by Dave Levy, Athletics Director
Bases loaded. Two outs. Full count. Norwood’s clean-up hitter at the plate. Lowell up 3-1. Eli, who entered the game earlier in the inning, delivers the pitch from the stretch. Foul ball. With the Lowell crowd screaming, Eli got back into his wind up and delivered the pitch. A fastball, right down the pipe. Norwood’s batter took a big step toward the pitcher and swung as hard as he could—then the ball hit Mario’s glove behind the plate. Strike three!
Now in their second season, the Leopards won their first game ever, 3-1, only a year after losing 15-1 to Norwood.
Led by Nate, who threw for five strikeouts over four shutout innings, and Eli, who batted 3-3 with a double and two singles, plus pitching to earn the save at the end of the game—the Leopards showed that they are here to stay.
In the first inning, Nate led off with a walk and scored on a single by Jake through gap. Julian, with savvy base-running, also scored in the first. In addition to Nate and Eli’s offensive prowess, Alex had a screaming single up the first base line, Mario scored on an overthrow, and Charlie drew a walk.
On defense, Ned pitched well in the final inning, Ezra had an incredible diving stop that got the crowd out of their seats and worked nicely with Ethan in the middle of the infield! Paolo was on point at first base on the receiving end of a double play! The outfield of Leo, Ned, Charlie, and Jake didn’t let anything get behind them.
The Leopards led 3-0 in the third. With Norwood challenging with a runner on third base, Nate fielded a comebacker and made a great play to the plate. Mario delivered the tag, and Lowell kept Norwood off the board. The team rode this defensive effort to a sound final inning.
Congrats to the Leopards and coaches, Lucas and Vaughn. It was a historic opening day victory!