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Apologies From Yours Truly
Editorial by Dale Wyman
It appears as "life" has gotten in the way of my passion... baseball. As most of you know (or may not know) for the past few weeks I have been very busy with school work. You heard that right, school work. I have returned to school to pursue my PMP certification (Project Management Professional). This task, by far, has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done. Some say the test is harder to pass than the bar. Three weeks of 8a-5p school... three weeks of intense study on my own... then back for another week of school before I sit down to take my 200 question, four-hour exam.
As a result, I have neglected this website and I apologize for that. Hopefully I can get back on track in the near future.
Now on to some baseball news. Since I left off the Arizona Firebirds have competed in two tournaments... the 2012 Top Choice USSSA Arizona State Championships and the 2012 Victory Lane Sports Park All Night Woody. One tournament not so good, the other, perhaps the best the Firebirds have ever played.
The Arizona State Championships at Peoria Sports Complex resulted in a 1-2 record with the boys in red beating AZ RBI, 10-9, but losing twice to the Pirates of Arizona 11-3 and 8-0. Jaycob Bennett hit .571 (4-for-7), Cody Hopper hit .500 (1-for-2), and DJ Wyman was 3-for-7 for a .429 average. From the hill, newcomer Carlos Brancamontes picked up the lone victory for the Firebirds throwing a three-hitter through five innings against AZ RBI.
The Arizona Firebirds played through the night June 16-17 in their first ever "All Night Woody" (get your mind out of the gutter - it was an all wood bat tournament) at Victory Lane Sports Park. The Firebirds played at 4pm Saturday, June 16 then on through the night (12am midnight; 2am; and in the championship game at 4am) Sunday, June 17. All night baseball proved to be a great thing as the Firebirds looked sharp on offense, hitting .311 to their opponents .194 batting average. On the defensive side, the Firebirds had just three total errors in their four games and pitching was awesome!
The Firebirds won their first three games launching them into the number one seed in the Championship game - the one at 4am - but ran out of gas in the process. The day, er, um night began with a convincing 5-1 victory over the Cave Creek Sox (4pm) followed by another win over nemesis South Mountain Runnin' Rebels, 4-2 (midnight); a 5-3 win over powerhouse AZ Aces (2am); and then the championship loss to the South Mountain Runnin' Rebels, 7-3 (4am).
You could list everyone on the roster as having a spectacular tournament. Leading the way on the offensive side was Jared Kenyon (.500; 5-for-10); Carlos Brancamontes (.455; 5-for-11); David Gutierrez (.444; 4-for-9); DJ Wyman (.429; 3-for-7); returning veteran Brady Stubbs (.364; 4-for-11); Jaycob Bennett and Ryan Hughes (both were 3-for-10; .300). In fact, everyone got at least one hit in the tournament... Mario Martinez had two and Rodrigo Ornelas, Trent Wohrle, and Cody Hopper had one each.
On the mound, Hughes, Kenyon, and Brancamontes all picked up wins while Martinez, Brancamontes, and Wyman picked up saves. Bennett perhaps had the best outing as the tall youngster pitched five solid innings against the Runnin' Rebels, striking out eight while rendering just one hit. Gutierrez suffered the championship loss.
Well, it's time to head back to the books. It was fun, though, catching up with you. See you on the fields...
Firebirds Compete in Memorial Day NIT
The Arizona Firebirds lost in the first round of the 2012 USSSA Memorial Day NIT at Peoria Sports Complex this weekend. Game write-ups and more pictures to come.
Saturday, May 26 | 8:00am | Firebirds vs. Phoenix Cubs | LOST 9-1
Saturday, May 26 | 10:30am | Firebirds vs. ABA Brackeen | LOST 10-2
Sunday, May 27 | 8:00am | Firebirds vs. Tucson Yankees | LOST 11-8
Sunday, May 27 | 1:00pm | Firebirds vs. AZ Stars | LOST 16-8
The Tucson Yankees defeated the Pirates of AZ, 10-9, to claim the championship
Check out all the pictures from the tournament, to the right and under Photo Gallery
For Scores, Click HERE
For Brackets and other Info, Click HERE
2012 USSSA Best of the West Re-Cap
Saturday, May 12 | 9:00am | Firebirds vs. Spin Doctor BB | WON 11-2
Saturday, May 12 | 9:00am | Firebirds vs. LC Bombers | LOST 15-4
Sunday, May 13 | 8:00am | Firebirds vs. Phoenix Cubs | LOST 9-7
The Phoenix Cubs beat The Pirates of AZ, 4-2, to capture the AAA Title
The Arizona Firebirds finished 1-2 in the 2012 USSSA Best of the West Tournament at the Peora Sports Complex. Saturday's pool play win was good enough to launch the Firebirds into the number two seed and to play up in the AAA Divisional Tournament on Sunday. The Firebirds played tough against the eventual AAA champions, Phoenix Cubs, but fell short, 9-7.
