Asians clinch second half with split with Beefers; It’s the Tsunamis and Beefs in the 2021 OAPBA World Series

Craig Dolan’s The Tsunamis, in need of a split against the Beefers to clinch the 2021 second half title, did exactly what they needed to do and buried Rod Caborn’s Beefers 11-5 in the opener of their home-and-away series to clinch the second half title and return to the OAPBA World Series for the second straight season. 

The Beefers won the final game of the season for both teams by an 11-8 margin, but it was too little and too late. 

The Tsunamis and Beefers will meet for the first time in World Series play some time in the next 10 days  to decide the 2021 OAPBA champion. The Tsunamis lost the 2020 World Series in seven games and will be thirsting to put the 2020 loss behind them. The Beefers

 The Tsunami split with the Beefs gave them an 11-9 head-to-head record against the Bovines, which gives home field advantage to the Tsunamis.

 Game 1 Tsunamis 10, Beefers 5 (at Tsunamis)

 The Tsunamis wasted no time getting to Beefer starter Mike Clevinger and poured it on in Game One with a 10-5 win.

 In the first, after an error by Clevinger put Tim Lacastro on base,Alex Bohm, traded to the Asians at mid-season, slammed a 2R HR i to give the Tsunamis an early 2-0 lead. Jesse Winker homered for the Asians in the second to make it 3-0 and then, in the third inning, the roof totally caved in for Clevinger, who made another error and wound up giving up three runs, followed by Tony Watson, who surrendered another run before Jesse Winker was thrown out at home by Bryce Harper to end four-run inning which put the Tsunamis in front by a 7-0 score, which they increased to 8-0 in the fourth on an RBI double by Eric Hosme

The Beefs battled back a pair of runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh to make it 8-5 in favor of the Asians, but in the eighth, with the tying runs on base and two out, Asians reliever Ryan Pressley fanned Fernando Tatis to end the threat. Jesse Winker hit his second HR of the game in the bottom of the eighth and Pressley retired the Beefs in order in the ninth to earn a three-inning save….and start the Tsunami celebration.

 Beefers    5-7-2      L-Mike Clevinger 4-5.

Tsunamis 10-12-2  W-Max Fried. Sv Ryan Pressley. HR Alec Bohm, Jesse Winker 2 HRs.

 Game 2  Beefers 11, Tsunamis 8 (at Beefers)

The action moved to the Beefer Bowl before a disappointed full house, but the Beefers cheered up the hometown fans with a rousing 11-8 victory that saw both teams combine for 30 hits and the Tsunamis pile up nine extra-base hits.

Bryce Harper hit a leadoff HR for the Beefs in the first, but the Tsunamis answered back in the next inning with a 2R HR by Byron Buxton. The Beefs then jumped on Asians starter Marco Gonzales for five runs in the third, including  a 3R HR by Fernando Tatis, to go up 6-2. The Beefs put up two more runs in the fourth, but the Tsunamis weren’t yet done, driving Beef starter Dinelson Lamet from the mound in the sixth with five straight hits, climaxed by back-to-back HRs by Mike Yastrzemski and Jesse Winker to cut the Beefer lead to 8-7. In the bottom of the eighth, Beef 2b D.J. LeMahieu hit a 2R HR to give the Beefs some breathing room with a 10-7 lead and in the 8th, Harper hit a second HR to finish the scoring at 11-8.

Tsunamis   8-12-0    L- Marco Gonzales. HR Byron Buxton, Yastrzemski, Jessie Winker (back-to-back).

Beefers      11-18-0 W- Dinelson Lamet. HR Bryce Harper 2 HR, 22-23, Fernando Tatis 25, LeMahieu 7.

Tsunamis clinch tie for second half title: sweep Devils

Craig Dolan’s Tsunamis clinched a tie for OAPBA’s second half title with a home-and-away sweep of Dave Larson’s Taz Devils. The Tsunamis took the lead in both games and their weary bullpen was strong enough to hold off the Devils, who threatened a come-from-behind win in Game 1 and came close in Game 2. The Tsunamis series win puts them within one game of winning the second half title outright and advancing to the World Series for the second year in a row.

