Archive for the ‘ Wood Bat ’ Category

2019 HDL Awards Banquet and Hall of Fame Induction

CENTRAL BBQ – 147 BUTLER – MEMPHIS, TN – 38103

ALL HDL MEMBERS MEALS HAVE BEEN PAID FOR BY AN ANONYMOUS DONOR!!! THIS MEANS PLAYERS, COACHES, UMPIRES AND EVEN BO!!! PLEASE LET YOUR COACH, OFFICER OR SEND AN EMAIL TO HDLBASEBALL@GMAIL.COM LETTING US KNOW HOW MANY YOU ARE BRINGING.

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM      –  Social Hour

7:00 PM – 7:45 PM      –  Dinner – Buffet Style

8:00 PM   –    Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

8:30 PM    –    2019 HDL Season Award Presentations

We will be using Central BBQ on Butler for this year’s banquet and awards ceremony. It will on Saturday, November 23rd from 6pm – 9:30pm. This will be a buffet style event and they will have a bar for you to buy drinks. The Buffet will cost $13 for non HDL members. We will be collecting money immediately so that we have a head count on how much food we need to order. You can pay three different ways: Cash, Check or PayPal on this page. For Multiple tickets needed, PayPal $13 x the number of people you are bringing to hdlbaseball@gmail.com

2019 Banquet Ticket

$13.00

Two 2019 Banquet Tickets

$26.00

WEEK 13 Recap

The Royals Hold Onto Victory As The Mets Almost Erases 5-Run Deficit

The Royals built a five-run lead in the second inning and then held off The Mets charge for a 7-5 victory on Friday, August 2nd. The Mets scored two runs on a double in the fourth inning.

The Royals fired up the offense in the first inning, when Nick Harris doubled, scoring one run.

Johel Fumero was the winning pitcher for the Royals. He went three innings, allowing five runs on four hits and striking out three. Alex Vivas threw three innings in relief out of the bullpen. Vivas recorded the last nine outs to earn the save for the Royals.

Travis Hill took the loss for the Mets. He surrendered seven runs on 12 hits over six innings, striking out three.

The Royals had 12 hits in the game. Ramon MoretaChris PeguesRamon Urdaneta, and Carlos Varela all managed multiple hits for the RoyalsVarelaUrdanetaPegues, and Moreta each managed two hits to lead the Royals.

The Mets tallied seven hits on the day. Kevin High and Orville Nevels all had multiple hits for the Mets. The Mets didn’t commit a single error in the field. Travis Hill had the most chances in the field with one.

 

SUNDAY, August 4, 2019 Surprise:  Cardinals 7 – Yankees 6

 

Highlights:

The game was a battle between 2 pitchers who matched each other pitch for pitch.

Jake Hatchett went 8 innings allowing 6 runs, (5 ER) 6 hits, 8 K’s, and 9 walks.  Fernando Edio equaled Jake with 8 innings pitched allowing 7 runs (6 ER), 8 hits, 8 K’s and 8 walks.

The game winning hit came in the bottom of the 8th with bases loaded and 1 out off the bat of Rene B.

Other players having productive at bats were Jose Navarro (2/2), Juan Castillo 2 RBI’s for the Yankees. Cardinal hitters who stood out were Kevin Latham (2/4), Freddy Henriquez (2/2)

The Cardinals had been struggling during the first half of the season and desperately needed something positive. They had lost too many games in the late innings when victory was so close.  Maybe they can build on this accomplishment to turn around a frustrating season. (Same could be said for the St. Louis Cardinals)

2018 HDL Banquet Recap – Updated 3:20 PM

2018 HDL Banquet Review (11/18/2018)

The 2018 HDL Baseball season annual Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet was held SUNDAY, November 18th at the Ballroom of the Butcher Shop on Germantown Parkway.  Approximately 40-45 members and guests came out on a great evening to be part of a special night in the growing history of the Hernando DeSoto Men’s Baseball League.

For Those who attended

Please tell your fellow players/teammates, who were unable to attend, that we wish they could have attended. The HDL Officers and Hall of Fame Board members were disappointed in this year’s attendance. Obviously, having the banquet on a Sunday may have been the reason so we will plan better next year and revert back to Friday night or Saturday night. We hope to find a way to get more HDL members and guests to attend this annual event next year.