Statistically, the Firebirds out-hit their opponents, 25-23, but 24 free passes (18 walks and 6 hit batters) by Firebird pitchers resulted in nine runs (out of 26 runs) for their opponents.
Once again, David Gutierrez led all Firebird hitters with a .500 batting average garnering three hits (3-for-6). Lucas Wyant, who played in just two of the three games, also batted .500 going 1-for-2. Gutierrez also led in the categories of RBI's (4), Total Bases (10), Slugging Percentage (1.333), and had an inside the park home run. Newcomer Carlos Brancamontes, Ryan Hughes, and Cody Hopper each went 4-for-9 (.444) with Brancamontes collected three singles and a double; Hughes collected two singles, a double, and a triple; and Hopper had four singles. Jaycob Bennett, along with Gutierrez, had three hits (3-for-7; .429) including a triple (his first) to a go along with his two singles. DJ Wyman had two singles to go along with his two RBI's and two runs scored. Jared Kenyon, Rodrigo Ornelas, Trent Wohrle, and newcomer Mario Martinez each had a hit to round out the Firebirds offense.
Defensively, Bennett picked up the lone victory for the Firebirds. Bennett gave up just one hit and one earned run in his three and one-third innings. Brancamontes, Wyman, Wyant, Hughes, Martinez, and Gutierrez also pitched for the Firebirds. As mentioned, the pitchers had trouble finding the plate, rendering 24 free passes, while striking out just four opponents... a ratio that certainly needs some attention.
For All Scores, Click HERE
A few of the boys take a break from baseball and enjoy a meal at Hooters
Cubs Edge Firebirds, 9-7
The eventual 2012 USSSA Best of the West champions, Phoenix Cubs, defeated the Arizona Firebirds, 9-7, Sunday morning at Peoria Sports Complex knocking our boys in red out of the tournament... but not without battle.
The Firebirds went up 1-0 in the top of the first inning after David Gutierrez was struck by a pitch and eventually scored on an RBI single by Cody Hopper. The Cubs responded with one run of their own in the bottom of the first to tie the score at one run apiece.
Following a scoreless second inning, the Firebirds rendered another run in the bottom of the second to give the bad guys a 2-1 edge.
But the Firebirds went back to work plating two runs in the third. With two outs, newcomer Carlos Brancamontes singled, stole second base, then scored on a double by Gutierrez. Gutierrez then scored on a single by Jaycob Bennett to give the Firebirds the 3-2 lead.
The Firebirds went up 4-2 in the top of the fourth inning after Ryan Hughes reached on a fielders choice and scored on a single by DJ Wyman. The Cubs re-took the lead, 6-4, in the bottom of the fourth inning then a 9-4 lead in the bottom of the fifth stanza after the Firebirds were held scoreless.
Not giving up hope, the Firebirds plated three more runs in the sixth and final inning - cut short because of time restraints. Bennett led off with a triple to deep left center and scored on a single by Hopper. With one out, Hughes singled advancing Hopper to third. After Hughes stole second, Lucas Wyant lined a double down the first base line to score Hopper and Hughes.
The Firebirds actually out-hit the Cubs, 10-8. Bennett, Brancamontes, and Hopper led the hit attack with two hits each while Gutierrez, Wyant, Wyman, and Hughes each had one hit.
Newcomer Mario Martinez started on the hill for the Firebirds but did not factor into the decision. Wyant, Brancamontes - who picked up the loss - Gutierrez, and Bennett all pitched in relief.
