There was a moment when despair gripped Fraser Field, as TJ Shimizu's 5th inning RBI single momentarily put Les Caps on top 2-1 off a struggling Bryan Morse. But in typical 2006 Spirit fashion, North Shore made Fraser a fortress, rallying back for single runs in the 5th and 6th to earn the 3-2 win. It was a historic moment at Fraser as Kevin Fitzgerald notched the save in front of a STANDING OVATION at Fraser Field-- and I literally mean EVERYONE was standing up making noise. No prompts from the PA system, no half the crowd cheering, none of that- just natural noise and energy, propelling Fitzy to the save as he struck out two Capitales to nail it down.
The Spirit struck in the very first inning. BJ Weed led it off right with a triple and came around to score on a Vic Davilla RBI 5-3 groundout to give the Spirit the lead, 1-0.
It appeared for a while that that would stand up as Bryan Morse was simply cruising through the first three innings. In the fourth, though, Quebec got to Morse. Brian Scalabrini picked up a double to lead off the inning. He reached 3rd on Eddie Lantigua's sac fly. Montague's RBI single blooped into CF scored the run to tie it.
Morse continued to struggle in the 5th. Jose Garcia reached first with one out on an error by 2nd baseman Ricardo Cordova. He moved up to 2nd on Willie James's single. TJ Shimizu then gave the Capitales the 2-1 lead, inciting the brief moment of panic.
But it was not to be for Quebec. Time and time again, the Spirit have rallied when they've been challenged, and tonight was no exception. In the 5th inning, Antoin Gray started it right with a double, getting the crowd riled up in support of BJ Weed, who followed with a sac bunt. After a Cordova K, Vic Davilla stroked a clutch RBI single into right field to even the score 2-2.
In the 6th, Andrew Wishy got it rolling with a 2-out walk and a steal of 2nd base. Then Rob Fischer's flared RBI single over the head of Eddie Lantigua gave North Shore the 3-2 lead.
Bryan Morse pitched 7 innings, giving up 5 hits and 2 earned runs. Dennis Robinson pitched a 1-2-3 8th and Fitzy gave up one hit in the ninth but got the save.
QCC 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 ----- 2 6 0
NSS 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 X ----- 3 7 1
Burning questions, I guess? What's there to question?
1. I literally got the chills to see all of Fraser rise to its feet and cheer like that. It's always been a dream of mine to see that happen. How amazing was it?
2. Will Matt Bishop pitch the Spirit to a 2-0 lead?
3. Was the crowd less than, greater than or equal to what you expected, numberswise?
PS- Congrats to Vic for being named MVP!