EXST Cubs Rally for Victory at Fitch Park
Luke Sommer beat-out a dribbler down the third-base line for a game-winning infield single, as the EXST Cubs rallied to edge the EXST Angels 8-7 at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in Mesa.
The Angels took an early 2-0 lead against Cubs starter Robert Hernandez, scoring two runs on a walk, a single, and a two-out two-run triple in the top of the 2nd.
After LHP Mark Pawelek threw a shutout 3rd inning (he struck out the side), RHP Jon Mueller got creamed for four runs on a walk, a single, three doubles, a triple, and a home run, as the Angels extended their lead to 6-1.
While Ryan Searle and Eduardo Figueroa stopped the bleeding with four shutout innings of relief, the Cubs narrowed the Halo lead to 6-2 with a run in the 7th on a two-out RBI single by Alvaro Sosa, and then scored five times (taking the lead) with two outs in the bottom of the 8th, keyed by a bases-loaded two-run single by Starlin Castro and a bases-loaded triple by Jose Made.
But EXST Cubs closer John Muller couldn't close the deal, allowing the tying run to score on three consecutive hits with one out in the top of the 9th.
But the EXST Cubs came right back with the winning run in the bottom of the 9th, as Drew Rundle clubbed a lead-off double high off the RF fence, barely missing a walk-off HR. Gian Guzman then laid-down a picture-perfecf sac bunt to get Rundle to 3rd.
The Angels answered the threat by intentionally walking Nelson Perez (the EXST Cubs big bopper), and it looked like the strategy might work out when Jose Guevara went down swinging. But then Sommer topped the game-winning swinging bunt down the 3rd base line, barely beating the throw to 1st as Rundle slid across home plate, giving the Cubs the hard-fought victory.
And the Cubs players were plenty excited with the victory, too, as pitchers Kevin Kreier and Scott Meyer broke out into an impromptu rousing rendition of "Go, Cubs, Go!" as the players cascaded onto the field, mobbing Sommer and Rundle.
Now, I suspect singing "Go, Cubs, Go" was the EXST Cubs way of getting a laugh (since me and some young lady engrossed in a book were the only fans left at Fitch by the time the game ended), but it was kind of interesting to hear the song sung by the players for a change.
While the Cubs and Angels were playing their game on Field #3, RHPs Chris Huseby and Carlos Rojas threw "live" BP sessions on Field #2 to some of the Cubs position players who were not scheduled to play in the game (Lake, Matheus, Quezada, Rea, Sabates, Salazar, and Soto).
Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Drew Rundle, CF: 2-4 (R, 2B, BB, 2 K)
2. Gian Guzman, SS: 1-4 (SH, K, GIDP)
3. Nelson Perez, RF: 2-4 (R, 2B, IBB, K)
4a. Carlos Perez, DH #1: 1-2 (R)
4b. Jose Guevara, DH #1: 0-3 (K, GIDP)
5. Luke Sommer, LF: 2-4, (GW RBI, R, BB, K)
6. Luis Bautista, 1B: 1-2 (2 R, RBI, 2 BB, GIDP)
7a. Dwayne Kemp, 2B: 1-2
7b. Starlin Castro, 2B: 1-1 (2 RBI, R, BB)
8. John Contreras, 3B: 1-3 (R, 2B, BB, K)
9. Jose Made, DH #2: 2-4 (3 RBI, 3B, K, CS)
10. Alvaro Sosa, C: 1-4 (RBI)
1. Robert Hernandez - 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 K (2/3 GB/FB)
2. Mark Pawelek - 1.0 IP,1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
3. Jon Mueller - 1.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HR
4. Ryan Searle - 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K (3/0 GB/FB)
5. Eduardo Figueroa - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (1/5 GB/FB)
6. John Muller - 1.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K, BS (1/2 GB/FB)
DEFENSE: No errors again!
Alvaro Sosa: 0-2 CS
WEATHER: Warm but not too hot, and VERY breezy!