WINDSOR -- Baseball can sometimes be a funny game.
One day a team can be shut out. Then, just a few days later, that same team can't be stopped at the plate.
Such was the case for Windsor during its Susquehanna League opening-round playoff series opposite Jacobus.
The Cardinals dropped Game 2 Sunday without scoring a single run, helping the Jackals even up the best-of-3 series at 1-1.
Then came Tuesday evening.
The home team smacked two grand slams and plated 11 runs in the bottom of the first against three different Jacobus pitchers.
After that outburst, it was only a matter of time until the Cardinals punched their ticket to the playoff semifinals. Starter Chris Stoudt
The No. 3 seed Cardinals will now face No. 2 seed Red Lion on Thursday for Game 1 of the best-of-3 semifinal series. That game is slated to start at 5:45 p.m. at Red Lion's Nitchkey Field.
"That made things a lot more comfortable," Stoudt said of his team's 11-1 lead after one inning. "It was a lot easier to just pitch."
The southpaw was coming off a short rest, after pitching his team to a victory Saturday in Game 1 of the series. Cardinal manager Nate Neff had no hesitation bringing his ace back for a do-or-die situation after only two days rest.
"He was the guy that we were going to go with," Neff said. "It's a Game 3 man. You have to go with your best shot."
The Jackals took the early lead in the top of the first on a Mike Austin sacrifice fly to center that drove in Brian Crimmel.
That advantage was short lived, especially with the short fence in right field at Wilmer Neff Field. Jacobus starter Drew Kelley never got into any sort of groove, with six of the first seven batters he faced reaching base.
Kelley exited with his team behind 3-1, but things didn't get any better for reliever Matt Ruth, who entered with the bases loaded. Liggitt greeted the Jackal right-hander by depositing one of his first offerings over the right-field fence to put the home team ahead, 7-1.
A couple of walks and a single sandwiched a strikeout and again loaded the bases for Wilson, who singled his first time up. The Cardinal second baseman removed any lingering suspense about the outcome by driving another shot over the fence in right that made it 11-1.
"That was interesting," Stoudt said of the second grand slam of the frame. "But we have the bats to do it, so it wasn't (much) of a surprise."
Wilson led the Windsor 14-hit attack with four hits (three singles, home run) while teammates Jordan Shank and Luke Keeny each collected multiple hits in the victory.
Crimmel was the only Jackal player with more than one hit. The Jacobus leadoff man collected two of his team's seven hits.
The Cards won't have much time to relish the victory, with Red Lion looming on Thursday. Unlike in years past, the rivalry between the two Red Lion-area clubs will have a lot riding on it for both sides.
Red Lion won the regular-season title the past four years, which clinched a berth into the Labor Day weekend Colonial Tournament. This year, however, neither team is assured of a Colonial berth, and only the Red Lion-Windsor winner will have a chance for the league's second Colonial bid.
Neff, though, hasn't made up his mind about who will get the ball Thursday.
"We'll have to figure out who's going to pitch on Thursday," he said. "We'll go up there trying to steal one. They'll be a little more rested that we are, so we'll see how it goes."
Windsor does have some confidence heading into the series after winning three of the four regular-season meetings vs. Red Lion. Neff, though, knows it wasn't easy.
"Two of them were suspended games," he said. "They were all tight games."
-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com.