IN A TOOTH AND NAIL BATTLE, THE GRITTY WHITE CARDINALS SNAP A 2-2 DEADLOCK IN THE FOURTH INNING TO PREVAIL FOR THE 2023 EBA 13U SELECT VICTORY OVER THE PESKY TORONTO PLAYGROUNDS RED AT CHRISTIE PITS
Beneath a warm duvet of hazy and humid skies, the Royal York 13U White Cardinals prevailed 9-3 over the Toronto Playgrounds 13U Red in a five inning Etobicoke Baseball Association (EBA) 13U Select game tonight at Christie Pits Diamond 2.
In the top portion of the first, Royal York White staked itself to an early 1-0 advantage.
Following a leadoff walk by Michael (45), Austin (00) drew a walk that put two Cardinals on the bird feeder. With two outs and runners on third and second base, Michael took advantage of a TP error to hustle home with opening run of the proceedings.
With no desire to pussyfoot around the mulberry bush, TP 13U Red starter Brayden (9) chalked up three electrifying strikeouts to end the White Cardinals mutiny in the first inning.
Toronto Playgrounds threatened in the bottom of the first frame after Billy stroked a one out single and advanced to second base on Brayden’s 4-3 groundout.
However, Royal York 13U White starter Anton (11) tallied a pair of groundouts and a pop out to terminate the TP insurgency in the first inning.
The Royal York White threatened in the top of the second inning after a leadoff hit and stolen base by Sam (3) that put him into scoring position at second base.
Following a strikeout of Gianluca (36) by TP 13U Red starter Brayden, Oscar connected for a fly ball to shallow centre field. As the ball descended from the skies like a dying quail, TP 13U Red centre fielder Brady (7) swooped in like a gazelle to make a spectacular sliding catch for the second out!
Following a single by Anton and a walk by Michael to load the bases, TP 13U Red reliever Billy entered the fray to ring up a strikeout that put a kibosh on the Cardinals dissent in the second frame.
With the wind in their sails, TP 13U Red scored a run in the bottom of the second frame to tie the game 1-1.
After Liam (28) led off the inning with a single, Tristan (19) followed with a groundout that advanced Liam to second base. Following a derring-do theft of third base by Liam, Brady stroked a one out RBI hit that brought Liam home with TP’s tying run.
Unfazed, Royal York 13U White starter Anton chalked up a groundout and two strikeouts to subdue the TP unrest in the second inning.
Not to be outdone, Royal York 13U White replied with a run in the top half of the third frame to retake the upper hand 2-1.
After reaching base on a hit by pitch with one out, James (2) parlayed a stolen base and a wild pitch to advance to third base. Christian followed with a sacrifice fly to centre field that allowed James to blaze homeward with the Cardinals go ahead run.
Following a pair of two out singles by Ethan (10) and Sam (3) that put two White Cardinals on the bird bath, Gianluca (36) connected on fly ball ball to shallow centre field. As Sam charged towards second base, TP 13U Red centre fielder Brady quickly retrieved the ball and made a lightning toss to TP 13U Red second baseman Gabe (55), who forced out Sam on a nifty 8-4 fielder’s choice to ring up the third out.
TP 13U Red reliever Billy tallied a strikeout, fly out and fielder’s choice to bring the curtain down on the Royal York insurrection in the third frame.
With tit for tat resolve, Toronto Playgrounds answered back with a run in the bottom of the third to deadlock the proceedings 2-2.
Following a leadoff walk and stolen base by Gabe, Harrison moved Gabe to third base on a groundout. With his eye on the prize, Jackson delivered a one out RBI single that brought Gabe home with TP’s tying run.
Royal York 13U White reliever Ethan sandwiched a pair of groundouts between a fly out to subjugate the TP disobedience in the third frame.
Throwing down the gauntlet, Royal York 13U White responded with a pair in the top of the fourth inning to take a 4-2 advantage.
Following a one out double by Anton, Michael connected for a RBI double that allowed Anton to fly home to the nest with the Cardinals go ahead run.
After a sly Snagglepuss steal of third base by Michael, Austin stroked a RBI hit to bring Michael home with another Royal York run.
With Michael coming home to roost, Austin made the bold as brass decision to stretch his single into a double. As Austin hustled forward to second base, TP 13U Red right fielder Kale (6) retrieved the ball and made a lightning throw to TP second baseman Harrison. Harrison made a quick pivot and threw the ball to TP shortstop Gabe, who slapped an emphatic tag on a sliding Austin (see photo at the top of the page) to ring up an exquisite 9-4-6 defensive tour de force for the second out!
With two outs and Rian (17) on second base, TP 13U Red reliever Gabe entered the fray to wheel and deal a strikeout that curtailed the Cardinals rebellion in the fourth frame.
Cardinals first baseman Anton turned in a super duper defensive play for the first out in the bottom of the fourth. As Jack charged towards first base after hitting a grounder to second base, Anton kept his foot on the bag as he stretched himself to the limit to reel in the offline throw to tally a 4-3 defensive gem.
With 1-2-3 finesse, Royal York 13U White reliever Sam utilized a groundout and two strikeouts to keep TP off the bases and the scoring ledger in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Going for the jugular, the Royal York 13U White tacked on five insurance runs in the top of the fifth inning to increase their plurality to 9-2.
After muscling a leadoff double, Christian moved over to third base with a ballerina theft of third base.
Following a nice fly ball (off the bat of Ethan) catch by TP 13U Red left fielder Liam for the first out, Sam stroked a RBI single that brought Christian home with a Royal York run.
After Gianluca reached base on a hit by pitch that put two runners aboard, Oscar delivered a two RBI double that allowed Sam and Gianluca to zoom home with a pair of Cardinals runs.
With two outs, Michael garnered a walk that put two Red Birds on the basepaths. With runners on third and second, Austin connected for a grace under pressure two RBI single that brought Oscar and Michael home with two more Royal York White runs.
Subsequently, perched atop second base, Austin flexed his wings as he made a Grand Theft maneuver to swipe third base. As Austin charged full steam towards his goal, TP 13U Red catcher Kale made a thunderous throw to TP 13U Red third baseman Billy, who tagged out Austin with a dash of relish and a dollop of Dijon mustard to rack up a sugar and spice 2-5 putout that brought the curtain down on the Cardinals coup d’état in the fifth frame.
With one out, TP 13U Red reliever Calvin (11) entered the fray to ring up a key strikeout that helped TP end the Royal York dissent in the fifth inning.
Refusing to go quietly into the night, Toronto Playgrounds proudly donned their rally caps in the bottom half of the fifth frame as they made one final kick at the can to change their fate.
After reaching base on a hit by pitch with one out, Kale threw caution to the wind as he turned on the afterburners and stole a pair of bases that advanced him to third base with unabashed aplomb.
With two outs, Gabe hustled down the line for a RBI single that brought Kale home with a TP run.
Following a daring head first slide into second base by Gabe, Harrison stroked a single that put two ducks on the pond that kept TP’s rally hopes alive.
With the momentum shifting, Royal York 13U White reliever Oscar entered the game to tally a groundout that ended the TP threat and seal the deal on a hard fought Cardinals victory.