Baseball Review //
Wallingford Cardinals, 11
M&T Peoples, 6
June 5th, 2022
Wethersfield High School, Wethersfield, CT

Official Box Score :::

More photos :::

One of the things which I knew going into this game was that the Wallingford Cardinals had yet to get a win but also M&T People's were also off to a rough start without a win.   This game would end with one of these two teams picking up their first win.  What I hadn't considered going into this game was that this would be my third time seeing the Wallingford Cardinals play and that's as many times as I've seen the Record-Journal Expos play.   Perhaps this season will brew a rivalry between cross town teams, as Ceppa Field and Pat Wall Field are not too far apart.

There are most definitely worst places out there and I just don't go to them but Wethersfield High School is my least favorite place to watch baseball (yet I still go there) because it feels like it was either designed by someone who doesn't understand baseball or simply does not like it.  Moving around from the sun to shade made taking photos somewhat difficult because there really isn't any good angle at this field- you're going to either have the first or third base side blocked wherever you go.  

The Wallingford Cardinals came out hot and started this game like they were going to get this win and make a statement about it.   There have certain last place teams in the league over the years and one of them left- Mallove's Jewelers- so in many ways it felt like the Wallingford Cardinals wanting to get on that winning track was also a way of saying that they weren't here to be that team- to come in and take over last place- but rather they were here to fight and become a team that other teams would be afraid to face.

A double and two singles put together two runs for the Cardinals right in the first inning.  A walk and another double brought home two more runs after another double and another run scored to give the Cardinals a 5-0 lead right away.  This would be the theme of this game, though it would only happen over two innings when the Cardinals offense exploded.   It felt like the pitcher for Peoples would give up a hit, walk someone, then a passed ball would move the runners over, then another walk or single and ultimately the runs would just come in.  It was small ball in that way- just advancing the runners- but also the pitching helped by missing the mark.

People's began their offense with a single and stolen base but they couldn't get much else past the pitching of Alex Koletar and the Wallingford Cardinals.  People's changed their pitcher and would go on the defensive where they would keep runs from scoring up until the fifth inning.  People's would also use the small ball tactic to get one run in the bottom of the third, making it a 5-1 game.  

The top of the fifth started with a homerun deep to left field by Evan Wilkinson and that just started another huge offensive inning for the Cardinals.  A walk and a single brought about another pitching change, but then another walk loaded the bases.  A strikeout got the first out of the inning but then a run scored on a passed pitch.  Another walk loaded up the bases again and a single scored two runs as People's catcher went down looking hurt.  Another strikeout for two outs in the inning but then a run scored on a wild pitch.  And after that another run scored on another wild pitch.  

A final pitching change in the fifth lead to back-to-back walks but a third strikeout ended the inning and got People's out of it with the Cardinals putting up six runs.  It was now 11-1 and it just felt like People's were not going to be able to comeback from this.  A runner made it to second in the bottom of the fifth but a strikeout and double play put that inning to an end.  People's would keep the Cardinals from scoring for the rest of the game but they weren't done on offense just yet.  People's had some catching up to do and they almost did it.

In the bottom of the sixth inning a double brings in one run and then a three run homerun by Isaiah Rivera gave People's some hope, as they were now down 11-5.  Just like that, just that quickly things can change and even when you feel like you're up five runs or ten runs you never quite know what will happen.  You always have to be prepared because teams have comeback from ten run deficits to win games and being at home People's had that chance to walk it off.  In the bottom of the seventh a run scored for People's on a wild pitch with two outs but then a strikeout ended the game at 11-6.

This game took M&T People's to 0-3 as they seem to struggle to find a win this season.  But it took the Cardinals to 1-4, which might not seem like a lot but it is a win that could potentially push them to keep winning.    Though they started their season 0-4, the Cardinals also took those losses to the Expos, Orioles, Colts and Graphics.  While the Cardinals are meeting the Expos again on Wednesday night at Pat Wall Field, perhaps the true test for the Cardinals will come next Tuesday when they meet the Phillies.  If the Cardinals can beat the Phillies there, they should be taken more seriously as a team and not be seen as a bottom of the standings type.

People's just hasn't quite seemed to find its way yet this season, though they took some tough losses as well.  Both People's and the Cardinals meet again tonight for the rematch.  The Cardinals will certainly be looking to repeat what happened on Sunday while People's will be looking for a way to win.   People's seems to be especially struggling with the pitching right now, but if the Wallingford Cardinals keep the momentum going and keep playing like they did on Sunday they're going to become a huge threat in the GHTBL.