Dateline: Running Cedar
On a picture perfect fall morning the 2005 AA Rangers took the field. Andy, the Rangers starter, struck out the first two and then induced a weak grounder back to him on the mound to quickly retire the Rangers. In the bottom of the first, the Rangers loaded the bases with one out, but the Rays starter settled down and pitched out of the jam.
In the top of the second, Andy resumed his great pitching as he struck out the side with only one walk. Andy was done for the day, but not after recording five strikeouts in two innings. In the bottom of the second the Rangers scored on a single by Christian, another infield hit by Byron and a big two out RBI single by Joe that scored Christian. After it was 1-0 Rangers.
Erick came on in the third and struck out two. With two outs the Rays started a rally with a high towering single to right and then a sharp line drive to left. With runners on third and second, Erick settled down and struck out the number three batter for the Rays. In the bottom of the third the Rangers picked up some key insurance runs with walks to Erick, Robert, and Max. Juan flied out to third. Tommy walked to score Erick. Andy got a big single to score Robert and John walked to score Max. After three it was Rangers 4 Rays 0.
Tommy came on in the fifth and struck out two. The last batter of the inning hit a popup to the third base side of the mound where Tommy made a nice catch to end the inning. In the top of the sixth, with two out, Joe singled for his second hit of the day and Erick hit a long double to right. Unfortunately, the Rangers went down quietly. In the top of the sixth, the first batter hit a sharp grounder to second where Juan made a nice play and flipped to Michael at first. After two walks and an infield hit, the bases were loaded with two outs. With the tying run at the plate, Tommy calmly looked in to Jon at catcher and struck out the last batter.
Chief Assistant Coach Goldstein was away on a scouting trip for young talent, so this reporter was only able to corner Coach Grossman for a very brief postgame interview as the coach had to start preparations for Tuesday’s game. He said, “You couldn’t ask for a better first game of the season. Our guys looked ready, and, I know I’m not a Math professor, but whenever your pitching and defense keep the other team from scoring, you’ll probably do just fine. Our pitchers did a fine job and I really liked how our young catchers: John, Juan, Michael and Spencer looked behind the plate.” The Rangers play back at Running Cedar on Tuesday. Game Time is at 5:15 and we are told some tickets remain available to follow this exciting Ranger squad.