The CIBC First Caribbean Baseball Crushers shook of some of the rust of the Easter holidays as they lost a close game versus Maples.
The Cayman Islands Little League AA division tussle was a battle as Maples pitcher Albertini “The Bull” Holness and CIBC FCIB pitcher Julian “Bullseye” Menko matched each other strike for strike in a low-scoring, ferocious duel.
Menko came into the game with no losses and three wins as starting pitcher but Maples, led by The Bull, showed scant regard for his pristine record and roughed him up in the first inning jumping to the early lead by scoring two runs. CIBC FCIB came back in the second to tie it up with runs from Adrian Anglin and Chad Brooks.
Bullseye struck out the side in order in the second but in the third Maples got a few players on base and were able to get one run across and could possibly have scored more, were it not for the brilliant defence of shortstop Javier Johnson and first baseman Jonah Pierre, who made the plays when it mattered most.
In the top of the fifth, CIBC FCIB battled all the way to get the tying and go ahead runs on base. However, Javier Johnson was called out attempting to steal home on a bang-bang play at the plate and the game ended in victory for Maples and Albertini, who handed Bullseye his first “L” for the season.
Menko stated he was initially upset after the game.
“At first I was furious about the loss,” Menko said. “But Albertini deserved the “W” he was a strike-throwing machine – we couldn’t touch him. My team-mates played great defence behind me to keep the game close, especially Jonah, whose glove was a black hole at first base and Javier, who turned an amazing double play to end the fourth inning.”
Maples came into this game on a three-game winning streak and sent their ace Albertini “The Bull” Holness to the mound to continue the winning streak and what a game he pitched, as he struck out six of the first seven batters he faced. During the game he gave up only two runs and struck out twelve batters in four and two thirds innings.
The ball was then turned over to closer Jessie “The Body” Jackson who closed it out to get the win for Maples. Catcher Dane “Chiuahua” Muspratt led off Maples’ first inning with an inside-the-park home-run followed by Jackson, who hit a single and made it to second on a wild pitch and went on to score after a single from Gonzalo “Speedy” McLaughlin.
Offensively, Maples batter Kion Parchmont showed great patience and scored the winning run on a RBI triple from The Bull. After the game, Holness reflected on his team’s victory.
“We got off to a slow start this year,” Holness said. “It took us a while to pick up our first win, but we kept improving and we won three in a row. I just wanted to help my team win again and keep the momentum going.”