As the Orioles were in New York salvaging the finale of a three game series with the Yankees, two local Birds teams battled at Joe Cannon Stadium on Sunday.
The Baltimore Redbirds and Presstman Cardinals are both entries in the wooden bat Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League, or Ripken League. Baltimore bested the league’s Bethesda Big Train last year for the league title, while the Presstman club dates to 1962 but is in its inaugural year in the Ripken League.
The Redbirds proved the better of the two on the afternoon as they earned a 6-1 victory over the Cardinals.
Left-hander Matt Denny of Ole Miss took the mound for the Redbirds, while Presstman sent Bethune-Cookman’s Michael Austin to the hill. Coming into the week Austin was second in the Ripken League in strikeouts with 28 and has been a standout this summer for the Cardinals.
Both pitchers worked effectively through five innings and were lifted, with Denny’s Redbirds holding to a 2-0 lead. University of Maryland lefty Alex Robinson came in relief for Baltimore and initially struggled to rein in a tailing fastball in his first innings’ work.
Despite giving up a run, Robinson struck out two in his second inning of work and effectively got on top of his pitches, working low and in to set up his outside fastball. Chapel Hill’s Jack Geraghty worked two scoreless frames to close out the game for Baltimore (17-10).
Presstman’s second baseman David Kimbrough played a solid second base for the Cardinals, handling several balls well off a tricky infield lip at Joe Cannon and scoring the team’s only run. Patrick Henry Community College catcher Ryan Dickt was solid behind the plate for Presstman (9-16).
Tom Flynn has contributed to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. He compiled the photo history, Baseball in Baltimore, in 2008 and has written one novel, Venable Park. Check out Tom’s journal at boxerjournal.com