Whats and Tsunamis split; knock one another out of the first half race

In a battle of the bottom two teams in the first half race, the Tsunamis and Whatevers split their four-game series at Ponte Vedra Beach on Sunday, June 19. The split ended any chance for either team in the first half race. The Tsunamis are now 17-19, but still have an outside chance to finish at .500 while the Whatevers fell to 11-19 for the first half.

The big story in the series occurred in Game Two, when the Tsunamis blasted six home runs in an 11-3 win, the fifth time in the first half that the power-hitting Tsunamis have totaled 10 or more runs in a game.

Game 1  Whatevers 7, Tsunamis 3

The Whats scored three in the first and Dakota Hudson hurled seven shutout innings to take this one 7-3. In the first, Marcel Ozuna drives in one with a single and Whit Merrifield knocks ina pair with a single for the early 3-0 lead. The Tsunami’s couldn’t touch Hudson who allowed a walk in the fourth and a base hit in the sixth. In the eighth, knocked down doubles by Ozuna and Grisham make it 4-0 and later in the inning a bases clearing triple by Francisco Lindor made it 7-0. The Tsu finally scored in the bottom half on a rbi singles by Tim Anderson and James McCann. Juan Soto would add a SF to finish the scoring.

Whats   7-8-0   W- Dakota Hudson.

Tsu       3-4-1     L- Kim.

Game 2 Tsunamis 11, Whatevers 3

The Tsunami bats woke up in this one, pounding Walker Buehler for four homers, while cruising to a 11-3 victory. Tsunami C Tucker Barnhart went deep twice and Corey Dickerson and Edwin Rios as well. Later in the game, Eric Hosmer and Trevor Story added solo shots. Altogether the Tsunamis totaled six round-trippers in the game.

Tsu starter Corbin Burnes was the beneficiary of all the offense going 6-plus innings to earn the win. What 1b Dominic Smith tripled in a run in the fourth and Francisco Lindor hit a two-run double in ninth for the Whats.

Whats    3-5-0     L-Walker Buehler.

Tsu      11-16-2   W-Corbin Burnes HR Tucker Barnhart 2 HR, Eric Hosmer, Edwin Rios, Alex Dickerson, Trevor Story.

Game 3  Whatevers 5, Tsunamis 0

Whatever starter Brandon Woodruff combined three relievers to toss a four-hit shutout as the Whatevers win 5-0. David Peralta drove in Marcel Ozuna in the fourth with a single off Trevor Bauer for a 1-0 lead. The Whats broke open the game in the eighth off Trevor Bauer with a RBI double by David Fletcher, a pair of SF’s by Ozuna and David Peralta, and a RBI double by Miguel Rojas. Woodruff went five innings and was followed by James Hoyt, Brad Hand, and Adam Kolarak to complete the shutout.

Whats   5-8-0  W-Brandon Woodruff.

Tsu       0-4-0  L- Trevor Bauer.

Game 4  Tsunamis w, Whatevers 1

Ian Anderson and Zach Wheeler hooked up in the finale, with hits were hard to come by in this one. The Whats scored in the fourth on a pair of doubles by Ozuna and Merrifield but the lead was short-lived as the Tsu scored in the fifth on a single by Trevor Story and a fielder’s choice by Juan Soto to make it 2-1. Neither team could get anything going after the fifth and Tsunami closer Edwin Diaz got the last out in the ninth for the save.

Whats    1-3-2   L-Zach Wheeler.

Tsu        2-5-0   W-Ian Anderson. Sv Edwin Diaz.

Tsunamis shock Otters; take three of four to get close to .500

On Wednesday, June 16, in a rematch of 2020’s epic seven-game World Series battle, Craig Dolan’s Tsunamis took three of four from Jonathan Stilwell’s Otters. Both teams have struggled in 2021 and are situated on the perimeter of first 1st half championship needing a strong stretch run to be in contention.

The Tsunamis improved their record to 17-17, but will be an also-ran unless they can run the table the remainder of the first half. The Tsunamis have six games remaining vs. the Whatevers and 2 more vs. the Otters. They are a mediocre 5-5 vs. the Beefers and the Taz Devils; 4-4 vs. the Otters and 1-3 vs. the Whatevers.

The series loss dealt a serious blow to Jonathan Stillwell’s team, who fell to 15-15 and will likely have to win seven or eight of their 10 remaining games to capture the first half championship.

