Dateline: FC 2
It was a very hot Spring afternoon as the Cards came to the plate. They jumped on the Cubs starter. Carter singled. Jamie hit a solid triple to center to score Carter. Matthew singled to score Jamie. Maxwell singled to score Matthew. John singled and Maxwell stole third on a wild pitch.
Bottom of the first and Maxwell looked sharp. He was throwing strikes. The leadoff hitter singled to center. The next batter singled. The next batter popped up to short where Michael settled under it for out one. The batter singled to score a run. The next batter popped up to the mound. Maxwell drifted back to catch it and fired to Jamie at first for a double play to end the inning. After one it was Cards 3 Cubs 1.
Top of the second and the Cards kept rolling. Mikhail was hit by a pitch. Rei singled. Carter grounded into a fielder’s choice at third. With two outs, Jamie hit a slow roller in front of the plate. Rei broke for home and was out by as step. [Editors Note: Our publication wishes to note this was no fault of Rei, it looked to our team reporter as if Coach Grossman sent him home in yet another extremely ill-advised coaching maneuver. If you thought there were rumors before this game, well those rumors are turning up the volume.] Bottom of the second and the O’s put two more runs on the board. Maxwell settled down and got two strikeouts. With the score tied and runners on at third and second and two outs, the leadoff man came to the plate. He drilled the first pitch to center field. Mikhail sprinted toward it and made a fantastic backhand catch to end the inning. Two innings and two marvelous defense plays to end each inning! After two it was all tied up at 3-3.
Top of the third and the Cards kept on hitting. Matthew singled. Maxwell singled. With two outs, Michael hit a dribbler in front of the mound and was out by half a step at first. It was a great play by the Cubs. Bottom of the third, Matthew came on and threw some great strikes. Unfortunately, the wheels came off on the Cards defense and the Cubs scored four runs. After three it was 7-3 Cubs.
Top of the fourth and Cardinals went down quietly on two strikeouts. Mikhail put the ball in play but was thrown out with a dribbler just in front of the plate. Bottom of the fourth and Carter came on for his first appearance of the year. He looked great as he racked up two strikeouts. One run scored but the inning ended on a popup to third for out three.
The game was running late, so the Cards got one last at bat. Rei grounded out to the mound. Carter hit a line drive right to the third baseman for out two. Jamie singled for his second hit on the day but Matthew hit a hard shot back to the mound but the Cubs pitcher made a great play and got him at first.
Coach Grossman said, “We are getting better. If you look at our score book from the last time we played the Cubs we had 14 strikeouts and this game we only had 8 and not a one in the last inning. If we keep putting the ball in play we’ll be fine. We need to work on our team defense and we’ll do that next practice. Once we tighten that up a little, we won’t give up big innings like the one we had in the third. Their best pitcher was just called up to AAA (after the game) so I think we’ll match up very well with the Cubs in the playoffs. “