The Pinto Giants and Cardinals played on April 6 at Hampton field. Pinto, played mostly by first and second graders, is an exciting division where the game starts to look like real baseball. But there are some unusual rules. Most importantly, at this point of the season a winner isn’t declared. Because no one wins the games, coaches find other ways for the players to keep track of how they are doing. My Pinto coaches used to keep track of defensive outs and encouraged us to get more outs than our opponent. For this article, in addition to describing the exciting plays, we will keep track of the defensive outs.
In the top of the 1st, Nico Certa, Luca Ceccarelli, and Joe Corson of the visiting Cardinals started the game with singles to load the bases. With three on and one out (by strikeout), the Giants started to show their defensive skills. The Cardinals’ Holden Fasteau hit a line drive back to Ben Sorensen at pitcher’s assistant (PA). Sorensen caught the ball and threw to second for the double-play.
In the bottom of the 1st, the Giants showed their offensive power. Lead-off hitter Zach Cha-Foster got things going with a lead-off single to left, one of his four hits on the day. Carson Mueller, Ben Sorensen, Archie Cooper, and Ben Kappes followed suit with singles of their own. With three runs scored, the Giants reached the maximum of five when Liam Temple laced a double between the left and center fielders.
The first inning ended with the Giants recording two defensive outs to none by the Cardinals.
The top of the 2nd was full of incredible defensive plays. First baseman Zachary Cha-Foster, PA Jack Dahling, and second baseman Ben Sorensen made an amazing play on Samuel Donnelly’s shot to the outfield. The Giants got the ball in quickly, and Donnelly was caught between second base and third base. The Giants completed a successful run-down, with Sorensen tagging the runner for the first out of the inning. Two Cardinals followed with strikeouts to end the inning.
In the bottom of the 2nd, the Cardinals got on the board by recording their first defensive out. First baseman Joe Corson fielded a hard grounder and beat the runner to first. With two innings in the books, the Giants had a 3-1 lead in outs.
The Cardinals came out swinging in the top of the 3rd. After a lead-off single by Nico Certa, Luca Ceccarelli hit a line drive that was snagged by Zach Cha-Foster at second base. After two more singles by Joe Corson and Holden Fasteau, the Giants’ Ben Kappes made a nice play at PA on a grounder by Sam Donnelly, which Kappes threw to Giants’ first baseman Archie Cooper for their fifth defensive out.
Zachary Cha-Foster started the bottom of the 3rd for the Giants with a bang by hitting a double. He scored on a double by Carson Mueller. Ben Sorensen and Jack Dahling each got singles to load the bases. Benjamin Kappes tripled to score two more runs.
As the game entered the fourth inning, the Giants were up 5-1 on defensive outs.
In the bottom of the 4th, Cardinals’ first baseman Joe Corson caught a flyball. In the bottom of the 5th, Cardinals’ third baseman Luke Lohse made a nice stop on a hard grounder and was able to record a force out.
The Cardinals scored two runs on five hits in the top of the 6th. Nico Certa, Luca Ceccarelli, Joseph Corson, Luke Lohse, and Martin Johnson each contributed with singles.
In the bottom of the 6th, the Giants had eight hits, including singles by Liam McGilloway, Peter Zee, Charlie Parker and Jack Dahling. The game ended with the Giants recording seven defensive outs and the Cardinals three.
Photos by Owen Blanford & Tracie Tanakaya