OAPBA 2021 second half standings thru July 28

Second halfWLPctGB
Taz Devils44.5001
Taz Devils2722.551
Tsunamis2523.5211 1/2
Otters2123.4773 1/2
Whatevers1525.3758 1/2

Craig Dolan’s Tsunamis (5-3 )have taken command in the standings in the second half after splitting with Dave Larson’s Taz Devils (4-4) on Monday, followed by a 3-1 series win over first half winner Rod Caborn’s Beefers in the Asian’s second series of the day on Tuesday, July 27. The Beefers (5-7) followed their series loss on Tuesday with a split with Jonathan Stillwell’s Otters, who opened their second half with a pair of walk-off wins. Walt Taylor’s Whatevers are expected to get underway the week of July 31.

Otters open second half with pair of walk-off wins in split with Beefers

Jonathan Stilwell’s Otters (2-2) kicked off their second half with a split with Rod Caborn’s Beefers (5-7) in a series played Tuesday evening, July 27, at the Otters fabled Frank Selee Field in Altamonte Springs. 

The Otters captured both of their wins with walk-off hits. Jake Cronenworth won the Game Two of the series with a ninth-inning walk-off triple off Stefan Crichton and, in Game Four, Jose Abreu homered in the bottom of the 10th, with Crichton once again the victim.

Both teams were very evenly matched. The Otters hit .232 for the series with 19 extra base hits, including six home runs, four of them in Game Two. The Beefs, whose bats have been relatively quiet the second half, hit .207 with 17 extra base hits, eight of them home runs. 

Otters CF Mike Trout was 7-18, .388, with five extra base hits. Longtime Beefer nemesis Freddie Freemanhomered in the first two games for the Otters and added a pair of doubles in Game Four. Freeman, for the series, was 5-16, .313. For the Beefs, Brandon Belt, who suffered through a poor first half, was 7-15, .467.

Game 1 Beefers 8, Otters 3

Beefer CF Brandon Nimmo hit a three-run HR off Yu Darvish in the first, but Otter 1b Freddie Freeman cut the lead to 3-2 with a two-run HR in the third. 

Darvish then served up HRs to Jeff McNeil, Fernando Tatis, and Brandon Belt in the middle innings to put the Beefs ahead 7-3. Shane Greene and Tony Watson held the Otters scoreless in the final two frames for an 8-3 win for the Bovines.

Beef   8-12-0   W- Shane Bieber 8-2. HR Brandon Nimmo 5 Jeff McNeil 4, Brandon Belt 3, Fernando Tatis 13. 

Otters 3-6-0  L- Yu Darvish 3-2. HR Freddie Freeman 9.

Game 2   Otters 5, Beefers 4

The Otters had Beefer starter Zach Plesac’s number, with four different players hitting solo homers in the first four innings as the Furries built up a 4-0 lead. Otter starter Lance Lynn, meanwhile, threw six scoreless innings, allowing only four hit and fanning seven. 

Down by four going into the ninth, the Beefers came to life against Chris Martin, who gave up four hits and three runs before Stilwell inserted relief ace Nick Anderson, who promptly served up a solo HR to Fernando Tatis, tying the game at 4-4.

The tie didn’t last long, however. Beef reliever walked Andrew Knapp in the bottom of the 10th and the next batter, Jake Cronenworth, tripled home Ketel Marte, running for Knapp, to bring home the winning run for a 5-4 Otters win.

Beef 4-9-0   L- Stean Crichton 1-2. HR Bryce Harper 11, Fernando Tatis 14 back-to-back in 9th

Otters   5-10-0  W-Nick Anderson 3-1. HR Freddie Freeman 10, Mike Trout 3, Jose Abreu 4, Andrew Knapp 1.

Game 3  Beefers 4, Otters 3 (12 innings)

Beefer lefty Jose Urias and Otters stalwart Jacob deGrom matched zeroes over the first six innings befgore the Beefs to a 1-0 lead on a solo HR by D.J. LeMahieu in the seventh. 