VIDEO ENTERTAINMENT

While everyone was finishing their food orders from Butcher Shop Restaurant, Larry Rutledge showed a slideshow video of the 2018 HDL Season. For those who were unable to attend the banquet, the video can be seen on YouTube at:

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD15hhStdpCMhFM5TInmCdQ?view_as=subscriber

We will continue this treat as a tradition to help everyone re-live the season.

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Hall of Fame Inductees

 

Two former HDL Players were inducted into the HDL Hall of Fame:

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First inductee:  James G, Moroschak

First inductee, James “Schak” Moroschak was Inducted for his career as a hustling Catcher during his 12 year HDL career. Schak was a dedicated player who earned the respect of his teammates and opponents as a tireless catcher who played to help his team, both behind the plate and at the plate. Schak’s dependability, even when his professional career and personal schedule made it tough, he would always find a way to get to the ballpark. Schak expressed how much he appreciated the camaraderie of being a member of the HDL and how much baseball is a part of his life.
Second Inductee:  James Skinner


Our next inductee, James Skinner, was equally appreciative to being inducted as a member of the HDL Hall of Fame. James was appreciative to have an opportunity to play baseball for the HDL. James has posted some outstanding career statistics both as a Pitcher and a Hitter. When not on the mound, James was also a dependable fielder, both infield and outfield.  James is in the Top five of active HDL players in hitting with a .472 batting average and has a hit 7 home runs in his HDL career. James was very sincere about how much the HDL has meant to him during his playing days and still today.


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2018 SEASON PLAYER AWARDS

All SPONSORS were recognized for their valuable contributions. Each will receive a plaque expressing our appreciation. (Note: Some of the Award plaques were late arriving and unavailable for presentation. These arrived on Monday, November 19th and will be distributed as soon as possible.)

Sponsor Attending:  Carlos Varela – V-Brothers Motors A’s; Don Hinkle – Prudential Insurance Tigers.

Absent: Thompson Truck Center and Lomax Insulation

Next, all Managers were recognized for fulfilling this important role –

Carlos Varela, Don Hinkle, John DiGiacomo and Nick Harris

 GOLD GLOVE WINNERS:

 Outfield:Oscar Zamudio, Johnny Gonzalez, Jake Hatchett, and Jason Nilsen

Utility:Wes Hill

Catcher: Judson Belote

Pitcher:Juan-Jose Castillo

First Base:Orville Nevile

Second base:Jose Ortiz

Third Base:Cory Morgan

Shortstop:Cesar Cabrera

 

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Rookie of Year:Carlos Bello – .426 Avg.

Ray Reinhart – Charlie Hustle Award: Terry Terrell

Team MVP’s: 

Cesar Roman (Lomax Dodgers),

Ceasar Cabrera (V-Brothers Athletics),

Jose Ortiz (Prudential Tigers),

Nick Harris Thompson Truck Center Cardinals

League MVP: Jose Ortiz


Best Pitcher: Nick Harris (6-2; 7.50 ERA)

Batting Champion: Jose Ortiz (.532 Avg.)

Batting Champion Runner-Up: Nick Harris (.471 Avg.)

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New Award

HDL Presented a token of appreciation to Brandie Mitchell for leading the cooking of Post game hot dogs, chicken and burgers.

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Special Plaque Presentation

Special Recognition went to Bo McMinn for over 10 years of dedication and service to the HDL, especially his attention to getting the field ready for baseball every game day.

Special Recognition also was presented to out-going president, Robert Miller, for over 30 years of service and leadership to the Hernando DeSoto Baseball League. Robert has dedicated his time, finances and leadership to try to help the HDL grow and continue to be a vehicle for adult baseball players to continue their love of baseball during their adult life.  Robert plans to continue to mentor the new leadership over the HDL day-to-day operations and help wherever he is needed.

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New President and officers

In-case no one heard the voting results, the 2019-2020 HDL President is Bo McMinn.  Bo’s first responsibility is to establish a support team of committed associates who will agree to perform various administrative and operational duties required to help the HDL run efficient and effective throughout the baseball season.  Bo will announce his staff team when all roles and responsibilities have been confirmed. Several established players have been contacted and have agreed to fulfill their given functions.

