World Series match-up for Cards, Red Sox

Cardinal Josh Eaton pitches in his team's match-up with the Red Sox on Wednesday. The Cardinals and Red Sox play in the Parks and Recreation fifth- and sixth-grade Jhawk Baseball league.

It was as if the world went back in time to 2004 last Wednesday night, when the Red Sox and the Cardinals hit the field at Holcom Park.

Yet instead of battling for the World Series, these teams met in a Parks and Recreation fifth and sixth grade Jhawk Baseball match-up.

And this time the tables seemed to have turned, as it was not the Red Sox but the Cardinals who won, 16-15.

Cardinals head coach Don Harris said the team was lucky.

“We were very fortunate to hang on and win,” Harris said. “I think everyone had fun and it is important that you have fun in this league.”

Jhawk Baseball Cardinals and Red Sox players converge on a base on Wednesday. The two teams played each other in their second to the last game of the season in the Parks and Rec fifth- and sixth-grade Jhawk Baseball league.

The game was the second to the last game of the season for both teams for play in the league that focuses on fun and player development, rather than records and tournament appearances.

Both teams started the game off scoring the maximum five runs in the first inning. Zach Wormsley, Brandon Kuesler, Donald Harris, Zack Rurode and Gabe McCabe all reached base for the Cardinals. Drew Botello and Weylin Lindeman also did their best for the Red Sox to bring in five runs. Botello hit a home run.

The Cardinals took advantage of the walks in the first to get hot on the bats in the second inning. Wormsley, Kuesler, Harris, Rurode and Josh Eaton hit consecutively without any strikeouts for the maximum five runs in the second inning.

“In the first inning we had all walks,” Harris said. “I think the second inning was the best part of the game. We got all our hits and no one got out. We had the discipline to take the walks when we needed to.”

The Red Sox held their own though when Botello and Austin Nichols singled and scored in the bottom of the second inning.

Nichols scored a run in each inning for the Red Sox, including hitting a home run the third.

“I can’t believe that home run,” Nichols said. “I just kept going onto home plate, it felt great.”

Though Nichols’ home run was the highlight of the game for the Sox, the team still found themselves trailing the Cardinals as the game progressed into the fourth inning. After scoring four runs in the third, including a solid Andrew Wesp single, the Cardinals led the Sox 14-11.

Rurode and Eaton hit homers to put the Cardinals up 16-10.

The Red Sox were intent on evening the score, but ultimately fell short.

“I feel exhausted and surprised that I made that last play,” pitcher Rurode said of a strikeout to end the inning. “I’ve enjoyed pitching so far this season and that last play was really my favorite part of the game.”

The game was fulfilling for both teams. Red Sox head coach Stan Nichols said he was proud of his team.

“I thought it was a good game, both teams played well,” Nichols said. “There was good coaching and good plays.”v