London Cubs sweep a pair of games on Friday

Sat 18 Aug 2018

The GB Under-13 London Cubs won a pair of games on Friday at the European Massimo Romeo Youth Trophy tournament in Collecchio, Italy, defeating teams from Russia and the Czech Republic.

In the morning, the Cubs broke a 2-2 tie with a run against Moscovia 2 in the top of the fifth and final inning, then held on to win 3-2 as Georgia Wilson pitched a two-hitter, striking out 12.

In the evening, the Cubs came back strong to defeat the Czech team Joudrs Orange 7-2, with Georgia Wilson allowing only one hit and striking out 10.

At this point, Georgia Wilson is the runaway leader in strikeouts in the Sport Division with 43; her closest challenger has 16!

The two wins ran the London Cubs’ record in the Sport Division of the tournament to 2-3, and taking their close 4-3 loss to the Dutch team Brabant Bandits on Thursday evening into account, this has been one of the best performances by a GB Under-13 Team at the tournament since it began in 2012.

The Cubs have finished at the top of their playoff round-robin group, and will have one more game on Saturday, at 4.00 Italian time against the Brabant Bandits, to determine their final position in the Sport Division standings.  So the Cubs will have a chance to avenge that close defeat on Thursday and end the tournament on a winning note.

London Cubs v Moscovia 2

This game was a well-played pitcher’s duel between Georgia Wilson and Moscovia’s Sofia Kitaeva, but the Cubs out-hit their Russian opponents by 7-2, and both the Russian runs were unearned, coming on the only two errors the Cubs committed in the game.

The Russians made one error, and that led to one unearned run for the Cubs, but otherwise the Cubs earned their victory with some timely offense.

The Russians took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning by putting pressure on the Cubs’ defense.  With one out, Ksenia Andreeva walked, stole second and third, and scored when the throw to third went awry.

In the top of the third inning, the Cubs took a 2-1 lead.  Cordelia Stevens reached on an error, Casey Johnston singled to centre field, and both runners scored on a triple to centre field by Matilde Crapanzano.

Moscovia batters were struggling to make contact against Georgia Wilson, but the Russian team tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the third inning.  With one out, Anastasia Pliukhina walked, went to second on a wild pitch and eventually scored on an infield error.

The game remained tied until the top of the fifth inning, when the Cubs scored the decisive run.  Campbell Lazar led off with a double to centre field, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored when Cordelia Stevens grounded out to third base.  The Cubs now led 3-2, but could they hold the lead?

They could, and without too much trouble.  Though the Russians managed one baserunner in the bottom of the fifth inning when Anastasia Pliukhina walked with one out, a strikeout and a groundout ended the game and gave the Cubs a first and well-deserved win.

London Cubs v Joudrs Orange

Cordelia Stevens, Cara Edwards and Matilde Crapanzano each had a pair of hits against Joudrs pitcher Berenika Biskupova, and a four-run rally in the bottom of the first inning set the London Cubs on their way to a 7-2 win.

The Czechs took a 1-0 lead with an unearned run in the top of the first inning on a single by leadoff hitter Barbora Revsova followed by a stolen base, a groundout and an error, but that was to be their only hit of the game.

In the bottom of the first inning, the Cubs took charge, with some help from the Czech pitcher.

Leadoff hitter Campbell Lazar walked and stole second, and with one out, Casey Johnston walked, Shinju Phalon was hit by a pitch and Campbell Lazar scored on one of a number of wild pitches.  Later in the inning, a double by Cara Edwards, an RBI groundout by Milliani Youngman and more wild pitches produced three more runs.  Matilde Crapanzano added a triple to right field, but was left on third base.

After that, Georgia Wilson set down the Czechs in order in the second and third innings, striking out the side in the second inning, while the Cubs set about adding on more runs.

In the bottom of the third inning, a triple to left centre field by Cara Edwards, and singles to centre field by Matilde Crapanzano and Georgia Wilson produced two more runs to make the score 6-1.

The Czechs pulled one run back in the top of the fourth inning on an error, but the Cubs scored a final run in the bottom of the fourth on a walk to Campbell Lazar and infield singles by Cordelia Stevens and Shinju Phalon.  The Cubs might have had more had not Cara Edwards lined into a pitcher-to-first double play.

In the top of the fifth inning Georgia Wilson retired the Czechs in order on two strikeouts and a groundout to finish a very successful day for the Cubs.

Photos by David Morris

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