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HDL CARDINALS and V-BROTHER A’s SHOW WHY THEY WERE THE BEST IN 2018

CARDINALS GAIN NARROW VICTORY ON VETERANS DAY:

Just like last year and many years before that, the HDL Championship game came down to the two best teams.  I stated this last year and it applies again this year.  The Cardinals and A’s had these qualities:  <> Grit & Grind <> Intensity <> Perspiration <> Inspiration <> Never say die <> Focus <> Competitive Fight <> Respect for each other <> Unity <> Pride, Personal and Team, but most of all – HEART.  If I left out something more obvious or more appropriate, please post your perception in a comment.

For this important game, the weather for the past 2 weeks had been uncooperative. On Sunday the HDL was blessed with dry conditions.  It started out chilly but once the Sun popped out, conditions became almost ideal. The biggest noise that sounded like thunder was the post game fireworks that Robert Miller exploded to celebrate the final results. Each team was happy to be playing baseball in this extended season.

The game started on-time at 10:00 AM. Home Team was the Cardinals since the Athletics were home team in round one where the Cardinals came from behind to win 8-6.

 

EARLY LEAD BY THE A’s

Gonzales Scores

The V-Brother A’s, came out firing on all cylinders when they posted 3 runs in the first and 3 runs in the 2nd inning to take an early 6-2 lead.  Travis Hill got his chance to be Starting Pitcher for the Cardinals.  In Travis’s previous Start against the Tigers he struggled and took the loss.  Against the A’s, Travis mixed up his pitches and did what he was supposed to do – get the A’s to hit Ground Balls. The only problem was some of the ground balls found holes for base hits or the Cardinals infielders were pressing and failed to get outs on the balls they fielded. Giving the A’s 5 outs in an inning is digging a deep hole for your offense to climb out of.

 

TRAVIS HILL FINDS HIS GROOVE

 

After the second inning, Travis and the Cardinals defense tightened up and shutdown the A’s scoring binge for the next 5 innings.  This allowed the veteran Cardinals hitters to work on A’s starting pitcher, Ben Eldred. Ben held the Cardinals to just 3 runs in the first 6 innings. Then in the 7th inning, the Cardinals put together some good AB’s and rallied to take the lead 7-6. One of the main reasons was the clutch hitting from Kevin High who had a triple and a double for the game.

With the score being close, it was obvious the Cardinals were wondering when it would be smart to insert their “Closer”, Nick Harris. But Travis was still throwing good. When Travis got the 1st two A’s batters in the 8th Inning “Out”, the Cards were down to their last 4 outs. But then the game got interesting. Travis had 2 strikes on Juan Polanco when an inside pitch hit Polanco. Then the very next batter, Carlos Varela, was hit by Travis Hill pitch to put the tying run in scoring position. A’s veteran outfielder, Johnny Gonzalez knock in the tying run before Travis got the third out of the inning.

 

GAME GETS TIGHT

 

In bottom of the 8th inning, Travis Hill led off the inning with a double down the left field line off of new A’s pitcher, Alex Vivas.  This brought up the hot hitting Kevin High who placed a soft liner inside the third base line to score Travis for the go-ahead run.

The Cardinals once again had a one-run lead. And once again, Travis Hill remained on the mound. With the Cardinals up 1 game to none, they knew if the A’s won this game they would need Nick to pitch the third game of the “Best 2 out of 3”, so they wanted Travis to go as long as he could.

The A’s were determined to find a way to win this critical game. The first 3 batters Travis faced, loaded the bases. Now the Cardinals had no choice but to make a move.  They brought in Nick.  Bases Loaded. No Outs.

The situation did not look good (for Cardinals).  Being the Home team, the Cardinals knew if they could minimize the damage, maybe their bats could recover in the bottom of the 9th.

The first batter that Nick Harris faced was Alex Vivas. Alex is known to be a good contact hitter with a .300 average. The Cardinals played their infielders “IN” for a possible play at the plate. With 2 strikes, Alex swung his bat and made solid contact. The hit immediately looked like it was destined to end up in the gap and clear the bases for the A’s. One problem, it was a line drive that was within reach of Travis Hill who had moved to Shortstop.  Travis speared the ball out of the air and quickly looked at 2nd base and saw that the base runner might beat the throw and give Ben Eldred, who was on third base, a chance to score the tying run. Travis surprised everyone when he pivoted 180 degrees and fired to Cory Morgan to double-off Ben at 3rd base.

