By Aidan Edelman
For the first time all season, we had warm, comfortable weather for both weekend days, which led to some great baseball across both levels. (Of course, now that I’ve said that I’m sure we’ll get some unexpected thunderstorms down the line, so I apologize in advance.) We had some huge wins and some close thrillers in BABL. Meanwhile, two travel teams – 11U and 14U – swept their opponents on Sunday, while others played better than they had at any point in the season so far.
Here are the highlights:
Bombers @ Launchers
Total domination. The Bombers continued their perfect start to the season by dismantling the Launchers 16-1. Matty S. continued to tear through the league, tossing another three scoreless innings. Jay P. had several hard hits and made several nice defensive plays at first base and shortstop. Despite only having a three run lead heading into the third inning, the Bombers blew the game open, letting the mercy rule come into play.
Mashers @ Crushers
The Crushers continue to cruise through their season, handling the Mashers by a final of 16-10. The story of the game was Alex B. of the Crushers. Alex tallied three hits on the day – including a home run that was hit about halfway to the outfield wall at Field 6 – and drove in six runs to take home Koa Player of the Week honors (congrats Alex!). For the Mashers, Ethan H. and Owen I. pitched well on the mound but were done in by some shaky defense.
Slammers @ Homers
The Slammers jumped out early with a big nine run first inning and were powered by consistent pitching and defense in this week’s victory against the Homers. Max R. powered the offense with several extra base hits, while Jason P. and Zach C. also had impressive days at the plate with several big hits. For the Homers, Ryan K. checked in with his first hit of the season and played some heads up defense, while Zach B. struck out four in two innings on the mound. The Homers seem to be hitting their stride – now they just have to limit the number of mistakes.
Dingers @ Sluggers
In a back-and-forth game, the Dingers pulled out to an early lead, but the Sluggers came all the way back and took a 9-6 lead for good by the middle innings. Gibson M., Constantine K., and Luc B. led the charge on offense for the Sluggers, who picked up their second win of the season. For the Dingers, the six runs was the most they’ve scored in a game so far, and everyone showed tremendous plate discipline in the first inning, where they pushed across all six of the runs. Alex J., who was only recently added to the team, had a great, hard-hit ball to drive in two, and pitched well in his first ever pitching experience!
Bombers @ Slammers
Mashers @ Dingers
Dingers @ Bombers
Slammers @ Mashers
Homers @ Crushers
Sluggers @ Launchers
Launchers @ Homers
Crushers @ Sluggers
Fastballs @ Sliders
The game was decided in the first inning, with the Sliders jumping out to an early 8-1 lead after one and never looking back. Jake D. and Wells T. led the charge for the Sliders on offense with seven hits between them. The team had ten hits and nine walks on the day, keeping runners on base throughout the game. The pitching did just enough to keep the Fastballs in check, despite the teams playing about even baseball after the first. Nathan M. pitched well in relief for the Fastballs.
Curveballs @ Changeups
The Curveballs we’re locked in a tight game with the Changeups before they blew it open with a seven-run fourth inning. The Curveballs were aided by another strong outing by Cooper G., who added two hits and three RBIs at the plate to his four solid innings on the mound. Brenden N. and Mateo L. also notched big hits to help the Curveballs pull away late. Connor K. had a great first game for the Changeups despite the loss.
Changeups @ Fastballs
The Fastballs picked up their first win in game two, as they took it to the Changeups 9-2. The Fastballs fed off starting pitcher Simon J., who pitched four innings of lights-out baseball. Connor G. came on the pitch a shutout fifth. Great base running and an aggressive approach at the plate – led by Matt G. – led to early runs and a 9-2 win for the Fastballs. Luke S. pitched well in relief for the Changeups. Despite the two losses on Saturday, the Changeups welcomed back coach Mario Arciniega, who rejoined the team after his absence from a batting practice injury. We’re excited to have him back, and hope to see him turn things around for the Changeups this season!
Sliders @ Curveballs
What a wild one! The Sliders and Curveballs played a true back-and-forth game, one in which the Sliders pulled out a close 6-5 win. Yousef Y. and Jacob L. battled fiercely on the mound, with Wells T. and Max F. supporting them well behind the plate. Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth, the Curveballs were able to string some hits together to temporarily take the lead 5-3. Cooper, Brendan, Mateo, and Andrew D. all had big hits to propel the Curveballs offense. However, Wells and Yousef led the offense back, the Curveballs were unable to close the door in the final frame, and the Sliders pulled out the win.
Movers @ Splitters
The Movers had a great day at the plate, as the bats carried the team to a 14-6 win over the Splitters. Chand A., who pitched four solid innings for the Movers, was the story on the mound, but the whole team put up hits. Shrey A., Aaron L., Aidan W., Ichi B., Dylan N., and Carly and Jack G. each had hits, with Aaron, Aidan, and Carly recording multiple RBIs. Billy M. and Jake O. pitched as well as they could for the Splitters, but each ran out of gas and was partly done in by shaky defense.
