Bend but not break is what the NDG Giants bantam ‘B’ baseball squad did Saturday morning when they took the diamond against the West Island Red Sox at Northview Park.
After a dominant first turn at bat where they saw five of their runners cross home plate, the NDG Giants seemed to be off and running. Along with early life from their bats, they also managed to keep the opposing bats asleep. For now.
“I think that we did a good job of being aggressive out the gate,” said NDG head coach Mark Hazan. “But we have to do a better job of filling the box score in other innings and be more consistent.”
After three innings, the Giants held a comfortable lead of 11-1, but couldn’t push any more runners across, despite routinely having runners get into scoring position.
“We held them,” said Red Sox coach Mark Szoldra. “We had people come in during the middle innings of the game and we shut them down. We just had to avoid giving up so many runs so early.”
The Red Sox were aided by the bat and arm of Justin Miyake. His two innings of relief seemed to spark his team and get them back into the game.
“[Miyake] was huge for us,” said Szoldra. “His pitching was great and he came up clutch with his bat.”
Miyake displayed power at the plate, forcing NDG’s outfielder’s to play him much deeper than they would for other hitters. And still, Miyake hit it over their heads on a crucial bases-clearing triple in the fourth inning to make the score 11-7. A good defensive play by the cut-off man receiving the throw from the outfield was the only thing that kept Miyake from an inside-the-park home run.
“They brought in some better pitchers and were able to figure out our pitchers a bit better,” said Hazan. He also mentioned the injury of James Hazan, who was hit by a pitch in the second inning and was forced out of the game.
After NDG added a run in the top of the fifth inning, the stage was set for the Red Sox in the bottom of the fifth.
They quickly scored four runs, and had the bases loaded with two out. But unfortunately, couldn’t push another runner across and saw their comeback bid fall short. The Final score was 12-11 for NDG.
“A team-building win either happens when you come from behind to win or hold a lead for dear life,” said Hazan. “I’m happy we were able to hold on. This was certainly a team-building win.”
Next up for NDG will be the Lakeshore Red Braves, who they’ll play Monday night at home. The Red Sox have the Lakeshore Blue Braves up next on Wednesday evening at Northview Park.