 

WOW! WHAT AN EXCITING FINISH

 

 

Now all Nick Harris had to do was find a way to get one more out. The next batter, Oscar Zamudio was hitting almost .350 for the year and with his speed there would be a lot of pressure on the Cardinals defense to cover any ground ball.  Nick Harris and catcher, Judson Belote, called “Time” to discuss their pitching strategy against OscarNick executed his pitches perfectly and Oscar failed to make contact for the final out of the game.

 

GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP BY BOTH TEAMS IS COMMENDED

 

Game Over, Final Score 8-7, Season Over.  The Cardinals win the Play-off Series and end up with a record of 12 and 8.  The V-Brother A’s end the season with a 12 and 6 record with the fewest losses by any team in the HDL this season. The A’s had a fantastic season. But a lot of credit goes to the Cardinals for sticking together and playing without one of their best players, Patrick Belote, who was unable to finish the season due to an injury.  

 

This ends the 2018 HDL Baseball Season. A Post Season Awards Banquet is scheduled for Sunday, November 18th, 4:00 PM at the Butcher Shop. Please make plans to attend this special event.

HDLCS TEAMS WILL PLAY 2 out of 3 FOR IT ALL!

WHICH TEAM HAS THE EDGE?

 

When the V-Brothers Athletics play the Thompson Truck Center Cardinals next Sunday for Game one of the best 2 out of 3 series, the “favorite” to win the series is too close to call. Both teams have the players who can challenge the other teams line-up. 

The A’s knocked off the Lomax Dodgers in two games and sat out yesterday waiting on the game 3 outcome between the Cardinals and Tigers. (More on that game later in this article) So the A’s are either going to be well rested or rusty from a lack of baseball consistency. 

The series between the Cardinals and Tigers was like a “Heavyweight” fight.  In 3 games played, the Tigers scored 24 runs and the Cardinals scored 26 runs. Games 2 and 3 of the semi-final series were won by the Cardinals by having their best players available to play.  Patrick and Judson Belote and Terry Terrell made a big difference in the offense and defense of the Cardinals.

But the A’s proved they can play the game when situations are tough. In the back-to-back wins by the Athletics, the Dodgers had the A’s down 4-3 in game 1 of their series.  The A’s were either very lucky or the Dodgers were equally unlucky to not come out with a win in game 1 when the A’s kept battling and found a way to win. (Almost the same way the Cardinals won yesterday when the Tigers had the Cardinals down by 3 runs in the Tie-breaker format played in the top of the 9th inning)

The A’s have developed some discipline at the plate by swinging at pitches that resemble strikes and laying off of pitches not even in the strike zone.  This is where each team’s pitchers will make a difference. Each teams pitcher has to work the count and move the batters eyes around to get hitters guessing on where the pitch looks like it is going. 

The other “difference maker” in these two teams is their defense. In the Athletics first 2 games they only made 1 error.  The Cardinals, in 3 games had 4 errors but 3 of their 4 errors were in game 1 when they lost to the Tigers. From the aspect of ‘Hustle’, both teams have players who will give their “All”, on any ball put in play, to get a defensive out. I know it is an old cliche, but, “Defense wins championships”. 

DID THE BEST TEAM WIN?

On Sunday, October 7th, the Prudential Tigers and Thompson Cardinals were ready to play. The atmosphere at Tobey Park was “all business”. As hard as players tried to stay “loosey-goosey”, anything that made them smile or laugh was quickly wiped off to avoid any distraction to each teams serious intentions. Each team knew they had to find a way to win.  Getting ahead on the scoreboard and building a big lead is the only thing that would ease the tension.

So what did the Prudential Tigers do? In the top of the first inning, they were able to score 4 (HUGE) runs.  The runs scored were mainly the result of some unusual wildness by Cardinals pitcher, Nick Harris. In Game 2 of the series with the Tigers, Nick had held the Tigers to only 4 runs – Total.

So when Nick Hit Jodie Wolfe to lead off the inning, it helped the Tigers apply early pressure. But Nick rebounded to get Luis Perez to bounce into a fielder choice by forcing Jodie out at 2nd base. Next batter, Jose Ortiz, was greeted by an inside pitch for Nick’s second Hit Batter.