Factory @ Screwballs
The Screwballs rode solid pitching to a shutout of Baseball Factory in their first game on Saturday. Bobby B. was, once again, the story for the Screwballs. In four innings on the mound, he struck out 11 and allowed only two hits and two walks. He also went 2-2 at the plate and drove in two. Timmy L. came in the last inning and pitched around a hit to strike out the side and collect the save.
Screwballs @ Movers
The Movers took two on Saturday, defeating the Splitters and then the Screwballs. The Screwballs struck first, scoring three in first off RBIs from Joey K. and Will B., but Movers came back. Robert B. pitched four excellent innings allowing no earned runs. His defense made several really good plays behind him. Aidan W., Ichi B., Robert, and Carly and Jack G. all had hits for the Movers, who are looking more and more formidable every week.
Splitters @ Factory
It was a rough day for the Splitters; after getting blown out by the Movers earlier, they were in a dogfight with Baseball Factory, but couldn’t pull out a win in the end. Peter S. put forth a great effort in game two, pitching a complete game and mashing two doubles. For the third week in a row, Ben C. exhibited some excellent, heads-up baserunning to help his team out, taking two bases on a walk. The Splitters only made a few mistakes in this one, but they proved to be enough, and now the team needs to quickly find some answers.
Sliders @ Factory (Thursday Night)
Splitters @ Curveballs
Screwballs @ Fastballs
Changeups @ Movers
Launchers @ Blasters
Blasters @ Launchers
The Launchers went up big in both of these games, leading 10-4 in game one and 16-3 in game two, but the Blasters were able to come back in each one. For the Launchers, Jake R. was a beast in both games, both at the plate and, in particular, behind it. Jake is described by his coach, Ryan Ebert, as a bulldog behind the plate, saving tons of runs with his play behind the plate. He was also responsible for several of the Launchers’ rallies. Ultimately, mental mistakes did the team in in both games. For the Blasters, Jeffrey B. continues to pitch consistently and hit well out of the three spot, and Charlie S., pitching for the first time, acquitted himself nicely on the mound. Matt P. hit another inside-the-park home run.
Slammers @ Dingers
The Slammers took care of business against the Dingers, as they won 10-6, improving their record to 2-1 against their rivals on the season. Taylor W. got the party started with a leadoff triple, and the Slammers got four in the first inning thanks in part to some sloppy Dingers defense. Joey L. pitched well for the Slammers, but the Dingers were able to come back and eventually take the lead courtesy some passed balls and wild pitches. Jack M. came in and silenced the Dingers’ bats, giving his team a chance to come back. Then, in the top of the fifth, after a controversial call that resulted in a foul ball, Troy W. smacked a two-RBI triple to right-center, putting the Slammers up for good. They’ll look to continue their ride against the Blasters on Saturday.
Wreckers vs. Slingers (Slammers/Dingers)
Thanks to a team backing out at the last minute, the Wreckers played an exhibition against a hybrid team we’re calling the Slingers – consisting of players from the Slammers and Dingers who had just played the game before. For the Wreckers, Ethan S. stood out on the mound and at the plate, blasting a huge triple and pitching well. The Slingers got pitching efforts from Kristopher K. and Elias G. (Dingers) and Everett K. and Thomas A. (Slammers), with Everett in particular pitching well despite little experience. It was a light-hearted game, and hopefully a good tune-up for the Wreckers as they get set to play the Launchers.
Slammers @ Blasters
Launchers @ Wreckers
Dingers @ Ground Breakers 13U
Koa 10U vs. Loudoun Majors 10U/Potomac Riverdogs 10U Black
Game 1: 7-4 loss
Game 2: 7-3 loss
The 10U Green Wave took two tough luck losses on Sunday, but one the whole looked much better than they have in recent weeks. In game one, Blake G. took the mound and pitched well, allowing two hits in two innings, only letting in one run. Koa took an early 1-0 lead thanks to great baserunning by Reed S., hits by Jacob E. and Jayson C., and productive outs from Drew J. and Alex C. Koa was up 3-1 after two, but in the forth inning, the Loudoun bats came alive. After four innings, Koa trailed 4-3. After the Green Wave tied it on a bloop single, a pair of errors, followed by a single, stretched the Loudoun lead to 7-4, which was the final. Game two saw Evan K. take the mound, and he was feeling good. He only allowed one hit the first inning, hit a batter in the second inning, pitched around a single and error in the third inning, and pitched into the forth before allowing a run and running out of steam. It was yeoman-like work for the team’s ace. Meanwhile, Koa jumped out to a 2-0 run lead in the bottom of the first thanks to Evan and Will K. on the bases. The sixth inning saw the Riverdogs explode on offense; Koa surrendered four singles, a double, hit a batter, and made two errors, but pulled off a double play to end the inning. Despite a late comeback attempt, Potomac held on for the win.
Of note over the weekend: Koa pitching combined to allow only three walks on the day, all of them to the same player in game one. If that continues, their luck will turn around in short order.
