Dateline: Fred Crabtree 1 (Smith Field)

On a very pleasant late summer evening, the Brewers opened their Fall campaign against the Orioles. The Brewers, having played quite reasonably in the Spring were moved up to the A-Majors or high A bracket in the fall. In pre-season commentary Coach Grossman said, “Well any time you can get nine players back from the Spring you are going to look forward to the fall. We lost two great players but we filled them in very nicely with Olivia’s return and we are excited to see her bring her friend Amanda into the program.” One never knows how things are going to go in a given season, but I’m certainly extremely thrilled to have such great returing players in Caelen, Colin, Isaac, Jordan, Matthew, Michael, Mitchell, Michael, Nicholas, Olivia, and Sofia. I listed Olivia here as she is certainly very familiar with our program. I’m also thrilled to have Coach Allen back along with our stellar bench Coach Vedder, our strength and conditioning specialist Coach Callahan and our all-purpose assistants Coach Miller, Coach Gibrell and Coach Grange. It is a huge loss to not have Coach Goldstein with us but the AAA Rangers wanted him at the helm and its certainly a great opportunity for him to be a head coach after turning down numerous offers over the years. I look forward to having him back on the staff in the Spring.

After on-field introductions, play began. The Orioles picked up two runs on some infield hits, but Matthew made a nice play on a ground ball and he threw quickly to Mitchell at first for out one. Another batter hit a solid double to center but Sofia got to it quickly and tossed to Michael who alertly tagged the runner when they ran off the base for out two. Matthew handled a tough hop back to the mound and he made a perfect throw to Mitchell for out three.

In the bottom of the first the Brewers offense started to roll. Amanda beat out an infield hit in her Little League debut. Caelen, Colin and were safe on infield hits to load the bases for Isaac with no outs. Isaac hit a chopper to the mound and the Orioles threw home to just get Amanda. Matthew put the Brewers on the board with a hard shot to first where the Orioles made the play but Caelen scored. Michael singled to left to score Colin. Mitchell was safe on a infield bloop hit to short and he got an RBI as Isaac scored. Nicholas beat out an infield hit to put runners on at first and second. Olivia hit a hard shot to the shortstop to score Michael and thus the Brewers had their first four run inning on the day.

The Brewers looked tough in the second. The first batter grounded to second, Isaac charged the ball, threw to first, but the runner was safe by a step. The next batter hit a grounder to the mound hwere Mitchell scooped and fired to Matthew who made a nice stretch for out one. The next batter popped up toward the mound. It fell, but Mitchell alertly picked it up and fired to Matthew at first for out two. With a runnner on third the next batter hit a dribbler right in front of the plate. Mitchell charged and threw to Michael at home. Michael caught it and the runner went out of the baseline to avoid the tag for out three. A shutdown, no run inning for the Brewers. Brewers fans celebrated!

In the bottom of the second the Brewers offense kept roling. Sophit hit one off the machine but it was unfortunately right to first. Amanda was safe on an infield hit to third. Caelen was out as he grounded out to first for out two. Colin beat out an infield hit to second off the machine. Isaac was safe on a dribbler in front of the plate. Matthew hit a long double to center to score Amanda and Colin. Michael beat out an infield hit as Isaac scrored. Mitchell hit a nice shot off the machine to score Matthew. The four run limit was reached so the inning came to a close.

With a few good hits and some close plays by the defense the Orioles scored their four runs in the third. Nicholas led off the bottom of the first with a smash to third. Olivia and Sofia both singled to load the bases. Amanda beat out an infield hit to get her first RBI of he year as Nicholas scored. Caelen grounded into a fielders choice at second to score Olivia. Colin hit a hard shot down the first base line to score Sofia. Isaac was safe on an infield hit and Matthew hit a smash to second to score Caelen. Again the Brewers hit the four run limit.

In the top of the fourth, after two batters singled, the next batter hit a grounder to Isaacs right. He wheeled and fired to Matthew at third for out one. The next batter popped out to Mattew who made a great catch for out two. After a couple of runs scored on some infield hits, the next batter grounded back to the mound where Isaac threw to Michael for out three. In the bottom of the fourth, Michael was safe on a grounder to short, Mitchell hit a long fly to left and Nicholas beat out an infield hit to load the bases. Olivia hit a single to score Michael. Sopfia reached on an infield hit to score Mitchell. Amanda beat out an infield hit to score Nicholas and Caelen drilled a hit to center to score Olivia.

Time was running out but everyone decided there was just enough time to let the Orioles bat one more time in the top of the fifth. They picked up four runs on some infield hits but not before the Brewers picked up another out at second as Mitchell alertly made a great play and tagged the base. It was the Brewers 10th out on the day.

Coach Grossman was available briefly after the game. “It was a great opener for us. Any time you can go out there, get ten outs and score four runs each inning you’ve got to be happy. The Orioles are tough and I expect two more very tough games against them as the fall progresses. Our division has four strong teams so we’ll have to keep improving our game if we want good things to happen. I saw our players looking great at the plate and we’re going to work hard on catching skills the next couple of weeks as I saw too many good throws that were dropped. Catching a thrown ball is one of the hardest things for a young player to do, so we’ll work on it and it’ll get better. I want to thank all the coaches for all of their help as staffing a game at Crabtree is no small undertaking.”

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