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Tie, Win in Pool Play; STAMPEDE to Semis
Jun. 18, 2016
In Game 2 (10AM) of pool play, Team STAMPEDE jumped to an early 2-0 lead as visitors versus the Brentwood Braves-Soto club. Hot hitting Nick was moved back to leadoff to spark the Smithtown offense. A walk to Nick (1-2, BB), and one to Wes was followed by Nick leading a double steal with the speedy Wes (0-1, 2 BB). Shap drew a walk to load the bases. Jeremy whacked a carpet-burner up the middle for the 2 run lead before the Braves came to bat.
Nick was tapped for the surprise pitching start and worked 3 innings. An error, walk, and single B2nd had him in trouble, but 2 whiffs ended the Braves' scoring chance. In the 3rd the Braves tied the score after some shaky defensive plays. An ill-advised throw to 2nd from home plate in a 1st/3rd situation gave the Braves their 1st run. 2 walks and a single had a run in, but Nick had a sure out slip away after picking a runner off 1st. A high throw to 2nd and into the running lane was deflected wide and was scored an error, with the runner safe. A fielder's choice gave the Braves a 3-2 advantage after 3 innings.
Top 4th, Smithtown had 3 walks come their way. However, a caught stealing strikeout, and pop out to 3B in the mix stalled their efforts. Josh relieved Nick B4th and got out of a jam, stranding runners on 2nd and 3rd with flyouts to LF Rob and 2B Anthony. B5th, trouble came quickly again. Two singles were followed by the bailout... a smashed line drive to 2B Anthony. Snaring it, a quick flip to SS Nick got the much-needed DP. A double had runners on 2nd and 3rd. A walk loaded the bases. A liner again went to 2B Anthony for the inning-ender. 3-2 Braves after 5 inn.
Smithtown, due to time limits, now had one last chance to score. With one out, Rob walked. The "door was open". Jason lined out to 3B and it was Josh's turn. He lofted a single that fell just inside the LF line to tie it at 3-3. He was cut down at 2nd trying to stretch it, but did the clutch job with the bat.
Josh snuffed the Braves 1-2-3 in the final inning on 3 groundouts to keep the tie in place.
In the 1:30 Game, the East Coast Jays were able to keep Smithtown off the board for the first 2 innings. Wes started the STAMPEDE with a leadoff walk, but was doubled up on a hit & run circus-catch out to RCF by Anthony. Nick hit a long fly to LF that was lost in the sun by the ECJ left fielder, hustling to second as the ball caromed off the dide of the fielder's glove.. He was then stranded on a groundout. Peter drew a walk in the B2nd, stole 2nd, and he was stranded. The Smithtown 3rd inning would decide the game.
With the Jays facing Jason, the battle was on. Jason also walked the first batter he faced. Jason's battery-mate, Anthony, gunned down the would-be base stealer, with the runner sliding into the tag on the perfect throw. A second walk saw that runner erased on a 6/4 FC, SS Nick to 2B Rob. With 2 down, the runner on first tested Anthony again. Anthony missiled a second throw dea-on the money to nail his second runner, ending the inning. Jason would retire 6 of the next 7 ECJ batters, but struggled in the 4th with his control, hitting 2 batters. CF Wes would make a superg grab on a sinking liner for an out.Jason fielded a ball back to the box, firing to Josh at 3rd for the force. 2 down. A mile-high pop fly was tracked by SS Nick behind the mound for Smithtown to escape unscathed.
The STAMPEDE 3rd had Franklin reaching with one out on an E6. Wes also reached on an E6. Anthony's lined single into LCF was hit too hard to the fast-charging Jays' LF, so Franklin was held at third base. Nick was up with bases loaded. He took a 3-0 strike, then unloaded. A long blast over the Jays' centerfielder's head in LCF cleared the bases and had Nick standing up at second with a double. Another single by Anthony, to RF this time, would be the only hit Smithtown would get until B6th.
In the B6th, Peter worked a 2 out walk. He stole second and scored on Josh's sharp single that kicked off the 3B bag and into LF. The 4 - 0 score would be the final. Rob would relieve jason in the 5th, then get out of a 7th inning jam for the 2 inning save. Two singles, then 2 FC ground balls were sandwiched around a fly out to CF as Smithtown doused the sparking EC Jays scoring chance.
Sunday semi-final rematch-action will feature a #1 STAMPEDE vs. #4 East End Aviators to determine who will advance to the Championship game.
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