Bombers Bomb Firebirds, 15-4
Things went from bad to worse in the Firebirds second game of the 2012 USSSA Best of the West Tournament at Peoria Sports Complex Saturday afternoon. The Firebirds fell behind early and never recuperated losing 15-4 to the LC (Los Cruces, NM) Bombers.
The Firebirds fell behind, 11-0, before getting on the scoreboard. Newcomer Carlos Brancamontes drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the fourth then David Gutierrez sent a 3-1 pitch deep to the left-center field fence, 380 feet away, to tally an inside the park home run. It was Gutierrez's second hit of the game. His first hit was a double in the first inning.
The Firebirds posted two more runs in the fifth inning to pull within seven, 11-4. Walks by DJ Wyman, Jared Kenyon. and Lucas Wyant loaded the bases for Trent Wohrle who scored Wyman after hitting into a fielders choice. Kenyon scored on a error by the Bombers shortstop.
Besides Gutierrez's two hits, the Firebirds managed just two more, a double by Ryan Hughes and a single by Brancamontes.
Wyman started on the mound for the Firebirds and picked up the loss. Wyant and Hughes pitched in relief.
Catcher Cody Hopper makes the tag at home plate
David Gutierrez gets a lead at second base while Trent Wohrle rounds third base
Firebirds Dominate Spin Doctors, 11-2
The Arizona Firebirds garnered 11 hits enroute to a 11-2 victory over the Spin Doctors Baseball Green squad in their opening game Saturday at the 2012 USSSA Best of the West tournament at Peoria Sports Complex. The victory was sweet revenge over the Spin Doctors as they dropped two previous meetings, 14-3 and 6-4.
The Spin Doctors took a 1-0 lead after one inning but the Firebirds were quick to respond with four runs in the top of the second thanks, in part, to three Spin Doctor errors. Newcomer Mario Martinez, Ryan Hughes, DJ Wyman, and Jared Kenyon each collected an RBI in the inning. Cody Hopper and Hughes each had a hit.
The Firebirds took an 8-1 lead in the top of third after Trent Wohrle and newcomer Carlos Brancamontes began the inning with back-to-back singles. David Gutierrez then scored Wohrle with a Sacrifice Flyout to left field. Then with two outs, Hopper sent a first pitch fastball past the shortstop scoring Brancamontes. After Martinez walked, Hughes followed with his second and third RBI with a triple to deep left center.
With the score 8-2, the Firebirds went back to work in the top of the fifth. Jaycob Bennett singled and scored on a two-out double by Martinez to give the good guys a 9-2 advantage.
The final two Firebird runs came in the top of the sixth stanza after Wyman singled, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a double to deep right center by Kenyon. Kenyon then scored on a wild pitch.
Bennett started on the hill for the Firebirds and picked up the victory. Bennett gave up just one hit and one run in his three inning stint. Brancamontes pitched the final three innings and allowed just one run on three Spin Doctor hits.
The Firebirds outhit the Spin Doctors, 11-4. Hughes and Hopper had two hits each while Bennett, Brancamontes, Kenyon, Rodrigo Ornelas, Wohrle, Wyman, and Martinez had one hit apiece.
Jaycob Bennett (L) picked up the win while Ryan Hughes (R) picked up three RBI's
CHAMPS AT LAST!
The up and down Firebirds certainly ended on a high note Sunday afternoon at the 2012 USSSA Spring Classic II tournament at Victory Lane as they claimed Championship victory over the pesky Northern Arizona Outlaws, 13-10.
If you recall, the Firebirds out-dueled the Outlaws, 10-9, in the play-in game to the championship just a few weeks earlier so you know they came to play with revenge across their chest.
But the Firebirds would have none of that! Six first inning hits and runs alone set the tone of the game. Here's how it all went down in the top of the first inning: Trent Wohrle led off the game with a single to shallow left-center; DJ Wyman doubled down the third base line scoring Wohrle; David Gutierrez singled to deep left-center advancing Wyman to third; Jaycob Bennett singled to deep left-center to score Wyman; Josh Hu reached on a fielding error to load the bases; Cody Hopper singled past the shortstop to score Gutierrez; Ryan Hughes reached on a fielders choice; Rodrigo Ornelas walked with the bases loaded to score Hu; Brendon Jones singled scoring both Hopper and Hughes. Whew... and that was just the first inning!
