Author Archives | ebynum

Australia: Brisbane Leads League Early in ABL Season

Through the first five weeks of the Australian Baseball League season, the Brisbane Bandits are leading the league with a 12-8 record. The Adelaide Bite are just a half game back at 10-7 with Sydney being the only other team with a winning record at 11-9.

Some of the hottest hitters so far early in the season are Craig Maddox who leads the league in hitting at a .425 clip. The Bite catcher is second in the league in doubles with seven while leading the league in both on base percentage (.511) and OPS at 1.336. Mitch Denning has found his power swing in Adelaide as well hitting seven home runs to tie for the early lead in the league. This matches his total for the past three seasons in the ABL (0, 5, and 2). Denning is tied with Kellin Deglan. This is Deglan’s first year in the league. Canberra’s Jack Murphy is also having a good season early on hitting .411 (2nd in the league).

On the pitching side of things Tim Atherton is back with Canberra and having a great season so far. Already 4-0, Atherton is leading the league in ERA at a 1.23 clip through twenty-two innings. Sydney’s Markus Solbach has also been strong on the mound. After a lackluster shortened season with Melbourne a year ago, Solbach has positioned himself as one of the top starters in the league. Through 34.1 innings, Solbach is 4-0 with a 2.36 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP.

Australian Baseball League Standings:

1. Brisbane Bandits 12-8
2. Adelaide Bite 10-7
3. Sydney Blue Sox 11-9
4. Canberra Cavalry 8-9
5. Perth Heat 8-9
6. Melbourne Aces 5-12

Posted in Oceania0 Comments

Final 2014 IBAF World Baseball Rankings: Japan Takes No. 1 Spot

With the conclusion of the 21U Baseball World Cup and the Central American and Caribbean Games, the final world standings have been released. There were only a few movers in the top 10 including Japan taking the No. 1 spot from the USA after making it to the finals of the 21 U BWC. The Netherlands also over took the Dominican Republic for No. 5 on the list.

The biggest mover in the top 30 was the Czech Republic moving up seven spots to No. 20. Argentina fell the furthest falling six spots to No. 28. The top 12 teams will be allowed to compete in the inaugural Premier 12 tournament to be held in Chinese Taipei in November 2015.

Final 2014 IBAF World Baseball Rankings:

Rank Nation  Points
2013 Trending
1  Japan 785.18 2 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized1
2  USA 766.02 1 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized1
3  Cuba 662.98 3
4  Chinese Taipei 605.48 4
5  Netherlands 433.50 6 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized1
6  Dominican Republic 379.18 5 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized1
7  Canada 353.52 7  –
8  South Korea 340.90 8
9  Puerto Rico 291.50 9
10  Venezuela 269.00 10
11  Italy 196.18 11
12  Mexico 136.78 12
13  Panama 132.92 13  –
14  Australia 127.82 14
15  Brazil 116.61 15
16  Nicaragua 110.77 18 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized2
17  Spain 105.52 17
18  Germany 78.90 19 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized1
19  Colombia 69.00 16 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized3
20  Czech Republic 68.93 27 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized7
21  China 68.25 20 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized1
22  Israel 55.47 26 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized4
23  Philippines 52.40 23
24  Pakistan 51.00 21 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized3
25  Great Britain 50.56 24 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized1
26  New Zealand 50.00 28 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized2
27  France 46.75 32 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized5
28  Argentina 42.91 22 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized6
29  South Africa 33.00 31 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized2
30  Thailand 30.50 25 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized5

Complete Rankings

Posted in Asia, Europe, Latin, N. America, News, Oceania0 Comments

Cuba Wins 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games

VERACRUZ, Mexico – Cuba, No. 3 in the world, defeated No. 18 Nicaragua 9-3 in the championship of the Central American and Caribbean Games (CACG) to regain its title. It was Cuba’s 15th title in 18 attempts at the CACG.

New reforms in Cuba allowed several players return after playing professionally in Japan. Three national team players, Alfredo Despaigne, Frederich Cepeda and Yulieski Gourriel, returned after the end of the NPB season to play for Cuba and help lead them to the title. The players were given special permission to play in Japan if they returned to the national team after the end of the season in Japan.

Defending CACG champions the Dominican Republic finished off Puerto Rico 8-1 in the bronze medal game.

Mexico got a much needed 5th place which vaults them to 12th in the final international world rankings of the year. This allows them to play in the inaugural Premier 12 Pro Baseball World Championships in 2015. The new tournament will be hosted by Chinese Taipei next November.

FINAL STANDINGS 

1. Cuba
2. Nicaragua
3. Dominican Republic
4. Puerto Rico
5. Mexico
6. Venezuela
7. Panama
8. Guatemala

Posted in Latin, Tournaments0 Comments

Minors: Will the Osos be back in Raton in 2015

The Pecos League has been in existence since 2011 and some teams have bounced around from city to city. The Raton Osos started out as the Ruidoso Osos in the league’s inaugural season of 2011.  A year later the Ruidoso team was gone. The Osos were reborn in 2013 in Raton. Over the next two seasons they went a combined  36-92. Earlier this year an interesting article was posted to the website of KRTN Radio out of Raton and included parts from the city’s parks and recreation director.

This article gives a little insight into how some independent league teams are run and the hardships that they can come across. It does not appear, and it is still up in the air, that the Osos will return to Raton. It will be interesting to see where the team moves next or if some sort of agreement can be made to keep the team in Raton.

You can read the article by clicking the link below.

Osos Saga Continues

Posted in Minors, N. America, News0 Comments

MLB: A Look Back at 2014 Predictions

With the playoffs kicking off I thought it would be a fun project to take a look back at who I predicted would win. Here is my post from March.

I picked the Dodgers to win it all, which is still a decent pick. I actually picked four of the five National League teams, although I didn’t necessarily get them right in who wins and who makes it in via the Wild Card. In the American League, I only got two of the five.

Here were my picks in March:

AL East
1. Tampa Bay Rays (I still want to write Devil Rays)
2. *Boston Red Sox

AL Central
1. Detroit Tigers

AL West
1. Texas Rangers
2. *Oakland A’s

I couldn’t have been more off on the Rangers, but you can never predict injuries. The AL East I was totally wrong as well only getting Detroit and the A’s as a Wild Card. I predicted Tampa Bay over Detroit in the ALCS. One of those teams might make it there, but if I had to pick right now Detroit wouldn’t make it that far.

NL East
1. Atlanta Braves
2. *Washington Nationals

NL Central
1. Pittsburgh Pirates
2. *St. Louis Cardinals

NL West
1. Los Angeles Dodgers

My Atlanta Braves let me down this year. I think this was more of a homer pick than any other. I actually have LA defeating Pitt in the NLCS with LA winning it all in six games. I’m still confident that LA might make the World Series but time will tell. My picks this  year were much better than in the past. It will be interesting to see just how good they turn out in the end.

If you had to pick today, who do you think would win?

Posted in MLB, N. America0 Comments

Minors: United League Announces Awards for 2014

The regular season awards for the United League were recently announced.

