By Aidan Edelman
Week two of the spring 2018 baseball season has come and gone, and we couldn’t have asked for a better day Saturday! Our BABL teams had the benefit of playing in near perfect baseball weather – temperatures were in the upper 70s and lower 80s, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It wasn’t too hot, it wasn’t too cold, but it was just about perfect for baseball. And we had some very big games that day to boot.
Sunday was a different story, as the unpredictable DMV weather reared its ugly head again for our travel teams. Mother Nature served up chilly, windy, and occasionally rainy conditions for our travel guys, but fortunately we were still able to play despite less-than-ideal conditions.
Here are the highlights:
Bombers @ Homers
The Bombers came out hot again with the bats and stole the show scoring 12 in the first inning and never looked back. With shutout pitching and defense from Matty S., Ian L., and Will L., the Homers couldn’t muster much offensively. James T. hit a bases-clearing triple for the Bombers in this one, which highlighted the Bombers on offense. Evan S. pitched two great innings for the Homers, battling through a tough game and striking out four.
Mashers @ Sluggers
The Mashers took care of business early against the Sluggers, jumping out to an early nine-run lead they wouldn’t give up. Luca P. pitched well for the Mashers, and the team got several big hits from the likes of Leo P., Isaac B., Chase B., and James M. For the Sluggers, Aaron K. pitched well in relief, and Luc B. had a few hits.
Homers @ Mashers
This game was a forfeit, as the Homers didn’t have enough players to start the game. However, they played well, with TJ G. pitching well, Adam K. making a nice catch at shortstop, and the whole team taking a patient approach at the plate. Chase B. pitched well in relief for the Mashers, as did a few other players who had been itching to pitch.
Sluggers @ Bombers
This game was also forfeited, as the Sluggers didn’t have enough players at the game’s start. However, that didn’t stop the Sluggers from putting their best foot forward against the Bombers. Eddie F. played well, and the team drew plenty of walks. Ouest V. pitched well in relief for the Bombers, allowing them to come back in the game a little bit, and other players got to pitch as well.
Crushers @ Dingers
The Crushers came out red hot in this one and just took it straight to the Dingers. Will F. had a two-RBI triple in this one. He also added a walk and a stolen base, leading the offensive charge. Ben H. pitched very well on the mound, striking out five in 2.1 innings. Unfortunately for the Dingers, too many errors and not enough offense did them in. They’ll look to shore up their defense going forward.
Slammers @ Launchers
A well-played game by the Launchers led to a quality win over the Slammers, as they took their first game 7-2. Luke W. had it all working on the mound for the Launchers, as he pitched three quality innings to start the game, striking out seven. Quentin W. and Jack H. checked in with huge hits to put the game away early. The Slammers couldn’t get their feet underneath them early enough in this one, as a rough second inning led to the Launchers lead they wouldn’t give up.
Launchers @ Crushers
Very rarely do we, as baseball fans, want to see a game end in a tie, but sometimes the game deserves to be a tie. This was one of those games, as the Launchers and Crushers, each fresh off a win in their first game, played each other fiercely. The Launchers scored two runs in each inning and got offensive contributions up and down the lineup, and they turned a huge triple play (!!!) in the middle innings. In the top of the fourth inning, the Crushers completed their comeback and the game ended in an 8-8 tie. We can’t wait for these teams to play again and try to settle this score!
Dingers @ Slammers
The Slammers came through with their first win of the season, defeating the Dingers 3-2 in a close game. They scored three in the first inning with a triple from Daniel H. and big hits from Max R., Zach C., and Jason P. The pitching was solid too, with Jacob G. starting big to secure the Slammers victory. The Dingers played their best game of the season in this one, with Nate B. picking up his first hit of the season and Dom S. pitching very well. They will surely look to carry this effort into their next game.
Bombers @ Launchers
Mashers @ Crushers
Slammers @ Homers
Dingers @ Sluggers
11U Travel @ Curveballs (Scrimmage)
11U Travel 8
With Baseball Factory unavailable for the weekend, the Koa baseball department decided to have a little fun and give the Curveballs a fun scrimmage to keep them sharp. Their opponent: Koa’s 11U travel team, fresh off a 1-1 start in their season play. Though the game didn’t matter in the standings, that didn’t stop the Curveballs from coming out sharp. They jumped out to an early lead, with Jacob L. and Tyler S. dealing on the mound. Brendan N., Mateo L., and Cooper G. stepped up to lead the offense, with some timely hitting in particular from Mateo (his RBI triple rolled all the way to the wall). Unfortunately for the Curveballs they couldn’t hold the lead, and the 11U Green Wave was able to score six runs in the top of the sixth to complete their comeback (more on that later). It was a fun experience for all involved, and the Curveballs will look to build off this solid outing as they resume BABL play next weekend.