With Jake Hatchett coming up with runners on 1st & 2nd and only 1 out, the Tigers scoring threat were looking good.  But, again, Nick Harris worked the count and prevented Jake doing any damage as Jake struck out looking for 2nd out.  The next Tiger batter, Joel Fumero, battled every pitch Nick put any where around the plate. Fumero must have fouled off 3 or 4 pitches before he hit a high bouncer up the middle to score Perez.

Tiger Catcher, Barry Cummings, walked. With Fumero and Cummings on base, Juan-Jose Castillo drilled a high fly ball that drifted into the left field corner and bounced off the outfield fence to make the score 4-0.  The Cardinals sent 6 batters to the plate in bottom of the 1st only to strand 2 runner on base. Neither team scored in 2nd inning. Castillo struckout the side in bottom of the 2nd after a lead-off walk to Cardinals Chris Pegues. In the 3rd inning Nick Harris gave up a lead-off double to Jake Hatchett and an RBI single to Barry Cummings that made the score 5-0.

The 5-0 score must have woke-up the Cardinals because in the bottom of the 3rd inning the Cardinals sent 8 batters to the plate to make the score 5-5. Hit’s by Patrick Belote, Nick Harris, Judson Belote and Terry Terrell and a rare “Balk” by JJ Castillo made for a productive inning.

Innings 4 thru 7 was highlighted by outstanding pitching by Nick Harris and Juan Castillo. By the time the 8th inning came around it was announced that time limit (2 hr and 50 Minutes) had expired and any new inning (if tied) would invoke the HDL Tie Breaker format. In the top of the 8th inning, Juan Castillo was batting Lead-off. On the 2nd pitch that he swung at, Juan collapsed in front of the plate with an agonizing cramp in his left leg.  After a delay of close to 10 minutes, Castillo hobbled back into the “box” to complete his AB.  Thinking Castillo was too injured to do any damage, Juan sent a fly ball into left center that fell to the ground when Carlos Canelo was unable to get it in his glove.  With Castillo on 2nd base, and no outs, the Tigers could sense a “Rally”. Next batter, Kurt Atkison,  grounded out 6-3 but Castillo moved to 3rd base. Juno Palemia then popped out F2.  With 2 out, Jodie Wolfe showed why is a “Hall of Famer” as he bounced a chopper that Second baseman, Patrick Belote, misplayed and drove in Castillo for the go ahead run. Jose Ortiz flew out to center to end the rally. Tigers 6 – Cardinals 5.

Kevin High led of the bottom of the 8th with a double to right center. After Cory Morgan K’d, Tigers intentionally walked Chris Pegues to pitch to Terry Terrell.  Terrell got a pitch up in the strike zone that landed in right field to allow Kevin High to re-tie the game at 6-6. the next 2 batters struckout to end the rally and send the game to the Tie Breaker format with each team allowed to load the bases with the 3 previous inning batters and start the inning with no outs. in the top of the 9th, Jake Hatchett was the first batter. Jake hit a line drive right at the Cardinals Right Fielder, John Hardin. The ball landed in front of Hardin and bounced past him and roll to the fence.  The relay throw was thrown by Patrick Belote who fired to the plate before Jodie Wolfe reached the plate where he was tagged out for the first out of the inning and Hatchett on 2nd base, Joel Fumero K’d. Barry Cummings came up with a solid base hit to score Hatchett to give the Tigers a 3 run lead. Juan Castillo took strike 3 looking to end the inning.

Now it was Cardinals the same opportunity with the bases loaded. The Cardinals first batter was Travis Hill who struck out swinging for the 1st out. Next batter, Patrick Belote hit a ground ball to Jodie at SS who got the Terry Terrell at second but the relay throw to first was a close play that Belote was called “safe” because the catch was juggled. With bases loaded, and the score 9-7, Nick Harris battled Castillo’s pitches before reaching an outside pitch that was dropped down the first base line for a double and tie the score 9-9. With Judson Belote at bat, Judson looped a single into right field to score Nick with the winning run. A walk-off Single ended this “Classic” semi-final game with the score 10-9. Wow – What a Game! The game took 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete. Every inning was filled with outstanding baseball by two teams that did not want to lose. Both teams played the game with all of their energy and passion.

The Prudential Tigers represented their team as winners but came up one run short. Congratulations to the Tigers for a great season. And Congratulations to the Thompson Truck Cardinals for their hard earned victory.

