Beneath a serene ceiling of cool September skies, the Rays prevailed 11-7 over the White Sox in a five inning 2023 Toronto Playgrounds Baseball Association (TPBA) House League Tournament 11U Mosquito Division Championship Game this evening at Christie Pits Diamond 3.
The Rays jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Following a leadoff hit by Aarav (13), Julian (6) reached base on a White Sox error. With two ducks on the pond, Ronan (7) delivered a RBI single that advanced Julian to third base and brought Aarav home with the opening run of the proceedings.
After Ellis (10) drew a walk to load the bases, Finn (8) garnered a bases loaded RBI walk that allowed Julian to shuffle home with a Rays run.
With the bases stilled packed tighter than a tin of StarKist tuna, Cole (3) reached base on a catcher’s interference call that brought Ronan homeward with another Rays run.
Shaken, but not stirred, White Sox starter Sam (22) found the groove and proceeded to mow down the Rays with three hot tamale strikeouts that extinguished the Rays uprising in the first frame.
Not to be outdone, the White Sox answered back with a run in the bottom half of the first inning to trim the shortfall to 3-1.
After Maddox (32) reached base with a leadoff double, Eli (25) connected for a clutch two out RBI single that brought Maddox home with the White Sox first run of the game.
Unfazed, Rays starter Aarav tallied a groundout and two strikeouts that kept the the White Sox attack at bay in the first frame.
With genus Mobula resolve, the Rays exploded for four in the top portion of the second inning to increase their advantage to 7-1.
After reaching base on a hit by pitch to open the inning, Andrew (12) would advance into scoring position at third base courtesy of a wild pitch and a stolen base.
Following a two out walk by Raymond (5) that put runners at third and first base, Aarav powered a RBI double that moved Raymond to third and brought Andrew home with a Rays run. A White Sox error on the play allowed Raymond to hustle home with another Rays run.
After hitting a single that moved Aarav to third base, Julian ratcheted up the pressure on the White Sox defence by stealing second base. With two runners on the dance floor, Ronan delivered a RBI hit that advanced Julian to third base and allowed Aarav to score a Rays run.
During the Rays next at bat, the White Sox committed a grievous faux pas that allowed Julian to blaze homeward from third and score a dramatic run for the Rays.
In a nitty gritty effort on the hill, White Sox reliever Eli tallied two strikeouts against the Rays in the second frame.
Refusing to go quietly into the night, the White Sox battled back with a four spot in the bottom of the second inning to close the gap to 7-5.
Exercising patience at the dish, the White Sox took advantage of seven walks. Kenji (27), Miles (23), Sebastian (15) and Adrian (31) garnered respective bases loaded RBI walks to bring Mason (26), Blake (28), Milo (30) and Kenji home with a cornucopia of White Sox runs.
With true grit, Rays reliever Hannah (11) rang up a strikeout against the White Sox in the second frame.
The Rays threatened again in the top half of the third inning. After leading off the frame with a walk, Ellis swiped his way around the horn to third base with unbridled aplomb.
Refusing to pussyfoot around the mulberry bush, White Sox reliever Blake (28) retired the Rays in 1-2-3 fashion with three sterling strikeouts that put the kibosh on the Rays attack in the third frame.
With no desire to concede an inch, Rays reliever Julian returned the favour in the bottom of the third when he stymied the White Sox with 1-2-3 precision courtesy of a pair of Peter Gunn strikeouts and a 1-3 come backer to the mound.
On a mission, the Rays added three gold doubloons to their treasure trove in the top of the fourth to widen their plurality to 10-5.
After a leadoff walk by Huxley (1), Andrew reached base on a hit by pitch. Following a one out walk by Otis (9) that loaded the bases, Annabelle (14) worked the count in her favour to draw a bases loaded RBI walk that allowed Huxley to come home with a Rays run.
With the bases still juiced to the gills, Raymond delivered a RBI single that brought Andrew home with a Rays run.
After Aarav hit into a fielder’s choice that erased Otis at home plate, Julian drew a two out bases loaded RBI walk that allowed Annabelle to come home to roost with another Rays run.
In a gritty foray on the hill, White Sox reliever Adrian tallied a strikeout, groundout and a pop out to extinguish the Rays insurgency in the fourth frame.
With no inclination to throw in the towel, the pesky White Sox replied with a pair in the bottom of the fourth inning to close the margin to 10-7.
Following a leadoff single by Sam, Henry (21) muscled a RBI double that allowed Sam to come home with the green eggs and ham.
With a runner on third, Eli delivered a RBI single that brought Henry homeward with another White Sox run.
Reelin’ and rockin’, Rays reliever Cole found his mojo as he served up three sizzling strikeouts that extinguished the White Sox insurrection in the fourth frame.
In the top portion of the fifth inning, the Rays tacked on an insurance run to extend their upper hand to 11-7.
After a leadoff walk by Ellis, Cole and Hannah drew back to back one out walks to load the bases. Huxley garnered a bases loaded RBI walk that brought Ellis home with a Rays run.
With the bases loaded, White Sox reliever Kenji chalked up a strikeout and a sparkling 1-3 double play to snuff out the Rays anarchy in the fifth frame.
Donning their rally caps, the White Sox made one last stand change their fate in the bottom of the fifth inning.
However, Rays closer Ellis reeled off three consecutive strikeouts to seal the deal on the Rays 2023 TPBA House League Tournament 11U Mosquito Division Championship victory.