Fastballs @ Movers
Total domination from the Movers in this one, as they took it to the Fastballs, winning 15-1 via the mercy rule. Chand A. and Robert B. pitched well for the Movers, but the story was the offense. There was no one individual hitting star for the Movers Saturday, according to Coach RJ Bistle. Rather, it was a team effort, with everyone contributing to the onslaught. For the Fastballs, Will G., Landen H., and Simon J. all collected hits. The Fastballs hit the ball hard, but they hit it right at the Movers. That, combined with some miscues of their own in the field, doomed them.
Changeups @ Screwballs
Despite both of these teams missing their head coaches – Coach Mario Arciniega and Coach AJ Avant-Johnson are still both on the DL, but are both working hard to to return – the Changeups and Screwballs played a good game. Bobby B. and Joey K. were on fire on the mound for the Screwballs. The two combined for 10 strikeouts, with Bobby throwing 69% strikes and Joey 71% strikes. Will B. picked up two hits to lead the Screwballs at the plate. For the Changeups, it looked like they were on their way to being shut out, until Connor K. made a gutsy play – he stole home (despite his coach warning against it) to prevent the shut out.
Sliders @ Splitters
The Sliders gave an all-around terrific performance on Saturday, defeating the Splitters. The top of the lineup got it done for the Sliders, as Sam F., Aitan Y., Wells T.and Michael K. – all of whom hit in the top six in the order – collected all the Sliders’ hits. The team drew 12 walks as well, really putting the pressure on the Splitters’ pitching. Meanwhile, Yousef Y. threw a complete game, striking out 10 while allowing only two earned runs. Peter S. had two hits for the Splitters in the loss, while Ben C. and Luke R. each pitched decently.
Fastballs @ Sliders
Splitters @ Factory
Movers @ Splitters
Sliders @ Curveballs
Factory @ Screwballs
Curveballs @ Changeups
Screwballs @ Movers
Changeups @ Fastballs
Slammers @ Wreckers
Wreckers @ Slammers
Despite a pregame injury to Everett K. (get well soon, Everett!), the Slammers came out strong in this one, putting up six runs in the top of the first. The whole team was patient, drawing lots of walks while Taylor W., Jack M., and Benjy E. collected some key hits. That big inning didn’t stop the Wreckers from coming all the way back, though. Anthony C. showed poise on the mound, coming on in relief and quieting the Slammers’ bats. Some suspect pitching from the Slammers allowed the Wreckers to take a late lead. After the Slammers rallied back to take another lead the game, the Wreckers came back again, winning on a walk-off walk. In game two, the Slammers started off strong again, with more hits from Taylor, Benjy, and Joseph L. to spark the way. Jack M. and Troy W. pitched well in game two, shutting down the Wreckers at the plate. The Slammers may be 2-2, but their two losses have been by a combined two runs. Watch out for them!
Launchers @ Dingers
Dingers @ Launchers
The Launchers and Dingers played a couple of blowout games on Saturday. In game one, Larry B. shut down the Dingers on the mound, while he, Ari K., and Jacob R. contributed huge hits. The Dingers walked a lot of players, but played mostly solid defense, anchored by Noah G. (2B) and Garrett B. (LF). In game two, the script was completely flipped, as it was the Dingers who jumped out to an early lead they never relinquished. The Dingers played more great defense, while getting several clutch hits late from Stevie J., Jake S., and Nick K. Give credit to James H., as the Launchers’ starter recorded all nine of his outs via the strikeout. Unfortunately, the bats went silent for his team, and the mental lapses on defense were too much to overcome.
Blasters @ 13u West
13u West 12
Another week led to another matchup between a BABL AAA team and Koa’s 13U West travel team. This time, the Blasters got set to take on former teammate Jack F. as he led his new team to battle at Whitman. Despite the final score, this was a very close game most of the way between two very well-coached teams. Sammy K. started for West against the Blasters and only gave up two runs in three innings, chipping in with six strikeouts as well. That helped him set the tone for his encore performance on Sunday (more to follow). Not lost in the game was a great showing from Matt P. of the Blasters. Matt caught two very solid innings despite never playing catcher before, and blasted (pun intended) an inside-the-park home run!
Slammers @ Dingers
Blasters @ Launchers
Launchers @ Blasters
Wreckers @ TBD
Koa 10U vs. Dig In Baseball 10U
Game 1: 13-1 loss
Game 2: 9-8 win
As with last weekend, the 10U Green Wave had one blowout loss and one close game, only this time the boys pulled out a win in their close game. Game one was a repeat of last week’s second game, as a lot of balls thrown by Green Wave pitching did them in. Dig In only allowed one walk by Koa, but the Green Wave allowed 11 walks to Dig In hitters. That ended up being the major difference, as the teams were separated by only one hit. In game two, the script was flipped. Koa walked seven times as a team versus only two walks for Dig In. The pitching was much improved, as Evan K., Reed S., and Alex C. combined to pitch well. Alex and his defense held off a late comeback attempt, and the offense was much improved as well (highlighted by Evan’s RBI triple).
The Green Wave had two fill-in players – Matty S. and Adam S., both of the Bombers in BABL A – who got their first taste of travel baseball and enjoyed the experience, despite the ugly result in game one. Hopefully they can come back out if the 10U boys ever need more subs!