The 2014 Silver Slugger Awards went to the Fort Worth Cats Ryan Lashey and the San Angelo Colts Chris Grossman. Lashey started the season with the Normal Cornbelters of the Frontier League. He played with Normal for 49 games before coming to Fort Worth where his season really took off. After hitting just .241 with Normal, Lashey hit .369 for Fort Worth in 53 games. With 79 hits over the last half of the season Lashey was a force in the Cats lineup. He finished the year with Fort Worth with six home runs and 45 RBI while posting a .369/.404/.556 line.

Joining Lashey with a Silver Slugger was the Colts Chris Grossman. The Colts’ Grossman led the league with 95 hits and 48 RBI. He posted an impressive .339/.403/.471 line over 70 games with San Angelo. The veteran also blasted five home runs and 20 doubles.

This years Fireman Award went to the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings Byron Minnich. Minnich was dominate for the 2014 champion WhiteWings saving 23 games, a new league record. After starting the year with Laredo in the American Association and saving one game, Minnich came over to Rio Grande Valley and posted a 1.21 ERA striking out 44 in 37.0 innings.

On the defensive side of the ball, Gold Glove Awards were given out to Justin Reed of the Colts, Oscar Garcia of the Cats, and Roger Bernal of the WhiteWings. Reed finished the year with a .987 fielding percentage.

The 2014 Cy Young Award went to the WhiteWings Celson Polanco. The veteran from the Dominican Republic went 6-2 for the WhiteWings posting an ERA of 2.11. He struck out 81 batters in 85.0 innings allowing only 74 hits.

The Manager of the Year Award went to the WhiteWings Chris Paterson. Leading the WhiteWings to the 2014 title and a 51-27 record. This was Paterson’s third championship as a manager and third manager of the year award.

The 2014 MVP went to the WhiteWings shortstop Roger Bernal. Bernal did it all with Rio Grande Valley. He anchored the defense and offense. Hitting .301, Bernal was second in the league with 94 hits including 11 doubles and 4 triples. He also stole 26 bases for the champion WhiteWings.

Silver Slugger: Chris Grossman, Ryan Lashley

Fireman Award: Byron Minnich

Cy Young: Celson Polanco

Gold Glove: Oscar Garcia, Justin Reed, Roger Bernal

M.V.P: Roger Bernal

Manager of the Year: Chris Paterson

Posted in Minors, N. America0 Comments

Minors: United League Announces All ULB Team for 2014

The United League Baseball recently announced the All ULB Team for the 2014 season. The 2014 ULB Champion Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings led the team with 10 selections.

 

 

 

 

Position Players

Position          Player                     Team                                BA     HR      RBI

Catcher           Mario Mercedes     Brownsville Charros       .315      4         26

1st Base           Matt Chavez           San Angelo Colts            .369      5         30

2nd Base          Jason Merjano        RGV Whitewings            .283      0         19

Short Stop       Roger Bernal          Rio Grande Valley          .301      1         35

3rd Base           Ryan Lashley         Ft. Worth Cats                 .369      6         45

Designated      Chris Grossman     San Angelo Colts            .339       5         48

Outfielder        Jacob Fabry           Rio Grande Valley          .322       0         28

Outfielder        Oscar Garcia          Ft. Worth Cats               .290        2         41

Outfielder        Justin Reed             San Angelo Colts          .292        2         37

UTILITY:

Outfield           JJ Muse                   San Angelo Colts         .305         3         36

Catcher           Dan Coury               Brownsville Charros    .268         11       38

Infield             Chad Kruse              Ft. Worth Cats             .333         0         28

Starting Rotation:

Player                      Team                      Win  Loss  ERA

Ryan Bonnot           RGV Whitewings    5       3        4.48

Celson Polanco       RGV Whitewings    6       2        2.12

Brad Orosey            Rio Grande Valley  6       4        2.05

Trent Montgomery  Ft. Worth Cats        6       5        4.81

Jeremy Gooding      Ft. Worth Cats        2       2        1.64

Posted in Minors, N. America, News0 Comments

France: Montpellier Leads League Standings

In the French Division 1 Baseball League, the Montepellier Barracudas currently lead the league in a tense four-way battle for the lead. Montpellier has a slim lead over Senart. Both teams have the same number of loses, but Montpellier has two more wins. Not far behind are both Paris UC and Rouen. The rest of the league is under .500.

Montpellier is coming off a 10-inning 7-5 loss to the worst team in the league the Chartres French Cubs who only have three wins on the season. Meanwhile, Senart swept Rouen in a two game set to move into second place all by itself.

Montpellier is getting the job done on the mound leading the league with an ERA of just 2.04. Leading the way for the best pitching staff is ace William Musson who is 7-2 with an ERA of just 1.42. Thomas Langloys has also contributed a lot with an ERA of just 1.37 to lead the league and a record of 3-1.

The Barracudas are in the bottom half of the league in hitting with a team average of just .268.

Paris UC is dominating the hitting. They lead the league with a team average of .349. They lead the league in hits (279), doubles (47), triples (14), home runs (8), and stolen bases (58).

Cody Regis is dominating the league’s pitching. So far this season Regis is leading the league in average (.484), hits (44), runs scored (31), RBI (33), triples (7), home runs (3), and total bases (74). He is also second in stolen bases with sixteen.

French Division 1 Standings:

1. Montpellier Barracudas 16-6
2. Senart Templiers 14-6
3. Paris UC 15-7
4. Rouen Huskies 13-7
5. Stade Touluse 7-11
6. Beaucaire Chevaliers 7-11
7. Savigny Lions 3-13
8. Chartes French Cubs 3-17

Posted in Europe0 Comments

Germany: Solingen and Heidenheim Continue To Lead Divisions

The Solingen Alligators and the Heidenheim Heidekopfe still lead their respective divisions in the German Bundesliga. The Alligators are dominating the North Division with a 19-1 record leading by a full five games over the two teams tied for second. Heidenheim’s lead is not quite as big as they lead the Regensburg Leagionaere by only two games. 

Solingen is on a seventeen game winning streak. Their last loss came in game three of the season to the Cologne Cardinals 12-10. With four games left in the season they finish with two games against fourth place HSV Stealers and then two games with current second place Paderborn Untouchables.

In the South, Heidenheim has four games left with the two teams currently in seventh and eighth place in the standings setting up what could be an easy road to the number one seed in the South.