The Outlaws wouldn't go away though. The bad guys scored three in the bottom of the first to set the score at 6-3, two in the bottom of the third to make the score 6-5, and then took the lead in the bottom of the fourth, 7-6.
Then it was the Firebirds second wind as the good guys plated four runs in the top of the fifth to take a 10-7 lead. Wohrle led off with a single up the middle then stole second base. Then with one out, Gutierrezsingled to left field scoring Wohrle. Bennett followed with a single of his own then Hu doulbe to deep left-center to score Guiterrez. A sacrifice fly by Hopper plated Bennett and a single by Hughes brought around Hu to score.
After the Firebirds scored one more run in the six, the Outlaws responded with two more runs of their own to pull within two, 11-9. But the Firebirds weren't done as they score two more in the top of the seven on key hits by Wyman, Gutierrez, and a double by Hopper. The Outlaws attempt at another comeback in the bottom of the seventh inning fell short as they could only muster one run.
The Firebirds' bats stayed hot in the championship game as they collected 15 hits including three singles each by Gutierrez and Bennett. Wyman (single and double), Wohrle (two singles), and Hopper (single and double) each gathered two hits, while Hu (double), Hughes (single), and Jones (single) had one hit apiece.
Hu started on the hill for the Firebirds and pitched three solid innings. Wyman pitched the middle innings and picked up the victory while Bennett picked up the save pitching the final one and a half innings. But they didn't do it alone. Once again, solid defense came to the rescue.
A day for the fans! Firebird followers watch as their team wins the AA Championship!
Firebirds Turn Day 2 of Spring Classic II Into Championship Day!
After suffering two losses in pool play in the first day at the USSSA Spring Classic II Tournament at Victory Lane, your Arizona Firebirds captured the AA Championship on Sunday with two convincing wins over two very good teams. Oh what a difference a day makes!
Check out the 150+ great pictures taken by my better half, Nancy Wyman. Just select "Photo Gallery" in the left column and select Spring Classic II - Day 1 and Spring Classic II - Day 2.
Saturday, April 21 | 7:30am | Firebirds vs. Storm Red | LOST 14-6
Saturday, April 21 | 12:00pm | Firebirds vs. East Valley Heat | LOST 17-6
Sunday, April 22 | 9:00am | Firebirds vs. Venom | WON 12-3
AA Championship Game!
Sunday, April 22 | 2:00pm | Firebirds vs. N. AZ Outlaws | WON 13-10
For All Scores, Click HERE
Your 2012 USSSA Spring Classic II AA Champions!
Firebirds Place 2nd in Easter Classic
The Arizona Firebirds placed second this past weekend at the 2012 USSSA Easter Classic at Victory Lane. But the real story was how they got to the Championship game. Details coming up within the next day or so...
Friday, April 6 | 8:30am | Firebirds vs. RM Lions | WON 10-3
Friday, April 6 | 1:00pm | Firebirds vs. CMC Vipers | LOST 12-2
Saturday, April 7 | 8:30am | Firebirds vs. Mean Machine | WON 5-2
Saturday, April 7 | 1:00pm | Firebirds vs. Northern AZ Outlaws | WON 10-9
Saturday, April 7 | 6:00pm | Firebirds vs. CMC Vipers | LOST 9-0
For All Tournament Scores, Click HERE
A Weekend of Heroes...
The Arizona Firebirds finished 3-2 in the 2012 USSSA Easter Classic at Victory Lane Sports Complex. The Firebirds split Friday's pool play, good enough to place them as the number two seed and to play up in the AAA Divisional Tournament on Sunday.
It’s not every day that so many heroes rise to the occasion. Saturday, with a little of Friday mixed in, was a day unlike most.
- Lucas Wyant sent a first-pitch triple down the first base line scored two and unlock a 2-2 tie against the Mean Machine leading to a 5-2 victory. Wyant collected five hits and had five RBI’s to lead his team. Wyant also put on the shin guards and caught for the first time in a Firebird jersey.
- DJ Wyman pitched brilliantly in the miracle game against the number one seeded Northern AZ Outlaws. Wyman picked up the win and struck out five in the Firebirds come from behind victory. Wyman also picked up the win in the Firebirds 10-4 victory over the Red Mountain Lions. In addition, for the tournament Wyman collected three hits, had two RBI’s, and two stolen bases – including a steal home. Wyman was camped at third base for most the tournament and played flawlessly while throwing out nine runners to lead the team. Wyman also assisted in two double plays.
