Superb pitching, spectacular fielding and timely hitting were on display, when the Forest Park Majors took on the Melrose Park Majors on June 3rd. The tight well-played game remained in doubt until the end. The final was Forest Park 6, Melrose Park 3.
Forest Park jumped out to an early lead with four runs in the first inning. The big blow was Nathan Couty’s ringing double down the right field line. Melrose Park also scored a run in the first off starting pitcher, Lucas Dirks. Lucas was otherwise flawless, striking out eight in three innings.
The pitchers for Melrose Park were equally impressive. Left-handed reliever Dani Flores took the mound in the 2nd, with the bags loaded and one out. Dani only allowed one run and struck out the side in the 3rd. In the 4th, his teammate Samy Cortez made a diving catch of a line drive off the bat of Jacob Marchetti. It was the play of the game.
Forest Park’s shortstop, Sam Marino, also came up with a big play. In the 5th, Sam was upended by a base runner but still managed to get off an accurate throw to first. The collision hurt Sam’s right leg. He not only remained in the game but later threw home to start an inning-ending double play.
Meanwhile, Forest Park reliever Jacob Morales did not allow a run, while striking out three. Sam Cortez relieved for Melrose Park and struck out four. However, he did allow a run in the 5th, when (guess who) Sam Marino knocked in Kevin Word with a two-out single. At press time, it wasn’t yet clear who was awarded the game ball for Forest Park. But both teams should be congratulated for the way they played.