Dateline: Fox Mill 2
After the season opening parade, the Indians jogged onto the field with lofty expectations. They had a great warm up, numerous seasoned veterans and some fine young talent. Coach Grossman in an extremely rare pre game interview said, “You never can tell, but I like the feel of this team. They came together during spring training and I think we’ll match up well with anyone in the league.”
It certainly looked that way as the Indians jumped on the Reds starter, Miles, one of the hardest throwers in the league for a quick run in the first. Brendan drilled a long shot to right that was caught nicely by the right fielder who made a tremendous play for out one. Connor walked and immediately stole second. The next pitch he stole third and on an overthrow into left he scored. The Indians were on the board. Will and Charles walked, but Miles settled down to finish the inning. In the bottom of the first, Brendan threw blistering heat and struck out the first two batters as they each looked at strike three. He then got Miles to ground out to Nikhil at second who made a great play to throw out the speedy Miles at first as Will made a nice catch for out three. Three up and three down. After one, it was Indians 1 Reds 0.
In the top of the second, the Indians offense continued to roll. Christian V. was hit by a pitch and he calmly trotted to first. Christian stole second, then moved to third on a wild pitch. Nicholas grounded out to the pitcher but picked up an RBI as Christian scored. Miles settled down and shut down the Indians. In the bottom of the second, Brendan picked up his third strikeout on the day by blasting it past the Reds cleanup hitter. A tough popup to second resulted in a base . Next, a hard shot to right and a tough play at second, resulted in three runs for the Reds. Brendan settled down and got the next batter to ground out back to the mound and struck out the leadoff man to end the inning. After two, Indians fans watched nervously as the Reds had a 3-2 lead.
In the top of the third, the Indians quickly got back on top. Jesus walked. Brendan beat out an infield hit to put runners on at first and second. They moved to third and second on a wild pitch. An infield single by Bryon scored Jesus. Bryon stole second to put runners on at second and third. Connor continued the offense barrage with a shot to right to score Brendan and Bryon. Will popped out. Connor stole second. Charles walked to put runners on at first and second and two out. Christian smashed a single to right and Coach Grossman sent Connor home. He sped around third but the right fielder made a fantastic throw into the plate and a great play got Connor by a step at the plate. When the dust settled the Indians had a 5-3 lead. Charles came on in the bottom of the third and looked good in his first AAA appearance. He walked the first batter, but then got the next batter to hit a grounder to Chad at second who made a great play as he scooped the ball up and tossed perfectly to Christian T for out one. Charles threw a lot of strikes, but one Red hit a good shot to the outfield and some walks resulted in three runs. Charles beautifully struck out the last two batters to end the inning. After three it was a thriller at 6-5 Reds.
The Indians came up looking determined in the top of the fourth. After a leadoff strikeout, Nick walked and stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. Nikhil walked. Coach Grossman put on the double steal, the Reds made a great play and got Nick in a rundown. After several throws back and forth the Reds got Nick at third. With two outs Pedro walked to load the bases, but Max settled down to the end the inning and strand three more Indians runners. In the bottom of the fourth, Bryon came and threw nothing but heat. He struck out three batters in a row on 15 pitches. After four it was still Reds 6 Indians 5.
The Indians kept battling. Brendan walked and stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. Connor came through again with his second hit of the day and his third RBI to score Brendan. Charles popped out to end the inning, but it was now tied.
In the bottom of the fifth, Bryon walked a batter and gave up a good hit to left to score a run. He settled down nicely and got a 1-2 count, but unfortunately the next pitch hit the batter. Another walk and a hit batter and Coach Grossman came to the mound and Indians fans gave Bryon a big hand due to his three strikeouts on the day and overall great throwing. Will came in and induced a groundout to first where Will made a nice play to get the out, but unfortunately a run scored and the next batter hit a grounder to second where Chad made a nice play to get the second out. Unfortunately, four runs had scored so the inning ended. In some more bad news for the Indians, the umpired ruled that the game was now two minutes beyond the legal two hours allowed to start an inning and was deemed over before the Indians could bat again. Final Score: Reds 10 Indians 6
Coach Grossman in his standard post game press conference said, “Well you hate to lose on opening day, but we did face the best pitcher in the league and the Reds have a fantastic coach. When it was pointed out that the Reds coach is Coach Grossman’s next door neighbor Coach Grossman said, “Take a look at his stats, his teams win a ton of games and more importantly his teams have a LOT of fun. He’s a good coach and our league is lucky to have him and I’m not saying this because I see him all the time.”
Coach Grossman said, “I really liked a lot of what I saw today. Our guys didn’t make a single mistake on an easy ground ball and that’s the thing we worked hardest on in practice. The Reds had to earn their runs. We also had very few base running mistakes. The Reds made a great play to get Connor and its awfully rare this early in the season to see a rundown go to the defense. I was very impressed with our catchers. They made blocked a lot of balls and the Reds didn’t steal a single base on the day. All of our pitchers, Brendan, Charles, Bryon and Will threw good strikes. Brendan had three strikeouts, Bryon had three, Charles and two and Will didn’t walk a single batter. We’ll reduce the walks as the season progresses. The only thing that happened to us today is we just didn’t get hits with runners on base. We left two on in the first, two in the third, three in the fourth, and one in the fifth. Whenever you leave eight guys on base you are going to have a hard time winning a game. We’ll certainly focus on improving our hitting this week and overall, i saw enough of our guys with good stances and making contact that I think we’ll see more line drives in the near future. I really have to thank all of our assistant coaches for a great pre-season I think defensively we are further ahead then a lot of my teams and I have only our assistants to thank.