Otters seize league lead; take three from Tsunamis.

Jonathan Stilwell’s defending champion Otters took three of four from Craig Dolan’s fadingTsunamis on Tuesday, May 4. The series win propelled the Otters into the league lead, by percenteage points, over Dave Larson’s Taz Devils (14-12) while the Tsunamis fell three games behind the league leaders. The series was played via Facetime.

Both teams notched big innings in the series. The Asians out-homered the Otters 8-5, but committed eight errors over the first two games to open the doors for more Otter runs. There were three passed balls in the series as well.

Game 1  Otters 8, Tsunamis 2

Marco Gonzales v. Zac Gallen. Trea Turner led off the home half of the 1st inning with a solo HR. But Gonzalez’ ZZ rating gave the Otters fits trying to mount any rallies. Meanwhile Gallen was holding the visitors at bay, allowing only 3 hits over 8 innings of shutout work. With the score 1-0, The home 8th opened with an error. Then five hits and three walks later the Otters had scored seven runs. The rally was capped off by a homer from Rendon and a bases loaded triple from Yasmani Grandal. The Tsunamis spoiled the shutout with a homer from star left fielder Juan Soto.

Tsunamis   2 -4-5    L- Marco Gonzales. HR Juan Soto. 

Otters        8-10-1  W- Zac Gallen. HR Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon.

Game 2  Otters 6, Tsunamis 2

Fried vs Nola. The game was scoreless through 4 innings. Then the Asians struck first when Alex Dickerson homered in the top of the fifth. The home Otters struck back for five runs in the bottom half of the inning. Grandal laced another triple to drive in two, and Cory Seager contributed a two rbi double. Both teams added another run to make it 6-2, in favor of the Otters. 

Tsunamis    2-5-3  L- Max Fried. HR Tucker Barnhardt, Alex Dickerson.

Otters         6 -7-0  W- Aaron Nola. 

Game 3  Tsunamis  8, Otters 4

Bauer vs Darvish. A match up of aces. The Otters took an early lead with a homer from Ronald Acuna. Through 6 innings Darvish was nursing a 3-1 lead. But in the 7th the Asians began an unrelenting assault. Before he left the game, Darvish surrendered a homer to Rios. Then the Tsunamis tied the score 3-3 after 7. In the 8th Buxton added a three run homer. In the 9th Yastrzemski launched another Tsunami homer – the fourth of the game. The barrage of power left the visiting Tsunamis up 8-4.

Tsunamis  8 -7-1  W-Trevor Bauer. HR Trevor Story, Brian Buxton, Mike Yazstremski.

Otters         4 -9-1  L- Victor Gonzalez. HR Ronald Acuña.

Game 4  Otters 9, Tsunamis 7

Kim vs Castillo. With the score tied 2-2 the Tsunamis scored four in the top of the 5th led by a homer from Rios. Then they added another run in the 6th. score 7-2. In the bottom of the inning Freeman homered to get one run back. Bottom 7th, the Otters started started a rally when kim left the game – two double and three walks had loaded the bases. A three run homer from Acuna capped off the six run rally – Otters up 9-7.Nick Anderson came in for the save. The Otters had 9 walks in the game.

Tsunamis   7-11-1  L – Jarlin Garcia. HR Edwin Rios (9).

Otters        9-7-0    W- Richard Rodriguez. SV Nick Anderson. HR Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuña.

Tsunamis power surge gives them four wins in six games against Beefers

Craig Dolan’s Tsunamis turned on the jets Friday morning, pounding out 14 homers in the first three  games while taking three of four at the Beefer Bowl, and then splitting with the Beefers in a home and away two-game series. The four wins improved the Tsunamis record to 11-13 while evening out the Beefers at 13-13.

The Tsunamis were on fire in the first three games of the four-game set, hitting .287 with a .424 OBP, while outscoring the Beefs 38-10. The Asians totaled double figures in runs score in each of the first three games, led by Edwin Rios, who pounded three homers in Game Two. Only a superb effort by Beefer righty Zach Plesac, who threw eight scoreless innings while recording a combined shutout win in the finale, kept the Tsunamis from a sweep.

Both teams split the home and away series with the Tsunamis pushing over a ninth inning run to take the opener 8-7 and the Beefers outlasting the Asians 6-4 in Game Two.

Game 1  Tsunamis 11, Beefers 1

An error by Beefer 2b D.J. LeMahieu, followed by three straight walks by Beef starter Mike Clevinger opened the door for three runs in the third. A two-run HR by Tsu SS Trevor Story upped the lead to 6-0 in the fifth. After a Tucker Barnhardt HR in the sixth, the Tsunanis added four more in the seventh to make it a complete rout, winning 11-1. Tsu starter Marco Gonzales went eight innings, giving up only six hits and a single run for the win.