The Otters answered back with a run in the 8th to tie the game at one apiece. In the ninth, the Beefs took a 3-1 lead when Christian Vazquez walked and pinch-runner Will Myers scored on a Tatis triple with Tatis scoring on an RBI single by Jose Ramirez.

The Otters, however, were not done. In the bottom of the ninth, Yasmani Grandal got aboard on a Tatis error and scored on a Mike Trout triple. Trea Turner then made it back-to back three-baggers, scoring Trout to tie the game at 3-3. 

The bullpens then took over with the Beefs breaking through in the 12th on Ramirez’s 13th HR of the season, off Jeremy Jeffress. Diego Castillo put the Otters away in the bottom of the frame for his 8th save of the year.

Mike Trout was 4-5 for the Otters, including a pair of doubles and a triple.

Beef    4-6-1    W- Zach Britton 1-0. HR Jose Ramirez 13, D.J. LeMahieu 5.

Otters  3-10-0  L- Jeremy Jefress 0-1. 

Game 4  Otters 2, Beefers 1 (10 innings)

The Otters Jose Abreu hit a home run in the bottom of the 10th, off luckless Stefan Crichton, to give the Furries a 2-1 win and a split in the series 

Both teams scored in the second, the Beefs off an RBI double by Jeff McNeil and the Otters on a sac fly. The score remaining 1-1 through the ninth, with starters Dinelson Lamet and Zac Gallen both having good outings. 

The Otters bullpen, however, was the difference-make in the game, holding the Beefs hitless over the final three innings before Abreu settled things with his fifth HR of 2021.

Nick Anderson picked up the win, his second win of the series and his first two victories of 2021.

Beef    1-3-1  L- Stefan Crichton 1-3.

Otters 2-7-0  W- Nick Anderson 2-0. HR Jose Abreu 5 (walk-off HR in 10th)

Tsunamis rise to the top of the standings; take three of four from Beefers

Craig Dolan’s Tsunamis (5-3) took over first place in the second half, taking three out of four from Rod Caborn’s Beefers (3-5).

For the series, played on Tues., July 27, it was all Tsunamis. The Asians pounded out an 11-4 win in the opener, blasting six home runs, and won on a dramatic three-run walk-off HR by pinch-hitter James McCann in Game Three. In the finale, the downcast Beefs only managed one hit, a combined shutout by the Asian trio of Max Fried, Brandon Kintzler, and Edwin Diaz.

The Asians hit .265 with 12 doubles and 10 home runs while the Beefers offense went off the rails. The Beefs only hit .148 with six extra base hits and three HRs.

Game 1 Tsuamis 11, Beefers 4

The Tsunamis pounded out six home runs, including two each by Juan Soto and Byron Buxton, enroute to an easy 11-4 win in the opener. 

After both teams scored two runs apiece in the first two frames, the Tsunami offense went to work on Beefer starter Shane Bieber Soto and Edwin Rios hit-back-to-back HRs in the fourth and, two batters later, Buxton made it three homers for the Asians in the fourth with a solo HR. The Tsunamis added two more off Bieber in the fifth and pulled away for a lopsided win.

Beef   4-6-1    L- Shane Bieber 7-2. HR Jose Ramirez 13.

Tsu 11-14-1  W- Trevor Bauer. HR Byron Buxton 2 HRs, Juan Soto 2 HRs, Edwin Rios, Trevor Story.

Game 2  Beefers 4, Tsunamis 1

Beefer starter Zach Plesac went eight innings, giving up only five hits and an RBI double to Edwin Rios to win his fifth straight and remain undefeated at 5-0.

The game was tied 1-1 going into the ninth, but Bo Bichette, getting a rare start for the Beefs, hit a three-run home run off Eric Yardley, his second HR of the game, to give the Beefs a 4-1 lead. Stefan Crichton put the Asians away in the bottom of the frame for his second save.

Beef 4-6-0   W- Zach Plesac 5-0. HR Bob Bichette 2 HRs, 1-2.

Tsu   1-5-0   L-Eric Yardley. 

