Dateline: Fox Mill 1
On an absolutely beautiful day, the Reds played took the field against the Tigers. Matt launched a sharp double to right with one out, stole third but the Reds went down quietly after that and he was stranded on third. For the first time this season the Reds did not score in the first. Ben started on the mound for his third start of the season and the Tigers got a couple of hits. With runners on first and third and two outs they launched a double steal. Nick made a great throw to second that just barely skipped into the outfield and the Tigers tried to advance the runner to third. They had obviously not read the scouting reports on Devon’s arm. Devon was in center, he scooped up the ball and fired to third. A perfect throw landed in Mason’s glove and Mason perfectly applied the tag. The run scored, but the inning was over. After one, it was Tigers 2 Reds 0.
In the second, the Reds went down quietly and Ben went out to the mound. He struck out the first batter, but then walked two and Coach Grossman, seeing how deep his bullpen is, went to Garrett immediately. Garrett looked to be ready for a great performance as he quickly struck out the next two Tigers and ended the inning. After two, it was still Tigers 2 Reds 0.
In the third, Sean led off with an infield single. Sean stole second and moved to third as the throw skipped into center. Ben walked and stole second. Sean scored on a wild pitch for the Reds first run. Ben then scored on a wild pitch to tie the game. Devon was hit by a pitch and stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. Matt walked and stole second. Two more wild pitches scored Devon and Matt.
The Reds now had the lead and Garrett came on and shut down the Tigers with a strikeout. The next batter just beat out a slow grounder to Jack at short who made a great play and a sharp throw to first. The next batter popped up to a difficult spot between Jack at short and Ian at third. Jack called for it, but Ian didn’t hear the call due to the extreme crowd noise (Editors Note: This reporter likes to think of strange reasons that balls like this drop to the ground). Ian alertly picked up the ball and fired to Juan at second and got the out. Not the textbook way to get the out, but the Reds fans were still happy. Garrett then got the leadoff man to ground out back to him and he notched another scoreless inning. After three, it was Reds 4 Tigers 2.
In the fourth, the Reds offense came alive. Nick singled and stole second. Mason singled to score Nick. Mason moved to second on a wild pitch and Ian singled to move Mason to third. Ian stole second. Jack then smashed a sharp grounder to second for his first RBI of the day as Mason ran home. Ian moved to third and then scored on two wild pitches. Alec walked, stole second and then scored on two wild pitches. Garrett then faced the heart of the Tigers order. The first batted grounded weakly to Devon at first who alertly touched the bag for out one. The next hitter hit a nice grounder to Ben at short and he just beat the throw to first. The Tigers cleanup hitter, with two strikes, hit a long shot to deep center for an RBI double. A walk followed. A wild pitch scored the Tigers second run of the inning. Garrett then settled down and got the next batter to ground back to him and he struck out the last batter. After four it was Reds 8 Tigers 4.
In the fifth, with two outs Ben, Juan and Devon walked. Ben and Juan scored on a couple of steals and wild pitches. Devon walked. Then Matt drilled a line drive to short who made a nice catch. Mason strolled to the mound as he saw his chance for his first save. He settled in an struck out the side on eleven pitches. After five the Reds had a commanding 10-4 lead.
In the sixth, the Reds offense continued. A walk to Nick and a long triple to right by Mason scored Nick. Ian was hit by a pitch. A wild pitch scored Mason. Jack his another sharp smash which the infield played nicely and ended up with his second RBI of the day as Ian scored. Alec walked and Garrett singled to score Ian. Alec moved to third and scored on a wild pitch. Mason came on and struck out two more batters for five strikeouts on the day and, for the last batter, induced a weak popup right back to Mason for the final out. Reds fans rejoiced at their first win of the season.
Coach Grossman had extremely limited time due to this tight preparation schedule for the Pirates next Thursday. He said, “I really like how we are improving each game. Garrett had a wonderful performance and if Mason keeps pitching like that at the end of games, we’ll be just fine. Also, our catchers Nick and Matt did a wonderful job behind the plate. They gave up very few steals and even fewer wild pitches.” Coach Goldstein said ” I really liked all the hustle I saw out there and a lot of our guys were much more focused throughout the game.”
The Reds continue their road trip against the PIrates next Thursday at Running Cedar and then return home to Fox Mill for a game the Twins next Saturday.