Tsu    11-10-0  W- Gonzales 2-1. HR Trevor Story, Trucker Barnhardt.

Beef    1-6-2     L- Mike Clevinger 2-2.

Game 2  Tsunamis 12, Beefers 5

The Tsunamis got to Beefer starter Antonio Senzatela early with Alex Dickerson homering in the second and Tim LoCastro hitting a two-run shot in the third. The Beefs took a 5-4 lead in the fifth, but then the roof caved in. Juan Soto homered in the sixth to tie the game at six and then slugged a three-run homer in the seventh to make it 8-5. In the eighth, Alex Dickerson homered for the second time in the game, giving the Tsunamis 9-5 lead. The Asians added three more in the ninth to complete the blowout win.

Tsu    12-12-0  W- Jarlin Garcia. HR Juan Soto 2 HR, Alex Dickerson 2 HR, Tim LoCastro. 

Beef    5-8-0     L- Antonio Senzatela 0-2. HR Jose Ramirez 5, A.J. Pollock 3, Brendan Lowe 1.

Game 3  Tsunamis 15, Beefers 4

Just when the Beefs thought things couldn’t get any worse, they got worse. Tsu 3b Edwin Rios went on a tear, going 4-5 with three solo home runs and an RBI double while Asians CF Byron Buxton hit a pair of two-run HRs as the Tsunamis ran away with a 15-4 laugher. Adding to the HR derby Juan Soto hit a solo shot, giving the Asians six roundtrippers on the day. The beneficiary of the Asians HR explosion was Corbin Burnes, who went six-plus innings, allowing only three hits and a pair of runs, 

Tsu    15-13-2  W- Corbin Burnes. HR Edwin Rios 3 HR, Byron Buxton 2 HR, Juan Soto.

Beef     4-5-2     L- Dinelson Lamet 0-2. Alex Bohm 1, Luke Voit 8.

Game 4  Beefers 6, Tsunamis 0

Beefer Zach Plesac finally slowed the Tsunamis, going eight innings, allowing seven hits, all singles, to salvage Game Four and avoid a Tsunami sweep. Jeff McNeil, with a two-run double, Brandon Nimmo, with a two-run triple, and Luke Voit, with a two-run HR, accounted for the six Beefer tallies.

Tsu      0-7-1    L- Ian Anderson.

Beef     6-6-0   W- Zach Plesac 1-0. 

Home and Away series

Game 1   Tsunamis 8, Beefers 7

In a wild back-and forth game, the Tsunamis Edwin Rios connected for two more home runs, but it was a meek groundball out by Rios in the ninth that scored the winning run as the Asians edged the Bovines 8-7. Rios and Eugenio Suarez both homered in the second to put the Asians up 3-0, but the Beefers came back to take a 4-3 lead in the fourth on a bases-loaded triple by Will Myers. The lead changed hands two more times until the ninth, with Rios hitting a three-run HR in the seventh and Beefer slugger Luke Voit hitting a two-run blast in the eighth to tie the game at eight apiece. In the ninth, Tsunami reliever Evan Marshall walked D.J. LeMahieu with two out, but retired Bryce Harper to earn the save.

Tsu    8-8-0    W- Eric Yardley. HR Edwin Rio 2 HR, Mike Yazstremski. 

Beef   7-10-2   L- Diego Castillo 1-3. HR A.J. Pollock 4, Luke Voit 9 

Game 2   Beefers 6, Tsunamis 4

The Beefers, on the road for the finale, won 6-4, overcoming an early three-run deficit with four runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth. Juan Soto put the Asians ahead 3-0 with a bases-loaded trip in the third, but the Asians were able to score only one more run, in the ninth, a solo shot by Alex Dickerson. 

For the Beefs, all their runs resulted from HRs, including a three-run HR by Fernando Tatis a two-run HR by Will Myers and a solo HR by A.J. Pollock. Kyle Hendricks went six innings for the Beefs to get the win, giving up three runs, only two earned. Tsunamis lefty Max Fried, who gave up the homers to Tatis and Pollock, took the loss.

Beef  6-6-1    W-Kyle Hendricks 3-2. HR Fernando Tatis 4, Will Myers 4, A.J. Pollock 5.

Tsu    4-10-1  L-Max Fried. HR Alex Dickerson.

Devils and Tsunamis split in six-game marathon; Devils cling to tie for lead

Four game series

Dave Larson’s Taz Devils and Craig Dolan’s Asian Tsunamis split in a rough-and-tumble four-game series and then split again in their two-game home and away series, all played on Monday, April 19. 

