Dateline: Fox Mill 1
The Reston Royals came into Fox Mill on a very pleasant afternoon for a game against the Great Falls Reds. Eric started and threw heat. He struck out two and the second batter popped out to Matt who made a nice play behind the plate. Matt singled but was caught stealing at second and Nihal hit a long shot to right, but sadly it was caught to end the inning. After one it was 0-0.
The Reds scratched across a run on a double a passed ball and a single. Eric settled down and struck out a batter, got the next batter to fly out to left where Jake made a nice catch for out two and Eric struck out the last batter. Spensor picked up a big single in the second but three Royals grounded back to the mound. Eric started the third inning by getting the the first batter to ground out to to Ryan at first for out one and he struck out two more to end the Reds half of the third. In the bottom of the third the Royals went down in order. After three it was still a pitchers duel with the Reds ahead 1-0.
Matt came on in the fourth and looked great. He retired the side in order on a ground out to Spensor at first, a ground out in front of home where Justin made a great play as he fired to Spensor for out two, and a popup back to the mound for out three. The Royals took the lead in the bottom of the fourth on a leadoff single by Eric. He moved to second on a ground out to first. Nihal drilled a single to center to score the run and he took second on an overthrow. Nihal moved to third on a wild pitch. Alec grounded out to short but Nihal scored. Suddenly the Royals were up 2-1 and Royals fans were celebrating.
Unfortunately, four singles and an error resulted in four runs for the Reds in the top of the fifth. The reader knows these Royals never give up and in the bottom of the fifth, they came right back. Nick led off the inning with a long double down the line in left. Justin singled to score Nick. Jake singled with a shot to center to move Justin to second. With two outs, Eric blasted a long triple to left center to score Justin and Nick. Matt dropped a nice, surprise bunt with two outs and the throw beat him by a step (This reporter isn’t so sure the throw got there in time, but what can a reporter do?). After five it was all tied at five a piece.
Alec came on in the sixth and got the first batter to ground out to Eric at short. The next batter grounded back to the mound for out two and the last batter popped out to Alec on the mound. In the bottom of the sixth, the Royals made great contact, but Nihal’s blast to right was caught, and Spensor hit a shot to center that was caught for out three. Both teams were eager to play a seventh, but both coaches had games booked on Monday and elected to call the game in order to preserve their pitching staffs for Monday’s games.
Coach Goldstein said, “What an exciting game. This team shows improvement every week.” Coach Grossman said, “I know our guys were dying to play a seventh inning, but I felt we had just played too well all day and I wanted to make sure we ended on a positive note. I’ll probably always wonder if we should have played seven, but we have enough injuries on the team and I know some people will be missing on Monday that I decided that a tie was OK. I was so proud of how our team came back that I really wanted to end on a positive note. We have clearly come a long way as this Great Falls team was a pretty good ballclub and we stayed right with them.”