South Division League Leaders

Batting Average
1. Joseph Dyche (Haar) .488
2. Justin Kuehn (Regensburg) .462
3. Marcel Jiminez (Regensburg) .444

On-Base + Slugging
1. Thomas De Wolf (Stuttgart) 1.344
2. Christopher Howard (Regensburg) 1.312
3. Joseph Dyche (Haar) 1.248

Home Runs
1. Thomas De Wolf (Stuttgart) 7
2. James McOwen (Heidenheim) 6
3. Several tied with 5

Wins
1. Tyler Lockwood (Heidenheim) 7
2. Luke Sommer (Heidenheim) 5
3. Several tied with 4

Saves
1. Andres Perez (Stuttgart) 4
2. Several tied with 2

North Division League Leaders

Batting Average
1. Tanner Leighton (Solingen) .456
2. Dallas Burke (Cologne) .439
3. Daniel Sanchez (Solingen) .432

On-Base + Slugging
1. Tucker White (Paderborn) 1.376
2. Tanner Leighton (Solingen) 1.367
3. Dallas Burke (Cologne) 1.185

Home Runs
1. Tucker White (Paderborn) 6
2. Tanner Leighton (Solingen) 5
3. Several tied with 3

Wins
1. Christopher Mezger (Solingen) 9
2. Harry Glynne (Solingen) 7
3. Several tied with 4

Saves
1. Nobody with more than 2

South Division Standings:

1. Heidemheim Heidekopfe 19-3
2. Buchbinder Legionaere 19-5
3. Stuttgart Reds 12-8
4. Mainz Athletics 10-12
5. Mannheim Tornados 9-11
6. Haar Disciples 9-11
7. Tubingen Hawks 3-17
8. Bad Homburg Hornets 3-17

North Division Standings:

1. Solingen Alligators 19-1
2. Paderborn Untouchables 12-4
3. Bonn Capitals 13-5
4. HSV Stealers 10-8
5. Dohren Wild Farmers 5-17
6. Cologne Cardinals 4-16
7. Dortmund Wanderers 3-15

Posted in Europe0 Comments

Independent Baseball: Niagara New Team for Can-Am League in 2015

The Niagara Professional Baseball Group has been given provisional approval to field a team in the Can-Am League for the 2015 season. They will join the current four team league giving them another Canadian team to go with Quebec and Trois-Rivieres. The league will be six teams as Niagara and Ottawa will both be joining the league next season. Niagara has announced they are also looking for a team name and are looking for help from the public. A name the team contest has been announced via the club’s website. If you have an idea on what the team could be called for its inaugural season you can email or tweet your ideas to the team. The winner will receive some great prizes including a pair of season tickets. Contest ends August 1st. The club has also announced tryouts for September 20th. The tryout is open to anyone interested. It will take place from 2-6pm with pitchers and catchers reporting from 2-4pm and positional players from 4-6pm. Cost of the tryout is $60 per player. You can find the player tryout form and a link for payment here on their website. The club will play its home games at Welland Sports Complex which was built in 1989. The Welland Pirates played there from 1989 to 1994 as apart of the New York-Penn League. For more information on the tryout you can contact Colin at 647-608-8163 or via email at ccumminsATniagaraprobaseball.com

Posted in Minors, N. America, News0 Comments

A Few Thoughts on the Great Tony Gwynn

For the past few days we have all seen some great tributes to the great Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn. He will definitely be missed but I feel a lot of the tributes are overlooking one thing. His impact at the amateur level.

As we all know now, and many may not have known before, Gwynn was the head coach of the San Diego State University Aztecs. It was here that he made a profound impact on, not only the game, but on the lives of young men. SDSU may not have reached the powerhouse status of some other California schools, but it made great strides while he was at the helm. He led them to the NCAA tournament three times (2009, 2013, 2014). It was the first time they reached the postseason since 1991.

Gwynn’s love of baseball was something that was simply fun to watch. As a guy who grew up not watching much Padre baseball, he was always one I loved, but disliked seeing because he was so good, watching play my favorite team the Atlanta Braves.

When I picture Gwynn I see two things. First of all, I see him lining a baseball into the left-centerfield gap for a stand up double. He was such a great hitter and used all the field so well. I always wondered how many home runs he would have hit if he just decided to load up and pull the ball more. But that wasn’t him. Secondly, I remember well him with Ted Williams at the 1999 All-Star Game in Boston. That was one of the great moments in baseball history during my lifetime and probably will never be matched.

I do not want to get into an argument about how great a hitter Tony Gwynn was. He was great. Or if he was better than this player or that player. Gwynn had one of the best swings I’ve ever seen and was simply an amazing hitter for anyone’s generation. His numbers speak for themselves. That is where I will leave that.

If you have a few minutes I highly recommend you checking out the MLB video of the Padres tribute. It was a touching moment and I loved that they included the Aztecs in the tribute, even his Aztec jersey in the dugout. You can watch it here.

Over at Friarhood.com you can purchase a t-shirt in honor of Tony Gwynn. They have two very cool shirts with proceeds going to a charity. They do great work over there covering the Padres. Below is the graphic on one of the shirts.

BqXu7TyCMAAmVd8

Posted in MLB, N. America, News0 Comments

Is the IBL Shutting Down the Season Already?

It is not an easy task to run a start up business. We see it everyday when different businesses in every town in America go under. It’s even harder to start a professional baseball league. Without the backing of Major League Baseball teams fight for fans on budgets that are razor thin. There have been more unsuccessful leagues over the years than successful ones. However, that doesn’t mean it is not possible to build a product that the fans will enjoy and keep coming back to. There are a few leagues that do just that and this year there was one more taking the plunge to try and add their name to that list, the Independent Baseball League. The IBL is a bit different in many regards. First of all, they play in small towns in Ohio and Michigan. We wrote about it kicking off its inaugural season just two months ago with this post. Secondly, the league does not play every day like many others. Instead the league, of only four teams, plays weekend games similar to how the leagues are set up in many places in Europe. The teams typically play single games Friday, a double header on Saturday, and a single game Sunday. That is all. However, today there was some news that the IBL would be closing up shop after just 12 games for each team. Then the post was removed from the league’s Facebook feed shortly after. You can see a screenshot below. IBL Post

I contacted someone within the IBL but was given no indication of the league shutting its doors or continuing to play. So this may be something that they are teetering on the edge with and have not fully decided. Most of the team websites are fairly up to date. However, the league website itself is not and appears to have some sort of error on it, although that has been there for as long as I can remember.

(H/T to Dan Malley for the screenshot)

Posted in Minors, N. America, News0 Comments

MLB Draft: Should the Astros Draft Rendon or Aiken #1 Overall?

The Houston Astros aren’t the doormat of the American League anymore. Okay let’s not get carried away, because they still aren’t very good. They still might be one of the worst teams in baseball, but don’t count them out forever. They are putting together a lot of good young talent which comes when you have the first pick in the draft year after year.

The past two years the Astros have had the first pick in the draft. In 2012 they drafted Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa who is currently tearing it up at the high Single-A level for the Lancaster Jethawks. In 2013, the Astros drafted highly regarded Stanford pitcher Mark Appel. Appel struggled to start the 2014 season but pitched well after being drafted last summer. He has a lot of upside and might be in the big leagues before too long.

Three years ago the Astros only had the #11 pick, but they made the most of it drafting George Springer. Springer would be the Astros #1 prospect had he not been called up to the big leagues earlier this year. So far in 2014 he is tearing it up for a rookie already with 10 home runs in just under 200 at bats.

This year I think tells a lot with where the Astros feel they are at at the big league level. The top two picks in most mock drafts are both left handed starting pitchers. One is a high school phenom in Brady Aiken, and the other is college standout Carlon Rondon from North Carolina State University.

Aiken is highly thought of and has a huge upside. However, Rondon may be closer to the big leagues. This is where I feel the Astros have to make a big decision. Do they choose Rondon in hopes that he could join Appel and the other rising stars in the Astros farm system in just a few years in Houston? Or do they choose Aiken and let him get some seasoning in the minors.