The Devils 14-12 split kept them tied for the first half lead with Rod Caborn’s Beefers 11-9 while the Asians, while splitting with the league leaders, failed to gain any ground and remained four games under .500 at 7-11. The Devils won their three games in their last at bat, twice in the bottom of the ninth and once in the top of the ninth. 

During the six games, the Tsunamis outslugged the Devils with 15 home runs to only six for the Tazzies, outscored the Devils 37-28, and drew 21 walks,  but only hit .197. The Devils hit .236 for the six games, augmented by 12 bases on balls. Each team hit a surprising 10 batters.

Two catchers hit grand slam HRs in the serie. Devils C J.T. Realmuto hit a grand slam off Ryan Pressley in game one. Tsu C Tucker Barnhardt connected for his slam of Devils ace Gerrit Cole in game three. 

Game 1  Tsunamis 9, Devils 8

Marco Gonzales vs Clayton Kershaw. The Devils ace is still struggling on the early season as the Fiddler gave up six runs in the first and two more in the fourth. After an RBI double from Tim Anderson, James McCann hit a run homer. Mike Yaztremski followed with a solo homer. After a Max Muncy single, Byron Buxton homer, the Devils plated a pair in the bottom of the first on a Mark Canha double. The visitors added two more in the fourth on a Eugenio homer. The sixth inning saw Edwin Rios get hit by a pitch with the base loaded to give the Tsunamis a 9-2 lead. Realmuto’s grand slam in the bottom of the 8th cut the lead to 9-7. The Devils got an unearned run in the ninth when Xander Bogaerts doubled home a run. 

Tsu      9-10-1  W- Gonzales 1-1 SV- Marhsall 1  HR- McCann1, Yaztremski 2, Buxton 2, Suarez 2

Devils  8-13-1  L- Kershaw 0-4  HR- Realmuto 5

Game 2  Devils 2, Tsunamis 1

Corbin Burnes vs Merrill Kelly. The Tsunamis got a gift run in the fourth as a Donovan Solano error allowed Rios to score. The Devils tied the game at 1-1 in the fifth on a Paul Goldschmidt solo homer. Both pitching staffs were sharp, with the game going into the ninth, still one run each. After going down one-two-three in the top of the ninth, Tsu reliever Jarlin Garcia got the first two Taz hitters to ground out. Devils CF Cody Bellinger then walked and stole second and Goldschmidt followed by dribbling a ball into right to bring home the winning run.

Tsu       1-3-0  L- Jarlin Garcia 0-1

Devils   2-6-1  W- Devin Williams 2-1  HR  Goldschmidt 3

Game 3   Tsunamis 9, Devils 5

Trevor Bauer vs Gerrit Cole. The Devils took an early 2-0 lead as Ke’Bryan Hayes and Dansby Swanson hit solo homers in the second and third inning. Cole got hammered to start the fourth when Juan Soto lead off with a homer. Several batters later, Barnhardt hit a grand slam. The Tazzies cut the lead to 5-4 with two runs in the fourth, getting RBIs from Hayes and Austin Nola. The Devil defense gave up an unearned run in the fifth as Tim LoCastro scored on an error by Darren O’Day. The visitors scored twice in the 8th on RBI from Mike Yaz and Suarez and then got a homer from Rizzo in the ninth. Austin Nola hit a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth as the game ended in favor of the Tsunamis.

Asians 9-9-0    W-Bauer 1-1  HR- Rizzo 1, Soto 3, Barnhardt 1

Devils 5-9-3      L- Cole 1-3  HR- K. Hayes 1, Swanson 6, Nola 3

Game 4    Devils 3, Asians 2

Ian Anderson vs Zach Davies. Bellinger drove home an unearned run in the first for an early lead. Bellinger’s sac fly in the sixth put the Tazzies up by two. Davis was strong, pitching six shut out innings. But Jesse Winker got around on an O’Day pitch to tie the game in the seventh. The game stayed at 2-2 into the bottom of the ninth. Bellinger lead off with a walk and stole second. He was bunted to third for the first out. Goldschmidt fanned. With Jon Berti at the plate, Bellinger stole home off Eric Yardley for the win. Bellinger was responsible for all three Tasmanian runs on the game.

Asians 2-6-1  L- Yardley 0-3  HR- Winker 1

Devils  3-5-1  W- Hendricks 1-0

Home and Away series

Game 1   Asians 9, Devils 2

Ian Anderson vs Adam Wainwright. The first game of the end of the first half two-game series saw the Asian power once again. Wainwright was tagged for eight runs in the first three innings. Rios hit a two run jack. After LoCastro double home a pair, Soto followed with a two run homer. Yaz got into the swing of things with a two run homer off his own in the third. The Devils got a pair of unearned runs in the fifth but gave an unearned run in the seventh. Game over.

