Dateline: Fox Mill 2
On a very pleasant Saturday afternoon, the Indians played the Twins in the semi-final round of the post-season tournament. The Indians got a bye in the first round as they came in second in the regular season. Brendan started on the mound and gave up a leadoff single and a hit batter. A couple of wild pitches scored a run. Brendan settled down and struck out the next batter, induced a ground out to the mound and struck out another. The Indians quickly tied the score on a leadoff walk to Brendan and a walk to Christian. Brendan tried to steal third but the Twins catcher fired a bullet to third and got Brendan by a step. Christian T. stole second and Will singled to score Christian T. A wild pitch put Will on second. Connor hit a sharp grounder to short where the shortstop made a nice play and tagged Will for out three. After one it was all tied 1-1.
Brendan struck out the next batter. The next batter hit a shot to Will at short who made a nice play as he fired to Connor at first for out two. The next batter hit a smash to second, but Nikhil made a great play and flipped to Connor for out three. Nikhil beat out a bunt to lead off the second. Chad walked and Bryon walked to load the bases. Christian V. walked to score Nikhil. Charles singled to score Chad. Bryon turned past third to head home and Coach Grossman held him up. Christian V. was well past second and Coach Grossman instructed him to go back to second — the moment the throw went toward second, Coach Grossman sent Bryon home for another run — unfortunately Christian V was tagged out but two runs were in. After two it was Indians 4 Twins 1.
Brendan came on in the third and struck out the first batter on three pitches. The next batter grounded out to second where Chad made a great play for out two as he threw to Connor. The next batter singled but the last batter popped up to Charles who made a great catch at third for out three. In the bottom of the third the Indians hit some high popups, but unfortunately they were all caught — Indians fans were still pleased that our guys were looking to hit the ball. After three it was Indians 4 Twins 1.
Christian T. came on in the fourth but a couple of tough plays in the infield put runners on at a first and second. Two more singles scored three runs. He settled down a strike out, but another single scored a fourth run. The Indians came right back in the fourth on a leadoff walk to Chad. Bryon beat out a bunt single and Christian V. singled to load the bases. Brendan singled to score Chad. Charles singled to score Bryon and Christian V. Christian T. walked and with the bases loaded and two outs, Coach Grossman sent Brendan home on a wild pitch but the Twins made a great play to get him by a step for out three. When the dust had cleared it was Indians 7 Twins 5.
Will came on in the fifth and looked dominant with two quick strike outs and a high popup to second that Nikhil calmly caught for out three. In the bottom of the fifth the Indians poured on some insurance runs with a smash singled to right by Chad, a walk to Bryon, Christian V was hit to load the bases. Charles came up with a big single to center to score Chad and Bryon. Christian T. followed with another big single to score Christian V and Charles.
Will strode calmly to the mound in the sixth and faced the top of the order. The first batter grounded back to the mound where Will made a nice play as he threw to Christian T. for out one. After a hit batter, Will got the next batter to hit another high popup that Nikhil caught for out two. Facing the cleanup batter, Will settled down and struck him out for out three. Final Score Indians 11 Twins 5.
Coach Grossman said, “Our guys played a great game today. Our defense looked as good as it has been with only a couple of errors and our pitching was phenomenal. Anytime you get eight strike outs and only three walks, you put a lot of pressure on the other team’s offense. We made a number of great plays in the field and we caught every fly ball. Its great to make it to the final game and if we play like we did today I think we’ll be fine. ” When asked if he knew this would be his first appearance in a final game since his AA Dodgers won the tournament in ’99 he said, “Yeah I know — our teams have frequently had good regular seasons, but have had trouble in the tournament. I think this team may well stop the trend as we are just now playing our best baseball of the year.”
Coach Goldstein said, “What a fantastic game. Our catchers were all hustling back there and they only scored one run on a wild pitch and only stole one or two bases. “
Coach Cassidy said, “Dairy Queen is on me!! [Editors Note: This reporter would like to thank Coach Cassidy for sponsoring the team this year and throwing in ice cream. This reporter wishes he had ordered more ice cream today.]
The Indians play the winner of the Cards vs Reds match on Monday night for the final game of the season. Game time is at 6:00 at Fox Mill Park — surprisingly, a few tickets remain.