Game 1 Tsunamis 4, Otters 2

Tsunamis 2b Luis Guillorme hit a 2-run HR in the 2nd to give the Asians a 2-0 lead. The Otters Ryan Hoskins singled home Ketel Marte in the fourth to make it 2-1, but in a key situation Anthony Rendon was thrown out at the plate. Tsunamis CF Byron Buxton followed in the bottom of the four with a solo HR to make it 3-1 in favor of the Asians. Rendon and Trevor Story each hit solo HR’s in the sixth to end the scoring at 4-2 Tsunamis. Tsunamis starter Marco Gonzales got the win over Aaron Nola and closer Brandon Kintzler was perfect for the save.

Game 2 Tsunamis 11, Otters 9

This game was a wild one much more like a typical Otters/Asian Tsunamis battle than game one. The Tsunamis scored 5 runs in the second inning field by a Mike Yaz HR downgrading staff ace Yu Darvish. They added 2 more runs in the 4th to make it 7-1 Asians. But once again the Tsunamis would blow a huge lead to the Otters. As Hoskins and Trea Turner hit HR’s the Otters exploded for 5 runs in the 6th and three more in the 7th to take a 9-7 lead. But this time the Tsunamis did not fold and added HR’s by Trevor Story and a 3-run HR by Max Muncy in the 8th to give the Tsunamis the 11-9 win. Kintzler got the save for the second straight contest.

Game 3 Tsunamis 6, Otters 1 

The Tsunamis again took command early with four runs in the first to cruise to a Trevor Bauer 6-1 win over Luis Castillo. Evan Marshall came on for three batters in the 9th after Bauer ran out of batters.

Game 4 Otters 8, Tsunamis 1

This game proved to have the biggest impact on the first half.standings  Both teams were in a must win situation to get back to .500. Unfortunately for Tsunami fans a sweep was not in the cards. The Asians had nothing left and the Otter bats woke up with three HR’s to give the Otters and Jacob Degrom an 8-1 win to keep them alive with a 15-15 record.

Luke Voit leads Beefs to home-and-away series sweep over Whatevers, June 17

Rod Caborn’s Beefers (22-16) took both ends of their home-and-away series with the Whatevers on Thursday afternoon, June 17, to move into the OAPBA first-half lead by one game. The Whats fell to 9-17 and will have to battle to avoid a cellar finish in the first half. The win moved the Beefs into the OAPBA first half lead by one game over Dave Larson’s Taz Devils (20-16) and two games over Jonathan Stilwell’s Otter (14-12)

The opener, at Whoville, was a classic, with the Beefers winning a 6-5 11-inning affair on a HR by Luke Voit after the Whatevers staged a memorable come-from-behind rally to tie the game late. The second game, at the Beefer Bowl, was over early, highlighted by a grand-slam HR by Voit.

Game 1 Beefers 6, Whatevers 5 2 11-innings (at Whatevers)

 The Beefs prevailed 6-5 on an 11th inning HR by Luke Voit after the Whatevers tied the game in the ninth on a dramatic pinch-hit HR by Austin Slater.

Beefer starter Antonio Sanzatela, who entered the game with an 8.35 ERA, threw five scoreless innings while the Beefs built up a 4-1 lead on a two-run double by Jose Ramirez and RBI singles by D.J. LeMahieu and Fernando Tatis. Once the Beefer bullpen took over, the Whatevers came to life with Marcelle Ozuna blasting a three-run HR to tie the game at four apiece.

 The Beefs went ahead 5-4 on an RBI double by Ramirez, who has terrorized the Whats in 2021, in the eighth. However, with only one out to go in the bottom of the ninth, Beefer reliever Richard Bleir gave up a game-tying pinch-hit to Austin Slater to make it 5-5 and send the game into extra innings. Voit’s game winning HR in the 11th came off What reliever Lucas Sims.

Beef    6-10-1   W- Rafael Iglesias 1-1. HR Luke Voit 14, Fernando Tatis 8.

Whats   5-13-0   L- Lucas Sims. HR Austin Slater, Marcelle Ozuna

Game 2  Beefers 6, Otters 3 (at Beefers)

For the second straight game, Beefer DH Luke Voit was the difference, slamming a grand-slam HR in the first inning off What starter Tony Gonsolin to lift the Beefers to a 5-0 first inning lead that proved insurmountable.

Bovine righty Kyle Hendricks threw six scoreless innings before givingup back-to-back HRs by Marcelle Ozuna and Dominic Smith in the seventh to cut the Beef lead to 6-3. Hendricks survived the onslaught however and wound up going eight innings before giving way to Diego Castillo, who notched the final three outs for the save.

Whats 5-13-0  L- Tony Gonsolin. HR Marcelle Ozuna, Dominic Smith (back-to-back HRs).

