Dateline: Fox Mill Park
On a beautiful early fall evening, Cubs finally returned home after their long opening road trip. Dylan started off throwing heat and struck out two. A couple of walks and wild pitches scored two runs for the Twins, but the Cubs immediately retaliated. Conor led off with a long triple to left. He scored on Justin hard single to right. Greg drilled a shot to the first baseman and beat the player to the bag for a hit to move Justin to second. Kaz singled to left to score Justin. Dylan hit a long drive to left for a clean double to score Greg and Kaz. Just like that — no outs and four runs in. Cubs fan rejoiced as after one it was Cubs 4 Twins 2.
Dylan threw heat in the second and struck out two more for four on the day and only one runner was left on first. It was an outstanding outing for the Cubs starter. In the bottom of the inning, Danny was hit by a pitch, Christian hit a sharp single to left and Jordyn walked to load the bases with one out. John got a huge RBI single to score Danny. Colin walked for an RBI to score Christian. Conor hit a long single to right and John was throw out at third after he had went to far to third. The alert reader will note that Jordyn clearly scored on the play, but the scorekeepers (note this is on both sides) didn’t count the run as John made the third out. The story is that John was not forced out for the third out of the inning so the run by Jordyn would only not count if he happened to not cross the plate before John was tagged out. Although remotely possible, this reporter doubts it and this reporter can tell the gentle reader that scoring little league game is no easy feat. So anyway, officially only two runs scored in the inning. After two it was Cubs 6 Twins 2.
Jordyn went to the mound in the third for his first AAA appearance. He walked the first two and with runners on first and second he got the next batter to ground out to the mound. The next batter hit a shot to Colin at second who made a great catch for out two. Jordyn settled down and struck out the last batter to end the Twins at bat. Cubs bats remained on fire, but the Twins made some nice plays on a shot to third by Justin, and two sharp groundouts to short by Greg and Kaz. After three the score remained Cubs 6 Twins 2.
In the fourth Jordyn remained on the mound and had some control problems so after a couple of walks Coach Grossman went to the bullpen and Christian came on for his inaugural performance of the season. He looked great as he struck out the Twins leadoff hitter, but a couple of walks and weak infield hits resulted in the Twins scoring their limit of four runs. Cubs bats were quiet in the fourth and suddenly it was Cubs 6 Twins 6.
It became a pitchers duel in the fifth as Conor came and struck out the Twins quickly. The Twins brought in their closer and he struck out the Cubs quickly. Suddenly it was the top of the sixth. Conor blasted three quick strikes to the leadoff man. The next batter bunted and Conor made a great play running off the mound and firing to Greg who made a great catch at first. Conor struck out the next batter for his fifth strikeout of the evening. It was now up to the Cubs to score just one run to win the game. After a leadoff out, Robbie walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. Conor then drilled a long shot to right for a clean extra-base hit as Robbie raced home with the winning run. Cubs fans rejoiced. Final Score: Cubs 7 Twins 6.
Coach Grossman was only briefly available, “It was a great game. Our guys are really improving in the field and seven out of twelve of our guys made contact with the ball. Conor had a huge day with two long triples and a dominant pitching performance. Dylan looked wonderful on the mound and Jordyn and Christian certainly had some bright spots. They are going to clearly add depth to our bullpen as we progress. The Twins were 4-0-1 before this game, so they are clearly a good team and we played right with them.”
Coach Goldstein said, “Credit certainly goes to John and Conor behind the plate as the Twins didn’t have any stolen bases on the day. Also, I have to mention Colin’s big catch in the field.”