It was a muggy afternoon as the Cards took the field in the first round of the Starliper tournament. The Cards lost the toss and were the visiting team to the sole representative from Alexandria.
The Cards jumped on the Alexandria starter as Conor led off with a hard double to left. Austin walked, Ian singled to score Conor and the Cards were on the board. Robbie singled and Jack walked to load the bases. Greg drilled a big single to score Austin. Keegan walked to score Ian. Aaron smashed a single to score Robbie and Jack. TJ launched a huge double to center to score Greg, Keegan and Aaron. When the dust had cleared Cards were up 8-0. Conor threw heat and struck out two as the Alexandria team only scored one weak run off of a single and a couple of passed balls. The last batter hit a groundout right back to the mound which Conor played nicely and flipped to Robbie at first.
The Cards went down quietly in the second. In the bottom of the second, the leadoff man walked and the Alexandria team looked set for a rally. The runner took off to steal second and the throw skipped past the infield. The runner bolted for third. This reporter was stunned as clearly the Alexandria team had not read the scouting reports on the Cards young center fielder Justin. The young call-up from AA picked up the ball and rifled a perfect strike to Darron at third who deftly applied the tag. Conor settled down and struck out the next two. Cards bats went down quickly in the third and Conor picked up two more strikeouts.
In the top of the fourth the Cards added some key insurance runs. Keegan walked , Aaron grounded into a fielders choice and stole second. TJ came through with another big RBI to score Aaron. Ian came on with a 9-1 lead. The first batter singled and ultimately scored on a couple of wild pitches, but the next batter walked and then tried to steal second. Robbie gunned him down with a perfect strike to Conor who applied the tag. Ian struck out the next batter and then, after a walk and a catchers interference call, the runner, having learned nothing about Robbies arm, tried to steal third. Robbie fired a strike to third where Jack applied the tag for out three.
In the bottom of the fourth the Cards added some insurance runs. Conor singled, Austin walked and Darron drilled a long shot to right to score Conor and Austin. Ian, Robbie and Jack walked to score Daron. Keegan walked to score Ian. Robbie then alertly stole home as the Alexandria team was not looking. Peter hit a long drive to right to score Jack. When the dust had cleared the Cards were now up 16-2.
Ian came on with a chance to end the game due to a ten run slaughter rule and made quick work out of the bottom of the order. He struck out three in a row to end the game. Cards fans rejoiced as the team advanced to the Starliper quarterfinal to be played tomorrow at 2:30 against the Reston American representative: the White Sox.
Coach Goldstein said, “Tremendous hitting on our part. Anytime you jump on a starter for eight runs in the first, you have to be happy with the offense.”
Coach Grossman said, “I could not be happier with this win. Everyone kicked it up a notch and with ten strikeouts coming from the mound, three runners thrown out stealing, I have very little to complain about. If we play like that tomorrow, I think we’ll be fine.”
When asked what he thought about playing the White Sox he said, “ Well, they are a solid team and it’s a shame only team will advance tomorrow as it’s a real tribute to Reston that we have two quality teams in this tournament. We have shown we can play well against them in our two prior encounters, so I think we’ll be ready for them.”
A few tickets remain for this exciting third match of the season for the two teams.