The RFNOW Cardinals topped the GW Vacuum Truck Service Young Guns in game one of the Andrew Agencies Senior AA Baseball League on Tuesday night, winning 4-3 at Sumner Field.
With the win, the Cardinals handed the Young Guns their first loss of the season.
Tied 3-3 in the top of the sixth, Chris Kennedy struck a ball just right — bringing home James Shearer for the 4-3 lead.
Shearer and Kennedy both had fantastic nights.
Shearer tied up the game 3-3 in the third when he hit a bomb deep to centre field, bringing teammates Travis Campbell and Joel Krentz home for a two-RBI triple.
Kennedy went 2-for-3 with two RBI — including the game-winning RBI single in the top of the sixth — and a double.
"It was a whole team effort tonight, our defence was going for sure. (Adam) Hartman was great on the mound and (catcher) Reece (Wilson) was great being there. I think we were hitting the ball all night. It wasn’t dropping all night but we kept at it, kept swinging the bat and good things happened," said Shearer.
Hartman earned a complete-game win, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks with two strikeouts.
Young Guns’ Jordan Robertson was the losing pitcher. He threw a complete game but allowed four runs, seven hits and three walks.
Going into Game 2 of the championship series on Thursday night, Shearer knows pulling off another win will be no easy task.
"I think we have to stay level-headed. That’s one game, it’s behind us now, they’re gonna come out hot for sure. They’re gonna want to do whatever they can early. We just have to play our game, not worry about them too much and just do what we did (Tuesday)."
Tempers flared in Tuesday’s game, after a questionable play in the fourth inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, Hartman got bowled over by Young Guns’ Brandon Lockerby.
Lockerby was at-bat and hit a fly ball — which most likely would’ve been foul out if it wasn’t caught — but ran on the hit, a little too late for the Cardinals’ liking.
The delay in Lockerby’s race for the plate caused him to steamroll the six-foot-five Hartman as he attempted to catch the ball, about a third of the way in between home and first base.
The reaction from the Cardinals’ dugout was swift and intense —players spilled out onto the field to defend Hartman, with players from the Young Guns doing the same in defence of Lockerby.
Lockerby was ruled out on the play to end the inning. From there it seems the Young Guns struggled to generate plays, while the Cardinals were able to notch on more run — which proved to be the game-winner — two innings later.
The Young Guns opened scoring, taking a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
Young Guns’ Mark Derlago batted in Robertson to score the first run of the game. Two batters later, Mitch Lyall went deep to bring home Derlago.
Brett Kitt went 2-for-3 for the Young Guns and batted in the team’s final run of the game in the second inning.
The Cardinals halved the Guns’ lead in the second, when Chris Kennedy notched an RBI single.
Young Guns’ Chris Campbell is looking forward to the next game against the Cardinals. Last season, the two teams met in the championship series, where the Guns ultimately fell the Cardinals in the best-office series.
"It’s nice to get to this point and have some games with some meaning. We always have good games with these guys and we thoroughly enjoy it. We hope it goes five again — and that we’re on top in the fifth game this year."
Game 2 goes Thursday at Sumner Field at 6:45 p.m.
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