Dateline: Browns Chapel
The Indians came into Browns Chapel riding high after sailing over the Angels 8-1 last week. However, this time they ran into a full complement of Angels. It was a warm Fall afternoon as Garrett walked to the mound after throwing numerous strikes in practice yesterday. With Mac out with a cold, the Angels bullpen depth was again tested. The Indians were able to get two runs across in the top of the first with some fielding miscues, but overall Garett looked good as he struck out three.
In the bottom of the first, the Angels bats came alive. Alec led off with a single, Taylor grounded back to the pitcher and the pitcher made a nice throw to second to get Alec. Garret singled and Kevin hit a long shot to left to score Taylor and Garrett. Michael drilled a shot to right for his first hit of the year and it scored Kevin. After one, the Angels led 3-2 and the Indians knew it would be a much tougher battle this time.
In the top of the second, Garret again went to the mound. The first batter was safe on a tough roller to the hole between short and third. A walk and a stolen base put runners on first and third. The next batter hit a dribbler in front of home plate. Kevin, the catcher, leaped from his position, chucked off his mask, grabbed the ball and fired a perfect strike to first where Michael made a great catch for out two. The Indians alert runner sped for home and barely beat the throw home to make the score 3-3. A stolen base and a weak roller to the pitcher scored another run to make it 4-3 Indians. Michael ended the inning by scooping a sharp grounder to first and stepping on the bag. The Angels came right back in the second with a leadoff walk by Alec and a walk to Garrett. With two on, Kevin hit a long triple to right. He was nailed at the plate as he tried to stretch it into an in-the-park home run, but not until two runs had scored. After two it was 5-4 Angels.
Robbie took over on the mound in the third. He struck out the first batter, but a weak hit to third put a runner on first. The next batter walked. The next batter smashed a shot to second, Taylor scooped it up and stepped on the bag for out two. Sadly, another weak single to third scored a run and put runners on first and second. The next batter smashed a sharp grounder to Michael at third. He got to the ball and outraced the runner from second and tagged him a split second before he got to third. The score was again tied at five. In the bottom of the third, the Angels went quietly with two strikeouts and a third batter called out for batting out of order.
Kevin came on in the fourth and walked the first two batters he faced. A weak single to third loaded the bases. Kevin settled down to strike out the next batter. A shot to right scored two runs, but Kevin struck out the next two and the Indians had a 7-5 lead. But the Angels bats kept rolling. Alec led off with a long triple to right and scored on the overthrow to third. Taylor singled, Kevin singled, and Robbie drove in Taylor with a big RBI single to left. When the dust cleared, the Angels had tied the score at 7.
Kevin strolled to the mound and blew away the Indians in the fifth. He struck out three batters and only walked one. The stage was set as the Angels needed only a run to win. Ben walked, Quinn, and Alec singled to load the bases. Taylor went down on strikes and with one out Garrett walked slowly to the plate. After two balls, the count was three and one. Garrett waited on a fastball. He got one and hit a shot to second base. The second baseman picked up the ball and threw home. Ben came streaking in from third. It was a bang-bang play and we would have needed instant reply to call it, but the catcher dropped the throw as the Angels rejoiced with the first win of their Fall campaign.
Coach Grossman had to cut short his post game interview as he was heading off on another scouting trip. “It was a thriller. We stayed in it the whole time and our bats were rolling. Alec had three hits, Taylor had one, Garret had two, Kevin went three for three, Michael, Robbie and Quinn also hit the ball well. We have some work to do on our fielding, but it is coming along. All of pitchers performed wonderfully. I think we are going to have a very competitive team the second half of this season.” Coach Goldstein said “It was a fantastic game, our catchers were very alert and I liked how all of our batters have really progressed. We’ll be ready on Monday.”
The Angels play Monday at Fox Mill District Park. Coach Goldstein will be at the helm as Coach Grossman will be off on his aforementioned scouting trip.