip and tuck innings of Etobicoke Baseball Association (EBA) 13U Select Loop action tonight at Christie Pits Diamond 2.
With the game tied 5-5 in the bottom half of the fourth frame, Hatch (18) led off the inning with a solid single. Exercising patience at the plate, Spencer (27) garnered a walk that put two TP runners on base.
Subsequently, Noah took one for the team when he was hit by pitch to load the bases.
After Royal York Red reliever Luke (16) had tallied two strikeouts, the Cardinals defence played a deft chess match as they continually tried to pick off TP baserunners Hatch and Spencer, who respectively occupied third and second base.
As the game within the game reached its climax, Luke made an attempt to pick off Spencer, who had wandered afar from second. This action triggered a cascade of events, whereby the Cards failed in their effort to erase Spencer, which allowed Hatch to blaze home from third base and score TP’s winning run in a dramatic cloud of dust.
The proceeding was a well played and entertaining contest where runs came at a premium. In a back and forth see saw battle, a gritty TP squad grinded out a slender tenderloin victory over the pesky Cardinals.
In the top portion of the first, Royal York Red staked themselves to an early 2-0 advantage.
After drawing a leadoff walk, Alexander (75) swiped his way around the horn into scoring position at third base. Cameron (3) followed with a RBI single that brought Alexander home with the opening run of the game.
Following a single by Myles (8), Nicholas (33) drew a walk that loaded the bases. It was at this moment where TP turned in a pretty 2-5-1 defensive gem that resulted in the first Cardinals out. Noticing that Cameron had wandered afar from third, TP catcher Gabriel (14) made a rocket throw to third baseman Andrew, who ran Cameron back down the third baseline. As Cameron ran towards home, Andrew made a quick throw to TP 11U Blue starter Spencer, who slapped a tag on Andrew to ring up the out.
Subsequently, with runners on third and first, the Cardinals executed a double steal that allowed Nicholas to move over to second and brought Myles home with a run.
After a walk by Johnny (7), Spencer found the mojo and tallied a pop out and strikeout to extinguish the Red Cardinals threat in the first frame.
Toronto Playgrounds quickly answered back with a pair in the bottom of the first to tie it up 2-2.
Following a leadoff walk by Dante (10), Lucas (24) garnered another walk that put two ducks on the pond. Cohen (22) stepped into the batter’s box and delivered a two RBI single that brought Dante and Lucas homeward with the tying runs.
Shaken, but not stirred, Royal York Red starter Myles found the groove and chalked up a pair of groundouts and a strikeout to end the TP uprising in the first inning.
Not to be outdone, Royal York Red replied with a run in the top of the second to retake the upper hand 3-2.
Following a lead off walk and stolen base by Lucas (5), Cameron (18) stroked a single that put two aboard. On the play, TP committed an error that allowed Cameron to advance to second and brought Lucas home with the go ahead run.
The Cardinals continued to ratchet up the pressure on TP after James (2) and Cameron (3) garnered respective d walks that loaded the bases.
With two outs and the bases juiced to the gills, TP 13U Blue reliever Lucas vanquished the Royal York Red threat with an electrifying strikeout.
Toronto Playgrounds stormed back with two in the bottom half of the second inning to regain the lead 4-3.
After Hatch reached base with a lead off walk, Spencer followed suit with a walk that put two otters on the lake. With one out, Noah muscled a two RBI single that allowed Hatch and Spencer to motor home with TP’s go ahead runs.
Nonplussed, Royal York Red starter Myles proceeded to chalk up two strikeouts and a groundout to end the TP insurgency in the second frame.
Like a prized boxer in the ring, Royal York answered back with a dramatic run in the top half of the third to tie the game 4-4.
Nicholas stepped up to the plate and crushed a wooly mammoth solo inside the park home run blast to the deep dish pizza region of centre field to deadlock the proceedings.
Following a strikeout by TP reliever Lucas, the Toronto Playgrounds defence flashed the leather and made two sparkling defensive plays to subdue the Cardinals insurgency in the third frame.
After Royal York batter Luke (16) hit a dying quail fly ball to left, TP left fielder Simon (30) swooped in like a hawk to make an amazin’ catch for the second out.
Then TP third baseman Ethan (4) battled the night sky to reel in an eight mile high pop up off the bat of Justin (23) to tally the third out.
With rock ’em sock ’em fortitude, TP replied with a run in the bottom of the third to take a 5-4 lead.
Following a one out single and stolen base by Cohen, Ethan muscled a RBI double that allowed Cohen to motor home with TP’s go ahead run.
Royal York reliever Luke would ring up two strikeouts and a groundout in the third frame to squelch the TP rebellion.
Refusing to go quietly into the night, the Cardinals continued to battle in the top portion of the fourth inning as they rallied with a run to deadlock the proceedings 5-5.
After hitting a one out single, Callum (13) proceeded to advance to third base courtesy of a stolen base and TP error. Cameron followed with RBI single that brought Callum home with the tying run.
With two Cardinals on base and the game on the line, TP 13U Blue reliever Dante racked up two holy moly strikeouts to extinguish the Royal York insurrection in the fourth frame.
And it was at this juncture in the game where TP 13U Blue came up to bat in the bottom of the fourth inning and came face to face with their moment with destiny.