Unfazed Arlington Cardinals 13u roll to 2-0 start at Omaha Slumpbuster

June 20, 2024

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — They may have never played in the Omaha Slumpbuster extravaganza before, but don’t call them strangers to some competitive baseball.


The Arlington Cardinals 13U squad on Thursday used eight pitchers across two games and allowed just five total runs on their way to a 2-0 start in Slumpbuster action at the Council Bluffs Recreation Complex.


With an 11-5 win against the STX Rebels and 7-0 triumph over Utah Prime Baseball, the Cardinals from Arlington Heights, Illinois, put themselves in a solid position for a quality seed beyond pool play. And Cardinals coach Matt Izenstark was pleased with the full-team effort, especially on the mound.


“The biggest thing for me was that we threw eight guys, and they all threw strikes,” he said. “We’ve got three more guys to throw tomorrow and then everything should be lined up for Saturday and Sunday. We have everybody get after it (on the mound). … The plan (to throw eight guys) doesn’t always get executed, but it did today and we’re in a good spot.”


Indeed they are.


In their opening game, the Cardinals held a 3-2 lead after three innings before breaking out with five runs in the fourth, one in the fifth and two more in the sixth for a 11-2 lead headed into final frame—the bottom of the sixth. While the STX Rebels collected three runs in their final at-bat, it wasn’t quite enough.


Charlie Izenstark led the charge offensively with a 3-for-4, 2-RBI effort, while Dane McGuinn and Teddy Troy added two hits apiece. Michael Szabo, Dylan Molina, Parker Wilhelm and Dhilan Hanna all contributed to the fine pitching effort.


McGuinn tossed two, two-hit innings to start the shutout victory against Prime Baseball. Completing the fine work on the bump was Julian Vazquez, Troy, Ben Bristow and Charlie Izenstark.


“It was cool today because all 11 guys did something to get us to 2-0. And that can be key,” coach Izenstark said.


At the plate in the second game, the Cardinals pushed across a run in the first, two in the third, three in the fourth and another one in the fifth. Four Cardinals collected a pair of hits including Troy, Vazquez, Szabo and Danny Kay.


“The approach was really good today,” coach Izenstark said. “We were attacking early in the count and then with two strikes, we expanded a little bit and really took good aggressive swings. We also ran the bases well, played good defense, and like I told them, when we made a mistake, we moved on and made a good play.”


The Cardinals return to action Friday against Legacy Baseball Group Gold (1-0) to wrap up pool play.