Otters sweep Tsunamis to take over second half lead; Furries to face Whats in final series (Dec. 1)

Jonathan Stillwell’s Otters (22-16) Otters continued their remarkable second half resurgence Thurs., Dec. 1, knocking Craig Dolan’s Tsunamis (19-19) out of the second half pennant race on Weds., Nov. 30, with a sweep of the Otters home-and-away series against the Asians. The Otters,riding the crest of a surge that began in the middle of the second half, have an outstanding chance to win the second half race in in their home-and-away series against the Whatevers, their final two games of the season.

Game 1  Otters 4, Tsunamis 3 (played at Otters)

Michael Pineda, Tsunamis v Chris Flexen, Otters.

The scoring started in the top of the 3rd inning when Giovanny Soto hit a solo HR. The Otters answered back in the 4th with HRs from Seager and Tucker. In the 7th, Brett Phillips singled, stole 2nd and moved to third on a passed ball. He then scored on a grounder to short, tying the game at 2-2. Neither team could add any runs in regulation. In the top of the 10th inning, Nolan Arenado homered to give the Tsunamis the lead. But in the bottom of the inning after singles from Mullins and Seager put runners on 1st and 3rd, two walks forced in a run to tie the game. With nobody out, Robert singled home the winning run. Otters winning, 4-3.

Tsu      3-10-1   LP Craig Kimbrel. HR Juan Soto, Nolan Arenado. 

Otters  4-9-1     WP J.P. Chargois. HR Corey Seager, Kyle Tucker.

Game 2  Otters 4, Tsunamis 3 (played at Tsunamis)

Jose Berrios, Otters v. Robbie Ray, Tsunamis.

Both teams were scoreless until the bottom of the 5th inning, when Sal Perez homered to make it 1-0. In the next at bats, Otter’s Ketel Marte singled and Robert homered to give the visitors a lead, 2-1. Both teams scored in the 7th, making it 3-2, Otters. But in the bottom of the 9th Sal Perez homered to tie the game and send it to extras. Then Otter’s short-stop Seager singled and came home on a Ronald Acuna double. The Asians went down in order in their half-inning to seal the win for the Otters, 4-3

Otters     4-8-0  WP J.P. Chargois. SV Dylan Floro. HR Luis Robert.

Tsu       3-5-0    LP  Jarlin Garcia. HR Salvador Perez 2 HRs.

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Otters move into lead with split home-and-away series. Whats left needing to sweep Asians to tie for lead (Nov. 30)

In a critical series for the second half title, Jonathan Stilwell’s Otters and Walt Taylor’s Whatevers split their home-and-away series with the home team winning at both ends. The split put the Otters, into h a commanding position, with a 23-17 record for the second half and the Whatevers a 21-17 with two games left, their home-and-away series with the Tsunamis.

Game 1  Otters 9, Whatevers 4 played at Whatevers

Jose Berrios, Otters v Lucas Giolito, Whatevers.

The Otters scored in the first on an RBI double by Corey Seager. The Whats countered with two in the second on RBI doubles by George Springer and Whit Merrifield. In the bottom half of the second, an RBI triple by Jake Cronenworth was followed by a two-run homer by Yasmani Grandal make it 4-2 in favor of the Otters. 

The Whats  tied it in the fourth on a two-run homer by Springer. Grandal broke the tie in the sixth with his second homer, a solo shot off Adam Cimber, to again give the Otters the lead. The Otters blew the game wide open in the seventh on an RBI single by Lourdes Gurriel, a fielding error by Ryan Tepera, and two run triple by Cedric Mullins. Richard Rodriguez picked up the win for the Otters and Adam Cimber took the loss for the Whats.

What    4-6-1      LP-Adam Cimber 5-2. HR: George Springer #10

Otters   9-12-2   WP-Richard Rodriguez. HR: Grandal 2 HRs.

Game 2  Whatevers 4, Otters 3 played at Otters

Alek Manoah, Whatevers, v. Luis Garcia, Otters.

Scoreless thru two innings, the Whats got their first run via an RBI groundout by Shohei Ohtani. The Otters tied the game at 1-1 without a hit in the fourth with the help of two walks, a hit batter, and a SF by Trea Turner. Solo homers by Cedric Mullins and Mike Trout in the fifth put the Otters ahead 3-1. The Whats got a two-run homer by Vlad Guerrero, Jr., followed by a solo shot by Joey Votto off Andrew Chafin to take the lead 4-3. The Whatevers’ bullpen shut down the Otters the rest of the way with Emmanual Clase getting the last four outs for his thirteenth save

Otters  3-5-1     LP- Andrew Chafin. HR Cedric Mullins, Mike Trout.

Whats  4-5-0    WP- Alek Monoah 5-1. Sv Clase #13. HR. Vlad Guerrero #19, Joey Votto #20.

Who will win the OAPBA second half?

With only a handful of games left in the second half, the Otters, Whatevers, and Tsunamis all have a shot of winning the second half title to face the Taz Devils in the 2022 OAPBA World Series.

Here’s a quick rundown on the records of all three franchises in championship situations:

Jonathan Stillwell’s Otters joined the league in 2011. Under Stilwell, the Otters have won  three championships (2015, 2018, 2020) and were swept by the Beefers in the 2014 series

Walt Taylor’s Whatevers franchise has won five championships, three of them under Walt’s guidance. In 2006 and 2007, Walt guided the Whats over the Gashouse Gang 4-1 and Platoon II 4-3 to win back-to-back championships.The Whats then lost three World Series appearances against the Platoon II in 2008, 2011, and 2014. They won their most recent championship in 2016, winning both halves.

Craig Dolan’s Tsunamis have appeared in the OAPBA World Series in the past two seasons, but have come up empty in both appearances. The Asians lost to the Otters in seven games in 2020 (the famous Byron Buxton miscue Series) and lost to the Beefs in five games in 2021. The Tsunami franchise also appeared in the 2004 Series as the Road Warriors, under Marc Bostrom, losing to the Taz Devils in six games.