The Cardinals and the V-Brother Athletics will now try to continue the HDLCS games to determine the final winner. Don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to seeing which team comes out on top.

2018 HDL AWARDS BANQUET AND Hall of Fame Induction

Make your plans to attend the 39th Annual Hall of Fame Induction and Player Awards Banquet – TODAY.

 

DATE:             SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2018

TIME:             4:00 PM TO 7:00 PM

LOCATION:   THE BUTCHER SHOP MAIN BALLROOM

                                    107 S. Germantown Pkwy at Agricenter

COST:             ENTRY IS FREE.  ATTENDEES RESPONSIBLE

                        FOR ANY FOOD OR EXTRA DRINKS ORDERED

NOTE:    HDL WILL PROVIDE A COMPLEMENTARY KEG OF BEER

               FIRST COME – FIRST SERVE

              CASH BAR WILL BE AVAILABLE IN THE BALL ROOM.

DRESS:   ATTENDEES REQUESTED TO DRESS BUSINESS CASUAL. 

 

If anyone has any questions, please contact Larry Rutledge or any of the current Officers or Team Managers.

Votes Cast for Annual Awards and New Officers

Best Participation Ever!

 

Every year the HDL encourages HDL players to cast their choices for Gold Glove Award winners and Most Valuable Players. In years past player participation is sometimes disappointing.  This year, thanks to strong leadership from Team Managers, the voting forms were completed and turned in.  Since the HDL will be continuing during the Play-offs for next 3 to 4 weeks, there is still time for any players who are still filling out their forms or were not at HDL games last Sunday, to turn in their Ballots to make this the best year ever.

Also on the Ballot was the selections for HDL President beginning in 2019 and ending in 2020.

 

 

Sample Form

 

 

ANNUAL BANQUET UPDATE

The HDL Hall Of Fame Committee has met and discussed possible dates for this year’s Awards Banquet. After checking with the Butcher Shop, we discovered the dates we preferred were already reserved by other groups. So at this time we do not have a definite date for the banquet. One possibility is we will have to wait until January to schedule the banquet.

We are not giving up on working out a date in November or early December.  But at this time we will be lucky to find a date at the Butcher Shop.  If someone knows a different location that can accommodate our organization, please make a suggestion.

 

Until later, keep your fingers crossed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Hitting & Pitching Statistics

Just in time for voting!

Here is the latest Hitting and Pitching statistics that players can use to determine best player for MVP and Gold Glove awards.

Ballot Voting sheets will be distributed on Sunday September 23rd. Bookmark this link to help you rank your selections.

NOTE:  THIS SUMMARY DOES NOT INCLUDE GAMES PLAYED DURING THE FIRST ROUND OF PLAY-OFFS.

This is What it’s All About!

Opening Round Madness Last Sunday

As anticipated, all 4 HDL teams were ready to play (with who they had). No team conceded anything to their opponent.  Each game was shaped by each pitch that was delivered. The outcome of each pitch created baseball drama as all team members watched or reacted as the defensive players decided how to properly counter attack their opponents efforts to score runs. The athletes of each team were challenged to make “plays”, both offensively and defensively.

Early Game Highlights:

PRUDENTIAL TIGERS 11 – THOMPSON TRUCK CENTER CARDINALS 5

The Thompson Truck Center Cardinals, the number 2 seed, was home team against the Prudential Tigers, the HDL No. 3 seed.  Inning by inning each team had to work hard to minimize the number of the other teams batters would get a chance to “hit” during each inning. The more batters the other team’s pitchers had to face would affect the number of potential runs that could score.  Both teams restricted their batting line-up to 9 hitters to maximize their opportunities for their best hitters.  For the Cardinals, nine hitters was all they had because 2 or 3  important players were unavailable (Judson Belote, Brian Menendez, Patrick Belote).

The Prudential Tigers had the luxury of extra players to swap out and be a courtesy runner. With the Tigers being the “visitor” they sent 8 batters to the plate to face Travis Hill in the top of the 1st. After 3 runs had scored and with the bases loaded with one out, Travis Hill snagged a ground ball from Kurt Adkison and turned it into a 1-2-3 double play that ended the inning. Tigers up 3 runs.