- Jaycob Bennett pitched a complete game in the Firebirds, 5-2, victory over the Mean Machine Saturday morning. Bennett gave up just five hits and recorded six strikeouts in his seven inning stint. Bennett also collected three RBI’s in the two-day tournament.
- Ryan Hughes, hampered by a sprained wrist and unable to play but still need to bat, stood in the box and “took one for the team” off his hip to score a bases-loaded run and allow the Firebirds to come back from four run deficit and tie the game against the Outlaws. It was like a "Babe Ruth calling his shot" moment.
- Jared Kenyon sent a 1-1 pitch over the second baseman’s head to score what proved to be the winning run against the Outlaws. Kenyon hit .400 (4-for-10) for the tournament to lead the Firebirds.
- David Gutierrez recorded three RBI’s on a single and a double in the Firebirds, 10-3 victory over the Red Mountain Lions. Gutierrez ended up with five RBI’s, along with Wyant, to lead the Firebirds.
- Trent Wohrle singled to secure victory for the Firebirds against the Mean Machine. Wohrle had four hits for the tournament.
- Brendon Jones was responsible for 11 defensive outs (6 assists and 5 putouts) over the two days. Jones also had an unassisted double play!
- Brian Love, in his second tournament as a Firebird, played effectively in the outfield. Love committed no errors, caught four fly balls, and assisted in two outs.
- Rodrigo Ornelas led the team in runs scored with six. He also drew six bases on balls to lead the team.
- Josh Hu played in just the Championship game but on a weekend when the Firebirds didn’t expect him to play at all, Hu stepped up and came to the rescue.
- Coaches Johnny Fernandez, Julian Guttierez, and Jason Bennett prepared the team brilliantly for the tournament. When the cards were stacked against the Firebirds, the coaches quickly got them back into the game and in to the win column. Way to go Coaches!
The Firebirds 3-2 tournament record doesn’t do justice for how the team played over the weekend. Despite the two losses – both to the incredible, hard-hitting CMC Vipers – the Firebirds played as a team and huge progress was made in the re-building of the somewhat struggling squad.
Congratulations Firebirds and a special shout-out to the parents!
The Arizona Firebirds celebrate with their second place trophy
2012 USSSA Spring Classic I Re-Cap
60 pictures from the tournament can be found under "Photo Gallery" in the left column... Click on 2012 USSSA Spring Classic I
Sat, March 31 | 3:00pm | Firebirds vs. Green Mtn Rams (Colorado) | LOST 9-5
Sat, March 31 | 5:15pm | Firebirds vs. South Mtn Runnin' Rebels | WON 5-0
Sun, April 1 | 12:30pm | Firebirds vs. RM Hit Club Rangers (CO) | LOST 8-4
Arizona Monsoon defeated RM Hit Club Rangers, 8-0, in the Majors Championship
The Arizona Firebirds finished 1-2 in the 2012 USSSA Spring Classic I at Red Mountain Sports Complex. Saturday's pool play win was good enough to launch the Firebirds into the number one seed and to play up in the Majors Divisional Tournament on Sunday. The Firebirds played tough against the quality team from Colorado (RM Hit Club Rangers) but fell short, 8-4.
The Firebirds jumped out to a 4-0 first inning lead but couldn't manage to plate another run for the remainder of the six inning stint. David Gutierrez led off the top of the first inning with a single to the left-center gap. Trent Wohrle followed with a free pass. In an attempt at a double steal, Gutierrez was gunned down at third while Wohrle was in at second with a stolen base. Josh Hu followed with a single past the shortstop advancing Wohrle to third. After Jaycob Bennett walked to load the bases, fill-in Anthony Sumrall sent a first pitch fastball deep to the 381-foot fence in right-center. Tim Lincicum, er um, Sumrall raced around the bases for an inside the park home run and putting the Firebirds in the lead, 4-0. Unfortunately, the Firebirds managed just two more hits for the remainder of the contest.
Hu picked up the loss for the Firebirds in relief of starter Sumrall who lasted two innings. DJ Wyman and Bennett also pitched for the Firebirds.
