Dateline: FC 1

The rains of Friday had cleared as the Cards warmed up for their game against the Blue Jays. This reporter thought this game might be a thriller since it involved Coach O’Connor. His teams have always played Coach Grossman’s teams very well in single-A and T-ball and it certainly would be no surprise if they were not extremely prepared for this one. Coach Grossman said, “We are going to have to be on top of our game if we are going to play with these guys.”

Top of the first, Curtis on the mound and after the first two batters got on, Willie made a great play on a grounder to short where he tossed to Nima who made a great catch at second for the out. Curtis later made a great play on a tough ball to his left and he tossed to Matthew at first for out two. After a couple runs scored, Curtis settled down and struck out the last batter for out three. In the bottom of the first, Michael hit a screaming line drive right to the third baseman for out one. Matthew hit a hard grounder to short and the Blue Jays made a nice play to get him at first. Curtis then grounded back to the mound. All three batters made good contact, but unfortunately the ball was being hit right at the Blue Jays.

In the second, Curtis struck out one more, but after a couple of hits Coach Grossman decided to go with his exceptionally deep bullpen. He brought in Michael for his first appearance of the season. He struck out a batter to end the inning but not before the Blue Jays picked up another run. Bottom of the second, down five runs, the Cards battled back. With one out, Troy beat out an infield hit to third. Kian followed with an infield hit to put runners on at first and second. A wild pitch moved Troy to third. Isaac then hit a hard shot in the hole between short and third. The shortstop overthrew first and Troy and Kian scored on the play. Cardinals fans rejoiced. After two it was anyone’s game at 5-2.

Top of the third and Michael still on the mound. He struck out the first batter. The next batter hit a slow roller in front of the plate. Matthew in his first appearance and catcher, raced to the ball. He set his feet and fired to Isaac who made a nice catch at first. In a bang-bang play, the ump yelled OUT and everyone celebrated. The next batter hit a high pop up to short where Willie drifted under it and made the catch for out three. Bottom of the third and the Cards continued the comeback. Willie led off with a hard single to left. Michael singled. Willie moved to third on a wild pitch. Matthew picked up a huge RBI single to score Willie. With runners on at first and second, Michael moved to third on a wild pitch. Curtis singled for another RBI to score Michael. Christopher hit a slow roller to third to load the bases. Bases loaded, no outs, one run in. It looked good for the Cards. Unfortunately, the Blue Jays pitcher settled down and struck out the next three batters to end the threat. After three it was 5-4 Blue Jays.

Willie came on in the fourth and shut down the Blue Jays. He struck out two and got one batter to pop up to the mound. Bottom of the fourth, Cards went down quietly and so we moved to the fifth with a one run game. With one out, Matthew beat out and infield single and moved to second on an overthrow. A wild pitch moved him to third. Sixty feet away from the tying run. The next batter hit a high fly to short who made the play for out two and the pitcher settled down to strike out the last batter. Final Score: Blue Jays 5 Cardinals 4.

This reporter was able to find Coach Grossman briefly after the game. He said, “What a great game. I am so proud of our guys for not giving up and storming back into the game. The Blue Jays played very well, but we had plenty of chances to win this one and the ball just didn’t bounce our way. Our pitchers are looking great. I want to see us start to hit the ball more, but usually hitting takes a little while to catch up to pitching at this level.” Coach Goldstein said, “Great job by Matthew behind the plate and overall our team is progressing nicely.”

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