The Athletics continued to roll in the 12-U Douglas County Amateur Baseball Assn. league, but not without a challenge by the Cardinals.
The Athletics ended the season on a three-game win streak, including a 13-8 victory over the Cardinals in the DCABA league game July 25 at the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds.
The Cardinals took an early 2-1 lead before the Athletics put up eight unanswered runs in the next two innings. The Athletics batted around the line-up in the second inning and kept the momentum going defensively as the Cardinals went three up, three down in the next inning.
The Cardinals had a thrust of energy in the final two innings, though. As the team chanted "R-A-L-L-Y, rally, rally" from the dugout, they went into action on the field.
Kameron Crabtree sliced a hit through the left side of the infield for a double to ignite a six-run almost-comeback in the final two innings. The Cardinals creatively brought in their runners using "small ball" tactics such as the bunt that Eric Studley laid down to bring Corbin Francisco in to score.
Despite the loss, Cardinals coach Brad Walthall said he has been impressed with his team's enthusiasm.
"Everyone has played as a team and showed a lot of morale. They've really improved so much," Walthall said.
He is especially impressed with the way his players have progressed as hitters throughout the season, as well as their development defensively. The Cardinals are hitting their cutoffs more and making more plays in the field than they were at the beginning of the season, Walthall said.
Athletics coach Glen Robertson said he was pleased with the energy his team showed against the Cardinals.
"They came out aggressive and had fun playing baseball," Robertson said. "You can tell they are thinking about baseball."
The Athletics beat the Raptors the next night to finish the regular season in third place in the 12-U division with a record of 10-4. The fifth-place Cardinals finished 6-4 in the league. The 12-U teams are scheduled to finish their DCABA postseason tournament tonight at 4-H Cowser.