Dinger Shuts Out Eastbound & Dahn as Cookies & Cream force Deciding Game 5 with 9-0 Win

9 Aug
Dinger was dominant in game 4, pitching a 3-hit shutout for Cookies & Cream to force game 5

Dinger was dominant in game 4, pitching a 3-hit shutout for Cookies & Cream to force game 5

Dinger had his best outing of the 2015 season when it mattered most for Cookies & Cream, pitching a 3-hit shutout in a 9-0 win that forced a pivotal game 5 in their first round series with Eastbound & Dahn. Cookies had lost game 1 and game 2 in heartbreaking fashion before rallying to win game 3. Now, after winning game 4, they had evened the series, and game 5 will decide who advances to the Wiffle Series to meet Questionable Outfit.

After leading 5-0 late in game 3 with only 6 outs separating them from winning the series, Eastbound looked to bounce back in game 4. They struggled early, as Dinger retired the side in order in the top of the first.

Eastbound started Nate on the mound, and he looked to repeat his winning effort in game 2 of the series. He retired Joey to start the game, but the next batter, Blose, hit a mammoth solo homer to center, putting Cookies & Cream ahead 1-0. Nate avoided further damage, retiring Guthrie to end the inning.

Blose's solo homer in the bottom of the first put Cookies & Cream ahead early

Blose’s solo homer in the bottom of the first put Cookies & Cream ahead early

Dinger rolled through the top of the second, sending Christian and Ryan down in order, and he would get all of the run support he needed in the bottom of the second.

Trailing 2-1 in the series but up 1-0 early in game 4, Cookies sent a message that the series may be turning in the bottom of the second, hitting four consecutive homers to start the inning. Dinger hit a solo homer to start things off, and he was followed by Vassallo, Joey, and Blose, who each went deep, and the back-to-back-to-back-to-back homers put Cookies & Cream ahead 5-0. Nate retired Guthrie to end the streak and Dinger to end the inning, but Eastbound now trailed by five runs.

Joey and Blose celebrate at the plate after Joey hit the second of four consecutive Cookies & Cream homers in the bottom of the second

Joey and Blose celebrate at the plate after Joey hit the second of four consecutive Cookies & Cream homers in the bottom of the second

Eastbound couldn’t get on the board in the top of the third, as Nate and Dustin were sent down in order.

Vassallo led off the bottom of the third with a triple, and he scored on when Joey grounded out to left for the first out of the inning. Blose then singled, but was caught in between first and second for the second out of the inning.

Vassallo went 3-for-4 and was a double shy of the cycle

Vassallo went 3-for-4 and was a double shy of the cycle

With the score 6-0, Eastbound hadn’t registered a hit through three innings. They finally got a base runner when Ryan singled with one out in the top of the fourth, but Dinger stranded him, retiring Nate to end the inning.

Nate pitched his first scoreless inning in the bottom of the fourth, retiring Guthrie and Dinger.

Dustin led off the top of the fifth with a towering fly ball to right field. Joey camped under it, but missed it, and Dustin raced around the bases. He had secured a triple, but tried to extend the hit into an inside-the-park homer. Joey grabbed the ball and fired it to the mound, catch Dustin in between third and home for the first out of the inning. Christian followed with a double, but Dinger continued to strand Eastbound runners, retiring Ryan to end the inning.

Up 6-0, Cookies would add additional insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth. Vassallo started the inning with a single, and scored when Joey followed with an RBI double to make the score 7-0. Blose then doubled to score Joey, extending Cookies’ lead to 8-0. Guthrie followed with an RBI single to score Blose, and Cookies led 9-0. Dinger followed with a single to put runners on first and third, and it looked as if Cookies would blow the game open. Nate then retired Vassallo and Joey to strand both runners, ending the inning with a complete collapse.

Down nine runs heading into the top of the sixth, Eastbound would need a miracle, which they had been able to achieve in game 1 and game 2. The deficit was too substantial, however, as Dinger retired Nate and Dustin in order to end the game. Cookies had taken game 4 by the score of 9-0, tying the best-of-five series at 2-2 and forcing a pivotal game 5 to determine who would advance to the Wiffle Series.

W: Dinger (1-1)
L: Nate (1-1)

Box Score

Game Notes:
– Dinger pitched the complete game shutout for Cookies & Cream and earned the win. He allowed no runs on 3 hits in 6 innings.
– Nate took the loss for Eastbound & Dahn, giving up 9 runs on 12 hits in 5 innings.
– Blose led Cookies & Cream on offense, going 4-for-4 with a single, a double, 2 home runs, 3 runs scored, and 3 RBI.
– Vassallo also went 3-for-4 for Cookies with a single, a triple, a homer, 3 runs scored, and an RBI.
– Dustin, Christian, and Nate each had one hit for Eastbound.

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