Race is on for championships
- Published: July 14, 2016
The race for the 2016 Minor League regular season championship tightened up going into the final week of play, although the Tom’s Market Pirates still held on to the lead, but only by a game-and-a half. A surging Yellow Springs Chiropractic Indians team, winners of five straight going into this week’s play, were coming up fast. The two teams squared off this past Monday evening and the result of that key late season matchup and its standings impact can be found on the league website at http://www.ysbaseball.org.
Meanwhile, the Peach’s Reds had another one-run game, but this time they were on the winning end, defeating the Sam and Eddie’s Open Books Dragons 5–4 on Wednesday, July 6. The Dragons jumped out to a first inning three run lead on RBI singles by Luka Sage-Frabotta, Kian Rainey and Adeline Zinger. The Reds responded in the second when Mateo Basora knocked in Ben Espinosa. But it was the second inning that sealed the game for the Reds, retiring the side in order and then putting up four runs to take the lead for good. RBI singles came off the bats of Sam Miller and Scout Espinosa while Sam Miller’s two RBI base hit scored Roddy Luckie and Violet Babb. Sage-Frabotta’s third inning RBI double added one more for the Dragons, but they just couldn’t catch the Reds. The defense by both teams stiffened and they held each other scoreless the remainder of the game.
The Sam and Eddie’s Open Books Dragons rallied late in the first game on Saturday, July 9, against the Yellow Springs Chiropractic Indians, only to come up just one run short, falling 6–5. The Indians opened the game with three runs in the first on a Max Lugo RBI double and a pair of RBI base hits from Lucas Dunn and Josephine Zinger. The Dragons crossed the plate once in the bottom of the second on rookie Orion Sage-Frabotta’s RBI single to score big brother Luka after one of his three extra-base hits. The Indians went on to increase their lead with three runs in the fourth when Reagan Dunn and Anthony Mascola scored on a center field double by Lilly Kibblewhite, who then later scored on sister Gabriella’s RBI ground out. The Dragons began their rally with a run in the bottom of the fourth, holding the Indians scoreless in the top of the fifth and coming to the plate for their last at-bat, trailing 6–2. With two on and two outs, Luka Sage-Frabotta smashed a three-run home run to center, also scoring Emery Fodal and Colin Linderman to make the score 6–5 and send Indians head coach Kelly Dunn into near cardiac arrest. But two batters later, Max Lugo snagged Adeline Zinger’s infield hit and threw her out to Lucas Dunn at first, saving the game and reviving their coach. Defensively, both teams excelled, with the infields combining for 18 put outs, including a pair of foul pop-up catches by Indians catcher Brady Baker and five put-outs from Dragons pitcher Kellen Scott throwing to Luka Sage-Frabotta at first, who also finished the day with three extra base hits.
Saturday’s second game saw the Tom’s Market Pirates win their only game of the week in an 11–7 victory over the Peach’s Reds, led by a 4–4 perfect day at the plate for Shawn VanHoose. The Pirates had a banner day at the dish, with six hitters combining for 16 hits, 11 RBIs and nine runs. The Reds scored first, with three first-inning runs thanks to RBI singles from siblings Ben and Scout Espinosa and Mateo Basora’s RBI ground out. But the Pirates responded immediately, putting up six first-inning runs off RBI base hits from VanHoose, J.P. Anderson and Hazen VanMeter, a Derek Reed RBI double and a two RBI infield double off the bat of rookie Malik Royalston, who later added an RBI single in the second. A third inning RBI double by the Reds’ Gabby Perkins cut the Dragons’ lead to 7–4. But the Pirates answered quickly with four runs of their own in the third, scoring on an RBI groundout by Anderson, a Derek Reed two RBI single and an RBI base hit from brother, Dylan Reed. However, the Reds were far from done, pushing across three fourth-inning runs to trail 11–7 thanks to RBI singles from Basora and Ruthie Myers and an Otto Cipollini ground out. While they were able to hold the Pirates scoreless in the bottom of the fourth, the Pirates returned the favor in the top of the last inning to seal the win.
The race for the 2016 Major League championship is even closer, with the Sunrise Cafe Indians and the Winds Cafe Reds tied for first with records of 6–4 and three games to play. These two teams also squared off this past Monday and results and standings impact of the game can be found on the league website.
The Indians opened last week’s play escaping with a 9–8 win over the HarkenWard Solutions Cubs on Wednesday, July 6. The Cubs opened the game with three runs in the first on a Sean Adams two-RBI double to score Krishan Miller and DeAndre Cowen, and Noah VanHoose’s RBI single to score Adams. Strong defense and a pair of strikeouts by Adams held the Indians scoreless in the first two innings before they got on the board with a pair of runs by Vaughn Hendrickson and Lily Rainey. The Cubs responded with three third-inning runs thanks to another RBI base hits by Adams, as well as Eli Wilson and VanHoose. The Indians came alive in the fourth after holding the Cubs scoreless and crossed the plate seven times on base hits from Jake-Ortiz Thornton and Josh Clark, along with four bases loaded walks. Krishan Miller and DeAndre Cowen both scored in the fifth to bring the Cubs within two, but they were held scoreless in the final inning by the Indians.
The HarkenWard Solutions Cubs bounced back in a big way the following evening, pounding out 19 hits and six strike outs on the way to a 20–10 rout of the Winds Cafe Reds on Thursday, July 7th. The Cubs put up six runs in each of the first two innings, along with four runs in the both the third and the fifth innings. Sean Adams again led the team, with four runs scored and three RBIs from his perfect 4-4 day at the plate resulting in a single, a double and a pair of triples. Krishan Miller, Eli Wilson and Noah VanHoose all went 3–4 with one RBI. The Reds played well early, scoring twice in the first, followed by eight runs in the second. But then the bats went silent beginning in the third and they never recovered, thanks in part to five strikeouts in the final three innings and a tough Cubs defensive effort. Jackson Bleything led the Reds with his perfect 4-4 day at the plate and two RBIs along with Finn Bledsoe’s two hits in four appearances resulting in three RBIs.
The Sunrise Cafe Indians put themselves in a tie for first with a 13–9 victory over the HarkenWard Solutions Cubs on Saturday, July 9. While the Cubs a first-inning run from a Noah VanHoose RBI, the Indians wasted no time in lighting up the scorebook with seven second inning runs off four hits and three walks. The Cubs then responded with five second-inning runs of their own off a pair of hits and four walks to trail only 7–6. However, despite only giving up only one run in the third, the Cubs took a 9–8 lead after scoring three times in the fourth on a Sean Adams, two RBI double and an RBI base hit by Noah VanHoose. But the Indians rallied with five runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 13–9 lead on five walks and RBI singles by Phillip Diamond and Jeremy Lange, then held off the Cubs in the final inning with three strikeouts and a lone base hit.
The Major League regular season wraps up this week with a game Thursday night at 6 p.m. between the HarkenWard Solutions Cubs and Sunrise Cafe Indians, followed by the season finale on Saturday at 1 p.m. between the HarkenWard Solutions Cubs and the Winds Cafe Indians. The Minor league regular season finale will be a pair of games Saturday morning at 10 and 11:45 a.m. Tournament semi-final games will be at 7 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday, July 18 and 20, followed the post-season championship at 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, immediately followed by the all-league pot-luck and awards picnic. See the league website at http://www.ysbaseball.org for the latest results and standings.