A true pitching duel was on display at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium as both team's pitchers were locked in from the first pitch. Cardinals RHP Mike O'Reilly showed great command throughout the game, tossing 83 pitches, 60 for strikes.
Fire Frog batters were clearly having a difficult time picking up on O'Reilly tonight, totaling only three hits off the New York native. O'Reilly's night ended after 7 innings of work.
What won't show up in the box score is Johan Mieses' throw out at the plate in the 8th inning to stop a run from scoring. He also made another assist in the 2nd inning when he tossed a laser from right field to get a batter attempting to extend a double into a triple.
Skipping ahead to the bottom of the 9th inning, score is still tied 0-0. After back-to-back hits by Evan Mendoza and Mieses, Stefan Trosclair was intentionally walked to load the bases.
However, two outstanding defensive plays made by the Fire Frogs third baseman and center fielder stranded the runners to force extra innings.
With the newly established Minor League Baseball extra inning rules, the runner who recorded the last out in the previous inning starts out the 10th inning on second base. If nobody scores, this continues until the end of the game.
Despite the added pressure, right-handed pitcher Ian McKinney struck out the side, setting the stage for an exciting bottom half of the inning.
With the bases loaded once again and only one out, the Fire Frog defense played the infield, hoping for a double play or force out at home.
They got what they wanted as Kramer Robertson hit a grounder to the shortstop who threw home for the force out, but the catcher made a poor throw to first trying for the double play and it got away. In came J.B. Woodman to score and that's the ballgame!
Cardinals advance to 6-3 with the 1-0 win.
The Cardinals pitchers totaled for 15 strikeouts.
Mike O'Reilly's final line: 7 IP. 0 R. 3 H. 9 K.
Game 2 taking place tomorrow. First pitch- 5:30pm
W- Ian McKinney (1-0)
L- Jon Kennedy (0-1)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.