Dateline: Smithsburg Field Day 2 2:00 PM
The Reston All stars were 2-0 in their bracket and needed a win to clinch a berth in the championship game slated at 4:00 against the 41-8 feared PREDATORS. Coach Grossman was at the helm. He called Heads and it was TAILS. Three coin tosses, three losses. Clearly, Reston should consider hiring someone to help with these coin tosses.
The Northeast starter looked sharp and he got Matt to ground out back to the pitcher. Kent walked. Pete hit a sharp grounder back to the mound. The pitcher whirled and fired to short who then fired to first. The call…. SAFE at first. The Northeast bench asked to “APPEAL” the play at first. The home plate umpire accepted the appeal and called the batter-runner OUT at first. Coach Grossman was not happy and went to home plate to explain to the umps that “This reporter was able to overhear Coach Grossman. He said, in a fairly calm voice, “You cannot appeal a ground ball. It is my understanding that you can request help if you need it.” Coach Grossman asked the field ump if he needed help to make the call. The ump said that he wanted to make the right call. Coach Grossman said, “You didn’t answer my question”. Both umps looked a little sheepish so Coach Grossman decided let it be. This reporter notes that after the game, the home plate ump apologized to Coach Grossman for doing the wrong thing on this call.
In the bottom of the first Owen went to the mound. The first batter walked. The next batter hit a fly to center that Pete caught for out one. Owen blasted three strikes by the next batter. A single scored a run, but Owen settled down and got the last batter to ground out to second. After one, Reston was down 1-0, the first time they had been down all tournament.
Reston came battling back. Conor singled to left. He stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. Sal grounded out to first to score Conor. With two outs Justin was hit by a pitch in the head. He laughed when it happened, but after he got to first he appeared dizzy. The Coaches put Brendan in for Justin. The rest of the inning ended quietly. Owen struck out the first batter he faced in the second and the next batter grounded out to Sal at second. After three walks in a row, Coach Grossman came out to the mound and put in Brendan. Brendan struck out the next batter on three pitches. This reporter notes that Owen certainly had a good inning and two thirds with three strikeouts. After two it was a thriller all tied up at one a piece.
The Reston All Stars jumped on the Northeeast starter in the third. Matt led off with a big single. Kent bunted perfectly and Matt advanced to third as he alertly saw that the third baseman was charging the bunt and off the bag. Conor singled to score Matt. Sal drilled a shot past the first baseman. Jake smashed a single to score Conor and Sal. Owen singled and Brendan walked to load the bases. Graham was hit by a pitch to score Jake. Brendan threw heat and got two batters in a row to quickly pop up to Sal and, after a couple of walks, he settled down to get the next batter to ground out back to the mound.
After three it was Reston 5 Northeast 1.
In the fourth, the offense kept rolling. Kent walked. Pete singled to left and Conor again cleared the bases with a long double. He stole third. Sal hit a long fly to center to score Conor. In the bottom of the fourth, Northeast slipped a run across a run on a single and double, but Brendan settled down to strikeout the next batter and get the last batter to ground out back to the mound. After four it was Reston 8 Northeast 2.
In the top of the fifth, the offense kept rolling. Brendan singled to right. Graham reached on an infield hit. Matt bunted nicely but Northeast made a nice play and fired to third to get Brendan for out one. Kent singled to score Graham. Pete drilled a big singled to left to score Matt. Pete moved to second on a wild pitch. Conor drilled a single to left to score Pete. In the bottom of the fifth, (well we should note that Kent came in to catch after three and give Matt some rest for Game 2 so Matt moved to left). The first batter smashed a long drive to left in the far corner. Matt retrieved the ball and fired a strike to Conor at the cut-off and he gunned it to Sal at second who deftly applied the tag to get the runner by six feet. The message had been sent. DO NOT RUN ON THIS OUTFIELD! The next batter walked and another batter singled. With two runners on and one out, Northeast fans cheered wildly for a rally. It was not to be. The next batter hit a shot — Conor jumped at short and caught it and flipped to Sal at second for an inning-ending double play. After five it was Reston 11 Northeast 2.
Reston picked up some more insurance runs in the sixth as Owen beat out an infield hit. With two outs, Graham walked. A wild pitch put runners on third and second. With two outs, Matt drilled a nice single to center (for his second hit ont he day) and Owen and Graham scored. Jake came on in relief and threw heat. The first batter reached on a rare infield error. Jake settled down and struck out the next batter. After a walk, and two wild pitches runners were on third and second. The next batter singled to score two runs but the batter was nailed in a run down on just one throw from Sal to Pete at first for out two. The next batter grounded out to Owen at third who made a nice play and gunned down the runner for out three.
Final Score: Reston 13 Northeast 4
Coach Grossman was pleased after the game and granted a very brief interview. “Northeast really wasn’t a bad team and it was kind of tense there at the beginning. I’m glad we were able to save Pete and Conor for the championship game. I wish we had some more time before that game, but it looks like it starts in about ten more minutes. I really thought Owen did a nice job starting the game off. Brendan did a fantastic job in three plus innings of relief and Jake did a great job finishing the game. We’ll be ready for these Predators.
This reporter notes that the game ended quite a run for the Reston All Stars in their bracket. They finished 3-0 with a combined score of 43-6.