In the bottom of the 1st, Carlos Canelo walked and Nick Harris hit a bomb to the left field fence to score Canelo. Nick’s double hit the fence in almost the same location as Juan-Jose Castillo hit landed in the 1st inning. After Travis walked, Kevin High kept the inning alive with a base hit. With Nick Harris on 3rd, Nick scored on Cory Morgan’s sacrifice fly ball to center field.  After one inning, Tigers 3 – Cards 2.

With Juan Castillo on the mound for the Tigers, the Cardinals knew they had to make solid contact on his fast ball and curve to force the Tigers defense to try to make outs. After the 3rd inning, Castillo found his groove and the Cardinals scoring opportunities became less and less. Meanwhile, the Tigers offense forced the Cardinals to make a switch and move Nick Harris to the mound. The Cardinals were only trailing the Tigers by score of 6-5 when the Tigers batted around in the 4th inning and take a 10-5 lead. From that point on the game was in the hands of Juan Castillo, even though Nick Harris settled down and only game up a single in the 6th.

Final Score was 11-5.  Both teams will face each other again on Sunday where Cardinals hope their missing teammates will be able to battle the Tigers to help force a 3rd and deciding best 2 out of 3 and advance to the Finals.

Late Game Highlights:

V-Brothers Athletics 5 – Lomax Dodgers 4

By far this was the “game of the day,” if not, the “game of the season” (So far).

The Dodgers all year long have been searching for that special day when all their collective baseball talents will shine. The Dodgers have as many experienced players as any team in the HDL, but for whatever reason, they have had more disappointments than celebrations during the regular season. For players who have followed the HDL over many seasons, they know the post-season play-off games are a legitimate chance to turnaround the heartbreaks of a rough year.  It has happened many times where a team that struggled the entire year and suffered through many head-scratching losses will suddenly find that “magic” that turns around their baseball fate. Last Sunday was so-close for the Dodgers. Yet in the end, the “Never-say-die” Athletics found a way to spoil the Dodgers outstanding effort to come out on top.

The tone of the game between the A’s and Dodgers was set in the first inning. The A’s starting Pitcher, Alex Vivas, entered this game with a 5-1 record and over 42 innings pitched during the regular season.  Alex has had an outstanding season and proved he is one of the most reliable pitchers in the HDL. Alex set down the Dodgers 1-2-3. But just as good, Brandon Poyner, matched Vivas with 3 straight outs in the bottom of the 1st.

In the top of the 2nd inning the Dodgers manufactured a run when Derek Caraway singled, Larry Hunsucker singled and Jason Mayrena knocked in Derek to take an early 1-0 lead for the Dodgers.  In the bottom of the 2nd, Poyner shut down the A’s 1-2-3.

In top of the 3rd, Vivas only faced 3 hitters and held the score to 1-0 until the bottom of the 3rd when the A’s bottom of the order came alive with a triple by Oscar Zamudio and an RBI single from Manuel Polanco. Now the score was tied.

Neither team scored in the 4th inning. In the 5th inning the Dodgers put together a solid inning with a lead-off walk by Larry Hunsucker and Jason Mayrena who advanced to 2nd & 3rd by David Calhoun’s sacrifice bunt. When Jason Nilson singled, Hunsucker made the score 2-1 in favor of Dodgers. In the bottom of the 5th inning the Athletics scored 2 runs when Carlos Bello and Ben Eldred had back-to-back RBI hits.  This gave the A’s a 3-2 lead. This also forced Dodgers Manager, John DiGiacomo, to bring in veteran Wes Hill to slow down the A’s. For the rest of the 5th inning, 6th inning and 7th inning, Wes Hill was “Vintage Wes“.

In  the top of the 6th, after Brandon Poyner, Cesar Roman and Derek Caraway hit the ball had off of Vivas and took the lead 4-3, Manager Carlos Varela brought in hard throwing Carlos Bello to face Hunsucker and stop the rally.  during the 7th and 8th innings both teams played outstanding baseball.  The tension in the bottom of the 8th inning, with Dodgers hanging on to a 4-3 lead, was high. Every pitch was critical.  Wes Hill battled the heat and the A’s hitters with all he had. After Alex Vivas base hit allowed Polanco and Freddy to score and give the A’s a 5-4 lead, the “clock” was the only thing keeping the Dodgers alive. With less than a minute left on the game clock when the bottom of the 8th inning ended, the Dodgers were granted their bat in the top of the 9th.  Even though the Dodgers put 2 runners on base, the pitching by Carlos Bello was too much for the Dodgers to overcome.

