Explosive first inning in game two fades into a tie
The iCASE Baseball Academy made a point of arriving early to the Cocoa Expo Sports Complex in order to dine in their cafeteria, which is known for delicious food and reasonable prices. Well, the Huskies got served lunch a second time, but on the ball field, in their first game of a doubleheader versus the Oshawa Legionnaires, as they were thumped 10-1. iCASE rebounded to a 7-7 tie in the second game that was played much more like they are capable of playing, although it was also a little bitter to swallow, given that the Huskies had jumped out to a 7-0 lead.
“There are things that we adults know, and we wish we could just take the DVD of our experience and insert it in their Blue Ray, and then they’d know it without having to learn the hard way like we did as kids,” philosophized iCASE head coach/GM Tom Valcke.
“But while Ian (assistant coach Ian MacDonald) and I shot up and down the dugout reminding our guys what Oshawa was capable of, and that nobody comes all the way from Canada to Florida to mail it in, we shifted gears into neutral and let them slowly chip away until it became 7-7 heading into the 7th inning.”
Riley Sykes led off with a quality at bat that led to a base on balls, and he was executing a delayed steal when Dylan Kints drove a ball to the shortstop, who came up throwing to second base, but only realizing when it was too late that Sykes would beat the throw. He muffled the throw, and as it dribbled into centre field, Sykes booked it to third. Ruben Van Dijk came in to pinch run for Sykes, and ran wisely, but was left stranded. Riley Deline grounded out hard to second base, but the infield played in, and Van Dijk couldn’t have scored. iCASE’s next two batters were caught looking, and suddenly, Ryan Yea had to be hailed from the bullpen to do his best to preserve the tie.
“Yes, the tie was better than a loss, but giving up a seven-run lead kind of spoils any good you can find in a tie,” added Valcke.
“All you can do is hope that they learn something from the experience and not repeat it, and if that can happen, then I guess there was some good to be extracted.”
iCASE poured it on in the top of the first, batting around their 10-man order. Deline led off the game with a line drive single to right centre, and stole on the first pitch. Following a walk to Mitch McKay, Yea blasted the first of his two doubles into the right field gap, putting iCASE ahead 2-0. Cam Lynn then hammered a frozen rope double into the left field corner to plate Yea, and Peyton Tisi whacked a run-scoring triple over the centre fielder’s head. Zach Olinski stroked an opposite field single to give iCASE a 6-0.
In the top of two, Deline walked and stole second, but following a base on balls to McKay, Deline was thrown out trying to advance to third base on a passed ball. McKay wound up scoring on another long double by Yea, but even though the Huskies went on to load the bases with none out, they failed to score any addition runs in that inning, nor for the rest of the game.
Tisi took the mound for iCASE and scattered six hits while allowing three runs over his four innings. Near took over, but ran into control problems in his first outing of the year, allowing a four spot, before Yea took the ball in the final frame.
In a rather unremarkable first game, Riley Sykes, Jordy Tessmer and Garrett Lichti shared the mound duties, with Lichti having the most success giving up three runs on three hits over the final three innings. A pair of outstanding defensive plays occurred when Tisi threw out a runner at third from right field, and when Mitch McKay made an unassisted double play going up the middle.
After a day at the beach on Wednesday …. errrr, a day of rest for pitching arms, iCASE resumes play on Thursday with a 1:00pm doubleheader, and will close out its action with a 9:00am game on Friday.
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