As John Fogerty once said in the song Centerfield, “Well beat the drum, and hold the phone, the sun came out today.” This spring hasn’t felt like spring, but the Cardigan Varsity baseball boys were determined not to let anything ruin a beautiful day on Saturday, as their friends and rivals from Eaglebrook came up for the season finale.
Both teams came into the game with only one loss, so the game promised to be an exciting matchup. Sam Harris ‘19 made short order of the 1-2-3 hitters from the Eagles in the first, inducing two fly balls to Critty Conroy ‘19, and striking out the lead off hitter.
The Cougars responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning. Mattie Grabmann ‘19 beat out an infield hit, stole second and was knocked home by an RBI single from Will Hindle ‘19. The game would stayed a 1-0 battle until Eaglebrook would score on an error in the bottom of the 3rd. Harris would shut the Eagles down after that through 4 solid innings.
The Cougars had a few base running errors that led to easy outs for the Eagles, but the defense held strong. In the 5th however, Eaglebrook had the bases loaded with only one out. Grabmann entered the game and, in a superb display of grit, struck out the first hitter he faced and forced a pop fly to centerfield for the third out. It’d be hard to think of a gutsier moment in recent Cardigan Baseball history.
The Cardigan boys took that momentum in the bottom of the 5th, or so it seemed. With two outs, the Eagles intentionally walked Grabmann. Next batter up, Hindle crushed the next pitch to deep centerfield. Eaglebrook’s player made what can only be described as an exceptional running catch over his head, taking away a sure run from the Cougars.
Grabmann fanned two in the 6th, and Hugh Jung ‘20 made an excellent play snagging a short hop at 3rd and throwing a strike to 1st base. Going into the bottom half of the 6th, the Cougars knew that time was running out for a game winning run. Luckily, the bottom half of the order was able to produce, as Mattie Hong ‘19 slapped a hard grounder to second base with the bases loaded, Sam Sibold ‘19 beat the throw home to give the boys a 2-1 lead. Coach Lawson decided to gamble for an insurance run, having Jackson Gates ‘19 lay down a suicide squeeze with AJ Noel ‘19 charging towards home. Despite a near-perfect bunt, the very talented Eaglebrook pitcher calmly glove-flipped the bunt to home for the out. The catcher then turned and threw a strike to first base to complete the double play, but the damage was done.
From there, Grabmann took over and fanned the side in the 7th. An amazing end to a crazy season. Thank you to Eaglebrook, their team is excellent and Cardigan will have their work cut out for them in years to come. This is one of the most exciting games between these two schools in recent memory. Thank you to the Cardigan community as well; it seemed as if the whole school was there supporting the boys in green during the game.