Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Fall 2016 Season Kicks off with a Bang!

The Legends Fall Baseball Season got underway on August 29th with a full slate of games including a double header played by the 19+ Benchwarmers. The 19+ Outlaws are looking for a "Four-Peat," while the Padres and Pirates are seeking a repeat of their spring championships. Good luck to all teams this fall!

Pirates look strong in fall opener
The 30+A Pirates put on a clinic in hitting, pitching, defense, and base running as they defeated the Redlegs in the fall season opener at Veterans Park.
by John Campbell
After winning the 40+/30+B playoffs in the spring, the Pirates were bumped back to the 30+ division. They got off to a good start on a blistering hot day vs. the Redlegs.

The pitching was the difference maker. The first Pirate to toe the hill was Kevin "KJ" Jillions. The powerful lefty was only able to go one inning for the Pirates, and he made the Redlegs uncomfortable in that one strong inning. The next Pirate to step to the mound was Lewis Hardy, who provided 5 dominant innings. Hardy gave up 1 run on 1 hit (a moonshot HR by Casey Ray), but was otherwise overpowering with multiple strike outs in his 5 innings.

With the game in hand, Pat McCane came in to pitch innings 7-9. McCane gave up a few hits and recorded multiple strikeouts. The Pirate staff was also backed by stellar defense all game. The most notable plays being when Akil Barlow threw a laser beam from LF to nab a runner at the plate that was trying to score from second, and Luis Feliciano converting an unassisted double play at 1B.

Other defensive standouts included Fred Lewis (2B and OF), Matt Edwards (OF and 2B), and Jon Champ (LF and C).

The offense got contributions up and down the order, with many of the runs coming with two outs. The final score was 17-4 on a HOT day.

Redlegs fall to Bucs in opener
The Redlegs Casey Ray (bottom left) crushes a solo home run to left field (far right photo) to get the Reds on the board in the top of the fourth inning. But the Reds were unable to keep pace with the upper division Pirates.
by Bob Korn
The 30+B/40+ Redlegs played an interdivisional game vs. the 30+ A Pirates in the fall season opener for both teams. Despite the one-sided victory for the Bucs (17-4), the Reds had a few highlights of their own.

In the fourth inning, shortstop Casey Ray opened the Redlegs attack with a towering home run to left field that even got a high five from the Pirates pitcher. A walk to Reds centerfielder Jeremy Bourque; a single and a stolen base by Keith Beale, and a two-RBI single by Nelson Taveras provided the offense in the 8th.

New Redleg Dave Forrest drove in the last run of the day when he collected his first hit as a Legend with an RBI single in the ninth, scoring Chris French who led off the inning with a single.

"We proved two things today," Commish Ron Cortese stated after the game. "The Redlegs belong in 30+B and Pirates in 30+A!" 

Sean Marietta's effort not enough in General's 8-4 loss
by Jeff Hayes
The Generals lost to the Blue Jays in the fall opener despite Sean Marietta's spectacular day from both the mound and the plate. Errors in the field undermined the Generals throughout the day. Marietta was perfect at the dish, going 3-3. He singled in the first, sixth, and eighth innings. Marietta worked out of six tricky spots for the Generals. He pitched five innings and allowed one earned run on only four hits. Relief man Jerome Allen pitched three innings, giving up only four hits and two earned runs.

Catcher Jeff Eanes and recent addition outfielder Brian Tirch contributed two hits each, with Tirch adding a base on balls. Rookie outfielder Joshua Moses was 1 for 2 with a walk before being hobbled by the infamous Legends pulled hamstring. Manager Jeff Hayes, third baseman Jason Wells, first baseman Sean Kennan, and utility man Scooter Krattenmaker all added base hits. Marietta (2), Hayes (1), and Tirch (1) drove in the Generals four runs.

Isotopes hold off Padres on opening day
by Tommy Stokes
The Isotopes held off a late charge in the 9th to outlast the Padres in their season opening 11-10 victory. It looked like it might get away from the Topes early after some defensive lapses and some timely hitting by the Padres led to a 4-run 2nd inning.

Down 4-1, Lewis Wharton and Tommy Stokes combined to keep the Padres off the board through the 6th. In the 6th, the Isotopes 4-run inning began innocently enough when Gino Noll struck out but made it to 1st on the passed ball. Following Gino's hustle were six straight singles putting the Isotopes back in the lead.

The Padres would take the lead right back with a big inning off of Nate Taran. The Isotopes tried to rally back in the bottom of the 7th to get all the runs back but fell short in heartbreaking fashion, stranding runners on 2nd and 3rd.

Nate Taran came back strong in the 8th keeping the Isotopes hopes alive. The bottom of the 8th started off strong with Tony Paras leading off with a double, then following a long at bat, Nate Taran was hit by a pitch. With the tying and go ahead runs on base, Tommy Stokes immediately squared to bunt and nobody charged. Tony still beat  a great throw by the catcher with the third baseman out of position just enough due to the bunt.

Lewis hit a sacrifice fly to tie, and the rally was on. The inning ended with the Isotopes back in front 11-8. Nate was able to shake off a couple of runs and a huge scare on a potential game-tying hit down the left field line that landed foul by a matter of a foot or so.

With his late pitching and reaching base 4 times while going 3 for 4 at the plate, Nate was given the game ball. Adam Rasmussen and Tommy Stokes also reached base 4 times.

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