Sharp pitching, slick fielding and clutch hitting were on display when the Minor Reds visited the Dodgers on Saturday. The game see-sawed back and forth during the early innings.  The Dodgers finally broke a 6-6 tie with three runs in the fourth. Brandon Minor delivered the big blow, lining an RBI single to left. The Dodgers would have scored more runs but Reds shortstop Matt Novak ended the inning with an unassisted double play.

Novak was also the starting pitcher for the Reds. He allowed five runs during his first three innings, while striking out five. Jacob Morales pitched for the Reds in relief and was supported by some outstanding defense. Minor led off the third inning, scalding a ball down the third base line. Micah O’Neal made a backhand stab and rifled a perfect throw to first. (Not all of the throws to first were accurate as at least one caused a first base coach to take cover).

Ta’Jonn Johnson started on the mound for the Dodgers. He also allowed five runs during his first three innings, while striking out three. The Reds scored three runs off TJ in the third. They were threatening more but the Dodgers threw out Nolan Morris on an attempted steal of third base. Then Dodgers second basemen Nick Tricoci fielded a hot smash and threw out Gus Kyritz at first. Kyle Barron pitched in relief for the Dodgers and only allowed one run, as the Dodgers won 9-6.

John Rice is a columnist/novelist who has seen his family thrive in Forest Park. He has published two books set in the village: The Ghost of Cleopatra and The Doll with the Sad Face.