Car­di­nals take down Dodgers to earn spot in Over-40 Base­ball ti­tle game

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By BILL GATES bgates@ches­pub.com

This sea­son of the East­ern Bal­ti­more County Over-40 Base­ball League, ab­bre­vi­ated as it was by the COVID-19 pan­demic, also went on with­out its de­fend­ing cham­pion.

The Cubs didn’t en­ter the league this sea­son, with sev­eral of its play­ers opt­ing to play in other league while East­ern Bal­ti­more County de­cided if it would try to get a por­tion of the sea­son played.

Three of those Cubs ended up on the Car­di­nals, which de­feated the Dodgers on Sun­day 6-3 at St. He­lena Park to reach the league’s tour­na­ment cham­pi­onship game for the first time.

There used to be a “Cub’s Curse” in Ma­jor League Base­ball, say­ing that any team with a for­mer Cub in its lineup was doomed to post­sea­son fail­ure.

Call this the “Cub’s In­flu­ence.”

Dale Hunter, Chris Mirabile and Scott Ru­dolph are the three Cubs on the Car­di­nals ros­ter, al­though Ru­dolph hasn’t played since in­jur­ing his knee in the sea­sonopener.

Hunter pitched five in­nings against the Dodgers (fourth through eighth) and af­ter a rough start in the fourth in­ning he gave up only two baserun­ners the next four in­nings (and one of them was erased on a dou­ble play).

The Car­di­nals lost to the Dodgers 7-3 dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son, but held the Dodgers to four hits dur­ing Sun­day’s win.

The Dodgers scored all three of their runs in the fourth in­ning af­ter the Car­di­nals had built a 4-0 lead.

It re­mained 4-3 un­til the top of the ninth, when the Car­di­nals took ad­van­tage of three Dodger er­rors to pad their lead with two more runs.

The Dodgers had a lead­off sin­gle in the first in­ning, two sin­gles in the fourth and a lead­off sin­gle in the sev­enth.

They went three-up, three­down six times in the game, as Car­di­nals pitch­ers Chris Buck­hold (first three in­nings) Hunter (next five in­nings) and An­gel Clark (ninth) held the Dodgers in check.

The Car­di­nals took a 2-0 lead in the sec­ond in­ning as Brian Marvin and Buck­hold led off with sin­gles, were moved up by a sac­ri­fice and scored on two in­field er­rors by the Dodgers. Bryan Paz and Marvin reached base with two outs in the fourth and scored on a sin­gle by Buck­hold.

The Dodgers were be­trayed by their de­fense again in the ninth in­ning, with two er­rors bring­ing in a run on Mirabile’s bloop sin­gle to right and leav­ing run­ners at first and third.

A dou­ble play by Dodgers sec­ond base­man Mike Miller, who tagged out one baserun­ner and threw out the bat­ter at first, helped limit the dam­age but the run­ner on third still scored.

The Dodgers got a one-out walk in the bot­tom of the ninth, but two straight run­ners were forced at sec­ond to end the game.

The best op­por­tu­nity for the Dodgers over the last five in­nings was in the sev­enth, and it wasn’t even a good one.

A sin­gle by Mike Miller and a walk to Stu An­thony put run­ners on first and sec­ond with two outs. A force­out at sec­ond ended the in­ning.

The Dodgers al­most opened the in­ning with two hits, but Car­di­nals sec­ond base­man An­gel Clark went into right field and made an over-the-shoul­der catch of a blooper that looked like it might drop in.

PHOTSO BY BILL GATES

Dodgers short­stop Tony Ranoc­chia holds up his glove to show he made the tag, while Car­di­nals baserun­ner Brian Marvin sig­nals he was safe. The um­pire dis­agreed.

Chris Mirabile swings into a pitch he blooped into right field for a cru­cial RBI in the ninth in­ning of the Car­di­nals semi­fi­nal win over the Dodgers.

Car­di­nals sec­ond base­man An­gel Clark goes into shal­low right field to make a key catch against the Dodgers.

Dodgers right fielder Mark Killingsta­d at­tempts to make a lung­ing catch dur­ing the semi­fi­nal

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