BRISTOL - For the McCabe-Waters Astros, Friday nightâ€™s City Series game against the Edgewood Aâ€™s was about much more than just staying alive in the tournament.
Facing elimination, the Astros took the field looking to correct a wrong that was committed last Monday night, when they were beaten by the Forestville Dodgers 7-4.
The entire McCabe-Waters team knew Mondayâ€™s performance wasnâ€™t the proper showing for a team that had rolled to a 15-1 record in the regular season. Friday night was an opportunity to reintroduce themselves as the team they knew they can be.
The reintroduction was a powerful one, as the Astros pounded out 15 runs and clinched a rematch with the Dodgers on Monday at 6 p.m. at Breen Field, and a chance to fully fix what went wrong last week.
With their 10-0 victory over the Edgewood Aâ€™s on Saturday night, the Dodgers could clinch the City Series championship with a win. A McCabe-Waters victory would push the series to a deceisive final game on Wednesday night.
â€śThatâ€™s how weâ€™ve been playing all year,â€ť McCabe-Waters head coach Tom Girog said after Fridayâ€™s win. â€śThatâ€™s what I expected from them.â€ť
The Astrosâ€™ offensive assault may have surprised the Aâ€™s, but in the other dugout, it was business as usual, with the quiet showing against the Dodgers qualifying as a disappointing outlier.
â€śThat was a normal game for us,â€ť Girog said. â€śIt may not always be 15-2, but we were hitting the ball and putting the ball in play. It wasnâ€™t like last game where we faced a great pitcher and just didnâ€™t put the ball in play. We always tell the kids that great things happen when you put the ball in play.â€ť
From top to bottom, the Astros put the ball in play, with good results. Five different players recorded multiple hits, highlighted by a seven-RBI night from Lincoln Bashaw, who smashed a double, triple and a home run.
After hearing of the praise regarding the Dodgersâ€™ balanced attack after Mondayâ€™s loss, McCabe-Waters was happy to show the City Series that it had plenty of versatility as well.
â€śThere was an article about the powerful trio from the Dodgers, but weâ€™re lucky because we have 11 guys that can contribute,â€ť Girog said. â€śEvery day, somebody does something different.â€ť
Of course, the Astros now have to show it against those Dodgers, who will be looking to bounce McCabe-Waters from the tournament after greeting them with a loss a week ago. After returning to form on Friday, the team will have that chance come Monday night.
â€śIt feels good,â€ť pitcher Chase Dauphinee said. â€śIâ€™m happy weâ€™re not out yet, but we have to keep playing and see if we can beat a team that beat us last time.â€ť
For Dauphinee and the rest of the Astros, playing up to their potential on Friday was only part of their objective. Now, the team wants to show it to a team that it feels didnâ€™t properly get to know it when they first squared off.
â€śWe usually play a lot better,â€ť Dauphinee said. â€śI hope we can play better on Monday and show them our real team.â€ť
After shaking off the disappointment of last weekâ€™s loss, the Astros can look ahead with anticipation to Mondayâ€™s crucial game, knowing the team they were in the regular season is still capable of showing itself.
â€śWeâ€™re looking forward to playing the Dodgers again,â€ť Girog said. â€śHopefully it will be a different outcome. Weâ€™ll see what happens.â€ť