Koa 11U vs. Sterling Xplosion 11U
Game 1: 8-6 win
Game 2: 15-6 loss
Coach Aidan (that’s me!) jumped in to help coach the 11U Green Wave in their games this weekend against Sterling. Game one saw Koa jump out to an early lead, with Garrison K., Zach B., and Shane M. all contributing, but the Xplosion were slowly able to chip away. In the last inning, after allowing Sterling to take a brief lead, Koa put together a huge comeback. They scored four in the sixth inning to put away the Xplosion in game one. The Green Wave came out flat in game two, and couldn’t rebound in time to make it a game. A bad call, some passed balls, and two errors made Tommy M. labor through six outs in the first inning, and allowed the Xplosion to score seven off the jump. Koa tried to creep back in, but untimely errors and stranded baserunners led to defeat. Not lost in the result, however, was a strong performance by Sam W. on the mound in relief.
Koa 12U vs. Burke Bulldogs 12U Black
Game 1: 18-7 loss
Game 2: 18-10 loss
Rough. The 12U Green Wave are still searching for their first win of the season after getting blown out twice by the Bulldogs. Both games saw Burke jump out to an early lead, and in each game Koa wasn’t able to rally, as the bats went largely silent. Andrew L. was loud at the plate in game one, with three hits and an RBI out of the cleanup spot, and Connor B. hit a home run and drove in four, but that was about it. In game two, Connor and Mason R. combined for five of Koa’s seven hits, but errors – an unsightly seven in one game – did the team in. Case in point: Caleb K., pitching in relief, allowed seven runs on the mound, yet none of them were earned runs. The Green Wave will need to tighten up their defense in order to remain competitive in the Metro division.
Koa 13U East vs. Metropolitan Senators 13U North
Game 1: 6-5 win
Game 2: forfeited by Senators
The 13U East Green Wave picked up their first win of the season on Sunday in game one, jumping out to an early lead. Andrew P. hit a bases-clearing double to help lead Koa to a 5-1 lead. With 2 outs in the top of the 7th, Seth K. singled, stole 2nd and 3rd to set up Colin R.’s RBI single. Paul W. closed out the win on the mound in the bottom half. Game two was forfeited by the Senators after their coach ran out of able-bodied players. But it’s safe to assume they would have handled the Senators in game two had they played.
Koa 13U West vs. Dig In Baseball 13U
Game 1: 24-9 win
Game 2: 25-10 loss
Following their scrimmage against the Blasters on Saturday, the 13U West Green Wave was hungry to get their first win in NVTBL play, and they came out strong to do just that. In game one, the bats came alive and the gloves looked strong, as Koa tallied 19 hits and only committed one error in the field. Cody P. started game one and pitched well, limiting the Dig In offense. Sammy K. followed up his great pitching performance on Saturday with an incredible effort at the plate. Over the whole weekend, Sammy went 5-6, hit a double, scored six runs, drove in three runs, drew three walks, and stole two bases. That effort helped make him Koa’s Player of the Week (congrats, Sammy!). Game two saw a reversal of fortune, as Dig In came out strong. Jack F. started strong with three solid innings on the mound, and the Green Wave took a 7-0 lead into the fourth inning. Unfortunately, the defense quickly unraveled from there, as Dig In capitalized on fielding errors and mental mistakes. Despite the lopsided loss, Koa tied Dig In in hits with 18. Still plenty to work on, but signs are pointing up for the 13U West boys!
Koa 14U vs. Vienna Wildcats 14U/Falls Church Colts 14U
Game 1: 12-11 win
Game 2: 8-8 tie
The 14U Green Wave continued to play well in the early part of the season, playing two tough teams that resulted in two close games. In game one, despite getting outhit by the Wildcats, Koa was able to jump out to an early lead. Greyson F., Nico L., and Ethan S. all chipped in with multi-hit efforts at the plate, with Greyson, Ethan, and Reece E. contributing to that early lead in the first inning. Despite a furious comeback attempt from Vienna, the Green Wave was able to hold on to secure a close win on a walk-off passed ball. Game two against Falls Church played out very similarly in the box score. Lots of hits and runs, only this time they were more staggered. Right as the Colts scored, the Green Wave would get the runs right back. Danny M. and Matt C. both pitched well in relief, and the game ended in a draw.
Koa 10U vs. Loudoun Majors 10U/Potomac Riverdogs 10U Black
Koa 11U vs. Potomac Riverdogs 11U Black
Koa 12U vs. Mount Vernon Patriots 12U Maroon
Koa 13U East vs. Germantown Jaguars 13U
Koa 13U West vs. NFC Knights 13U (1923)
Koa 14U vs. FCA 14U Fairfax
Player of the Week
Sammy K. – 13U West
5-6, 2B, 6 R, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 2 SB
Pitcher of the Week
Yousef Y. – Sliders
CG, 2 ER, 3 BB, 10 K, 61% strikes