Aiken may take longer to get to the big leagues, but he might have a higher ceiling. Whereas Rondon might still become a quality front of the rotation starter and might do it a bit quicker than the high school pitcher.

The history of high school left handed pitchers going #1 overall has seen some bumps in the road. See David Clyde and Brien Taylor. However, this shouldn’t be taken into much consideration for Houston.

I think the Astros should take Rondon simply because he is further along in his development. Then again I am more of a proponent of taking college pitchers over high schoolers in the first few rounds, especially if you have the first pick. I think the pick will give a slight insight into where the Astros see themselves. Are they still 5+ years away from contending? Then perhaps they should stick with Aiken and go with the younger pitcher. If they feel they are five or less years away from contending, then I would go with Rondon. He gives you the better option to help out a team at the big league level in under five years. That doesn’t mean he will be the ace of the staff in three years. He still needs some polishing, but he is closer than Aiken even if Aiken has a higher upside as many people feel.

No matter who they take, it should be an interesting draft. There are some others I am anxious to see where they wind up like the hard throwing high schooler out of Texas Tyler Kolek. Or who ever drafts Alex Jackson, do they see him as a catcher or an outfielder? There is a lot of talent in the draft this year.

Who do you think the Astros should draft #1 overall?

Posted in MLB, N. America, News0 Comments

Independent Baseball League Teams with the Most Titles

In my continuing infatuation with independent baseball, I decided to take a look at the most successful teams in independent baseball. There are many ways in which you can determine success, but here I am looking at success in terms of championships.

Now you can argue that some championships are bigger than others, but a championship is a championship. All of these teams won their league title and a few even won in several different leagues over the years. There have been so many different leagues over the years and teams come and go. With that in mind I am only looking at teams that won more than two titles. There are quite a few with a single title, including many teams that no longer exist. There are even many teams with two titles, but over two really seems to limit the teams almost to a top 10.

So let’s take a look at the teams with three titles.

Teams with Three Titles

Fort Worth Cats – The Cats have a long history of baseball in Fort Worth dating back to the first half of the 20th century. The team was revived in 2001 in the independent All-American Association. The league folded after a year and the Cat joined the Central Baseball League winning their first championship in 2005. A year later the team joined the American Association where it would continue its dominance winning the title in its first two years in the league, 2006 and 2007. The Cats have not won a title since, but did reach the championship series of the United League Baseball, their current league, in 2013.

Gary SouthShore RailCats – The RailCats started play in the Northern League in 2002. The RailCats quickly built themselves into a powerhouse reaching the Northern League championship five straight seasons (2005-2009). They would win only two of those five (2005, 2007). After the Northern League folded after the 2010 season, the RailCats joined the American Association where they continue to play today. The RailCats are the current defending American Association champions after having defeated the Wichita Wingnuts in four games in 2013.

Long Island Ducks – The Ducks are one of independent baseball’s most famous teams and with it they have three titles. They are the two-time defending champions of the Atlantic League after defeating the Somerset Patriots in five games in 2013. Added to their titles in 2012 and 2013, the Ducks won their first title in 2004.

Windy City Thunderbolts – The Thunderbolts have played in the Frontier League since 1999. The team won back-to-back titles in 2007 and 2008 in the Frontier League. The first title in franchise history came under another name, the Cook County Cheetahs. The Cheetahs played in the Heartland League where they defeated the Tennessee Tomahawks in the championship.

Teams with Four Titles

St. Paul Saints – Arguably the most popular independent baseball team of all-time, the Saints helped build the Northern League. The Saints won the first Northern League title in 1993 and then came back in 1995 and 1996 to claim two more titles. The team didn’t win another one until 2004 just a couple of years before they would jump ship to the American Association where they continue playing today.

New Jersey Jackals – The Jackals began play in 1998 and quickly won the Northeast League title. The following season the Northeast League and the Northern League combined. The Jackals claimed their second title in 2001 defeating the Winnipeg Goldeyes to win their first Northern League title. They would repeat again defeating Winnipeg in 2002. The Northeast League decided to split from the Northern League in 2003. The following year the Jackals would win their fourth and final title claiming the 2004 Northeast League title. Today the Jackals play in the Can-Am League.

Amarillo Dillas – The Dillas existed as a team from 1994 to 2010 playing in different leagues. In 1999 as a part of the defunct Texas-Louisiana League, the Dillas win their first title. After a few league changes the Dillas would put together a powerhouse in the United League Baseball winning three titles in a row from 2008-2010. The team, due to financial difficulties, would disband after the 2010 season.

Teams with Five Titles

Somerset Patriots – Arguably the most successful team due to the league they play in, the Patriots are the five-time champions of the Atlantic League. The Patriots started play in 1998 winning their first title in the leagues fourth years of existence in 2001. This was after losing in the championship the previous two seasons. The Patriots would win again in 2003, 2005, and back-to-back titles in 2008-2009. The team has made the championship nine times, including 2013.

Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks – The Redhawks could also be argued as the most successful team having won five Northern League titles. Their first title came in 1998 just a few years after the Northern League began. A few years later they would pick up their second title in 2003, then again in 2006. The Redhawks would finish out the Northern League (folded after 2010) strong winning the last two titles in 2009 and 2010. They have won 13 division titles including the last two in the American Association where they play today. In their 18 years of existence, the Redhawks have failed to make the playoffs only two times.

Alexandria Aces – The Aces are the franchise with the most titles that no longer exists. The Aces played from 1994-2013. In that span they played in five different leagues including a few seasons in a collegiate league. Their first title came in 1997 in the Texas-Louisiana League. They would win again in 1998 and then turned their sites to the United League Baseball. They would win two straight ULB titles in 2006 and 2007. The final franchise title came in 2009 as a member of the Continental Baseball League.

Teams with Six Titles

Quebec Capitales – The Capitales play in the Canadian-American League where they have dominated. The Northeast League was renamed in 2004 creating the Can-Am League where the Capitales have won six titles since. The team began play in 1999 as a part of the Northern League. Since 2000 the Capitales have made the playoffs 12 times winning 6 titles. They are the five-time defending Can-Am League champions having defeated the New Jersey Jackals in the last three Can-Am League championships.

Perhaps these numbers will change after the 2014 season with nine of the eleven teams still playing.

Posted in Minors, N. America0 Comments

Switzerland: Zurich Barracudas Tame the Zurich Lions

By Christopher Byrnes

The Zurich Barracudas have won 10 in a row and moved to 10-1 on the season sweeping the Zurich Lions 16-7 and 13-1. The Barracudas lead the second place Therwil Flyers by 3.5 games in the standings.

The Barracudas once again played solid defense and delivered timely hitting to support the pitching efforts of Roger Savoldelli. Savoldeli  took over the bus for the Barracudas as he pitched a complete game to earn his first win as a Zurich Barracuda. The Barracudas were led offensively by Strahil Georgiev who had four hits and four RBIs. Nelson Santana went 3-5 and added 2 RBIs.

In the nightcap it was the strong pitching of Bert Marsnik and Josh Crouse who combined on a one hitter and allowed the Barracudas to cruise to a 13-1 victory. It was the man from the Twin Cities Bert Marsnik who took over the bus for the Barracudas in game two. Marsnik pitched five strong innings on the mound and produced three hits and six rbi’s. Josh Crouse closed out the win with two perfect innings in relief.

