The ‘dawgs struck first to take a 1-0 lead, then the Thunder came back with two runs in the bottom of the first to take a 2-1 lead. The Thunder later added a 2 run HR to go up 4-1. The Riverdogs had no problem hitting the ball; however a stout Thunder defense would not let the Riverdogs get into a rhythm. This was evident in the fifth inning when the Riverdogs had bases loaded with no outs and only came away with one run to make the score 4-2; and in the sixth inning when the Riverdogs had runners on first and second with no outs and came away with no runs. The Riverdogs defense rose to the challenge as well. Of the 4 runs the Thunder scored, three came off over the fence home runs. Therefore other than the Thunder homers, the Riverdogs outscored the powerful hitting Thunder 2-1.
The leading hitters for the Riverdogs were Matthew N. who was 2-2 with a double, single and a run scored; and Carter who was 2-2 with two singles. Jacob added a double, while Caleb, Bobby, Caden, Weston, Nicky D. and Nicholas A. all added a single each. Bobby scored a run, while Jacob and Matthew D. added a RBI each.
Defensively, Jacob and Matthew N. received special recognition from Coach David for their play in the middle infield. Nicholas A. was praised for his diving attempt at a fly ball in right field, while William received recognition for almost catching a pop fly at catcher for the second straight game. Finally, Caleb received the final candy bar of the season for his fly ball catch in the outfield.
The loss ends the minor league careers for seven 8 year olds and three coaches, as Blake, Matthew N., Jacob, Carter, Nolan, Weston and Bobby all move up to Burke field and the Rookie League, while Coach David Gray, Coach Jesse and Coach David Vestal will also be moving up.
The next outing is closing ceremonies on Wednesday night after the Minor League championship game, weather permitting.