Game 3  Tsunamis 6, Beefers 4

Juan Soto hit his third HR in two games to give the Asians a 2-0 lead in the first, but Beef starter Mike Clevinger settled down an only allowed one more hit and no more runs before departing after six innings. The Beefs, meanwhile, took a 3-2 lead on an error by Tsunami P Corbin Burnes and a two-run single by Brandon Nimmo.

Both teams added one more run to make it 4-3 Beefs going into the ninth inning. Newly acquired Beef reliever Zach Britton retired the first Asians hitter, but then hit Jesse Winker. Raisel Iglesias then trudged in from the bullpen and, after getting the second out, give up a single to Trevor Story, bringing the tying run to the plate. Asians manager sent up pinch-hitter James McCann and Beefer skipper Rod Caborn countered with lefty Tony Watson. McCann turned into The Man, however, blasting a walk-off three-run HR off Watson to give the Tsunamis a stunning 6-4 come-from-behind win.

Beef  4-5-1   L – Raisel Iglesias 1-2. 

Tsu   6-7-1  W- Eric Yardley. HR Juan Soto, James McCann (PH 3R walk-off HR in 9th)

Game 4  Tsunamis 6, Beefers 1

Still reeling from the stunning Game Three loss, the Beefs managed only a first-inning single off Tsunami lefty Max Fried, who was almost untouchable. Fried went seven scoreless innings, his second straight scoreless outing, walking only three before giving way to Brandon Kintzler and Edwin Diaz to complete the combined shutout.

Byron Buxon hit his third HR of the series in the second and the Tsunamis built their lead to 4-0 in the fifth on a two-run double by Luis Arraez, who then scored on an RBI single by Alec Bohm. Mike Yazstremski hit a solo HR in the 8th inning to complete the scoring for the Asians.

Beef   0-1-0    L- Dinelson Lamet 2-4.

Tsu  6-10-0  W- Max Fried. HR Byron Buxton, Mike Yazstremski. 

OAPBA’s origins revealed; a look into the past provided by Joel Prinsell

OAPBA launched its 34th season in February, but the story of how the league started and grew has always been somewhat vague. Thanks to one of the league’s four Founding Fathers, Joel Prinsell, we now know precisely when the league began and how it moved forward during its inaugural campaign. Here’s Joel’s account of the league’s startup:

On Feb. 24, 1988, thirty-three years ago today, or, if any of us want to feel even older — a third of a century ago, the Orlando APBA league commenced its inaugural regular season schedule.  

Attached for posterity are the scoresheets from the first two 2-game series played by the four original franchises – the Tourists, managed by Steve Lorman; the Platoon, managed by Joe Passiatore; the Metropolitans, managed by Bryant Applegate, and the Highlanders, managed by me.  (Sorry, but a few of the attached PDF pages might be upside down, sideways, etc.)

A couple of weeks before the opening games, the teams had held a 25-round snake draft, where Kirby Puckett was selected by the Metros with the first overall pick.

The Tourists won Game #1, 5-0, over the visiting Highlanders. Nolan Ryan (who’s he?!) threw a one-hitter with 7 K’s, with Jeff (?) Reardon pitching the last 2 outs. Mike (?) Scott took the loss. Ryne Sandberg was the league’s first whiff victim. Tony Gwynn was the first player to reach base (how fitting), with a BB (but was caught stealing by “Spanky” LaValierre).  Ozzie Smith had the league’s first hit (a single), the first SB, and scored the first run.  Robin Yount had the first error.  But the star of the game was Benito Santiago, who went 3-3, had the league’s first RBI (plating Ozzie), first extra-base hit (a 2B), and first HR. 

The Highlanders came back to win Game #2, the nightcap of the doubleheader, 6-1.

The next day, the Platoon swept the Metropolitans in Games #3 and 4, 6-5 and 2-1.  Although the Metros got off to a rough 0-3 start, they ended the regular season with the best record. 

Two or three years later, the Beefers, managed by Rod, and the Taz Devils, managed by Dave, joined the league, and the rest is history — the longest running APBA league.