The Barracudas are scheduled to play night games versus the Zurich Challengers on June 11 and June 13.

Swiss NLA Regular Season Standings:

Team Won Lost GB
Zurich Barracudas 10 01
Therwil Flyers 07 05  3.5
Luzern Eagles 05 04   4
Bern Cardinals 07 06   4
Zurich Challengers 04 05   5
Zurich Lions 00 12  10.5

Posted in Europe0 Comments

Independent Baseball League Stadium Ratings Part 2

We are back with Part 2 of our ratings. This time we take a look at the American Association, United League Baseball, and Pecos League. Not all of the stadiums for these leagues are available via StadiumJourney.com, so we are basing it on what we do have.

There are a few other leagues we did not factor into our ratings. First of all, the Freedom Pro League plays at some of the Arizona Spring Training fields so we did not rank them. The newly formed Independent Baseball League had no stadiums rated via Stadium Journey. It looks as thought they are playing at municipal and local high school fields and if they were in the rankings, they would probably be last based on some of the photos I have seen.

All of the ratings come from StadiumJourney.com. The ratings take into account different aspects including atmosphere, food, and even bang for your buck. Click on any team name to view the Stadium Journey rating for each one, see some stadium photos, and see why each has the rating it does.

American Association – The AA is located throughout the US from Texas to Minnesota. It is one of the more established leauges, but there are rumors a few teams may bolt next year due to travel costs.

Amarillo Sox (3.6) – The Sox play at Amarillo National Bank Sox Stadium. The stadium is old (opened in 1949) and has featured teams in many different leagues over the years. It seems the stadium gets a higher score due to some great fans and good value.

Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks (3.3) – The Redhawks play at Newman Outdoor Field which is also home to the North Dakota State Bison. The stadium opened in 1996 and is better known as “The Nest”.

Gary SouthShore RailCats (3.1) – The RailCats play at U.S. Steel Yard. It holds 6,000 people and opened in 2002.

Grand Prairie AirHogs (3.0) – The AirHogs play at Quick Trip Park which opened in 2008. With a capacity of just over 5,400, this is a nice place to catch a game. Afterwards you can walk on over to Lone Star Park and bet on the horses if you wish.

Kansas City T-Bones (3.7) – The T-Bones play at Community America Park which opened in 2003. With a capacity of over 6,500 it is one of the bigger stadiums in the league but not the biggest.

Lincoln Saltdogs (4.0) – The Saltdogs play at Haymarket Park which is also home to the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The park was built in 2001 and holds 8,500 fans which is the biggest stadium in the AA.

Sioux City Explorers (3.3) – The Explorers play at Lewis & Clark Park which opened in 1993. The Explorers were one of the Northern League teams when the league was reborn in 1993. The stadium has a capacity of over 3,600.

Sioux Falls Canaries (2.9) – The Canaries, formerly known as the Pheasants, play at Sioux Falls Stadium. The stadium was built in 1941 but was renovated as recently as 2000. It holds 4,500 people and is known as the “Birdcage”.

St. Paul Saints (4.0) – The Saints play at Midway Stadium which was built in 1982. It holds a little over 6,300 and is known more for what goes on on the field than the actual stadium.

Winnipeg Goldeyes (4.0) – The Goldeyes play at Shaw Park and is the only team in the AA from Canada. The team has played in Winnipeg since 1994 but only at Shaw Park since 1999. The stadium holds almost 7,500

Average score (two stadiums have not been reviewed) 3.49

Can-Am League – The Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball sits now as just a four team league. The league has two teams in each the US and Canada.

New Jersey Jackals (3.1) – The Jackals play at Yogi Berra Stadium which was built in 1998. With a capacity of just over 3,700, the stadium has seen the Jackals compete in three different leagues.

Rockland Boulders (3.3) – The Boulders play at Provident Bank Park which was built in 2011. The new stadium holds 4,500 people.

Average score (two stadiums have not been reviewed) 3.2

United League Baseball – The ULB is located in Texas with four teams and three stadiums (one travel team). A few of the teams are well established including one that plays on historic grounds.

Ft. Worth Cats (3.0) – The Cats play at historic La Grave Field. It has been rebuilt but on the same spot where many historic figures have played in the past. The stadium is nice, but nothing spectacular, sitting just outside of downtown Ft. Worth.

San Angelo Colts (3.0) - The Colts play at Foster Field which is also home to the Angelo State Rams. Built in 2000 it seats 4,200 and features Triple-A lighting. It is a bit more state of the art than some of the other ULB stadiums.

Rio Grande Valley White Wings (2.3) - The White Wings play at Harlingen Field. It is an older park that has undergone numerous renovations but doesn’t really add anything extra to the equation.

Edinburg Roadrunners (2.4) – This stadium is no longer used in the ULB but was in the past when the Roadrunners played at Edinburg Stadium.

Average score (without defunct stadium/team) 2.76

Pecos League – The Pecos League started in 2010 and features teams in the Southwest of the US in parts of New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado. Most of the parks are city fields and not built specifically for professional baseball.

Trinidad Triggers (2.6) - The Triggers might be most famous for their show on Fox Sports 1 that shows the team in the low minors. They play at Central Park that was built in 1960 and holds 887.

Las Cruces Vaqueros (2.3) – The team and field are no longer used by the Pecos League.

Average score (without defunct stadium/team) 2.6

Final Rankings:

1. Atlantic League 3.65
2. Frontier League 3.53
3. American Association 3.49
4. Can-Am League 3.2
5. United League Baseball 2.76
6. Pecos League 2.6
*Independent Baseball League and Freedom Pro League not rated

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with the ratings?

Posted in Minors, N. America0 Comments

Independent Baseball League Stadium Ratings Part 1

Independent baseball leagues often get overlooked when fans are looking to spend their  money. However, sometimes they are a great deal and ,depending on the league, there are some really nice stadiums that fans can see. I have been fascinated with indy leagues since reading a few books on them. So I thought we could look at some of the indy league stadiums and see which league has the best ones to visit.

All of the ratings come from StadiumJourney.com. The ratings take into account different aspects including atmosphere, food, and even bang for your buck. Click on any team name to view the Stadium Journey rating for each one, see some stadium photos, and see why each has the rating it does.

Atlantic League – The Atlantic League is generally regarded as the best indy league based on the former MLB talent that the leagues higher salaries tends to bring in. They also have some of the finest stadiums in independent baseball.

Lancaster Barnstormers (3.4) – The Barnstormers play at Clipper Magazine Stadium which was built in 2005. The capacity is 6,000

Bridgeport Bluefish (2.9) – The Bluefish play at The Ballpark at Harbor Park which opened in 1998. It is one of the older stadiums and has the lowest rating among the Atlantic League teams. It has a capacity of 5,300.

Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (3.9) - The Blue Crabs play at Regency Furniture Stadium built in 2008. The stadium holds 4,200 sitting not too far outside of Washington D.C.

Camden Riversharks (4.0) – The Riversharks play at Campbell’s Field. The stadium opened in 2001 since the team’s inception.  It holds just over 6,400.

