Dateline: Hook Road
It was a hot afternoon as the Cardinals closed out their regular season against the Red Sox. To spice things up and to balance out the at bats, Coach Grossman reversed the batting order. Jordan singled in the top of the first, but the Cards went down quietly. Maxwell took the mound in the bottom of the first and looked sharp with two strikeouts. Unfortunately some infield errors resulted in three runs.
Top of the second and the Cards made good contact as Isaac lined out to second and Johnny hit a blistering line drive to third but unfortunately both were right at the Red Sox fielders who made some good plays. Bottom of the second and the Red Sox continued their offense with three more runs. Maxwell settled down and got one batter to ground into a fielders choice to Carter at short who made an unassisted to put out.
Down 6-0, the Cards battled back in the top of the third. Maxwell hit the ball hard but grounded out to frist. Matthew drilled a hard single to third. Carter smashed a single to third and Michael singled to center to score Matthew. Rei singled to left to score Carter. Jordan singled to score Rei and suddenly it was a 6-4 ballgame. Johnny came on in the third and looked great. Sixteen pitches, three strikeouts and a great day at the office for Johnny.
Top of the fourth and the Cards continued their comeback. Zach singled, Mikhail singled. Zach moved to third on a wild pitch. Isaac picked up an RBI as he grounded out to the mound as Zach scored. Maxwell made good contact, but it was a ground out to first to end the inning. Jordan came on for his debut on the mound in the fourth. He gave up a single and a groundout to the mound. The runner moved to second on the ground out. With one out, Coach Grossman brought in Isaac for his pitching debut. After a wild pitch the runner moved to third. Isaac got the first batted to ground out to short but unfortunately, a run scored. Isaac then calmly struck out the next batter on four pitches. After four it was 7-5 Red Sox.
Top of the fifth and the Cards kept battling. Matthew singled. Carter singled and Michael singled to score Matthew. Rei grounded out to score Carter and the game was all tied up at 7-7. The Red Sox pitcher settled down to end the inning. Bottom of the fifth and Rei came on to pitch. He looked good but was facing the tough part of the Red Sox order and gave up a single and a double. Matthew came on in relief. Infield in, no outs. The batter hit a tough drive to right field and the winning run scored. Red Sox fans rejoiced as they had won 8-7 but not before the Cards had battled back from a 6-0 deficit.
Coach Grossman said, “Well that was a tough way to close out the season. Our guys are hitting so much better and we just haven’t found a way to win these close game. I really like how we battled back and kept our heads up even though we were down 6-0. I was also happy to see Jordan and Isaac get their first time on the mound. They looked great. Johnny had a fantastic inning on the mound. Carter got two big hits, and Matthew went two for two. Anytime we can go out and use seven pitchers, reverse our batting order and play a one run game, I’m certainly pleased with the team effort. We’ll practice every day this coming week and be ready to go in the playoffs. “