AA (Regular Season)
Storm 12 — Lugnuts 8: On June 3, the Storm and Lugnuts completed a suspended game, with the Storm coming out on top 12-8. Joe Andres of the Lugnuts had some of the game’s brightest moments, ripping a double in the first inning and making a spectacular diving catch in the third inning. The Storm’s offensive leaders included Anthony Cantanio, who hit a triple in the second inning, Lou Lindsey, who slugged a double and a single. Ben Sharrer, Noah Galvin and Lucas Hertzog all singled. Storm pitcher Liam Strobel struck out three of the nine batters he faced.
Majors (Regular Season)
Nationals 7 — Cubs 6: In one of the most dramatic games of the season, Chris Meador drove in the winning run with a sharp single to right field in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Nationals kept their hot streaking going, playing their way into the regular season championship game against the Orioles by concluding the second half of the season with a 6-1 record.
In the bottom of the sixth, Nats reliever Daniel Butler loaded the bases with Cubs with nobody out, but then recorded three straight outs to end the threat. As Nats fans everywhere held their breath, the Cubs managed to get two more runners on base with one out in the top of the seventh. Butler rose to the occasion once more, thwarting the Cubs’ hopes by retiring the side without allowing a run.
Nationals’ starter Ethan Anderson pitched three and two-thirds innings while striking out five. Ryan Leonard and Austen Adcock handled the pitching duties for the Cubs.
Red Sox 6 — Orioles 5: Strong relief pitching from Brennan Jones and the continued slugging of Lucas Cherry led the Red Sox to their second win of the season over the league-leading Orioles. In relieving Richard Marsh, who pitched two strong innings, Jones was able to secure the win for the Sox, his third of the season. Tyler Water went the distance for the Orioles.
Doubles by Sam Selby, Cherry and Marsh led the Sox in the first inning. Cherry blasted a two-run home run in the third and added a single and scored the winning run in the fifth. Austin Clark added a double for the winners. Vijay Menon led the O’s offense with three hits.
A’s 14 — Yankees 6: Maggie Goldsmith led an offensive juggernaut, with four hits in four trips to the plate, including a home run and double, as the A’s roared to strong finish in the regular season, winning a third straight game. Goldsmith also struck out all five batters she faced on the mound.
Aidan Fitzpatrick, George DeMars and Matthew Rhodes added hits for the A’s as they fine-tuned their offense for the playoffs. The Yankees offense was led by Jon Strader, Colton Hodge and J.P. De Franco, all of whom contributed hits.
Storm 8 — Lugnuts 6: The Lugnuts put up fierce resistance, but the Storm prevailed when playoffs began June 7. Singles by Aidan Hill, Brian Riggione, Max Miller and Neal Menon were complemented by the solid defense of Evan Rusk, who snagged a tough fly ball to center.
The Storm responded with singles from Ben Sharrer, Lou Lindsey and Tommy Ritter, and doubles by Anthony Cantanio and Kaylyn Truesdale. The Storm defense was anchored by Lindsey, who made two outstanding plays in a row at first base, and by Cole Jackson, who fielded a hard shot to second and made a strong throw to first to get the out. On the mound, Jack Gieseler struck out three. Liam Strobel and Noah Galvin each struck out two. In the final inning, with the game tied 6-6, the Storm managed to score two runs to edge the resilient Lugnuts and advance in the tournament.
Sand Gnats 7 — Rockhounds 4: In a hard-fought game, the Sand Gnats defeated the Rockhounds on June 7 in the first round of the playoffs. The Rockhounds were led by outstanding pitching from Ethan Wolak, who struck out eight and only allowed one hit over three innings. He helped his own cause by getting a key hit and scoring a run.
The Rockhounds’ Addie Discipio bashed two hits and struck out a batter on the mound. Louis Klarfeld added two hits and scored a run. George Maya and Christian Miceli scored for the Rockhounds.