Long Island Ducks (4.0) – The Ducks, one of the more famous indy teams coming off back-to-back championships, play at Bethpage Ballpark. The park opened in 2000 and holds just over 6,000 people.

Sugar Land Skeeters (4.1) - The Skeeters, one of the newest indy teams, play at Constellation Field. The stadium opened in 2012 and holds 7.500 fans. It also stands as the league’s best ballpark.

York Revolution (3.3) – The Revolution play at Santander Stadium which was built in 2007. The stadium features a retro manual scoreboard and seats 5,200.

Average score (no score for the Somerset Patriots) 3.65

Frontier League – Based out of the Midwest, the Frontier League features fourteen teams and thirteen stadiums (one travel team). The league formed in 1993.

Evansville Otters (4.1) – The Otters play at Bosse Field that opened in 1915. It is the third oldest stadium still in regular use behind Fenway and Wrigley. It was also home to the 1991 movie A League of Their Own.

Florence Freedom (3.9) – The Freedom play at UCMC Stadium. It opened in 2004 and holds 4,500 people.

Lake Erie Crushers (3.1) – The Crushers play at All Pro Freight Stadium which opened in 2009. A newer stadium it holds 5,000.

Southern Illinois Miners (3.6) – The Miners play at Rent One Park. Located in tiny Marion, population 17,000, the stadium was built in 2007 and can hold nearly half of the city with a capacity of 7,000.

Traverse City Beach Bums (3.7) - The Beach Bums play at Wuerful Park which opened in 2006. With one of the best looking entrances, it looks like a beach house, the stadium holds just over 4,600.

Washington Wild Things (3.4) - The Wild Things play at CONSOL Energy Park built in 2002. The stadium hold 5,000.

Gateway Grizzlies (4.0) – The Grizzlies play at GCS Ballpark just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. The park holds 6,000 fans and routinely they place high in the attendance standings.

Joliet Slammers (3.3) – The Slammers play at Silver Cross Field. The stadium opened in 2002 and holds around 6,000 people.

Normal CornBelters (3.3) – The CornBelters play at The Corn Crib. The stadium opened in 2010 and its seems everything there is corn themed. It holds 7,000 fans.

River City Rascals (3.9) – The Rascals play at T.R. Hughes Ballpark which opened in 1999. With a capacity at just over 3,600, the stadium has seen some interesting events including a home run derby between Albert Pujols and Shaquille O’Neal.

Rockford Aviators (3.1) – The Aviators play at Aviators Stadium which opened in 2006. It holds just over 4,200 fans.

Schaumburg Boomers (3.3) – The Boomers play at Boomers Stadium that was built in 1999. The stadium holds a little over 7,300.

Windy City Thunderbolts (3.3) – The Thunderbolts play at Standard Bank Stadium. Built in 1999, it holds a little more than 3,100.

Average score 3.53

Part 2 will be posted tomorrow and will include a few more leagues including the American Association, United League Baseball, and the Pecos League.

What do you think? Do you agree with these ratings? What is your favorite independent league stadium?

Posted in Minors, N. America0 Comments

France: Four Way Battle for First in Division 1 Standings

The first two months are over in the French Division 1 league and surprisingly the Rouen Huskies are not leading the league.

Rouen, who have won eight straight titles, sits in fourth place currently. However, they are not far out of first. Both the Montpellier Barracudas and the Senart Templiers are leading the league with an 11-5 record. Rouen and Paris UC are right behind the top two teams at 10-6.

None of the top teams seem to want to take control of the league lead and pull away. Over the past weekend, Rouen split with Paris UC and Montpellier split with Stade Toulouse. Senart split as well after winning big in Game 1 of the weekend.

French Division 1 Standings:

1. Montpellier Barracudas 11-5
2. Senart Templiers 11-5
3. Paris UC 10-6
4. Rouen Huskies 10-6
5. Stade Touluse 7-5
6. Beaucaire Chevaliers 5-7
7. Savigny Lions 2-8
8. Chartes French Cubs 0-14

Posted in Europe0 Comments

Netherlands: Three Way Race for Top Two Spots Heading into Last Weekend of First Half

The first half of the Dutch Major League is about to conclude in the Netherlands. The race for the top spot is still up for grabs even with just a few games left in the first half. The Vaessen Pioniers lead the league so far with a record of 14-2-1 just a single point ahead of both the DOOR Neptunus and L&D Amsterdam.

Vaessen will face off with Amsterdam this weekend in a three game series. With the top two teams qualifying for the semifinals, this series will be huge as one team could knock the other out of the race. Vaessen will also have one make up game against UVV to end the first half. That game will be played next Tuesday.

While Vaessen and Amsterdam are battling it out, DOOR Neptunus will take on a 6-13 Mr. Cocker HCAW. The defending champs are set up nicely to qualify for the semifinals after the first half.

Dutch Major League Standings:

1. Vaessen Pioniers 14-2-1
2. DOOR Neptunus 14-4
3. L&D Amsterdam 14-4
4. Corendon Kinheim 12-7
5. Mr. Cocker HCAW 6-13
6. UVV 4-12-2
7. Ado Lakers 4-14-1
8. Mampey the Hawks 3-15

Posted in Europe0 Comments

Italy: Stage One is Nearing an End with Bologna and Rimini Leading

The Italian Baseball League is nearing the end of the first stage round robin play. This year the IBL was split into two groups that played a round robin for the stage one.  Each division has four teams. In Group A are defending champion T&A San Marino, Unipol Bologna, Godo Knights, and newbie Padua. Group B consists of Rimini, Nettuno, Nettuno 2, and Parma.

In Group A, Unipol Bologna has all but wrapped up the win with a record of 15-1. T&A San Marino sits behind them in second place at 9-6 with Padua (6-10) and Godo (5-11) pretty much out of the running.

Over in Group B, there is a tight race for the top spot heading into the second stage. Telemarket Rimini leads the group with a record of 10-5, but Parma is close behind at 10-6. Nettuno (6-10) and Nettuno 2 (2-14) are well behind the group leaders.

Each team has just four to five games left with the stage one ending the first full weekend of June.

Posted in Europe0 Comments

Germany: Solingen and Heidenheim Lead Divisions

With only about six weeks to play in the German Bundesliga, the Solingen Alligators are dominating the competition in the North Division. The Alligators lead the North with a record of 15-1, with the only loss coming to the Paderborn Untouchables 4 to 3. Since the loss the Alligators have run off seven straight wins including a sweep of second place Bonn a few weeks ago.

The Alligators are led offensively by Tanner Leighton who leads the team in HR (5), RBI (20), runs (18), hits (25), doubles (7), and average (.455). Moritz Buttgereit (.411/.479/.554), Markus Stryczek (.324/.468/.595), and Dustin Hughes (.351/.433/.544) have all added a pair of home runs for the first place Alligators.

On the hill Chris Mezger has dominated the competition as the Alligators ace. He has tossed 51.0 innings striking out 79 and only walking 7 en route to a 7-0 record with an ERA of just 0.529. Andre Hughes has pitched well out of the pen picking up a win and two saves.

In the South Division a new name is atop the standings as the Heidenheim Heidekopfe are leading with a record of 15-3. They sit just ahead of powerhouse Regensburg who is 15-5.

