|The 7-3 Pirates and the 10-1 Astros faced off
on a nice Friday evening. The only loss for the
Astros this year was to the Pirates -- so they
were hoping to even things up. The Pirates hit
the field as the home team.
The Astros wasted
no time in making a statement. They first 5
Astros hit the ball hard, and they scored 5 runs.
Yikes! In the bottom of the first, Ryan led with
a hard single off the pitcher's glove. Blake
followed with a double to center field, putting
ducks on the pond for Andrew. Andrew lifted a fly
ball to left center field, which dropped in for a
hit and scored two! Brian then tattooed a ball to
left center field. Anna had a big single to left
field -- she really smacked it. That loaded the
sacks with no one out. After a strikeout, Michael
grounded into a fielder's choice (they threw out
Andrew at the plate). Max got an infield single
to score Brian. Finally, Matthew grounded out to
the pitcher. Hey, pick your head up -- you'll get
another chance! Pirates score 3 and trail after
one inning 5-3.
In the second inning, the first two Astros got
hits. The next batter grounded out to Anna at
first base. That put runners at second and third
base with one out. The next batter grounded a
ball directly to Brian at shortstop. Brian sorta
looked the runner back to second and prepared to
fire on to first to get the batter. But WHAT'S
THIS??? Brian *faked* the throw to first and
quickly turned to tag out the runner at second!!!
Mercy me!! WHAT A PLAY!!!!! (Good thing the
exclamation mark key works on this computer!) The
crowd goes bananas over the heads-up,
great-instincts play by Brian! Another hit plated
one run and a strikeout ended the scoring. Astros
only score one!
In the bottom of the second, Josh M. starts
off with a perfect bunt single. Coach Rodney
whispers to Hayden as he steps to the plate
"Put one down in the same place". And
Hayden does exactly that! After a strikeout by
Josh B. (including some nice bunt attempts),
Chris comes up with a clutch single to center
field! And that scores two! Ryan got another
single to right field. Blake got a hit off the
first baseman to score Chris. Then Andrew stepped
up and hit a fly ball to center field. The
shortstop can't get to it, the second baseman
can't get to it, the outfielders can't get to it.
It wasn't hit well, but the ball had
"eyes". That kind of popup is called a
"Texas leaguer". And it scored the
fourth and fifth runs! Coach Rodney ain't
complaining... Pirates lead 8-6 after two
In the top of the third, the first Astros
batter struck out (actually, he bunted the third
strike foul). After a couple hits, the next
batter rifled a double. He tried to take third
base. But Ryan took the relay, look at the
situation, and tossed on to Josh M. at third
base. Josh M. applied the tag on the sliding
runner. Out!! A grounder to right field somehow
turned into a home run due to the Pirates
throwing the ball around -- double yikes!!
Finally, an Astros batter flied out to Ryan.
Astros score 3.
In the bottom of the third, Brian led off with
a grounder to the shortstop. But the shortstop
made a nice play and threw out Brian. Anna
followed with a single to right field. B.J. hit
his patented grounder in the hole between
shortstop and third base. Everyone's safe!
Michael hit a popup to shortstop for the second
out. The Max got a single to load the bases. That
brings up Matthew. Hey, the bases are loaded
again! And just like Coach Rodney told Matthew,
he had another chance to come through. And Sparky
delivers, with an infield single, to score one!
Finally, Josh M. grounds to the shortstop, who
converts the fielder's choice at third base for
the third out. The Pirates knot the game 9 to 9!
In the fourth, the first two Astros got hits
and one run scored. The next batter lifted a soft
fly ball over Ryan at shortstop into short left
field. But Ryan glides out and makes the sliding
catch. Yippee!! The next batter lifts another
popup to Ryan. This one's easier, and Ryan
squeezes it for the second out. The last batter
grounded out meekly to Anna at first base. Way to
hold 'em Pirates!
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Hayden led
off with a grounder to the third baseman, who
fired it across the diamond for the out. Josh B.
grounded out to the pitcher. Then Christopher got
his second hit of the night, a smack off the
second baseman. Ryan followed with his third
single of the night! Alas, the rally fell short,
as Blake grounded out to the pitcher.
In the top of the fifth, the Pirates defense
needed to shut down the Astros. The first two
Astros struck out. Then the next batter lifted a
fly ball over shortstop into short left center
field. Michael charges and makes a sliding catch.
Fantastic! Three up -- three down! Alright!!
Now it's time to make an offensive statement.
Sadly, Andrew led off with a popup to shortstop.
Then Brian got a single. Brian moved up to second
as Anna grounded out to second base. With two
outs and B.J. at the plate, Coach Rodney tried to
force the action, calling for Brian to steal
third base. Brian got a great jump and hit the
dirt. A tough call at third base -- the ump calls
Brian out. The call could have gone either way.
Ouch! That's three outs and the Pirates don't
score anything. That means the Pirates still
trail 10-9 after 5 full innings. What an
incredibly close game! And the parents in the
stands (on both sides) are really into it. This
is what baseball is all about!!
In the top of the sixth, the Pirate defense
sorta let down a bit. Hard hits by the Astros
scored 7 runs. The defensive highlights included
Michael tossing across from shortstop to Anna at
first base. Plus Andrew made a diving attempt to
catch a foul ball from behind the plate. Ryan
made a putout to first, plus he dove for a
grounder, knocked it down, and almost got the
play at first. Man, Ryan is everywhere tonight!!
The Pirates had one more chance, but they were
too far down. Michael did get a pretty line drive
single to right field. But the Astros made good
plays, as B.J., Max, and Matthew all grounded
out. That's ballgame! Astros win 17-9. The final
score looked a little outrageous, but everyone
who watched that game knew how close it really
The Pirates sure shook off their hitting
doldrums of the past couple games. They just
played a tough team tonight, and stayed with 'em
toe-to-toe for five innings. Coach Rodney had a
couple players really step up tonight. Brian's
tag after the fake throw in the second really
charged up the team and got the Pirates smiling
again. And Ryan just seemed to be everywhere,
diving, sliding, catching balls, and going
3-for-3 at the plate. A great all-around game
from Ryan! And Coach Rodney names Ryan as
Pick! Way to step up and lead the
Hopefully, we'll get back to our winning ways
soon. These last 3 games were tough -- in fact,
Coach Rodney knew they were going to be tough
when he looked at the schedule. We're in the home
stretch of the season, and the Pirates are
looking to close it out in style!