Jays Dodge the Storm, Lock Up First Place
Posted July 19, 2013
With multiple playoff scenarios still possible, the Holden
Blue Jays used the simplest possible route – a win – to ensure home field
advantage through the forthcoming second season. However, Bardo made the Jays work
for every out and run, as the Athletics chased a better first round matchup as
well. In the end the combination of
Logan Skori and Grayson Soprovich kept the Athletics at bay and Holden clawed
out a 5-1 victory.
Bardo starter Chris Mittlestad sawed off Skori through four
innings, coming out ahead with a slim 1-0 lead. Tossing a healthy supply of
curves, Mittlestad gave up a few slap singles but avoided any substantial damage.
Skori equaled his counterpart, but with a flare for the dramatic. The first two
innings saw runners reach third with one out but the Athletics left each frame
with nothing to show for their efforts. In the third Bardo finally broke the
shutout on a failed double play ball, scratching out an early advantage.
Entering the top of the fifth, Sean Melanson replaced
Mittlestad, allowing the Jays to answer with a few runs of their own. While the
top of the order struggled to string together hits, the back-end picked up
Skori and staked out a 3-1 lead. Despite over-aggressive baserunning cutting
down a run at the plate, the Jays soon got to Melanson. Chance Friend, fresh
off a recent shift with railroad, singled in the first run, as Lane Skori and
Marshall Myskiw – pinch running for Friend – would also score in the inning.
Skori dominated through the fifth and sixth, only allowing
two baserunners in his final two frames while striking out four – including a
hatrick in the sixth. Holden tacked on insurance runs in their second last
at-bat, one on a double that Randall Ziegler dreamed was a triple. Gunned down at
third, the Jays still pushed the younger Skori across for a second run and handed
the ball to Grayson Soprovich for the final frame. Made slightly more
adventurous by the swirling winds of an oncoming storm, Soprovich pitched a clean
frame and clinched first place for the Jays.
Returning to the form of their seven-game winning streak,
Holden now looks forward to starting the playoffs next Tuesday against
Bardo. A ceremonial plaque will be
installed in memory of Holden Blue Jay and amazing mentor Pat Kawaliuk, as the
boys will look to bring one home for their teammate taken much too soon.
— Dylan Boyko