By Aidan Edelman
We’re about halfway through the spring season if you can believe it. As our teams head into the home stretch, we encourage everyone at Koa – including players, parents, and coaches – to reach out to the Koa Sports Baseball Department to let us know how we’re doing, where we can improve, and what you think of the season so far. We have sent out surveys already this season to parents, but we would still love to hear from everyone else. Your feedback is what helps us build a better program, so feel free to reach out to us as we start to wind down our regular season and prepare for our playoffs and end-of-season tournaments!
Here are the highlights from last weekend’s games:
Bombers @ Slammers
This game started off with a great pace to it, as the first two innings flew by in less than half an hour – which is extremely rare, especially at the BABL A level. Matty S. (Bombers) and Zach C. (Slammers) each pitched well in the early going. However, the Bombers pulled away in the third inning thanks to timely hitting and defensive miscues from the Slammers. Ari S., after missing last weekend’s game, hit a double.
Mashers @ Dingers
The Mashers jumped out to an early lead in their game against the Dingers and never looked back. Leo P. had a triple and a single, Isaac B., James M., and Oliver H. all picked up hits, and Luca P. dealt on the mound. The Mashers took a 15-1 lead into the bottom of the fourth inning before the Dingers started to claw their way back into it. Alex J. hit a bases-clearing double in that inning, but eventually the Mashers were able to close out the game.
Slammers @ Mashers
The Mashers won their second game of the day, beating the Slammers 7-3 in a hotly contested game. Max R. (Slammers) and Leo P. (Mashers) each had huge extra-base hits early in this one, and the score was tied heading into the third inning. Zach C., coming off a good pitching performance against the Bombers, had three great defensive plays at third base in the first inning. However, a defensive meltdown in the third inning spelled doom for the Slammers, who surrendered four runs to make the score 7-3. Owen I. pitched two sterling innings in relief to secure the win for the Mashers.
Dingers @ Bombers
The Bombers started off slow again, as they didn’t record a run in the first inning. The score was 0-0 through the first inning and a half before the Bombers got two runs. They weren’t their usual selves on offense after that, but still played well enough for a win. The Dingers, facing the top team in the league, played hard and competitive all day. Unfortunately they were unable to capitalize on their situations with runners in scoring position, but they played a fantastic game overall. Dom S. pitched well and picked up two hits for the Dingers in the losing effort. On the plus side, in a friendly office wager, Coach Cresci won a free lunch from Coach Ebert for keeping the game so close.
Homers @ Crushers
Upset alert! The Homers checked in with their first win of the season, as they won a close one 3-2 over the Crushers. For the Crushers, it’s their first loss of the season. The Homers dropped three early on, with TJ G. shining at the plate and Zach B. pitching very well. Additionally, the team got big contributions from Quentin T., who was playing in his first ever Koa baseball game after coming over from the 7-10u clinic! There were a few injuries in the game for the Crushers, but as we’ll get to later, they didn’t slow them down in game two.
Sluggers @ Launchers
The Launchers rolled in this one, shutting out the Sluggers. The defense came up big time after time. In the first inning with a runner on third, Karl S. made a diving catch in left field to prevent a run from scoring! The offense, energized from the stellar defensive play, posted two quick runs. The pitching and defense continued from there, retiring the next eight batters and only facing only 14 Sluggers batters. The Sluggers, unfortunately, couldn’t get much going against the Launchers.
Launchers @ Homers
Down to eight players in their second game, the Launchers came together and won 11-1. Luke W. pitched brilliantly over three innings, striking out four and allowing a lone earned run. For the second time this season, Zach J. threw a runner out at third from behind the plate, and provided some thump with a three-RBI single. Wes C. had a great game at the plate, blasting a triple and a grand slam. Ethan D. was the source of the team’s energy and spirit by always cheering on his teammates. He closed out the double header with a scoreless inning in his first pitching performance of the season. The Homers, still riding the high of their first win the game before, will look to rebound against the Dingers next weekend.
Crushers @ Sluggers
The Crushers, fresh off their first loss of the season the game before, rebounded nicely against the Sluggers, taking the game 13-8. Will F. picked up right where he left off in the first game. Between both of his team’s games Will went 3-4, finishing only a home run shy of the cycle. He also scored three runs, drove in two runs, and was a terror on the basepaths with four stolen bases. They’ll look to carry the momentum into a big game next weekend against the top-seeded Bombers.
Crushers @ Bombers
Launchers @ Mashers
Sluggers @ Slammers
Homers @ Dingers
Sliders @ Baseball Factory
This game was moved to Thursday night – right before the NFL Draft was scheduled to start! And Baseball Factory came out ready, taking it to the Sliders. The Sliders, missing several key players, were done in early thanks to a masterful pitching performance from Factory’s starter, combined with several errors in the field. Factory kept it up all game long en route to the lopsided final score. Despite the loss, however, coach Ian Thorne of the Sliders still has plenty of confidence in his team as they head into the second half of their season.
