Dateline: 4 June 2002
The place: Hook Road 2 Stadium
The event: The Reston AA Rangers host the Reston AA White Sox.
It was a balmy early evening when the White Sox took their first at bats. The White Sox struck first with three quick runs. However the Rangers came back with four weak runs off of starter David Wynne (the Rangers refused to swing so they lived on cheap walks). In a big sign of things to come though, Nolan had a great toss to David Wynne who alertly covered home on a wild pitch to finish off a runner trying to score from third. So after one inning it was Rangers 4 White Sox 3.
The Sox started off the second with a man on base but then after a solid single to center, the Rangers ended the inning on a groundout. Nolan came on to pitch in the second and the Rangers singled to put a man on. After two more walks and one strikeout the bases were loaded. The Rangers then hit a dribbler to Nolan who smartly threw it to home but sadly the throw was a little off and the run scored. The next batter tried Nolan again and this time the throw was perfect for the force at home. A final strikeout got the Sox out of the inning with the score Rangers 5 White Sox 3. The White Sox came in to the dugout with their spirits high – knowing they have come back so many times this year.
Top of the third, and Wesley smashed a deep shot to right field for a standup triple. A few walks later and Wesley scored. Alas, that was all the scoring for that inning and Sox still trailed. Nolan stayed on the mound and the Rangers loaded the bases, but on a wild pitch they tried to send the runner but he was nailed on a heads up play by Mark and Nolan. The Rangers would think twice about sending anyone else down. The rest of the side struck out. No damage done, and after three Rangers 5 White Sox 4.
In the fourth, the tide started to turn. With the top of the order, Mark and Nolan walked. Mark moved to third on a wild pitch and David Wynne smashed a shot at the pitcher. On the throw to first, Mark scored to tie the game and move Nolan to third. The Rangers pitchers were terrified of Wesley and he was walked to load the bases. A walk to Ricky and a single by Will brought in two more runs and a fourth and final run of the inning scored on a walk. After three and a half the Sox led 8-5. They would not relinquish this lead.
The Rangers tried to retaliate with a a walk, but Nolan struck out the next two batters. A bit hit to right scored the run a couple of walks scored a second run. Sox 8 Rangers 7.
The Sox continued their scoring assaut in the fifth with four quick walks. Then came the play of the game with Mark on third and Nolan on second. Nolan took a big lead after a pitch and just stood there waiting. The pitcher decided to chase him back to second and and Coach Grossman, always looking for opportunities, sent Mark home for the stand up steal of home. Another walk and another steal and the White Sox had four.
Wesley came on in the fifth and shut down the Rangers – they were only able to get a meak run. After five it was Sox 12 Rangers 8.
In the final inning, Ricky led off with a walk. David Riddle walked and Ricky stole third. Garret hit a solid shot to the second baseman thus giving the Sox a key insurance run. With two outs and Garrett on first, Mark hit a solid shot to the shortstop who alertly flipped to second for the final out.
With a 13-8 lead Wesley took the mound only three outs away from the American league pennant. The Sox fans were on the edge of their seat. Wesley struck out three after a couple of meak walks scored a run. The final score White Sox 13 Rangers 9. The White Sox win the AL Pennant.
Coach Goldstein, who had no doubt that the Sox would do well today, broke out the Champagne (sparkling Apple Cider) and the team drank heartily.
This reported tried to corner both Coach Goldstein and Coach Grossman and was able to get to Coach Goldstein first. His comments were, “Coach Grossman and I are real proud of this team and all they have accomplished, lets try to keep this up with a big day on Saturday. ” Next was Coach Grossman’s comments “I am truly impressed with how this team and our fans have come together – I can see real improvement with everyone’s hitting and fielding. Lets keep things going so we can play as many games as possible. It sounds like an old cliché but any success this season really must be shared by the players, the assistant coaches, and of course the parents (who have really been a big help all season)..”