Bunting, Timely hitting & Base running pressure combination
Acosta-Rua goes "Downtown"-
Blasts Homerun over CF Fence
The Nationals build a seemingly insurmountable lead in the bottom of the 2nd inning scoring
8 runs when 10 straight batters reached base. It might have been worse for the Braves in that inning had it not been a great
catch by The Braves left fielder who made an amazing running catch of a sinking line drive down the line to rob Grayson Sawyer
of an extra base hit. That was the end of the highlights for the Braves in that inning however.
Nationals then got busy. With Andrew Deguzman on 1st with a walk, Alexander Goldfinger lined a hit past 3rdbase. Next Luke
Jenkins hit a sharp grounder towards 1st in the 3-4 hole. Braves 1st baseman Mills Acosta-Rua went far to his right and gloved
the ball and then ran back and dived towards the first base bag to try and beat speedy Jenkins. In a "bang-bang"
play Jenkins was called safe. Now the Nationals had the bases loaded with one out.
Luke Smith Then rapped a solid RBI single to Center. The throw home had Nationals trail runner Goldfinger hung up around
third but the play on him resulted in the ball bouncing past third and Goldfinger trotted home for a 2-0 Nationals lead.
But that was
only the beginning. Next batter for the Nationals, Ethan Dunn, hit a bouncer to third. The Braves 3rd baseman hesitated and
then decided to try and nail Jenkins who was racing toward home plate. The throw was late and Jenkins scored easily
for a 3-0 Nats lead.
Nats Leadoff batter Jack Fant then banged a long RBI single to left center to make it 4-0. Fant then promptly stole 2ndbase
as the Braves tried to dupe the runner at third to make a break towards home. Chase Billingsley walked to load the bases again.
Jackson Peery then spanked a two run single to center and it was 6-0 Nats.
It was if the Braves defense had been hit with some kind of curse as the meltdown continued. Deguzman, who started this mess
for the Nationals hit a bouncer to short but the attempt to force Fant at third was late and the Nats had loaded the bases.
Sawyer, up next for the Nats, bounced a high hopper that the Braves pitcher was able to leap up and grab and tried to force
Fant at the plate. But the throw was low and the Braves catcher was only able to knock it down and Fant was safe. Now it was
a 7-0 lead for the Nationals. Goldfinger then walked to force another run for a 8-0 lead.
Braves Skipper Ronnie Hays then brought Jason Ostinowsky in to pitch. Ostinowsky ran the count full on the Next Nats
batter before getting him on a called third strike. He then got the next batter to bounce back to the mound. Ostinowsky
threw the runner out to escape the jam without any further damage as if 8-0 was not bad enough.
Ostinowsky with his brief pitching stunt and what would happen next would shift The winds in the Braves favor. The Braves
came to bat in the top of the 3rd, down big, but filled with hope from the encouragement of the Braves Coaches.
needed a Spark. Gabe Border provided some hope when he slapped a one out Double. But it looked as if it would be for naught
as the next batter went down on Strikes. But Ostinowsky sent a ground single past the Nats shortstop to drive in Border to
get the Braves on the scoreboard.
Hunter Hays then reached on an error when the Nationals could not glove his squib grounder. Next Isaac Gilman hit a sharp
grounder that slipped past the Nationals pitcher & then the 2nd baseman, into Center for a "seeing-eye" single.
Ostinowsky scored and the throw came in to the infield as Hays rounded third and danced around in a menacing manner three
feet up the line. The Nats pitcher, thinking the play was over, watched with limited interest as Hays continued to dance up
the line. Gilman, at first and seeing he was being ignored, made a dash for 2nd. The Nats pitcher then saw Gilman & turned
to make a play. But there was no one to throw to at 2nd. What is more was As soon as the Nats had turned their back on Hays,
he busted loose towards the plate. The Nats Pitcher wheeled & threw home. But Hays slid under the catcher's glove &
just was able to beat the tag. When the dust cleared, Gilman was perched at 2nd and the Braves had cut the Nats lead to 8-3.
Rattled by the play, The next Nationals pitch went to the backstop and Gilman advanced to third. He scored when Curtis Pajcik
beat out a high hopper to short. The next Braves batter, Mills Acosta- Rua then hit a bomb over the Center fielders head for
an RBI Triple and he later scored when a pitch got away from the Nats catcher. As the sun began to set, you could feel that
the worm had turned. The Nationals still lead 8-6 but the Braves had thrown the war spear into the ground. It was to be a
The Nationals could not mount a threat in
the Bottom of the Third off Braves relief Pitcher Patrick Barrett as three solid defense plays by the Braves infielders kept
the ball in the Braves corner. The Braves came to bat in the top of the fourth trailing by 2.
Braves 1st batter was retired but Reedy Monahan reached on an error. Brock Denson then bunted for a hit. Ostinowsky scored
Monahan with a single to Center. Hays dropped a single just out of reach of leaping Nats SS Billingsley. With Bases loaded,
Gilman hit a hopper to short who threw to 2nd for a force out but Densonscored the tying run on the play. But much as before
the Braves, running the bases aggressively, did not stop there. It was deja vu for the Nationals, this time Ostinowsky dancing
off third and this time Gilman making a break for 2nd base. The Nationals pitcher froze for a moment as Gilman dashed for
2nd and Ostinowsky sprinted for the dish.Like a re-occuring bad dream for the Nationals, Ostinowsky slid in safe at home as
the ball trickled away from the catcher. Gilman, who neverstopped running on the play, had scored two runs on his fielders
choice plus ended up on third. The Braves led for the first time in the game 9-8.
Braves pitcher Barrett continued his mastery of the Nationals & held them scoreless again in the bottom of the fourth.
But the Nightmare for the Nationals was far from over. Braves Acosta- Rua hit another blast to center but this time the ball
left the yard. The out of the Park solo homerun made it 10-8 Braves. Adrian Rivera walked then stole 2ndbase. Barrett walked.
The Braves did a double steal, Rivera to 3rd and Barrett to 2nd. Monahan walked to load the bases.
Ostinowsky walked to force home a run. Hays added an RBI single to left. It was now 12-8 Braves, Braves pitcher Barrett threw
another zero and the Nationals were never really a threat after that point in the game. The Braves built a 16-8 lead until
the Nationals put up four runs in the last of the 6th to make the final 16-12 Braves.
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