Official Box Score here :::
Additional photos here :::
Random note going into this game: My uncle asked me what "RG" stood for (it's on the Rainbow Graphics' hats) and I told him Ron Guidry. This was funny, to me, but then he also went into a speech about how athletes back in the day didn't get paid enough money so if you would like to subscribe to his podcast let me know.
This game was so close throughout it that being the second game in a doubleheader it made you feel like you didn't want to leave because you had to stay to see how it all played out. Both of these teams are on that bottom half of the standings, so it isn't a given that either of them might win or lose, which meant this could either be a blowout by one team or it could be competitive and it ended up being competitive in the best way.
With runners on first and third, a throw went into center field to score the first run of the game as the Graphics went up 1-0 right away. However, a missed throw to third would bring home a Cardinals runner, putting it at 1-1 after the first inning. The second and third innings went somewhat smoothly and this felt like a stalemate, like we might be here at 1-1 all night. In the bottom of the fourth inning a catch was dropped and the Cardinals had a double but it was overturned. The pitching really played a big role in this game, as both of the starters seemed to keep things low.
A single, a walk and a passed pitched moved runners to second and third with one out, and then a sacrifice fly by Alex Koletar brought in the go ahead run, making it 2-1 Cardinals after four innings. The fifth wouldn't see much action but as was the case with the previous game the umpires were getting quite annoyed by the players talking, warning both teams at different times. These were also the same umps for both games.
In the top of the sixth a double tied the game for the Graphics and then a ball which was dropped by the Cardinals scored two more runs. Up 4-2, it felt like the tide had shifted towards the Graphics now and with just two more innings to go, it felt like they would stay on top. That, however, would not be the case.
After a passed pitch by the Graphics, a run would score for the Cardinals putting them back within reach. A single by Alex Koletar would score another run and effectively tie the game. The next batter would try for a double, but get thrown out at second though two runs would still score from it. The Graphics ended their sixth up two runs (4-2) and the Cardinals ended their sixth up two runs as well, making it 6-4 with the Graphics coming up for their last chance.
Back to back doubles scored one run in the top of the seventh and then after a fly out another double scored the tying run for the Graphics. A huge strikeout by Alex Koletar would get the Cardinals out of the inning and it would go into the bottom of the seventh all tied up at 6 with the chance for the Cardinals to walk it off.
This game was tense and the way that Pat Wall Field is set up it just seems easier/designed to sit on the hill because there are benches over there. This makes it look like you're sitting on the visiting team side and even though people around us were Rainbow Graphics fans we were just there to see a good baseball game so it was exciting because that idea of the Cardinals walking it off for their second win would be the note you want to go home on after a night out of baseball.
With runners on second and third, the Cardinals had all but sealed the fate of the Graphics and then the Graphics decided to intentionally load the bases to walk the next runner. This strategy was debated, and as the pitch count started showing more balls than strikes I was beginning to think the Graphics might walk in the winning run. But a base hit up the middle scored the runner from third and effectively walked off the game for the Cardinals.
What really came down to being an old fashioned nail-biter this game is one of those things that makes baseball great because every play mattered right up until the end. If something had been done different, one of the teams might have pulled further ahead earlier. The Cardinals will also carry the momentum of their second win into a doubleheader tonight at Pat Wall Field against the Phillies, who sit right above them in the rankings.