WITH THE GAME DEADLOCKED 6-6, TORONTO PLAYGROUNDS PREVAIL OVER THE RIVERDOGS IN DRAMATIC WALK OFF FASHION IN THE FINAL INNING TO TAKE HOME THE VICTORY AT CHRISTIE PITS IN THEIR FINAL 2023 EBA 11U SELECT LOOP REGULAR SEASON GAME
Beneath a pristine ceiling of warm midsummer skies, the Toronto Playgrounds 11U Selects edged the York 11U Riverdogs 7-6 in a thrilling six inning 2023 Etobicoke Baseball Association (EBA) 11U Select Game tonight at Christie Pits Diamond 3.
With the nail biting affair deadlocked 6-6 in the bottom half of the sixth frame, Julian (6) worked the count in his favour and drew a leadoff walk for TP.
Throwing caution to the wind, Julian turned on the afterburners as he swiped his way around the horn into scoring position at third base with Grand Theft aplomb.
After Dylan (8) reached base on a hit by pitch with one out that put two TP runners on the dance floor, Cole (23) delivered a solid RBI single that brought Julian home with TP’s winning run.
In the top portion of the first, York threatened after Brianna (8) garnered a leadoff walk.
Craving to ratchet up the pressure on the TP defence, Brianna made the bold as brass decision to steal second base. As she hustled towards paydirt, TP catcher William (4) made a lightning throw to TP second baseman Owen (14), who erased Brianna with a deft swipe tag to ring up a sweet 2-4 play for the first out.
TP 11U starter Cole chalked up a strikeout and a line out (courtesy of second baseman Owen) to keep the Riverdogs offence in the dog pound in the first frame.
Toronto Playgrounds staked itself to an early 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the first inning.
After a one out single, Dylan took advantage of a stolen base and a wild pitch to advance to third base, Cole followed with sacrifice hit that allowed Dylan to motor home with the opening run of the proceedings.
Showing no mercy, TP kept the hot poker on the Riverdogs. Following a two out double by Henry (27), Tristan (3) and Nate (35) garnered back to back walks to load the bases.
Unfazed, York 11U starter Alex (9) tallied a strikeout, groundout and a line out to end the TP threat in the first frame.
Not to be denied, York answered back with a two spot in the top of the second inning to take a 2-1 lead.
After Emmett (1) drew a one out walk, Alex followed with a walk that put two Riverdogs on base. Following a successful steal of third base, Emmett took advantage of a TP error on the play to hustle home with York’s first run of the game.
With two outs and a runner on third, Thad (22) connected for a clutch RBI single that allowed Alex to score the Riverdog’s go ahead run.
Unperturbed, TP 11U starter Cole rang up a groundout and two strikeouts to terminate the York rebellion in the second inning.
With lickety-split speed, TP 11U exploded for four runs in the bottom half of the second inning to retake the upper hand 5-2.
After Chris (7) reached base on a hit by pitch with one out, Julian (6) garnered a walk and Ellis (44) singled to load the bases. Exercising discipline at the dish, Dylan drew a bases loaded RBI walk that allowed Chris to shuffle home with TP’s tying run.
With two outs and the bases still packed tighter than a can of Starkist tuna, Henry snapped the 2-2 tie as he delivered a dramatic grace under pressure three RBI triple that cleared the bases and gave TP a three run lead.
In a nitty gritty foray on the hill, York 11U reliever Adam (3) tallied a pair of fly outs versus TP 11U in the second frame.
Refusing to go quietly into the night, York 11U replied with a run in the top portion of the third inning to trim the margin to 5-3.
Following a leadoff walk by Gabriel (36), Ryan (4) and Brianna hit respective singles to load the bases. With two outs, Adam connected for a clutch RBI hit that brought Gabriel home with a Riverdogs run.
With the bases loaded, wily TP 11U reliever Dylan extricated himself from the Mojo Jojo jam with three hot tamale strikeouts that put the kibosh on the Riverdogs rally bid in the third frame.
Toronto Playgrounds answered back with a run in the bottom of the third inning to take a 6-3 plurality.
Following a leadoff walk by Tristan and a single by William , Owen garnered a one out walk that loaded the bases. With two outs, Julian drew a bases loaded RBI walk that allowed Tristan to come home with a TP run.
With TP threatening to add more to their treasure trove, York 11U reliever Taio (72) found the groove and chalked up a pair of fly outs and a strikeout that quashed the TP insurgency in the third frame.
The TP 11U Selects turned in a pair of exquisite defensive plays in the top of the fourth inning that frustrated York 11U’s comeback efforts.
After stroking a leadoff single, Riverdogs baserunner Emmett was caught high and dry in no man’s land as his wayfaring ways allowed TP shortstop Cole, first baseman Chris and second baseman William to erase Emmett on a Quasimodo 6-3-4 play to ring up the first out.
Following a one out hit by Alex, Zach (2) stroked a single that put two Riverdogs on base. Craving for more, York baserunner Alex made the bold as brass bid to advance to third base on the play. As Alex charged towards third, TP left fielder Dylan retrieved the ball and made a lightning throw to TP 11U reliever Owen, who slapped an emphatic tag on Alex before he could slide into third base to ring up a pretty 7-1 play for the second out!
TP 11U reliever Owen finished off the inning with a fly out that left York 11U with nothing to show on the scoring ledger in the fourth frame.
Toronto Playgrounds threatened in the bottom half of the fourth inning following a double and stolen base by Cole.
With true grit, York 11U reliever Brianna chalked up two Nasty Canasta strikeouts and a groundout to extinguish the TP threat in the fourth frame.
Refusing to throw in the towel, York 11U continued to battle in the top of the fifth inning as they scored a run that trimmed the shortfall to 6-4.
Following a one out walk, Gabriel turned on the afterburners and advanced into scoring position at third base courtesy of a stolen base and a wild pitch. After a walk by Milliano (20) put York baserunners on the corners, Ryan hit a 5-3 sacrifice hit that advanced Milliano to second and brought Gabriel home with a Riverdogs run.
Unruffled, TP 11U reliever Tristan rang up two strikeouts and a groundout to terminate the York rebellion in the fifth frame.
In the bottom of the fifth, TP 11U threatened again following a leadoff single and stolen base by Nate (35).
With the game on the line, York 11U reliever Zach showed no inclination to pussyfoot around the marigold bush as he chalked up a pair of groundouts and a pop out to subvert the TP insurgency in the fifth frame.
Donning their rally caps, York 11U rallied back with a pair in the top of the sixth inning to tie the game 6-6.
After a leadoff single by Adam, Lennox (19) drew a walk that put two ducks on pond. Following a one out walk by Alex that loaded the bases, Thad delivered a clutch two out two RBI double that advanced Alex to third base and brought Adam and Lennox homeward with the Riverdogs tying runs.
With York’s go ahead runs standing at third and second base, TP 11U reliever Chris induced a groundout that extinguished the Riverdogs coup d’état in the sixth frame.
And it was at this nail biting juncture in the proceedings where TP 11U came up to bat in the bottom vector of the sixth inning and came face to face with their rendezvous with destiny,