Heidenheim has an eight game winning streak going right now that included a weekend sweep of rival Regensburg.

James McOwen leads the Heidenheim offense so far hitting at a clip of .400/.451/.680. He has clubbed four home runs and nine doubles to lead the team. Andrew Smith is also off to a hot start. Smith is hitting a team leading .470. Power has come throughout the line up so far with Luke Sommer (3), Smith (2), Jay Pecci (2), Robert Gruber (2), and Simon Guhring (2) all hitting more than one home run.

On the hill Sommer has been solid so far as well. He has pitched in five games, won three, saved one, and has an ERA of just 0.885 in 20.1 innings pitched. Tyler Lockwood has been solid as well going 7-0 while logging 58.2 innings for Heidenheim.

North Division Standings:

1. Solingen Alligators 15-1
2. Bonn Capitals 12-4
3. Paderborn Untouchables 9-3
4. HSV Stealers 6-8
5. Dohren Wild Farmers 5-13
6. Cologne Cardinals 4-12
7. Dortmund Wanderers 3-13

South Division Standings:

1. Heidemheim Heidekopfe 15-3
2. Buchbinder Legionaere 15-5
3. Stuttgart Reds 10-6
4. Mannheim Tornados 9-7
5. Mainz Athletics 8-10
6. Haar Disciples 7-9
7. Tubingen Hawks 2-14
8. Bad Homburg Hornets 2-14

Posted in Europe3 Comments

College: Top 8 Seeds Fight for Spot in Omaha

The Road to Omaha kicks off today as the regional round starts today at sixteen different spots around the country.  As the rounds progress you can follow the bracket here.

The top eight seeds were announced earlier this week with the Oregon State Beavers (42-12) picking up the top seed. In the top eight there were a few teams nobody expected when the season began. Following up Oregon State is SEC power Florida (40-21). The SEC only placed two teams this  year in the top 8 seeds. Next up at #3 is Virginia (44-13), followed by #4 Indiana (42-13), #5 Florida State (44-15), #6 UL-Lafayette (53-7), #7 TCU (42-15), and #8 LSU (44-14-1).

The top eight seeds don’t really match up with the final rankings as all of the major polls had UL-Lafayette ranked first. In fact many of the polls had a few teams outside of the top 10 including TCU and Indiana.

LSU (SEC), TCU (Big 12), Indiana (Big 10), and UL-Lafayette (Sun Belt) all won their conference tournaments. Oregon State won the Pac-12 but there is no conference tournament.

National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Association Poll

 

Rank School Record Previous
1 Louisiana-Lafayette 53-7 2
2 Oregon State 42-12 1
3 Virginia 44-13 3
4 LSU 44-14-1 8
5 Florida State 43-15 6
6 Cal Poly 45-10 4
7 Oklahoma State 45-16 7
8 Louisville 45-15 5
9 Houston 44-15 12
10 Florida 40-21 14
11 Indiana 42-16 18
12 South Carolina 41-18 9
13 Vanderbilt 41-18 10
14 Miami (Fla.) 41-17 11
15 Rice 41-18 17
16 TCU 42-15 20
17 Mississippi 41-18 16
18 Washington 39-15-1 13
19 Oregon 42-18 15
20 Texas 38-18 19
21 Nebraska 40-19 24
22 Mississippi State 37-22 21
23 Texas Tech 40-18 22
24 Pepperdine 39-16 29
25 Sam Houston State 41-17 23
26 Clemson 36-23 26
27 Arkansas 38-23 27
28 Dallas Baptist 40-19 30
29 Alabama 34-22 25
30 San Diego State 42-19 NR

Dropped Out: No. 28 Liberty.

Others Receiving Votes (Listed Alphabetically): Arizona State (33-22), Bryant (42-14), Cal State Fullerton (32-22), Campbell (40-19), College of Charleston (41-17), Columbia (29-18), Creighton (32-17-1), Georgia Tech (36-25), Indiana State (35-16), Kentucky (35-23), Liberty (41-16), Long Beach State (32-24), Maryland (36-21), Old Dominion (36-24), Sacramento State (39-22), UNLV (35-23).

Posted in College, N. America0 Comments

Switzerland: Zurich Barracudas Defeat Lucerne Eagles in Battle for First Place

By Christopher Byrnes The second place Lucerne Eagles travelled to Zurich to take on the first place Zurich Barracudas. Both ball clubs made key offseason aquistions and are much improved this season.  The Eagles were looking to swep the Barracudas and take over first place but the Barracudas were triumphant winning both games by a score of 8-6. The Barracudas continue to play solid fundamental baseball and move to the top of the NLA with a 8-1 record. The Eagles fall back to 4-4 and retain the last playoff spot in a very tight NLA race. Swiss NLA REGULAR SEASON

  W L PCT GB
Zürich Barracudas 8 1 .889 -
Therwil Flyers 7 5 .583 2.5
Bern Cardinals 7 5 .583 2.5
Luzern Eagles 4 4 .500 3.5
Zürich Challengers 4 5 .444 4
Zürich Lions 0 10 .000 8.5

Game 1 Summary –  Zurich Barracudas 8 – Lucerne Eagles 6 Andi Rüesch coming off a strong performance last week started for the Barracudas while Andrea Girasole started for the Eagles. The Eagles jumped on Rüesch in the first inning scoring two runs. Leadoff man Sammy Paulino singled and Raphael Strub doubled to score the first run. Strub moved to third base on a ground out by Rudi Vargas and then scored on a slow ground ball to 1st base to make it 2-0 Eagles. The Barracudas got one run back in bottom of the first when Harry Wischnewski walked and stole his ninth base of the season and scored on an Eagle error to make it 2-1. In the bottom of the third inning, the Barracudas erupted for three runs to make the score 4-2. Josh Crouse hit a long double, Strahil Georgiev followed with a 12 pitch at bat and finally getting hit by pitch and then Nderim Coma smashed a double to score both runners. Nelson Santana followed with a single to score Coma. The Eagles came right back in the fourth inning to make the score 4-3 when Tom Enz smoked a double and scored on an infield error. The Barracudas broke the game open in the bottom of the 5th inning scoring three runs to make the score 7-3. Chris Michal singled and stole second base and Nderim Coma once again hit a double to score Michals. Bert Marsnik then singled to place runners on the corner.  Coma scored on a Nelson Santana ground out and Marsnik scored when  Andi Rüesch smacked a single to right field. The Barracudas added an insurance run in the 6th when Strahil Georgiev walked and Chris Michals cracked a single to right field placing runners on the corners. Nderim Coma singled with two strikes to right field for his fourth RBI on the day to score Georgiev and make it 8-3. The Eagles did not give up and scored another run in the 7th inning when Patrick Maier led off and laced a double which was followed by a double from Sammy Paulino. Rudi Vargas then hit a single to score Paulino to make it a 8-5 ball game. The Eagles scored another run in the 9th inning when Rüesch hit the first two batters and gave up an RBI single to Edwin Martinez Hernandez. Rüesch went the distance for the third time this year and earned his fourth victory. Offensively, the Barracudas were led by Nderim Coma who went 3-4 on the day with 4rbi and two runs scored. Josh Crouse, Chris Michals and Bert Marsnik all had two hit days .  The Eagles were led by Paulino, Enz and Vargas each producing two hits on a piece on the day. Barracudas Josh Crouse delivering a double Untitled                       Game two – Zurich Barracudas 8 – Lucerne Eagles 6 In the second game the Eagles were looking for redemption and sent their power pitcher Mario Idelfonso to the mound to face Chris Michals.  The Eagles once again came out strong to take the lead in the 1st inning by scoring a run on three consecutive singles by Rafael Strub, Michal Settle and Rudi Vargas. The Barracudas took advantage of some first inning control problems from Idelfonso when Harry Wischnewski walked and scored on a wild pitch to knot the game at 1-1. The Barracudas broke the game open in the 3rd inning scoring four runs to make the score 5-1. Nelson Santana singled and Hasson Rogers playing his first game of the season also singled. Marcel Loco Ochsner laid down a great sac bunt in the Bermuda triangle that the Eagles could not defend and that loaded the bases with no outs.  Harry Wischnewski came to the plate and he ripped a single up the middle to score two runs.  Josh Crouse then added and RBI on a hard ground out and Wischnewski came around to score when Bert Marsnik delivered a single. The Eagles just like in game one continued to fight back and scored two runs in the top of the 6th to make it a 5-3 ball game. Rudi Vargas got the Eagles going with a single and Patrick Maier delivered a nice rbi triple down the right field line and Edwin Martinez Hernandez followed with a single to get the Eagles back in the game. The Barracudas responded and increase their lead to 8-4  in the bottom 8th when Josh Crouse walked and Bert Marsnik singled and pitcher Chris Michals delivered a double to score two runs. The Eagles fought back scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth and had the tying run on second when Michals shut the door by striking out the last batter to earn his fourth win on the season. The Barracudas were led offensively by Chris Michals who went 2-4 and 2 rbi’s and Harry Wischnewski who had a single and two rbi’s. The Barracudas will face the Zurich Lions next weekend in Zurich