Asians 9-7-1  W- Ian Anderson 1-0  HR-Edwin  Rios 5, Mike Yaz 3, Juan Soto 4

Devils   2-5-1    L- Adam Wainwright 1-1

Game 2   Devils 8, Asians 7

Dustin May vs Max Fried. The Devils took a 3-0 lead in the third with RBI from Solano and Realmuto. The Asian long ball hitters started connecting. Buxton got a solo homer in the third. Rios hit a two-run shot in the fourth and a solo homer in the sixth. Barnhardt also added a solo homer in the fifth and defensive replacement Anthony Rizzo homer in the eight for a pair of runs. With the Devils down 7 to 3, Canha led off the top of the 9th with a double. After two quick outs, he scored on a pinch-hit double from Jose Altuve, who then scored on a Raimel Tapia single. Starling Marte then walked and Xander Bogaerts followed with a three-run homer to give the visitors an 8-7 lead. Devin Williams pitched a perfect ninth to save the game and the six game split.

Devils   8-9-2  W- Liam Hendricks 2-0  SV- 4  HR- Bogaerts 5

Asians  7-6-2   L- Jarlin Garcia 0-2  HR- Edwin Rios 2 HR 6,7, Rizzo 2, Barnhardt 2, Buxton 3.

Whats take measure of Asians; win three to improve to 6-6

Craig’s Asian Tsunami’s traveled down to Whoville to take on the Whatever’s in a key series for each club. The Tsu’s were a little rusty having not played in over 6 weeks while the What’s split their last series with Devils. Both teams struggled to hit the long ball in the series as the Tsunami’s fall to 4-8 while the Whatever’s improve to 6-6 on the season.

Game 1 Tsunamis 3, Whatevers 2

The Whats got on the board in the second with a solo homer by Domenic Smith but the Tsus got doubles by Juan Soto and Edwin Rios to tie it in the fourth. Score remained the same until the seventh when Tsu 3b Eugenio Suarez got a free pass and was replaced by Quinn who promptly stole second base. Tim Anderson followed with a pinch hit single to drive in the go-ahead run. The Asians tacked on another run in the eighth on an RBI single by Trevor Story. The Whats got close in the ninth on a double by Domenic Smith and an RBI single by Gio Urshela but Tsu reliever Eric Yardley retired Frankie Lindor out to end the game and get the save. Bauer went 7 allowing four hits, six Ks, and two walks.

Tsunamis    3-7-1 W-Trevor Bauer, Sv-Erci Yardley.

Whatevers     2- 6- 1 L-Kyle Finnegan 0-1. HR Domenic Smith (3).

Game 2 Whatevers 3, Tsunamis 0

In the first a truly rare play occurs as Edwin Rios is injured while chasing down a foul ball requiring him to miss the remaining two games of the series. A pitchers dual developed thru five innings before the What’s took control. Yadi Molina and Miguel Rojas reach with base hits in the sixth. Charlie Blackmon would drive one in with a single to chase Kim. Marcel Ozuna greets Edwin Diaz with a long double to bring in two runs to end the scoring. Meanwhile, Wheeler goes six shutout innings walking two and striking out seven. James Hoyt a scoreless seventh and Lucas Sims completes the shutout with two perfect innings for his first save.

Tsunamis    0-4-1 (L-Kwang-Hyun Kim)

Whatevers     3-6-0 W-Zack Wheeler 3-0. Sv-Lucas Sims 1.


Whatevers 3, Tsunamis 2

Juan Soto SF in the first drives in Tim LoCastro for the early lead. The What’s counter with two in the second on a two run single by Frankie Lindor. Jesse Winkler ties it up in the fifth with a base hit but then the bullpens took over. The game remained scoreless until the tenth when Trent Grisham singles and steals second, George Springer k’s, bringing up Marcel Ozuna who doubles off Diaz for the walk off win. 

Tsunamis    2-6-1 L-Evan Marshall.

Whatevers    3-8-1 W-Lucas Sims 1-0.

Game 4 Whatevers 12, Tsunamis 2

Juan Soto hits the first dinger of the series for the Asians for the early lead but the Whatevers come roaring back. Ozuna, DSmith, and Lindor each double, and Gio Urshela plates a couple with a base hit. Toss in a SF by Whit Merrifield and it’s 4-1. A couple innings later the What’s chase Burnes with five runs on a two run double by David Peralta, two run single by d’Arnaud, and a bases loaded walk. Later in the game Alex Dickerson adds a solo homer for the visitors while Lindor goes deep with one aboard. Gonsolin held the Tsu’s to two hits in six innings of work for his first win of the season.

Tsunamis   2-4-0 L-Corbin Burnes. HR Juan Soto, Alex Dickerson.

Whatevers    12-12-1 W-Gonsolin 1-1. HR: Francisco Lindor (3).

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.