In Saturday's action, the Firebirds lost their first game of pool play to the Green Mountain Rams from Colorado (another Majors team). The Rams jumped out to a 4-0 lead after one inning and never looked back.
Starter Ryan Hughes picked up the loss but pitched well in his four innings. Hughes gave up just five hits while striking out three. Just three of his eight runs given up were earned as errors, once again, plagued the Firebirds. Rodrigo Ornelas pitched the final inning for the Firebirds.
In their second game, the Firebirds blanked the South Mountain Runnin' Rebels, 5-0, behind the pitching of Hu, Sumrall, and Bennett who combined for a two-hit shutout. Hu picked up the victory giving up just two hits while striking out five in his five strong innings.
The Firebirds managed just three hits but executed well on the base paths. Bennett's bases loaded double in the third inning was good enough to give the Firebirds the victory. The Firebirds added one more run in the fifth stanza on a sacrifice fly by Wohrle and another in the seventh after an RBI single by Gutierrez.
It was the Firebirds first win against the Runnin' Rebels in three tries. The Firebirds lost, 16-6, and, 8-3, in previous tries.
Statistically, the Firebirds out-hit their opponents, 17-14, but nine tournament errors (compared to their opponents, zero), too many free passes (19 - 16 walks and three hit battters), and a lack of execution resulted in eight unearned runs for their opponents.
Fill-in Anthony Sumrall led all Firebird hitters with four hits (4-for-7; .571). Sumrall also led the team with four RBI's (all coming on his grand slam, inside the park, home run) and stolen bases (4). David Gutierrez ended his consecutive game hit streak at 14 games after going 0-for-1 in the game against the Rams. Gutierrez, however, began a new consecutive game hit streak as her garnered two hits against the Rangers. It's now one, and counting. Josh Hu finished the tournament with a .429 batting average (3-for-7). Jaycob Bennett, Ryan Hughes, Gutierrez, and fill-in Chris Quintero each had two hits. Brendon Jones and Rodrigo Ornelas had one hit each.
Defensively, Hu pitched well for the Firebirds hurling six innings and recording five strikeouts. Hu picked up the lone victory for the boys in red but also suffered one of the losses. Hughes, Sumrall, Bennett, Ornelas, and DJ Wyman also pitched in the tournament.
For all Tournament Scores, click HERE
Team Building at Spring Training!
Note from Coach Johnny Fernandez: "It is imperative that parents make sure they get their kids to the practices, on time, so we can grow as a team."
2012 AZBA Weekend Bash II Recap
Saturday, March 3 | 8:00am | Firebirds vs. Mustangs | LOST 8-4
Saturday, March 3 | 10:30am | Firebirds vs. Stetson Hills | LOST 9-1
Sunday, March 4 | 10:30am | Firebirds vs. Storm | LOST 12-4
The Arizona Firebirds finished 0-3 in the 2012 AZBA Weekend Bash II (I made that name up) at Sunrise Mountain High School. Although dissapointing, there were two events that stood out. First, the Firebirds turned a triple play during their game against the Storm (see details below) and second, the Firebirds have brought in a new coach, Johnny Fernandez, to help out Manager Julian Gutierrez and Coach Jason Bennett. Fernandez brings quite a resume to the table including a successful college baseball career and a brush with the "bigs". I will be sharing his story with you in future articles. Coach Julian felt bringing in an outside coach would put a fire under the kids. I agree, something needed to change.
Statistically, the Firebirds were out-hit by their opponents, 25-17, and just couldn't seem to get in rhythm. Too many errors (10), too many free passes (20 - 15 walks and five hit battters), and a lack of execution resulted in eight unearned runs for their opponents.
Jaycob Bennett and fill-in Anthony Sumrall led all Firebird hitters with three hits apiece (3-for-6; .500). David Gutierrez continued his consecutive game hit streak (now at 14 games) with two hits. Gutierrez was 0-for-0 with two walks in the third game so his hitting streak continues. He also has hit safely in 20 of the last 23 games. DJ Wyman also collected two hits, both in the third game Sunday morning. Wyman was unavailable for Saturday's action as he was busy winning a medal at the Pendergast District Track Meet. Wyman placed second in the softball throw heaving the nugget 206 feet. Josh Hu, Hunter Parks, Lucas Wyant, Rodrigo Ornelas, Trent Wohrle, Ryan Hughes, and fill-in Chris Quintero each collected one hit.