Koa 11U vs. Potomac Riverdogs 11U Black
Game 1: 3-1 win
Game 2: 8-5 win
The 11U Green Wave became the first travel team to sweep an opponent this spring, as they took two close, well-played baseball games from Potomac. In game one, the Riverdogs strung together a few hits to jump out to a 1-0 lead despite excellent work from Shane M. on the mound. However, in the 4th inning, a leadoff bunt single by Logan Z. helped the Green Wave start a rally. Koa built off that momentum with a hit by pitch, a walk, and two singles to score three runs and take the lead. Eli B. and Adrian G. combined to shut down the Riverdogs in the fifth and sixth to seal the victory. In game two, the Green Wave got off to a hot start, scoring two in the second to give Henry E. a lead on the hill. After two strong innings by Henry, Potomac got back into the game to tie it. Koa then jumped back out 5-2 thanks to a timely double by Matthew K that drove in two. Then, the Riverdogs strung a few hits together to make it 5-5, before Koa scored three in the sixth, and Sam W. shut the door on the mound.
Koa 12U vs. Mount Vernon Patriots 12U Maroon
Game 1: 13-2 loss
Game 2: 12-3 loss
Another rough weekend for the 12U Green Wave, who are still searching for consistency in the early part of their season. There seems to be an easy culprit for 12U’s early struggles, however: physical and mental errors. It’s hard enough to beat your opponent; it only makes it harder when you have to beat your opponent and yourself because of unforced errors. Four errors in game one were followed up by six in game two, which helped the Patriots take early leads in each game. Not lost in the shuffle was a loud triple from Stephen W. in game one and four good innings (again, if you look past the team’s errors) from Andrew L. in game two.
For what it’s worth, the coaches aren’t panicking. As coach Mark Brown told me on Monday, “We’ve just gotta stop shooting ourselves in the foot. We’ll be fine.”
Koa 13U East vs. Germantown Jaguars 13U
Game 1: 9-0 win
Game 2: 8-3 loss
The 13U East Green Wave split, but their effort in game one was superb. It was the James R. show in game one. The team’s ace went six solid innings on the mound, giving up no runs on only two hits, walking four (only because the ump gave a suddenly generous strike zone later in the game for some reason) and striking out four. That, combined with a 3-3 game at the plate, helped propel the team to it’s most impressive victory this season. Game two was a different tale, a close, competitive game up until the last inning, when defensive miscues gave the game to the Jaguars. Miles K. held Germantown to just three runs (two earned) in four innings thanks in part to some defensive wizardry from Asher F. at shortstop. Five unearned runs did in Patrick B. on the mound – other than that, he pitched very well in two innings.
Koa 13U West vs. NFC Knights 13U
Game 1: 12-12 tie
Game 2: 8-7 win
After taking a little bit of time to jell as a team, the 13U West Green Wave has looked great of late. They still have room to improve, but this weekend was the first that the team hasn’t lost in, as they played two tight games to a tie and a win, respectively. In game one, Ben G. provided the huge hit – a two-out grand slam (!!!!) in the third inning that still hasn’t landed. Meanwhile, Oree Y., a.k.a. The Goose, provided another spark early. His 3-3 effort at the plate and solid work on the mound kept Koa in the game early, allowing for the tie. In game two, Cody P. allowed two early runs, but it didn’t matter as Koa jumped back to take a 7-2 lead. After an error-fueled rally got the Knights to within one run, George K. shut the door, getting a strikeout and a ground out to seal the win for West. The chemistry looks great on the team. As coach Mike Evans says, “you’d think that these boys have known each other for years.” This new team looks to have staying power.
Koa 14U vs. FCA Power Fairfax 14U
Game 1: 12-3 win
Game 2: 7-6 win
The 14U Green Wave joined their 11U counterparts in sweeping their opponent on Sunday, with one blowout win and one narrow victory against the Power. In game one, the boys completely overpowered their opponent, out-hitting Fairfax ten to four despite being down by three runs early on. Ethan S. checked in with two doubles, continuing his streak from the day before in the Wreckers’ scrimmage. Sammy P. was the story on the mound. The big lefty pitched four no-hit innings in relief, striking out nine while allowing only two walks and throwing 63% of his pitches for strikes. In game two, the Green Wave put up seven in the first inning to get an early lead. However, as FCA began to claw their way back into the game, Koa couldn’t push across another insurance run. The seven runs were enough in the end, though, as the Power’s rally ran out of gas. Nico L., Jasper C., and Sammy P. all racked up multiple hits in game two. Keep it rolling, boys!
Koa 10U vs. Sterling Xplosion 10U
Koa 11U vs. BCC Big Train 11U
Koa 12U vs. Alexandria Aces 12U Navy
Koa 13U East vs. Burke Bulldogs 13U Black
Koa 13U West vs. Bethesda Bandits 13U
Koa 14U vs. Falls Church Colts 14U/MVP Terps 14U Red
Player of the Week
Alex B. – Crushers
3-6, HR, 6 RBI, SB
Pitcher of the Week
James R. – 13U East
6 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 4 BB, 4 K
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