Final Score: A’s 5 – Dodgers 4

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Next Weeks Schedule:

9:00 AM – Athletics (1-0) vs Dodgers (0-1)

12:00 –  Cardinals (0-1) vs Tigers (1-0)

 

Regular Season Recap

Are you ready for some more BASEBALL!!

 

It’s Thursday (9/13).  The HDL Post Season Play-off brackets were rained

out last Sunday (9/9) so games will re-schedule to this Sunday, 9/16/2018.

 

So now that the week off is behind us, I would like to make a few comments

about the 2018 season. I have been wanting to do this for several weeks

but my injuries and health issues have interfered. I hope these comments

will get everyone focused on how this 2018 HDL season might finish.

 

Team Records: – Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda

 

We have four teams who are all playing competitive baseball.  Since July 1st

(10 weeks ago), The V-Brother A’s are (4-2; 10-4 overall); Thompson Truck

Center Cardinals are (5-2; 8-7 overall); Prudential Tigers are (3-4; 7-7 overall);

Lomax Dodgers are (2-6; 4-11 overall);  Team records do not always reflect

the quality of some of the losses. We look at Won-Lost records to rank the

best and worst teams; but that is not the real story.

 

Earlier records before July 1st, even though, overall, V-Brother A’s have a regular

season record of (10-4) they have been a run scoring machine.  Each of their

4 losses were close games.  Three of the A’s wins were by 3 or less runs.  If

those tough wins had been losses, their record would have been 7-7.

 

On the other hand, the Lomax Dodgers team had a record of (4-11). The

Dodgers team also had three (3) tough losses by 3 runs or less that could have

gave them a more respectable record of (7-8).  This seems to indicate the Dodgers

should not be taken lightly in the Play-offs. They have a good roster of players

who have dealt with injuries most of the year.  One thing teams need to make

their primary focus is good pitching and clutch defense will likely make a big

difference in the outcome of a baseball game.

 

TEAM Stats:

 

Looking at team statistics shows that the Athletics team still has the most

potent lineup that any pitcher in the HDL have to face,  A’s Team is

hitting .370 overall. The next best team average belongs to the Thompson

Truck Center Cardinals, hitting a surprising .367 overall.  Next the Prudential

Tigers team is hitting .335 overall and believe it or not, the Lomax Dodgers

team is hitting .306 overall. Their team average is depressed by their high

frequency of strikeouts (58). Their base-on-balls was good with 55.

In the end, pitching will determine what team comes out on top at the end

of the Play-offs. ERA-wise, the Thompson Cardinals with an ERA of 7.64.

leads that category. The next best ERA belongs the Lomax Dodgers. Their

pitching lineup with Brandon Poyner, Wes Hill, Cesar Roman, Kevin Latham

and Paul Baioni is posting an ERA of 7.89.   Both V-Brother A’s and Prudential

Tigers have an ERA over 8.00. So, don’t count out the Dodgers with their

outstanding pitching staff.

 

Stay Healthy! Please:

 

A few other factors making the post season interesting is injuries. The

HDL had an average year with assorted injuries to key players. During

July and August, the high temperatures were taking a toll on many

HDL players who were struggling with hydration stress.  Hopefully as

we move into “Fall” the high heat factor will go away.  The HDL does

not want to see any players go down with an injury.  So play with-in

yourself, play hard and don’t do anything you shouldn’t be doing.

 

Post Season Eligibility:

 

Reminder:  All dues have to be paid in full to be eligible for Post-Season

games.  Also, if any new players have not met minimum game played

requirements, they will not be eligible for post-season.

 

Important Reminder: 

 

1.  Please lock your vehicles during the games and make sure

     all valuables are hidden in a safe location.

2.  Plan to take a “Team Picture” next Sunday, either before

     the game or after.  Bring your camera.

3.  See the HDL Blog for a post that explains the Courtesy

      Runner Rules.

4.  This is election year.  This year we will only select a league

     President.  Other officer positions will be appointed by the

    elected president.  This process will allow the President to

    select officers who will be an effective administrative team

    who can work together to make sure all duties of officers

    are properly represented.  Ballot sheets will be distributed

    during the play-off series.

I wanna Win!

 

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