Dateline: Hook Road 1
It was a pleasant afternoon as the Cardinals took the field. Rei led off with a screaming line drive to center. Carter followed with a hit. Matthew grounded out to score Rei. Maxwell hit a long shot to left to score Carter. Isaac singled for his first hit off a live pitcher. Unfortunately, the Cards rally ended with two runners on. Maxwell then went to the mound and made short work on the Pirates with two strikeouts and a ground out back to the mound where Maxwell alertly threw to Matthew at first. After one it was 2-0 Cardinals.
In the second, the Cards went down quietly. With one out the Pirates hitter singled. The next batter grounded to second where Zack alertly fielded the ball and flipped to John at short for out two. With two runners on, the last batter popped out to the mound where Jamie made a great catch for out three. After two it was still 2-0 Cardinals.
Matthew led off with a single to left. John followed up with a single to put runners on at first and second. Isaac popped out to the mound and the Pirates pitcher settled down to strike out the two batters. Bottom of the third and the Rei strolled to the mound for his first appearance of the year. The Pirates started to come back. The leadoff man singled and went to second on an overthrow. The next batter singled to score the run. Another batter grounded out to Michael at short who touched second for out one. When the dust had cleared another run scored. Rei settled down to strike out the last batter. After three it was all tied up at 2-2.
Top of the fourth and with one out Rei popped out to the mound. Two outs, Matthew singled but John hit a hard shot back to the mound that was handled for out three. Bottom of the fourth and Matthew came on in relief. The cleanup man led off with a single. The next batter singled and after two strikeouts it was high drama. The next batter, Nima, who played for Coach Grossman in the Fall, hit a towering shot to left field to score the run. Editors Note: Coach Grossman is always filled with mixed feelings when one of his former players comes back to haunt him. Matthew settled down to induce the last batter to ground out to the mound. After four it was Pirates 3 Cards 2.
Top of the fifth and the Cards came storming back. Isaac grounded out to the mound. Zack was hit on the helmet by a pitch. He trotted to first. Michael drilled a shot to center. Rei grounded out to score Zack. Michael stole third. Unfortunately, the rally died.
And so the game headed to the bottom of the fifth. Due to time constraints it was clear the Cards had to hold the Pirates to secure a tie, but any run that scored would end the game. Matthew struck out the first batter. The next batter reached on an infield hit. The next batter singled. A stolen base put the winning run on third. The Pirates leadoff man came up and drove a shot to right to win the game. The Pirates celebrated.
After the game, Coach Grossman was available briefly. He said, ‘This kind of loss is always tough. I thought we could have done better in this one. We had plenty of chances and just didn’t get a clutch, two out hit. Give credit to the Pirates, they kept battling. I liked how Rei looked on the mound — its always good to get another pitcher some game experience. We are getting better each week. It wouldn’t surprise me if we have a great game against the Red Sox.”