Dateline: Fox Mill 1
In another perfect late spring afternoon, the Cards continued their home stand against the White Sox. Tickets were selling briskly before gametime as the Sox management had an undefeated fall season and were coming off of an 18-8 win. None of this phased Cards started Conor as he struck out the first batter. The second batter lofted a fly ball to right where TJ settled under it for his second catch on the year. The third batter hit a sharp grounder back to the mound where Conor threw it to Robbie at first to end the top of the first. The White Sox starter, Justin, a fireballer had some control problems and gave up four runs on seven walks in the first inning. Connor, Keegan, Daron and Ian all scored and the bases were loaded with Jack, Austin and Greg when the inning was over due to the Cards scoring four runs.
Conor got the first batter of the second inning to ground out to Austin who made a nice play moving swiftly to his right. A solid single to left got he White Sox started. The runner stole second and third and scored on an overthrow. Conor settled down and struck out the next two Sox. In the bottom fo the second, Conor singled and stole second. The throw to second went into the outfield and Conor scored from second on the play. After two it was 5-1 Cards.
Jack started the third inning with four walks but he settled down to get a strikeout. Unfortunately the White Sox got a single and a double. When the dust settled four White Sox runs had scored. In the bottom of the third, Robbie led off with a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. Jack hit a line shot to center to score Robbie. Aaron walked, Austin grounded out to first to move Aaron to second. With two outs, TJ got a big RBI single to right to score Jack. After three it was 7-5 Cards.
Robbie came out of the bullpen and started the fourth. A leadoff single and a wild pitch put a runner on second. A long double to right scored a run for the White Sox. The runner moved to third on a wild pitch. A groundout back to the pitchers mound made for an exciting play. Jack threw to Daron at first who then fired home. It was a bang bang play at the plate, but the runner knocked the ball out of the glove so the run scored. With two outs, Robbie settled down and struck out the next batter to end the inning. In the bottom of the fourth, the Cards poured on more offense. Daron led off with a long double to left. Ian smashed a single to score Darron. Robbie drilled a long double to left to score Ian. Jack walked moved to second on a wild pitch. Austin got a huge two out hit to score Jack. four it was Cards 10 White Sox 7.
In the top of the fifth the umps deemed it the last inning due to time constraints so the White Sox were down to their last three outs. Robbie walked the first two batters and Coach Grossman went to the bullpen and brought in Ian. Ian walked two more to score a run. A long double to right scored two more and suddenly the score was tied at 10. Ian settled down and got the next batter to popup right back to the mound for out one. A strikeout was good for out 2. The next batter chipped a weak infield hit to score the go-ahead run for the White Sox and Sox fans rejoiced. Ian calmly struck out the last batter to end the inning
And so we went to the bottom of the fifth. The Cards were just a run away from a tie and two to win. Keegan led off with an infield hit. He moved to second on a wild pitch. Ian singled to score Keegan and tie the game. Cards fans rejoiced. Ian moved to third on a wild pitch. Suddenly, the Cards were sixty feet away from a win. The Sox closer stayed calm and was fortunate to get the last two Cards out — the game ended Cards 11 White Sox 11.
Coach Goldstein, in his scheduled post-game interview said, “Nothing to complain about here. We played a great game against a great team. I think we’ll build on this and we’ll be fine next week”. We caught up to Coach Grossman very briefly as he had started preparations for Wednesday’s game. He said, “I’m proud of our guys. We played a very good team and it was all they could do to manage a tie. I am sure they are feeling quite fortunate right now. The Sox had 22 hits in their previous game and they managed only six today. I really like how our pitchers are progressing: Conor, Jack, Robbie, and Ian are getting better with each game. When asked if he should have had Ian steal home to win the game, Coach Grossman started to become irritated. He said, “You reporters always have great strategic questions AFTER a game. I did what I thought was the best thing to do. Now we have 13 more games to play, so if you would kindly give me some time to get ready for them. The coach abruptly ended the interview without further comment.
The Cards close out their Homestand with a match against the undefeated Tigers on Wednesday at Browns Chapel. Game time is 5:30.