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Ferocious Effort By Tigers Against Reds Zapped By Lightning


Written by: Bill Martin
Monday, June 6, 2005

The Detroit Tigers showed Monday night that they are a big cat in the Rookie League jungle with a ferocious effort against the Reds, leading 11-6 after 3 1/2 innings when the game was canceled due to a lightning storm. The Tigers pounced on the Reds early, with two runs in the first, lead by the renewed offense of Max and Mikey ILes, who each went 3-3 with 2 RBIs. The key to the game, however, was the tremendous defense by the Tigers. With Ryan Simalchik on the mound, Jake Askin playing a strong first base, and Alec Sozio in short center field, the Tigers kept the potent Reds offense to 1 run in the first. In the second, a 5-run rally was ignited by Griffin Foster, Matt Canuso and Billy Martin, giving the Tigers a 6-1 lead. However, the 9-1 Reds came right back with 5 runs in the bottom of the second, and it looked as if the bats would take control of the game. Not so. After the Tigers went down 1-2-3 in the top of the third, the Tigers shut the door on the Reds in the bottom of the inning, with solid play at third by Simalchik and Canuso on the mound. In the top of the fourth, Alec Sozio started the rally with a single, Jack Sanborn legged out an infield hit, and Louis Sarandoulias belted another single. That was followed by consecutive hits from Simalchik, Canuso and Martin. When Max ILes beat out a grounder, the table was for Mikey ILes, who did not disappoint. Mikey knocked in an aggressive Billy Martin from third with the 5th and final run of the inning, giving the Tigers an 11-6 lead. Although it looked like the Tigers might have caught lightning in a bottle this game, some must have escaped, as lightning bolts were spotted nearby by Coach Martin, causing the game to abruptly end. The Tigers played exceptionally well, even without left field James DeLaurentis, who is expected to return to the lineup next game. Said Coach Martin about his team's performance: "We had some ugly practices this week, and I thought an entirely different team had been given to me this week. But tonight the guys showed that they can play the game of baseball--with anyone."

The Tigers finish the season Saturday with a 9:00 a.m. game on field 5 against the Boyle team, and head into the playoffs next week.

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