Thirds Baseball Falls to Cardigan 12-2, But Highlights and Lessons Abound

By Coach McClure
DEERFIELD, Mass. – May 18, 2024 – It is with both joy and sadness that I send my final game summary of the spring. These boys were a joy to coach, and their effort, teamwork and camaraderie this season has been a pleasure to witness. Unfortunately, I have to share the news that we lost our final game at home vs. Cardigan.
The baseball players have spent the past two weeks practicing more complete baseball rules: unrestricted leading off, steals, pick-off attempts, rundowns, and delayed steals. It was a lot to practice and get ready for, and the boys were ready to put their hard work into action.
The top of the first inning was our most damaging -- allowing 7 runs to score. Kyle Zhou’s mound performance was commendable, featuring a lot of strikes and walking only a few batters. A few defensive errors behind Kyle – and some great hits by the Cougars — allowed our opponents to build a healthy lead. The Eagles were unable to answer with runs in the bottom of the 1st. 
Baker Dulaney took the mound for the top of the 2nd. He fielded a ground ball and sent it to Luigi Murphy at first base for the first out. Then a strikeout. Two walks and a hit allowed a double RBI for Cardigan, then Baker closed the inning with another strikeout. Cardigan led 9-0.
The bottom of the 2nd inning saw the Eagles' offense come alive. With one out, Kyle Zhou hit a strong line drive down the third base line. It bounced behind the left fielder, and Kyle stretched a single into a double. Then a triple, after the Cougars missed their cut-off throw. And then finally, a home run after an overthrow to third base. Solo Home Run for Kyle.
Baker Dulaney responded with a single, then aggressive baserunning to third base after two steals. Hans Yu brought Baker home with an RBI single. Two more strikeouts ended our 2nd inning. The score is 9-2, Cardigan leading.
The Eagles were unable to score any more runs for the rest of the game. Regardless, some highlights:
  • A 1,2,3 inning from pitcher Baker Dulaney in the top of the 3rd inning, with three swinging strikeouts.
  • Danny Chu followed my sign for a delayed steal in the bottom of the 3rd inning, but got caught in a well-executed rundown by Cardigan. Props for paying attention to the coach's signs, and for forcing a rundown instead of giving up.
  • Excellent connection between shortstop Alonso Jurado and first baseman Luigi Murphy to earn the final out in the top of 4.
  • Shoutout to third baseman Alex Wendle, who single handedly earned all 3 outs in the top of the fifth. First, Alex scooped a ground ball and tagged out the lead runner. That's one out. Then, with bases loaded, and with his foot still on third holding on the runner, Alex caught a line drive hit directly to him. That's two outs. Because his foot never left the base, he also got the force out on the third base runner. That's all 3 outs, with a double play to finish. 
  • Shoutout to Hans Yu, for lending his hockey goalie skills to the catcher position. In our first game with stealing rules, it was so important for our catcher to keep as many balls in front of him as possible. Hans performed excellently, and the Cardigan runners were scared to advance.
The game ended in the bottom of the fifth with a mercy rule 12-2 loss. 
Overall, it was a gorgeous day for baseball. And I'm proud of the Thirds baseball players for never giving up against a team that was older, bigger and had played more games this season. 
Thanks to all for an excellent season, and I can't wait for next year. Congratulations to Hans Yu – our team's resident 6th Former -- on his upcoming graduation. Everyone else, I hope you're excited to play some more baseball next spring.
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271 Pine Nook Road   |   P. O. Box 7   |    Deerfield, MA 01342   |   413-774-7411