The Sand Gnats, carried by solid pitching from David Miller (four complete innings, five strikeouts), led 6-1 after scoring five runs in the bottom of the fourth. The Rockhounds battled back in the top of the fifth, scoring three runs and loading the bases before Sand Gnats’ pitcher Grinden Collins got a key strikeout to end the inning.
Ryan Henderson got a key hit, scored and caught very well in the mid-90s temperatures. Sam Whitaker struck out two batters and scored. Sand Gnats Garrett “Big Papi” Gibson, Sam Updike, Sam Luten and Carter May scored.
Pirates 14 — Rangers 13: The Pirates and the Rangers squared off in first round tournament action on June 7. In the top of the first, the Rangers received singles by Jimmy Major and Harrison Coon, followed by an outfield double by Sean Brown, which brought home Major and Coon. Shaheed Chambers added a double, driving in two and suddenly the Pirates were down by four. Pirates’ pitcher Gabe Terry retired the next two batters, including a strike-out and a tough grounder handled by shortstop Alex Lesser. In the second inning, pitcher Terry retired the side in order, with a strikeout and line drives to Pirates third baseman Doug Bossart and second baseman Gray Adcock.
In the bottom of the second, the Pirates put their bats to work, starting with a lead off single by Jessica Manning. They scored four more runs with smart base running by Brock Taylor, Gray Adcock and Matt Valley, and a single by Casey Lauer. The Rangers could not be kept down and scored five runs on five hits to take the lead in the third. The Pirates came right back to score two runs, leaving the Rangers on top 9-8. The fourth inning was similarly packed with action from both teams’ offense, as the Rangers scored four and the Pirates scored five, to tie the game at 13-13. During the explosive fourth, Chamber hit his second double of the game, and Michael Behrens blasted a bases-loaded triple.
In the top of the fifth, Pirates’ closer Casey Lauer retired the side on 11 pitches, including two strikeouts and a hard hit grounder handled by shortstop Lesser. In the top of the sixth, Lauer went back to work, forcing two pop-ups and a ground out on six pitches. Bossart’s fielding was noteworthy at third, as he hustled to catch a ball in foul territory for the first out and handled a hot grounder in the gap toward shortstop for the final out, preventing the Rangers from scoring a sure run. In the bottom of the sixth, Terry singled up the middle and scored soon after on a hard hit ball to the right side of the field by Christian Rhodes. The seesaw-battle ended with the Pirates on top 14-13.
Mets 13 — Marlins 8: The Marlins scored first in this tournament game played on June 6, capitalizing on a double by leadoff hitter Marsden Davis. But in the bottom of the first, the Mets jumped out, scoring eight runs before the Marlins could shut them down. After the first, the game settled down but the Mets stayed in control with solid pitching by Justin Trainor and Johnny Peterson, and solid defense, which included a heads-up double play by Jonathon Hoyns. Nathaniel Scheinman came in to close for the Mets and seal the victory. The Mets next face the Dodgers, winners of the regular season championship.
Orioles 6 — Nationals 3: While playing through unseasonable heat and humidity, the Orioles defeated the Nationals 6-3 on June 7 to claim the regular season championship of the Majors Division.
Alex Handley pitched a complete game with eight strikeouts to earn the win for the O’s. Jesse Jones pitched four and two-thirds innings with six strikeouts for the Nationals. The O’s Tyler Waters opened the bottom of the first with a leadoff double before scoring from third on a sacrifice fly from Handley. The Nationals responded in the top of the second with Chris Meador and Devon Johnson being knocked in by Jack Nordhuizen. The score remained 2-1 until the bottom of the fourth inning when Alex Handley doubled. Vijay Menon, Marcus Bunaugh and Jamie Handley each then singled to score three runs and put the O’s up 4-2.
Nate Thatcher doubled and scored for the Nationals in the top of the fifth before the O’s answered with two more runs in the bottom of the fifth with hits by Waters and Tim Donis.