Splitters @ Curveballs
The Splitters came ready to play on Saturday, and they took it to the Curveballs, more than doubling up on their opponent. The Splitters jumped out to a 6-0 lead after the top of the first inning thanks to quality at-bats, drawing walks, and getting into good hitting counts. Luke R. led the way with four hits, and four other players (Peter S., Will F., Billy M., and Andrew H.) had multi-hit efforts. With plenty of cushion, Jake O. pitched confidently, getting weak contact from opposing batters, and Noah W. threw strikes consistently, closing the game out in style. The Curveballs’ offense was carried by Tyler S. and Adam E., but ultimately a lack of control from pitchers and a few too many errors did the team in.
Changeups @ Movers
The Movers continued to hit, putting up 11 runs on nine hits en route to a win over the Changeups. The Changeups started out fast, with big hits from Jackson F., Nathan L., and Jordan S. helping spark the early rally. However, the Movers fought back to retake the lead by the middle innings. Aaron L. had two hits and three RBIs, Carly G. and Ben K. reached base twice each and both scored, and Rylan A. drove in two runs to help lead the offense. This was a tough, physical game for both teams, as there were several stoppages in play to attend to hurt players. But no players were hurt too bad to cease playing.
Screwballs @ Fastballs
Total domination. The Screwballs took it to the Fastballs, defeating their rivals by a huge margin. Lance H. led the charge on offense for the Screwballs, tallying three hits and a walk and scoring every time he reached base. Charlie R., Joey K., Tyler R., Henry H., and Kevin Z. all had multiple hits as well, while Bobby B. continued to shine on the mound. It wasn’t close. The Fastballs couldn’t muster much offense and had spotty defense, but on the plus side Matt G. threw out three baserunners at catcher.
Fastballs @ Factory
Movers @ Curveballs
Curveballs @ Fastballs
Factory @ Movers
Screwballs @ Sliders
Changeups @ Splitters
Slammers @ Blasters
These two teams had yet to play on the season, and they played a great game on Saturday despite the unfamiliarity. The Slammers took an early lead. Jordan M. (playing in his first game of the season) had a triple and a double in the game, and Troy W. had a multi-hit effort as well. The score was 7-3 Slammers going into the later half of the game, but the Blasters wouldn’t go away. Some shaky pitching (the Slammers gave up 12 walks) and defense, plus another inside-the-park home run from Matt P. kept the Blasters in the game. The Slammers had a key insurance run taken away on a headfirst slide into home plate, and the Blasters won in the last inning on a walk-off passed ball. These two teams will play each other again in two weeks.
Launchers @ Wreckers
With a huge first inning and continued scoring for all three innings (before the time limit came into play) the Launchers cruised to an easy win. Pitching performances from Zach R., Alex R. and Jack S. slowed the bats of the Wreckers and a number of walks, errors and timely hits gave the Launchers a ton of runs to work with. For the Wreckers, Ethan S. hit a grand slam and Ian A. pitched as well as possible given the circumstances.
Dingers @ Ground Breakers 13U (Rained Out)
Where have you gone?
I get the strangest feeling you belong
Why does it always rain on me?
Is it because I lied when I was seventeen?
Why does it always rain on me?
Launchers @ Slammers
Wreckers @ Dingers
Blasters @ Dingers
Koa 10U vs. Sterling Xplosion 10U
Game 1: 5-3 loss
Game 2: 9-2 win
The 10U Green Wave might be starting to put some things together, as they’ve been playing much better as of late. In their first game against Sterling, Koa held a 3-0 lead going into the fifth inning, but unfortunately coughed up five runs in that inning to seal their fate. Evan K., Reed S., and Drew J. each had multiple hits, and the Green Wave outhit Sterling 10-5 despite the loss. None of the runs that Koa allowed were earned runs, which shows the defense still had some cleaning up to do. In the second game, the team pressured the Xplosion from the start, loading the bases and pushing across runs in each of the first three innings. They never let go of the lead and strong pitching from Evan and Reed closed the door for the win. This game saw the Xplosion commit more errors, which helped Koa take the game easily.
Koa 11U vs. BCC Big Train 11U
Game 1: 9-2 loss
Game 2: 9-6 loss
It was BCC Week for the 11U Green Wave, as they prepared to face a team they have a pretty solid rivalry with. Unfortunately, BCC came out more prepared and took the games pretty handily. The Big Train got out to a quick lead in game one, pushing three runs across in the bottom of the first. Koa struggled to push runs across once they got runners on base, but kept fighting at the plate with a lot of good two-strike ABs. In game two, Henry E. started with three strong innings on the mound, keeping BCC’s hitters off balanced and hitting spots on both sides of the plate. After Henry, Tommy M. came into the game and threw two innings, passing the torch to Sam W. to finish off the game. While it didn’t end the way we planned, Koa battled until the last inning, and were all invested and supportive of their teammates. Not lost in the weekend was the performance of Nolan B. both at the plate and on the mound. The newest player on the team – and one who had struggled to make contact all season – ripped a double and a triple across his two games, both hits traveling well over 240 feet. He also came in to close out the first game and did a great job at it. We hope to see Nolan continue this in the coming weeks and for the team to bounce back next Sunday!
