Dateline: Running Cedar
On an another perfect Spring day after a couple of rainouts, the Reds took the field against the Cubs. The Reds offense went down quickly in the first. Jack singled, but was caught stealing as Coach Grossman continued his aggressive base running. Ben started on the mound and Cubs batter clearly feared him as they wouldn’t swing. A few fortunate walks occurred and some wild pitches and the Reds suddenly trailed 4-0 after one.
In the top of the second, it was more of the same. As Mason led off with a nice single he advanced to second on a wild pitch. With two out, Coach Grossman sent him to third on a surprise steal. Mason was called out on a exciting play at third. Garrett came on in the second and gave up an infield single. The next batter hit a shot to deep center but Juan was there for a great catch. Garrett then struck out two more batters and after two it was still 4-0 Cubs.
The Reds offense came alive in the third as Sean was safe on an infield single, Juan, Ben, and Devon walked to score Sean. With Jack up and one out, Juan ran home on a wild pitch and was just caught. However, the Reds were on the board. Garrett then shut down the top of the order as Devon caught a fly ball at first base, Jack made a great play on short on a ground ball and Garret nicely fielded a grounder back to the mound. Three up and three down. After three it was 4-1 Cubs, but the momentum was all for the Reds.
In the fourth, Nick walked, Mason hit a shot to right to move Nick to second. Ian walked. Alec walked to score Mason. With one out, Juan hit a key RBI single to center to score Ian and Alec. The Reds now led 5-4. Garrett came on for a third inning and struck out two batters. The third batter hit a long fly to left – Juan moved towards and made a huge catch – his third of the season.
In the fifth, the Reds got some needed insurance runs. Michael walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. Devon walked and Jack walked to load the bases. Nick walked to score Michael. With one out and the bases loaded, Mason hit a shot to center. Devon easily scored and Jack came charging around third, but Coach Grossman held him at third. Ian walked and Jack scored. Then with one out, the Cubs catcher missed the throw to back to the pitcher. Nick ran home to score the fourth run of the inning. Reds fans rejoiced. Mason came on in the bottom of the fifth and was quite impressive. He walked the first batter but settled down and struck out the next three very quickly. After five it was 9-4 Reds.
The stage was set for the final inning. The Cubs brought in their closer and he got the Reds out one, two, three. Reds fans rejoiced as Mason went to the mound for the final inning. Mason walked the first batter .Then, he walked the second batter. Then he walked the Cubs leadoff hitter. With bases loaded and no out, Coach Grossman went to the mound. This reporter has no idea what was said, but it seemed to work. Mason struck out the Cubs #2 hitter. With one out and the bases loaded, the #3 hitter walked to score a run. It was not a 9-5 game with the bases loaded and the cleanup man as the tying run at the plate. Mason settled down and threw heat. The cleanup man hit a weak popup back to Mason who made a nice catch. Out two. Reds fans held their breath. Mason then stared at the mitt and struck out the last batter to end the game.
Coach Grossman busy with preparations for the Reds game Saturday said “I was glad to see us come back from an initial deficit. We showed a lot of heart and we are really starting to be awake in the field. I still want our guys to talk more to each other and be awake, but I liked what I saw. We’ll be ready for the Indians on Saturday.” Coach Goldstein said, “It was a thriller. Nick looked great behind the plate and Jack is clearly making progress as well Juan’s catches and Garret and Mason’s pitching were fantastic.”