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STAMPEDE Prevails in Pitchers' Duel; Championship Game Next
Jul. 17, 2016
The Smithtown STAMPEDE squared off against the college-player team from Connecticut, the Shoreline Riptide in the 3rd game of the War at the Shore tournament. In what quickly developed into a pitcher vs. pitcher showdown, he who "flinched" first would surely be in the most difficult of positions. With Anthony working a Smithtown walk to begin the game, he would be their only baserunner until the top of the 7th. As quiet as the Smithtown bats were, Josh was throwing his own masterpiece for the STAMPEDE.
After a 3 up-3 down 1st inning, Josh (CG, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 7 SO, 1 BB) allowed a long single to RCF to the Shoreline batter to start the 2nd. Trying to stretch it, Wesley gunned him down at 2nd with SS Nick getting a quick tag down. There were a handful of assists behind Josh in the infield, as 3B Frankie chipped in to end the 2nd, SS Nick in the 7th, and 2B Anthony setting the pace with 5 of his own along the way. With both teams walking the tightrope all game, the errorless efforts by both factored in to every play.
After retiring 12 straight with near-impeccable command, Josh would allow the Riptide their 3rd, and final, single in the 6th inning. Following a steal of 2nd -- only the second runner to get that far -- Smithtown's defense kicked in to end the 1 out threat. To this point, Smithtown was also looking to get a runner on somehow... now, with only 3 outs to go (T7th).
Franklin got things going by legging a single that was grabbed on a dive by the Riptide SS up the middle. Beating the throw, Wesley was summoned to run. Anthony had a job to do... get Wesley into scoring position. He squared to bunt a curveball in the dirt and Smithtown got the big break it needed. Anthony pulled back, the wild pitch bounced away, and Wesley darted to 2nd base. Anthony then put down the perfect SAC bunt. Just inside the 3B line, the Riptide pitcher fell and threw from the seat of his pants, seemingly wide to first base. The safe call was overturned, but Wesley was at third base with one out.
Jason strode to the plate looking to get his mates on the board. Jay hit a sharp grounder right up the middle on a 3-1 count to put Smithtown ahead 1-0. That clutch hit meant that Smithtown needed to get 3 more outs to advance to the Championship game. The Riptide had the top of their order set to face Josh in the B7th. Whiff! 1 out. Things got a bit interesting as Josh then issued his only base on balls of the day. A grounder toward the SS hole was flipped to Anthony by Nick, but a late slide prevented the DP from being turned. 2 out, runner on 1st. Josh kicked it up a notch to get the Riptide cleanup hitter looking on 3 pitches for the final out to propel the STAMPEDE into the Championship game later today.
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