Dateline: Crabtree Field
On a very pleasant fall evening the Phillies took the field against the Rockies in the game to decide home field advantage against the same team in the playoffs. It was a thriller. Aidan looked sharp in the first. Two quick strikeouts followed by a long fly to the corner in right put a runner on second. A walk and two wild pitches scored the run. The last batter popped out to Reece at short for out three. Bottom of the first and with one out Sam led off with a hard single to right. A walk and a ground out to first by Krishan put runners on third and second. Reece, Aidan and Will all singled to right to score Sam and Kyle and Reece. On a wild pitch, Aidan almost scored but out by a couple of inches at the plate. After one it was 3-1 Phillies.
Top of the second and Aidan was dominant. Two strikeouts and a routine ground out to Kyle at short ended the inning. Bottom of the second and the Phillies mounted a threat. Cam walked, Krish reached on an infield hit and Sam walked to load the bases. The Rockies pitcher settled down and got out of the inning. After two it was still 3-1.
Top of the third and Reece came on and looked sharp. After a leadoff single, he struck out two batters. A walk and an infield single and a walk scored a run. The last batter popped out to Reece. Bottom of the third and the Phillies went back to work. Reece and Aidan reached on infield errors. Will grounded into a fielders choice with one out. Cam blasted a huge double to center to score Reece and Aidan. Krish was hit by a pitch and Isaac walked. Again the Phillies had the bases loaded but again the Rockies held off disaster and got out of the inning. After three it was 5-2 Phillies.
Top of the fourth and the Rockies came storming back. A leadoff walk and a double to right almost scored a run but a great throw by William in right to Reece who fielded a perfect cutoff and fired home to Sam at the plate who deftly applied the tag for out one. A ground out to the mound resulted in two outs. The next batter walked and two runs scored on a single wild pitch. Sam came on in relief and walked two batters. Michael came in out of the bullpen and gave up a single to right. The runner on second got hung up between second and third and Michael quickly ran out and ran right to the runner and tagged him during a perfectly run, non-throwing run down for out three. When the dust had cleared the Rockies had a 7-5 lead. Bottom of the fourth and Phillies came right back. Michael singled, Sam got his second hit on the day. Krishan came up with a huge double to left to score Michael and Sam. At the end of 4 it was all tied up at 7-7.
Top of the 5th and Michael was unhittable. The first batter reached on an infield error but was out by four feet at second when he tried to steal on Kyle at the plate. Kyle threw down to second where Reece quickly applied the tag. The next batter popped up behind the mound and Evan came streaking in from second to make a great catch for out two. The last batter struck out. Bottom of the fifth and the Phillies went down quietly with two strikeouts an da groundout for their first one, two three inning of the game. After five it was still tied.
Top of the sixth and Michael was allowed to pitch for one out. He struck out the first batter and that concluded his six out limit in a game. Krishan came in and looked sharp as he quickly struck out the next batter and after an infield single, struck out the last batter. Bottom of the sixth and the Phillies just needed a run to end the game. Krish beat out an infield hit to third. A wild pitch later and he was on second. Michael walked and the fourth ball was a wild pitch to put Krish on at third and Michael at second. With the winning run sixty feet away Sam hit a shot back to the mound, the pitcher dribbled it and got to the ball, turned and fired to first. The field ump called Sam safe (this reporter thought he out by a step) and as the teams were about to shake hands, the Rockies coach correctly asked the home plate ump to see if the field ump would like his opinion. The field ump changed his call and after six it was still tied at 7-7.
Top of the seventh and Krishan went back to the mound. He struck out the first batter. The next batter reached on a tough hop to third. Krishan settled down and struck out the next batter. With two outs, the next batter hit a ball to the no-mans land between short and third, the two fielders collided and then the throw went over the first basemans head to score a run. A single to right resulted in another run. A couple of wild pitches moved the runner to third and the runner tried to steal home but Krishan alertly threw to Michael at home for out three. It was now a 9-7 game. Sadly the Phillies went down in order and the game ended. Final Score: Rockies 9 Phillies 7.
Coach Grossman has little time for an interview as he was beginning playoff preparations for Saturday. He said, “Our guys played much better team defense, our cutoffs were crisp and we put up 9 runs and left a ton of runners on base. I really couldn’t think of what to say to our team after this one as we had so many opportunities to win the game. I thought Aidan our pitchers pitched well enough. Other than the fourth inning, we only gave up three walks. We’ll be ready on Saturday.”