Dateline: Yeonis Crabtree Park
On a warm fall evening, the Cubs continued their road trip against the Vienna Twins. The Cubs bats were as hot as the weather in the first. Conor led off with a walk and quickly stole second. Greg drilled a single to right to score Conor and the Cubs were immediately on the scoreboard. Kaz singled and a wild pitch put runners on third and second. Dylan walked to load the bases. Danny hit a shot to third who made a nice play to throw home for out two. Kengo worked the count to three balls and two strikes and then drilled a line drive to left to score Kaz and Dylan. Christian walked and then Michael walked to score Danny. Jordyn then singled to score Kengo and the inning ended to do a five run limit in interleague play.
Dylan came on for his second start of the season and threw nothing but heat. He got the first batter to pop up to the mound and Dylan made a nice catch running towards the plate. A walk and a single and a bunch of stolen bases led to two runs, but Dylan quickly settled down and struck out the last two batters of the inning. After one it was Cubs 5 Twins 2.
In the second inning with two outs Conor hit a long blast to dead center for a clean triple. Justin singled to right to score Conor. In the bottom of the second, Dylan was dominant with two strikeouts and then he got the last batter to ground out to Conor at short who made a nice play as he blocked the ball, scooped it up and fired to Kaz at first to end the inning. After two it was Cubs 6 Twins 2.
In the third, with two outs Kengo beat out an infield hit, Christin hit a solid single, Michael was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Kengo scored on a wild pitch. In the bottom of the third, Greg came on and threw a lot of strikes. He walked the leadoff the man, but settled down and struck out the next two batters. A couple of walks and a double led to three runs, but Greg settled down to strike out the last batter. After three it was getting exciting at Cubs 7 Twins 5.
The Cubs added to their lead in the fourth after a couple of leadoff outs, Justin hit a long drive to left center for a clean triple and Greg followed with his own long drive to right for another clean triple to score Greg. A wild pitch scored Greg. Justin came on in the fourth and threw a lot of strikes, but the Twins were afraid of his fastball and wouldn’t swing. He got a number of full counts but four Twins walked. Michael made a great play at the plate on a wild pitch as he tagged a running trying to score from third. Conor came on in relief and, on a wild pitch, caught a toss from Michael to get another runner at home. Conor struck out the next batter on four pitches to end the inning. When the dust had cleared it was Cubs 9 Twins 7.
Due to time constraints the coaches decided the fifth would be the last inning.
The Cubs picked up a crucial insurance run in the fifth. Dylan was hit by a pitch and stole second, Christian beat out an infield hit to move Dylan to third. Dylan then scored on a wild pitch. A leadoff strikeout made it look like it might be an easy inning for the Cubs, but a walk and single and a hit batter loaded the bases with only one out. Michael and Conor again made a great play on a wild pitch, as Michael calmly tossed to Conor who deftly applied the tag for out two. The last batter hit a sharp grounder to Justin who made a great play on the ball, set his feet and threw to Greg at first who caught it to end the game. Final Score: Cubs 10 Twins 7.
Coach Grossman was available for a brief discussion following the game. “Well anytime you play as well as we did on defense — with no errors on ground balls, you are going to have a chance. I am so pleased with the development of our pitching staff. Dylan, Greg, Justin and Conor all looked good on the mound — they looked much more comfortable and they threw quite a few more strikes. Our bats were alive — three triples may be a record for one of my teams. “
Coach Goldstein said, “We really need to give a lot of credit to Michael as he caught five out of six innings in the heat and we got three runners out at home on wild pitches. I’m looking forward to our games next week.”