A gorgeous summer night out at Holcom was perfect for a Jhawk Baseball league match-up, but instead fans saw only a friendly scrimmage between the Cubs and the Reds.
The Cubs only had four players show up for their Friday night match-up. But instead of forfeiting the game, the Reds offered four of their players and an eight-on-eight scrimmage was played.
"Both teams were able to put their jersey color aside and demonstrate good sportsmanship tonight," Reds head coach Larry Leslie said.
Carlos Juarez took the mound for the Cubs to start the game, striking out two Reds, but not before allowing an RBI double from Alex Henriquez. A ground ball to shortstop turned into the third out of the inning.
The Cubs were ready to pounce in the bottom half of the first, but a solid performance from Reds starting pitcher Colin Phillips took the Cubs batters down and stranded a runner on second. Phillips allowed one run in the inning.
The Reds pulled away in the second, getting hits from Harrison Helmick and Phillips and a two-RBI double from Jake Henley.
The Cubs brought Mitch McCune to the mound, but he couldn't slow down the Reds. Connor Caldwell drove in the fifth run of the inning to reach the run limit.
Kyle Eggers led off the inning for the Cubs with a double to right field. Jack Hearnen then drove in the only run of the game for the Cubs. Phillips caught a pop fly from Juarez to hold the Cubs to that lone run. At the end of two innings the Reds led, 6-1.
In the third inning, McCune returned to the mound, but the offensive power of the Reds and three walks, scored another five runs. Jeffery Ahle drove in four of those runs with a grand slam to rightfield as the Reds pushed the score to 11-1.
The Cubs had the difficult task of trying to gel with the Reds fielding the ball. McCune struck out a batter in the third and ended the top of the fourth with another strikeout.
David Lawrence added to the excitement with a leadoff home run to deep center field in the top of the fourth inning.
Great infield defense for the Reds, led by shortstop Phillips who made two great throws to first for outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, helped end the inning, and the game.
The final score was 16-1 in favor of the Reds, but the outcome of the game wasn't as important as the good sportsmanship that both teams showed during the game.
"These are a super bunch of kids and they learned good sportsmanship from Quail Run Elementary," Leslie said. "They played together well as a team and adapted to the situation. "
Both teams have the opportunity to enjoy playing baseball and get in some good practice time.
"The kids are having a great time just being out there," Cubs head coach John Claude said. "This is their first year pitching, so anytime the boys get to pitch is good experience."
The game provided Leslie the opportunity to put in two pitchers who hadn't pitched this season.
"The kids had a fun time and played very relaxed tonight," Leslie said. "There was no pressure on the boys. I saw a lot of improvement with the younger boys. At this time in the season I can see the kids are really starting to learn the game."