Dateline: Fox Mill 1
It was another beautiful spring day as the Cards warmed up purposefully after their tough mid-week game against the Tigers. The Cards had been reading in the press about how they might not match up well against the Indians. Well suffice it to say, they matched up just fine. In the top of the first Conor and Austin led off with shots that were caught. With two outs, Darron drilled a single to left. He moved to second on a passed ball and scored on a long double to right by Ian. Robbie came through on a single to right, but was out by a step at second when Coach Goldstein tried to stretch it to a double. This reporter heard some fans grumbling about the base coaching. Conor took the mound in the bottom of the first and threw heat. He struck out two and induced a weak popup back to the mound. After one it was Cards 2 Indians 0.
In the second the Cards went down quietly. In the bottom of the second, Connor struck out three more and the Indians squeezed a run across on a couple of weak singles. After two it was Cards 2 Indians 1.
In the third, the Cards jumped on the tiring Indians starter. Peter drilled a shot to third and beat out the infield hit for his first hit on the day. Greg walked and Conor singled to score Peter. After two strikeouts and some wild pitches there were runners on second and third with two outs for Ian. He drilled a huge two out single to center to score Greg. He then stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. Robbie singled to score Ian and end the inning due to the four run limit. Jack went to the mound and looked fantastic as he struck out the first batter — one of the Indians best hitters on three pitches. He gave up a walk and a weak infield single and then an even weaker dribbler back to the mound. By all rights the inning should have been over, but these weak singles were just enough to get the runners on base. He walked two more and Coach Grossman went to the bullpen. With the bases loaded and two outs and two runs already in, Robbie glared at the Indians cleanup hitter. He threw a blistering fastball which was lined hard to TJ at second who flipped expertly to Aaron at first to just catch the runner diving back. In a bang bang play the inning was over and momentum was clearly in favor of the Cards. After three it was Cards 6 Indians 3.
In the fourth, the Cards poured on the insurance runs. A leadoff walk to Jack and two stolen bases resulted in a quick run off of an infield hit by Keegan. Keegan stole second and moved to third on the overthrow into center. Peter came through with a big RBI single to score Keegan. Greg walked to put runners on at first and second. Peter moved to third on a wild pitch. Conor singled to score Peter. Austin hit a sharp single to right to score Greg. Again the inning ended due to the four run limit. Robbie quickly struck out three in the bottom of the inning so after four the Cards held a commanding 10-3 lead.
In the fifth, Darron led off with a single. Ian flied out to deep left. Daron stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. Jack grounded out but Darron scored on the play so it was good for an RBI. Robbie struck out one and got the Indians to hit a couple of weak grounders, but they managed to slip a run across on two weak infield singles and some wild pitches. After five it was now 11-4 Cards.
The Cards offense was still not done as we moved to the sixth. TJ, Peter and Greg walked to load the bases. Conor grounded into a fielder’s choice to score TJ and Peter. In the bottom of the sixth, Ian came on and threw very nicely. He quickly struck out three to end the game.
Coach Goldstein stuck around for a post game interview. He said, “A lot of good things happened today. Our bats really came alive. Anytime you get 13 hits you’ll do well in this league. Peter had a great game with two hits and three runs scored. I do want to see our catchers nail some more runners when they try to steal, but that will come with time.” Coach Grossman was in a big rush as he had to start preparations for Monday’s game. He said, “I really enjoyed this one. Our guys are coming together very nicely and if we hit like we did today — we’ll be just fine. Our pitchers are progressing — not just Robbie and Ian and Conor’s stellar performance but Jack really looked great on the mound today. He’s going to be a solid pitcher for us as the season progresses. I’m looking forward to all of our games next week.”