Yankees 11 — Red Sox 3: In their third meeting of the year, the Yankees and Red Sox staged another epic battle, with the Yankees capitalizing on some brilliant defensive work and an exceptionally strong outing by starting pitcher Jon Strader. The Yankees advance into the second round of the post-season tournament.
After Sox starter Dalton Marsh retired the Yanks in order in the first, it looked like the Sox were ready for an offensive explosion. Lead-off hitter Richard Marsh drilled a shot up the middle for what looked like a sure double; but the Yanks’ center-fielder J.P. DeFranco made a terrific play, firing the ball to second base to nail the speedy Marsh on a close play. Sam Selby followed with a double off the fence, but with Marsh retired, the Sox came up empty, which would not be the last time the Yankees used their defense to stop the Sox in their tracks.
Richard Marsh hit a solo shot, his sixth of the season over the left-centerfield fence for the Sox’s first run in the third.
Dalton Marsh held the Yankees to only one hit in the first three innings and notched three strikeouts. However, the Yankees broke out early in the fourth with five runs scored by Jordan Cole, DeFranco and James Anderson, each with singles. Colton Hodge and Alex McMillen also crossed the plate. Evan Davis and Jon Strader collected RBIs in the inning. The Yankees added two more runs in the fifth as Cole got a base on balls, Hodge singled to left and DeFranco moved Cole to third on a fielder’s choice. McMillen hit a sacrifice fly to deep left to score Cole and Evan Davis singled for his second RBI for the day to score DeFranco.
After Matt Lowery opened the fourth by ripping a single down the third base line, the Sox loaded the bases with singles from Lucas Cherry and Drew Spera with no outs. However, on a fly ball to right field by Brennan Jones, McMillen made a diving grab and came up firing to home where Evan Tracy made the tag to complete the double play. Though there were only two outs, the Yankees pitcher and catcher thought the play ended the inning and tossed the ball to the mound and headed to the dugout as Cherry scored. Strader regained his composure, striking out the next batter to end the inning — for real this time.
The Yankees’ explosive offense added four more runs from Barret Nixon, Tracy, Cole (single) and Hodge (double) in the top of the sixth. Cherry slammed a solo shot well over the left field fence, for his league-leading seventh home run. Jones and Ted Terwilliger followed with singles.
Strader went five and two-thirds strong innings for the Yankees, striking out seven and walking none. Even though he left the mound to the wild applause of Yankee fans and neutral onlookers, Strader was not done for the evening. Making one last desperate attempt to rally, the Sox had two runners on with two outs as Jackson DuBro battled Yankees ace reliever DeFranco to a 2-2 count. With ever dangerous slugger Richard Marsh on deck, there was a glimmer of hope for the Sox. As Sox fans rose their feet, DuBro blasted a shot deep to left, near the foul line. Running at the crack of the bat, Strader caught the ball over his shoulder, making it look easy — a modern-day Joe DiMaggio. Said one incredulous young fan in the Sox stands, “Strader made that catch? Hasn’t he already done enough damage?”
The ecstatic Yankee squad raced off the field, eager to move on and face the Orioles in round two of the playoffs.
A’s 17 — Cubs 7: The strong momentum built by the A’s toward the end of the regular season carried them to a convincing 17-7 win over the resilient Cubs. After losing their first seven games of the season, the A’s rebounded strongly to enter the playoffs on a high note.
For the A’s, David Mathis had two doubles and turned in a strong relief appearance to shut down the Cubs in the final inning. Zach Woerhle, Addy Madison and William O’Hora added hits for the A’s.The Cubs power duo, Will Iacobucci and Ben Torpey, had three hits for the scrappy Cubs’ offense. Despite the disappointing finish, it was a season of many highlights for Coach Leonard and the Cubs squad. The A’s move on to face the formidable Nationals in the second round of playoffs.