Beef   5-7-0   W- Kyle Hendricks 5-3. Sv Diego Castillo 6. HR Luke Voit 14 (grand slam).

Beefs sweep home-and-away with Otters; move into tie for first half lead with Devils

Rod Caborn’s Beefers (20-16), with no margin for more losses, took both ends of their home-and-away series against the Otters (14-12) on Monday evening, June 15, to drop the Otters out of first and lift the Beefs into a tie for the league lead. 

The Beefers homered their way to victory in both games, scoring all four of their runs off homers in a 4-2 home win and won the second game, at the Otters Frank Selee Field, on the strength of a seventh-inning HR by D.J. LeMahieu.

Both games were tight affairs with the Beefers surviving a late-inning surge by the Otters in the first game and leaning on their bullpen to hold off the Otters in Game Two.

Game 1 Beefers 4, Otters 2 (at Beefers)

The Otters Ronald Acuña opened the game with bang, hitting a leadoff HR for the Otters, but Beefer RF Bryce Harper answered, in the bottom of the first, with a leadoff HR. 

The Beefs grabbed a 3-1 lead when Beefer C Christian Vazquez hit his first HR of the year, off Otters starter, Jacob deGrom and Fernando Tatis hit deGrom for a solo shot in the third to increase the Beefer lead to 4-1. 

The Otters made it tough, however, scoring on a bases-loaded HBP in the top of the ninth, but left the bases loaded as the Beefs emptied their bullpen in a determined effort to hold on to the lead. Beefer reliever Stefan Crichton, the fourth pitcher in the ninth, recorded the final out to preserve a 4-2 Beefer lead.

Shane Beiber went seven innings for the Beefs for the win, allowing only two hits and a single run, striking out nine.

Otters 2-3-0   L- Jacob deGrom. HR Ronald Acuña.

Beef   4-7-2   W- Shane Bieber 5-1. SV Stefan Crichton. HR Bryce Harper 6, Fernando Tatis 5, Christian Vazquez 1

Game 2  Beefers 5, Otters 4 (at Otters)

Beefer starter Danielson Lamet started out like a house on fire, striking out six Otters in the first seven batters he faced. The Beef offense, meanwhile pushed over two runs off Otters starter Zac Gallen in the first three innings on an RBI double and an RBI single by D.J. LeMahieu.

Down 2-0, the Otters scored on an RBI single by Beefer nemisis Freddie Freeman and an RBI double by Acuña to make it 2-2 after five innings. The Beefs, however, took a 4-2 in the sixth on a two-run HR by Luke Voit and made it 5-2 in the top of the seventh when LeMahieu homered off Richard Rodriquez.

The Otters were not finished, however, and fought back with a two-HR by Chris Taylor in the seventh to close the gap to 5-4. Taking no chances, the Beefers once again emptied the bullpen, using four pitchers in the final two innings to hold on for the win.

Beef   5-7-0   W- Dinelson Lamet 2-2. SV Diego Castillo 5. HR D.J. LeMahieu 3, Luke Voit 13.

Otters 4-9-1    L- Zac Gallen. HR Chris Taylor.

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. 

OAPBA 2021 First half Standings thru June 21

Taz Devils 1915.5591
(thru Monday, June 21)

Rod Caborn’s Beefers (22-16) continue to hang on to an uneasy first half lead with Dave Larson’s Taz Devils (19-15) only a game behind. After dropping three of four to the Tsunamis, Jonathan Stilwell’s Otters (15-15) have fallen three games behind with 10 games remaining.

The Beefs two-game sweep of their home-and away series against the Whatevers on Thurs., June 17, moved them into the lead, but the Bovines are nowhere close to a certainty to win the first half. The Beefers have only two games left in the first half, a home-and-away series with the Taz Devils in a series that potential could decide the first half title

The Tazzie have six games left. In addition to the Beefers, the Tazzies have home-and-away series with the Otters and the Whatevers.

After their surprising series loss at the hands of the Tsunamis, the Otters will likely need to win seven of their remaining 10 games to have a shot at the first half title. Still on the schedule for the Otters are a four-game home series vs. the Whatevers and three home-and-away series (Devils, Whatevers, and Tsunamis).

The Tsunamis are down to their final four games in the first half and are now out of the first half race. Left to play are two home-and-away series, one each with the Otters and the Whatevers.

Walt Taylor’s slumping Whatevers (11-17) may be out of the race, but will play a significant role in deciding who will prevail in the first half. The Whats have one four-game series remaining and will face the Otters in Altmonte Springs Frank Selee Field. The Whats also have three home-and-away series left to play, including four games against two of the front-runner. (Devils, Otters, Tsunamis).