WITH TRUE GRIT, TORONTO PLAYGROUNDS PREVAIL OVER THE CARDINALS TO EARN THEIR FIRST ETOBICOKE BASEBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFF GAME VICTORY AT CHRISTIE PITS
Beneath a warm canopy of opulent midsummer skies, the Toronto Playgrounds 11U Blue Selects defeated the Royal York Boy Cardinals 11-2 in a 6 ½ inning round robin playoff game this afternoon at Christie Pits Diamond 2 to earn their first victory at the 2022 Etobicoke Baseball Association (EBA) 11U Select Championship Tournament.
Royal York Boys threatened in the top half of the first inning. After a one out single, Rayne (21) stole second base to get himself into scoring position.
However, TP 11U Blue starter Dash (00) refused to accede to the Cardinals pussyfooting as he rang up a strikeout and two pop outs [caught respectively by second baseman Theo (6) for the first out and first baseman Jonas (25) for the third] to keep them off the scoring ledger in the first frame.
In the bottom of the first, Toronto Playgrounds threatened after Alex (13) and Ethan (80) stroked a pair of back to back singles that put two runners on the dance floor.
Nonplussed, Royal York Boys starter Rayne bookended a pair of flyouts around a groundout to end the TP incursion in the first inning.
Taking no prisoners, TP 11U Blue starter Dash retired Royal York in 1-2-3 fashion in the top of the second with an eight mile high pop out (reeled in with the ready steady handiwork of second baseman Theo) and two scintillating strikeouts that kept the Cardinals perched in their nest and off the scoreboard.
Toronto Playgrounds threatened in the bottom of the second following a one out walk and stolen base by Theo.
Unfazed, Royal York Boys starter Rayne tallied a pair of pop outs and a groundout to keep TP off the scoring abacus in the second frame.
The Royal York Boys drew first blood in the top of the third after they scored a pair to take a 2-0 lead.
After William (8) reached base on a hit by pitch with two outs, Brandon (91) stroked a single that put two Cardinals on the bird fountain. Luca (9) followed with a clutch two RBI triple that allowed William and Brandon to motor home with the opening runs of the game.
Unruffled, TP 11U Blue starter Dash found his Mojo Jojo and chalked up a groundout and two strikeouts to extinguish the Royal York insurrection.
Taking a modicum of umbrage at their situation, Toronto Playgrounds quickly answered back with a four spot in the bottom portion of the third to take a 4-2 advantage.
After Owen (9) reached base on an catcher interference call to lead off the inning, Max stepped into the batter’s box and delivered a dramatic one out two run inside the park home run that allowed TP to deadlock the proceedings 2-2.
With the summer wind in their sails, Alex followed with a single and a pair of derring-do steals that advanced him to third base. After a walk by Ethan that put two ducklings on the pond, Jonas (25) connected for a two RBI hit that brought Alex and Ethan home with TP’s go ahead runs.
With 1-2-3 efficiency, TP 11U starter Dash retired the Royal York batting order in the top of the fourth with a pair of groundouts that kept the Cardinals offence ensconced in their bird cage,
Dash received a big play from his D during the inning. With one out and a Royal York baserunner on first, Evan (27) hit a sharp cheddar cheese grounder up the middle of the diamond. Like a gazelle, TP second baseman Theo swooped in and sucked up the ball like a Kirby vacuum cleaner and stepped on second base for the second out. Then Theo quickly pivoted and made a rocket throw over to first baseman Jonas to complete a nifty 4-3 double play that put a kibosh on the Cardinals rally bid.
Putting the pedal to the metal, TP 11U Blue scored four in the bottom of the fourth to widen their plurality to 8-2.
After a one out single, Theo swiped his way around the horn to third base with Grand Theft aplomb. With two outs, Dash stroked a clutch RBI hit that allowed Theo to score.
A Royal York error on the play allowed Dash to move over to second base. Owen followed with a RBI hit that brought Theo home with the bacon.
Following a pair of brazen steals by Owen that moved him into scoring position at third, Sydney VK (14) delivered a seamless RBI single that allowed Owen to scoot home with another TP run.
After Sydney VK had stolen second, Max capped off TP’s big inning with a RBI hit that brought Sydney VK home with a carton of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream
In the top of the fifth, TP starter Dash chalked up a flyout, groundout and strikeout to pacify the Cardinals with 1-2-3 style.
Kudos to TP right fielder Giovanni for making a nice catch for the first out.
Toronto Playgrounds tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the fifth to widen their lead to 11-2.
After Alex and Ethan opened the inning with back to back singles that put two mallards on the lake, Jonas drew a walk that loaded the bases. At this juncture, Alex threw caution to the wind as he brazenly stole home and scored a run with unabashed savoir faire.
Subsequently, with one out and runners on third and second, Theo stroked a RBI single that advanced Giovanni (10) to third and brought Ethan home with a run.
Following a two out walk by Dash that reloaded the bases, the Royal York defence committed an error that allowed Giovanni to blaze home from third base with another TP run.
Royal York Boys reliever Ashton (47) entered the fray from the bullpen in the fifth frame to tally a pair of groundouts and a strikeout to diffuse the TP rebellion.
Refusing to quietly into the evening sunset, Royal York continued to battle in the top of the sixth as Ayan (2) garnered a walk to keep their comeback hopes alive.
However, TP 11U Blue starter Dash rang up a flyout, lineout and strikeout to stymie the Cardinals rally bid in the sixth frame.
Toronto Playgrounds threatened again in the bottom of the sixth following a leadoff hit by Sydney VK and a walk by Ethan that put two aboard.
With No, No, Nanette resolve, Royal York Boys reliever Ashton chalked up a pop out, lineout and a strikeout in the sixth that kept TP off the scoresheet.
Cool as a cucumber atop a John Deere X-700 Signature Series 48-inch, 25 horsepower Lawn Tractor, TP 11U Blue closer Jonas mowed down the Cardinals with three electrifying strikeouts in the top of the seventh to seal the deal on hard fought playoff victory.