Posted in Europe0 Comments

Switzerland: Zurich Barracudas Sweep the Bern Cardinals

By Christopher Byrnes

The Zurich Barracudas travelled to Bern to face the defending champions with both teams fighting for first place.  The Barracudas prevailed in game 1 with great pitching from Andi Rüesch by a score of 2-0 and took the night cap with Chris Michaels throwing a 3 hit 15 strike out performance to win 5-3 and push the Barracudas to the top of the Swiss NLA leader board with a record of 6-1.

In game one the Barracudas gave the ball to Andi Rüesch 2-0 on the season to face the Cardinals ace Tobias Imboden. The Barracudas struck first by scoring two unearned runs in the top of the first off Imboden. The Cardinals defense allowed two errors to start the game as both Josh Crouse and Bert Marsnik reached on errors and Marsnik scored on a bloop single by Chris Michaels and Harry Wischnewski scored on a Nderim Coma sac fly to make it 2-0 Barracudas. The Cardinals mounted a rally in the bottom of the sixth inning when Santo Pena walked, Thierry Burkhardt singled and Steven McIntosh executed a nice sac bunt to place runners on 2nd and 3rd base with two outs. Johnny Perigos one of the most dangerous hitters in Swiss baseball stepped to the plate to try to tie the game. The Barracudas with first base open walked Perigos to load the bases to face cleanup hitter Ernesto Pereira. Rüesch fell behind 2-0 in the count but he stayed calm and made his pitch on the outside of the plate and Pereira flied out to left field to end the inning. This was the key play and the turning point for the Barracudas.

Both pitchers were lights out but it was Rüesch in the end who won the battle moving to 3-0  on the season getting his second complete game and the shutout and lowering his season era to 0.91. Tobias Imboden pitched just as well going the distance allowing no earned runs but fell to 1-2 on the season with a 1.33 era.

 Game Two – Barracudas 5 – Cardinals 3

In the second game the defending champs gave the ball to their import pitcher Ernesto Pereira who has been spectacular all season in hopes of winning the night cap. The Barracudas sent their import pitcher Chris Michals to the mound with a sweep on their minds.  The Barracudas once again struck first with a run in the first inning when Josh Crouse led off with a walk and advanced on a passed ball. Harry Wischnewski then singled Crouse to third base and Wischnewski stole second base. Chris Michals grounded out to score Crouse from 3rd base to make it 1-0.

The Cardinals answered back in the bottom of the first when Thierry Burkhardt reached 1st base on an error and moved to second on a single by Johnny Perigos. Michals walked Pereira to load the bases and then Marc Oboussier hit a sac fly to score Burkhardt to knot the score at 1-1.

The Barracudas scored again in the 4th inning when Chris Michals singled moved to second on passed ball and tagged up and moved to 3rd base on fly ball from Nderim Coma. Andi Rüesch stepped to the plate and with the infield in hit a ground ball to second base and Chris Michals was thrown out trying to score. Rüesch moved to second on a passed ball and then scored when Sascha Stanko singled to make it 2-1.

Again the Cardinals answered back in the bottom of the 4th by scoring two runs to take the lead 3-2. Moritz Kocher singled with one out and Miro Bussman grounded to second base but the throw was off line and the Cardinals had runners on 2nd and 3rd base. Michals threw a wild pitch to score Kocher to tie the game and then Thierry Burkhardt reached first on error and Steve McIntosh scored.

The Barracudas settled down after that inning and Chris Michals was dominant the rest of the way. The Barracudas reached Pereira for one run in the 6th when Michals doubled, Coma singled and Marcel Loco Ochsner ripped a single up the middle to tie the score.

The Barracudas kept the pressure on Pereira the rest of the way and in the 8th inning they blew the game open by scoring two runs to make it a 5-3 ball game.  Andi Rüesch led off with a walk and Sascha Stanko executed a perfect sac bunt to move Rüesch into scoring position with one out. Marcel Loco Ochsner once again came threw for the Barracudas by knocking a double down the left field line to score Rüesch with the go ahead run.  This was key to the game. Alex Bruce the young 17 year old came through with a single to move Ochsner to 3rd base and then Josh Crouse hit a sac fly to provide the Barracudas with a very important insurance run.

Chris Michals was absolutely lights out keeping the Cardinals bats off balance all day long. He registered his third win and complete game on the season and struck out 15 batters. His season era is now at a skinny 0.67 to lead the league.

The Barracudas were led offensively by Chris Michals who went 4-7 with 2 rbi’s on the day to raise his average to .347. Marcel Loco Ochsner deliver two clutch hits driving in 2 rbi’s. Alex Bruce also went 3-8 on the day.

Swiss NLA Standings

Tabelle Regular Season

W L PCT GB
Zürich Barracudas 6 1 .857 -
Luzern Eagles 4 2 .667 1.5
Therwil Flyers 5 3 .625 1.5
Bern Cardinals 4 5 .444 3
Zürich Challengers 2 3 .400 3
Zürich Lions 0 7 .000 6

 

 

Posted in Europe0 Comments

FanDuel

Member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance

OOTP Baseball '14 Buy OOTP Baseball 14 PC & Mac

Share Us on Google+

Have a Baseball Story?

Whether its a press release, tips, information, or just a good story, feel free to Contact Us with any story baseball related.