Cardinals and Cubs Stage an Early Season Classic

The rain finally cleared, the sun came back out and the Cardinals and the Cubs got to take to the field for game two of their season. Both teams won on opening day and took their 1-0 records to Langone Park for an early season battle.

The Cardinals sent ace Nico LaColla to the mound and the Cubs countered with their southpaw ace Peter Shea.

Peter Shea took to the hill and he looked sharp. Jo-Jo Brienze and Joe Everett both hit hard grounders to start the game but 2nd baseman Jackson LeBlanc was solid both times and threw out the would be Cardinal base runners.

After a hit batter Shea struck out the Cardinal 4 hitter and completed a scoreless top of the first inning.

Richard Bova led off the bottom of the first with a double to right center field and the Cubs were in business early. Knowing this would be a low scoring affair Nico LaColla knuckled down and struck out the next two Cubs. With two outs and Bova now on third base John Paul Giorgio singled to drive him in and the Cubs took a 1-0 lead.

In the top of the 2nd the Cardinals threatened putting LaColla and Liam Finn on base but Shea struck out the next Cardinal for the third out of the inning.

LaColla went back to the mound and struck out the side working his way around a walk to Niklas McHugh. Shea struck out the side in the top of the third and ended his day with 3 innings pitched and 6 strikeouts
but more importantly a 1-0 lead after three innings. LaColla struck out two more Cubs in the third and ended his day with three innings pitched and 7 strikeouts.

In the top of the 4th John Paul Giorgio took over the pitching duties for the Cubs. Cardinal 3rd hitter Colm Vraibel greeted him with a hard smash single to shortstop. Colm advanced to third on two stolen bases.

With the tying run on third and nobody out Colm’s brother Eamon dropped down a perfect squeeze bunt scoring Colm and tying the game at one.

With two out in the inning the Cardinals were trying to take the lead. LaColla walked and was singled to third by Steven Griffin. The Cardinals then went to the well again as Liam Finn dropped down a perfect bunt. Cardinal pitcher John Paul Giorgio pounced on the bunt and having no play at first base wheeled and fired a strike to home to cut down LaColla at the plate.

Eamon Vrailbel took the mound for the Cardinals in the bottom of the 4th. Giorgio greeted him with a double to left-center. With one out William Santoro singled driving in Giorgio and the Cubs reclaimed the lead 2-1.

Giorgio struck out the side in the 5th and Vraibel got the Cubs in order in the 5th and the game went to the last inning with the Cubs leading 2-1.

Jo-Jo Brienze led off the 6th with a single down the third base line. With one out Colm Vraibelripped a ball in the gap in left-center field. Brienze scored from first on the play to tie the game at 2 and Vraibel rounded third and attempted to score. The throw was slightly offline and Vrailbel slid in safely giving the Cardinals a 3-2 lead.

The Cubs came to bat in the bottom of the 6th and Colm Vraibel took the hill trying to close out the game. After striking out the first Cub, John Paul Giorgio ripped a line drive to left that looked destined for extra bases. Luca Orlandi came out of nowhere to make a spectacular catch and retire Giorgio. The crowd erupted at Orlandi’s catch. Vraibel got the final out on a pop out and the Cardinals claimed the victory 3-2.