Game 1 Tsunamis 5, Taz Devils 4 (at Tsunamis)

The visiting Tsunamis got an RBI triple from the second batter in the first. Starling Marte brought home Raimel Tapia but was gunned down trying to stretch the hit into an inside the park home run. The score at 1-0 into the fifth when the homies plated three runs. The Tsunamis got RBIs from Tucker Barnhardt, Tim LoCastro, and Donovan Solano. The bottom of the seventh saw the Wave score twice more on hits from Solano and Alex Bohm. With the lead at 5-1, the home squad’s bullpen was as taxed as that of the visitors. The top of the 9th saw Matt Chapman single home a run. He would score on a pinch-hit homer from Anthony Rizzo. With two outs, Cody Bellinger doubled but was stranded as Evan Marshall relieved blowout pitcher, Ryan Presley.

Devils       4-11-0    L- Zach Davies (3-5)  HR- Rizzo (3).

Tsunamis 5-7-0    W- Fried  SV- Marshall.

Game 2 Tsunamis 4, Taz Devils 3 (at Taz Devils)

Each team got solo homers in the second, Byron Buxton for the Tsunamis and Aaron Judge for the Tazzies. Bohm blasted a two run jack the following inning for a 3-1 lead. Xander Bogaerts cut the lead to one with a solo homer in the sixth. The home squad tied the game in the 7th when a Chapman sac fly brought Rizzo home. The Asians retook the lead in the top of the 8th when Trevor Story singled home pinch runner Roman Quinn. Down 4-3, the Devils put men at first and second in the bottom of the 9th. The game ended on a rare 1-5-3 double play off the bat of Austin Nola.

Tsunamis  4-10-0  W- Marco Gonzales.  SV- Michael Pineda. HR- Alec Bohm, Byron Buxton.

Devils         3-6-2     L- Blake Snell (2-3).  HR- Judge (9), Bogaerts (13).

Otters sweep home-and-away v. Whatevers; both teams finish with identical 19-21 records for second half.

The Otters and Whats closed out their 2021 season, facing off in a home and away series. Both teams were eliminated from contention for the second half lead after a split with the Beefers had left the Whats at 19-19. The Otters were earlier knocked out of the race after suffering a four-game sweep by the Whats.

The Otters sweep gave them a 19-21 record for the second half with the Whatevers also posting an identical 19-21 second half record. For the season, the Otters finished with a 38-42 record and the Whats ended up 34-46.

Game 1 Otters 9, Whatevers (at Otters)

Lucas Giolito vs Aaron Nola. The Whats jumped out to an early lead with a three-run HR from Whit Merrifield in the 2nd inning. Walks and doubles led to two more single runs over the 3rd and 4th. The Otters tried to keep up when Corey Seager hit a solo HR in the 2nd and Mike Trout a two run HR in the 3rd. Two doubles from pinch-hitting Charlie Blackmon and Miguel Rojas gave the Whats a 6-3 lead. When a walk, two singles and a sacrifice fly (along with some good base running) gave the visitors two more runs, the game seemed put away. 

In the bottom of the 7th, however, the Otters rallied for three runs capped by a two out bases-loaded hit by Trea Turner. Whats up 8-6. In the  eighth Inning, Otters RF Ronald Acuna tied it up with a two-run HR. In the bottom of the 9th with the score knotted at 8-8, Trout singled and, one out later, scored on another Turner single to give the Otters an unlikely come-from-behind win.

Whats   8-10-3   L-Pierce Johnson. HR Whit Merrifield.

Otters    9-9-0   W-Nick Anderson. HR Corey Seager (19), Trout (13), Acuna (18).

Game 2  Otters 7, Whatevers 2 (at Whatevers)

The scene shifted to the east side of I-4 with the Otters at Whoville. Both teams scored a run in the first on walks plus doubles – Freeman for the Otters, Peralta for the Whats. The starting pitchers, Yu Darvish for the Otters and Brandon Woodruff, then settled down – score still 1-1 until the 5th. In the top of the 5th Otter LF Chris Taylor launched a solo blast to give the Otters a one-run lead and then, in the seventh,  Taylor started an Otter rally with a triple. The next five batters reached base, capped by a Freddie Freeman hit. Otters up 6-1. Travis d’Arnaud sent a fly over the wall to say bye to Darvish, but the Otter bullpen was able to squelch further rally efforts from the Whats. Chris Taylor was 4-5, with a HR and two triples. Freeman was 3-5 with 3 RBIs.

Otters     7-12-1 HR WP- Yu Darvish.Chris Taylor (4).

Whats     2-6-0. LP -Brandon Woodruff. HR Travis d’Arnaud.

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.