The Tasmanian Devils ventured to the Beefer Bowl for OAPBA’s opening series of 2021, winning three of four to move into first place in the season’s early going. The Devils hit .251 on the series with 11 doubles and four homers and demonstrated exceptional speed, swiping ten bases in 12 attempts. The Beefers hit .231 with nine doubles, a triple, and six homers. Jose Ramirez stole three bases for the Beefers. Michael Brantley was 7-19, .368 for the Devils while catcher J.T. Realmuto hit a pair of homers in six at-bats. For the Beefs, top draft pick Fernando Tatis was a total bust, going 1-18 while 1b Brandon Belt was 0-13. Beef RF Bryce Harper drove in four runs with a pair of homers and Luke Voit homered in the first two game.
Game 1 Beefers 7, Devils 6 (12 innings)
It took 12 innings, but the Beefers rallied from an early deficit to take game one. The Tazzies got to the Beefer ace, Shane Beiber when new Devils SS Dansby Swanson belted a grand slam HR. Beefs 3b Jose Ramirez hit a solo homer in the bottom of the second, making the game 4-1. Devils CF Cody Bellinger hit a two-run HR to increase the Tazzie lead to 6-1 in the third. Then the home team began to chip away at the Devils lead, starting with a Bryce Harper solo homer in the 4th. Luke Voit followed with a two-run blast in the 5th. The Devils started trotting out big reliever, but Beefer Will Myers wasn’t impressed, hitting a solo homer in the 9th made the game 6-5. Jeff McNeil followed with a double. Bo Bichette, in to pinch run, then scored the tying run on a single from Brandon Nimmo. The Devil offense went cold in the extra innings but Devon Williams was able to put down Beefer attempts to score, until the bottom of the 12th. With two out, Ramirez got a single off the grade 30*Williams (out numbers 12 and 35 are singles with the bases empty) . Ramirez then raced home as Harper hit a game-winning double.
Devils 6-8-0 L- Devin Williams (0-1) HR- Bellinger (1), Swanson (1).
Beefers 7-13-2 W- Diego Castillo HR- Voit (1), Ramirez (1), Harper (1), Myers (1).
Game 2 Devils 6, Beefers 5
The visiting Devils scored an unearned run in the second when Swanson doubled home Austin Nola and then added another unearned run in the 5th. Up 2-0, the Tazzies plated two more in the 6th, one run coming on a Mookie Betts double, the first of his three doubles on the game. Betts then scored on a Starling Marte single. The bottom of the 7th saw the Beefers come alive. Voit hit another two-run homer. Harper then singled and scored on a Myers pinch hit single. Brandon Lowe later hit a pinch hit double, bringing home a pair of runs. Up 5-4, the Beefer pen was tasked with holding the lead. The Devils however got three hits and a hit batter in the 8th to tie the game 5-5 in the 9th when Betts and Donovan Solano hit back to back doubles. Devil closer Liam Hendricks closed out the 9th to even up the series.
Devils 6-13-1 W- Darren O’Day (1-0) SV- Liam Hendricks (1).
Beefers 5-6-2 L- Raisel Iglesias 0-1. HR- Voit (2).
Game 3 Devils 6, Beefers 3 (13 innings)
This game took 13 innings to complete, with a combined total of ten relievers used in the game after starters Zach Davies for the Devils and Dinelson Lamet for the Beefs both went six-plus innings. Nimmo got the Beefy boys on the board in the bottom of the first when he tripled and scored on a fielder’s choice. Harper then would put the Beefs up 2-0 with a solo shot in the 4th. The Tazmen tied the game in the 8th when Michael Brantley singled home Swanson and Bellinger scored on a fielder’s choice. The bottom of the 8th saw the Beefs regain the lead when Ramirez singled, stole second, and scored on a Harper double. The top of the 9th saw the Devils steal two of their six bases on the game with the tying run coming on a Nola single. The game meandered into the 13th with neither team mounting much of a threat. But the top of the 13th saw Devils C J.T. Realmuto hit a two-run homer, followed by surprising Dansby Swanson, who followed with a solo homer. Devils reliever A.J. Mintor, who had entered the game in the previous inning, got the final three outs for the win.
Devils 6-9-2 W- A.J. Mintor (1-0) HR- Realmuto (1), Swanson (2).
Beefers 3-9-1 L- Diego Castillo (1-1) HR- Bryce Harper (2).
Game 4 Devils 8, Beefers 1
The visiting Devils first three batters of the game all scored off Beefer starter Kyle Hendricks to give the Tazzies a 3-0 lead with Brantley, Betts, and Bellinger all driving in base runners. Realmuto increased the lead to 4-0 with a homer in the 6th. Devils starter Merrill Kelly was strong, tossing six shutout innings, but in the 7th, with one out, he gave up three hits, with a run being scored on D.J. LeMahieu single. Light-hitting Devils IFJon Berti then hit a wind-added tw- run round-tripper in the 8th, off Beef reliever Yusmeiro Petit. The Devils plated two more in the 9th as the visitors won game four and the series.
Devils 8-13-1 W-Merrill Kelly (1-0) HR- Jon Berti (1), J.t.Realmuto (2)
Beefers 1-9-0 L- Kyle Hendricks (0-1).