Through the twilight haze of the Lunada Bay Minors field, the youngest player in Intermediate this year strode to the plate on a mission. The Astros, down 12-9 entering what would be the final inning, had rallied through patient plate discipline and smart base-running. Holt Tyler led off the inning with a walk and stole second. Stefen Brende ripped a ball down 3B line, allowing Tyler to advance on the throw to 1st and score on the overthrow. Brende would steal his way around the diamond as well, as Keegan Leslie and Nico Stavrakis drew walks to keep the rally going. After a pitching change, Wes Agnew and Jake Pekarek waited out the new hurler to load the bases. With one out and the game now tied at 12, young Shane Barrios stepped up for his moment of glory and delivered, smacking an 0-1 fastball back up the middle to score Stavrakis and clinch the game, earning MVP honors.
The Astros got solid pitching from Brende and Leslie, who combined for 4 innings of work, striking out 5 and only walking 4. Heath Casey singled up the middle in the 2nd to earn his first base hit and RBI of the season. The Nationals were paced by Colin Hickey, who singled twice, and Logan Shibata, who reached base 3 times, scored twice, and pitched 2+ innings of relief, striking out 5 Astros.
The Astros will be idle until March 16th, when they return to the field to face the SSLL Tigers. The Nationals will look to get back to their winning ways on March 9 vs the PV Red Sox.
Shane Barrios with his new game MVP sticker!