Koa 12U vs. Alexandria Aces 12U Navy
Game 1: 5-1 win
Game 2: 10-4 win
Now that’s more like it! The 12U Green Wave are officially off the schneid, as they took two against a good Alexandria Aces team. Pitching was the story in the first game, as Massimo L. and Wells T. shut the door on the Aces’ bats. Massimo threw four innings of no-hit baseball (to go along with six strikeouts and just two walks) to take home Koa’s Pitcher of the Week honors (congrats, Mo!). Wells allowed only one hit and one run in two innings while striking out four. The offense could have done a bit more (though Stephen W. and Nate M. did their parts), but when you’ve got pitching like that, the bats can afford to be a little quieter. The Green Wave was down after the first inning in game two, but came roaring back with three in the second and four in the fourth. JB H., Luke B., and Caleb K. each drove in two runs, while Andrew L. and Stephen W. again dominated on the mound, with each pitcher throwing over 70% of his pitches for strikes. We’ve been waiting for this team to break out, now let’s see them continue it the rest of the season.
Koa 13U East vs. Burke Bulldogs 13U Black
Game 1: 11-1 win
Game 2: 9-4 win
Like their 12U counterparts, the 13U East Green Wave came away with a sweep in the Metro division of NVTBL, and appear to be hitting their stride at a good time. In the first game against Burke, James R. and Paul W. combined for a complete game two-hitter. Koa jumped out to an early 4-0 lead with RBIs from Zane G. and Andrew P., and kept tacking on as James and Paul held Burke down all game. The Green Wave took advantage of eight errors from the Bulldogs as well (despite committing five themselves). More of the same in game two, as Koa took an early lead and kept piling on. Miles K. shut down Burke long enough for Koa to jump out to a 6-1 lead off the bats of Jay A., Andy S., and Andrew P. Asher F. came on for the three inning save. Great defense and heads up baserunning allowed Koa to tack on insurance and close out the win.
Koa 13U West vs. Bethesda Bandits 13U
Game 1: 18-7 loss
Game 2: 13-0 loss
It wasn’t the type of weekend the 13U West Green Wave were hoping for, as the Bandits won by a combined 31-7 mark across both games. Game one was closer than the scoreboard shows, but a six-run first inning that had too many walks and some untimely errors had Koa fighting from behind the entire game. Game two wasn’t close at all, as Bethesda had a big lefty ace on the mound who pitched a complete game shutout. He only gave up two hits and his late movement on his pitches was something that the Green Wave hadn’t seen yet as a team. The good news is that the boys never gave up, and even though they faced some adversity they tried to make adjustments during the game. Kenny Q. has been showing off his baseball I.Q. as of late, and leads the team in batting average (.556) and hits (10). Kenny is always alert and even when the ball isn’t hit to him you can always find him backing up a base as he never takes a play off. Additionally, Eli W. and Nico C. have proven to be not just good utility players, but team leaders as well, as their work ethic and positivity are infectious. This was hopefully just a bump in the road, as the Green Wave look to keep improving in their inaugural season.
Koa 14U vs. Falls Church Colts 14U/MVP Terps 14U
Game 1: 12-8 loss
Game 2: 11-10 loss
After a sweep the previous weekend, the 14U Green Wave were swept against their opponents, the Falls Church Colts (whom they tied with earlier in the season) and the MVP Terps. Against Falls Church, the boys did not come to play offensively and could not keep up with the hot bats of the Colts. Every time the Green Wave was able to push runs across the plate, the Colts had an answer in the next half inning. Koa had a hard time putting the ball in play, with only four hits as a team. Though they drew 10 walks, they also struck out 15 times, which did them no favors. Grady W. did yeoman’s work on the mound and continues to show he is an effective starter. He was also the only player not to strike out in game one. After another slow start in game two, the Green Wave mounted a nice comeback, chipping away at the Terps lead. However, they came up one run short in the last inning. Will P. continued to shine out of the leadoff spot, notching three hits and four RBIs in the second game to go with his one hit and two RBIs in game one (that makes him Koa’s Player of the Week winner – congrats Will!). Several other of Koa’s players recorded multiple hits as well in the losing effort.
Koa 10U vs. DC Dynasty 10U Red
Koa 11U vs. Reston Warriors 11U Platinum/Black
Koa 12U vs. Loudoun Aces 12U
Koa 13U East vs. Stars Baseball 13U Jewett
Koa 13U West vs. Arlington Senators 13U Central
Koa 14U vs. Moose 14U
Player of the Week
Will P. – 14U
4-5, R, 6 RBI, 2 BB, SB in two games
Pitcher of the Week
Massimo L. – 12U
4 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 64% strikes
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