Dateline: Dawes Hill
It was a bitterly cold afternoon as the Nationals took the field riding a four game winning streak. Alex was on the mound and quickly struck out two batters. After two hits, he settled down and struck out the next batter. The Nats loaded the bases in the bottom of the first on walks to Isaac, Hunter and Ely, but did not score. Top of the second, this reporter would rather skip the details and just say things didn’t go so well. There was one good play where Alex threw to Tommy on a ground ball back to the mound for an out. With two outs, unfortunately the Cubs scored their fourth run. The Nats went down quietly in the bottom of the second. Alex looked sharp in the third with three more strikeouts. Bottom of the third the Nats started their comeback. Isaac led off with a walk, Alex walked. With two outs Tommy walked to load the bases. Luke walked to score Isaac. Two outs, bases loaded, 4-1 game. It was high drama, but the Cubs pitcher prevailed and the game ended Cubs 4 Nationas 1.
And so after a short break, game two began. The Nats led off with some offense as Hunter singled, Ely beat out an infield hit and Tommy drilled a long triple to center to score Hunter and Ely. Luke and Kenta walked to load the bases and Isaac picked up an RBI with a walk to score Tommy. Hunter looked sharp with a quick strikeout but ran into some control problems and walked three batters. Alex made a nice play at short as he got a ground ball and ran over to second for out two. Hunter settled down to strikeout the last batter. After one it was all tied up at 3-3. The Nats had the top of the order up in the second and got two runners on as Hunter was hit by a pitch and Alex walked but the Cubs pitcher settled down to strike out three batters. Bottom of the second and Ely went to the mound. He looked sharp as he struck out three batters on 12 pitches.
Top of the third and Luke led off with a walk. Kenta walked and Joseph was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Hunter was hit by a pitch (second time this game) to score Luke and give the Nats the lead. The Cubs pitcher settled down to end he inning. Bottom of the third and Ely went back to the mound. He struck out the first batter. The next batter reached on an infield single that was a bang-bang play as Kenta fired to first. This reporter thought he may well have been out. The next batter walked and a hit batter loaded the bases with one out. The next batter beat out an infield single to tie the game. Bases loaded one out and things looked grim for the Nats. Hunter, behind the plate, made a great catch on a foul popup and then Ely struck out the next batter. Final Score: Cubs 4 Nats 4.
Coach Mark was back running the team so Assistant Coach Grossman was quite available for postgame interviews. He said, “I’d love to talk but I am mighty cold. Lets just say I’m not quite used to baseball in 45 degree weather mid-season in the Spring. I thought our guys played hard — we had a tougher time at the plate today. However,I really liked Tommy’s triple and Hunters catch behind the plate was big for us.