Cards, Red Sox Battle into Extra Innings.
Lion's Field — After a week of a rain and dreary temperatures, the forecast for Saturday, Cinco de Mayo, had parents and ball players alike itching to get out into the sun and heat to soak in a day of baseball. However, as New Englanders know all too well, just because the forecast says sun doesn’t always mean the sun will be seen. Yet despite the drizzle and chillier temperatures, the Red Sox and Cardinals of Tolland Little League’s Majors Division played such an excellent game of baseball that neither team wanted to stop after six innings.
So they played a seventh inning. Filled with tense moments and drama that produced cheers on both sides, the Cardinals squeaked out a one-run victory over the Red Sox, 8-7.
The action began immediately in the top of the first with the Cardinals leadoff hitter, Adam Boutot, singling, stealing second, and then scoring on the next play—which was an overthrow—to give the Cards an early lead.
But the Red Sox answered right back in the bottom of the first, taking a 2-1 lead thanks to Clayton Keane doubling Andrew Jaworski to third. Jaworski would score when the ball got away from the Cards’ shortstop. Two batters later, Kenji Zevetchin hit an RBI single to drive in Keane.
The Cardinals retook the lead in the third when Jason Clough walked with one out, and then stole second base. Ryan Olander followed with another walk to set up starting pitcher Kyle Boutot for a two-run double, giving the Cards a 3-2 lead. Boutot would score on a wild pitch after stealing third base to add to his team’s lead.
But, again, the Red Sox responded in their half of the inning, scoring four runs to jump to a 6-4 lead. Ethan Madden led off with a walk and Sean Reilly reached on an error. Another defensive miscue put Jaworski on to load the bases, and Clayton Keane singled in two runs and then scored himself later in the inning.
Adam Boutot, Jason Clough, and Kyle Boutot all scored in the fifth inning for the Cardinals to continue the seesaw battle, giving the Cards a 7-6 lead. Kyle Boutot picked up an RBI in the inning when he doubled in Clough. Ryan Peterson helped the scoring effort by laying down a beautiful sacrifice bunt that would eventually allow Adam Boutot to score on a passed ball. Of note, Kevin Shorey, who singled earlier in the game, gave the fans a glimpse of the newly-imposed dropped third strike rule in Little League baseball, when he struck out and then was put out by the catcher to the first baseman when the pitch was in the dirt.
No lead was safe in this game, as was evident, once more, in the bottom half of the fifth inning when the Sox tied the score at seven, thanks to a bases-loaded, RBI single from David Molina. The game was saved for the Cards on this very play, because Ryan Peterson made a pinpoint throw from left field to home plate to nail Andrew Jaworski for the second out, preventing the go-ahead run from scoring.
A scoreless sixth with the game still tied meant bonus baseball for all in attendance at Lion’s Field, but the Cardinals would only need one extra inning to wrap up a wildly impressive victory. Cam Parent drew a lead-off walk in the seventh and scored the winning run on a passed ball, and catcher Adam Boutot fired a bullet to Jeremy Winans, who applied the tag on Jaworski attempting to steal third in the bottom of the seventh to end the game.
Final score: Cardinals 8, Red Sox 7.