Ornelas, Parks, and Bennett each started on the hill and picked up a loss while Wyant, Sumerall, Wyman, and Quintero pitched in relief.
Individual game write-ups can be found below.
New coach, Johnny Fernandez, consoles pitcher DJ Wyman. Fernandez brings an impressive resume to the club.
For write-ups on previous games click on "Archives" in the left-hand column
2012 USSSA President's Day NIT Recap
Saturday, Feb. 18 | Firebirds vs All Star BB | LOST 9-1
Saturday, Feb. 18 | Firebirds vs Stetson Hills Stealth 13's | LOST 11-9
Sunday, Feb. 19 | Firebirds vs Spin Doctors Green | LOST 6-4
Sunday, Feb. 19 | Firebirds vs Grinders Green 14U | WON 12-3
Monday, Feb. 20 | Firebirds vs Spin Doctors Green | LOST 6-2 ("AA" Championship)
For Scores From ALL the Action... Click HERE
The Arizona Firebirds finished 1-4 in the 2012 USSSA President's Day NIT at Victory Lane Sports Complex. The Firebirds lone win came on Sunday night over Grinders Green, 12-3. The tournament ended with disappointment as the Firebirds lost to Spin Doctors Green, 6-2, in the "AA" Championship game. (Individual game write-ups can be found below.)
Statistically, the Firebirds once again out-hit their opponents, 49-40, but just couldn't put the hits together at the right times. A lack of execution if you will. The Firebirds stranded an incredible 37 runners in their five games. The Firebirds also ended up hitting .350 for the tournament in comparison to our opponents .310 batting average. So where are things going wrong? In my opinion, along with the stranded runners, the story of the tournament was our opponents "one big inning". In nearly every loss - not only in this tournament but in all tournaments - the Firebirds seem to give up one big inning to our opponents resulting in several losses. Those "one bad innings" appear to deflate the players beyond repair. In fact, eliminate those "one big innings" and our Firebirds dominated our opponents.
Now back to the President's Day tournament...
For the third straight tournament, David Gutierrez led the way for the Firebirds going 9-for-15 (.600 batting average). Gutierrez also led the team in On Base Percentage (.625), Slugging Percentage (.933), Total Bases (16), RBI's (7), Runs Scored (6), and Triples (2). Also noted is that Gutierrez has a 12-game hitting streak and has hit safely in 18 of the last 21 games! Way to go David!
Others contributing to the cause included: Hunter Parks (7-for-14; .500 Batting Average), Rodrigo Ornelas (5-for-12; .417 BA); Lucas Wyant (6-for-15; .400 BA), Trent Wohrle (5-for-13; .385 BA); and Jaycob Bennett (6-for-16; .375; led team with 4 doubles).
On the mound, Hunter Parks picked up the lone tournament victory, pitching a complete game against the Grinders Green squad. Parks pitched six innings, struck out eight, while rendering just three hits to the Grinders. Parks, along with Jaycob Bennett, Josh Hu, and Lucas Wyant suffered the four losses.
Despite the loss, Bennett pitched great in his complete game against the Spin Doctors Green squad in the championship game. Bennett pitched six innings, recorded seven strikeouts, and gave up just eight hits. Wyant also pitched brilliantly. The youngster pitched six solid innings allowing just six hits, no earned runs, while striking out six in the first game against the Spin Doctors Green.
By the way, the Titans PV defeated All-Star Baseball (ASBA), 11-2, in the "AAA" Championship game.
David Gutierrez led the way with a .600 BA; Brendon Jones and Trent Wohrle had key hits; Hunter Parks shined on the hill and batting
2012 AZBA Weekend Bash 1 Recap
Saturday, January 28 | 1:00pm | Goodyear Gators | WON 9-5
Saturday, January 28 | 3:30pm | Phoenix Rebels | LOST 5-4
Sunday, January 29 | 10:30am | Goodyear Gators | WON 8-2
Sunday, January 29 | 12:45pm | Phoenix Rebels | LOST 6-4 (Championship)
The new look Arizona Firebirds finished 2-2 in the 2012 AZBA Weekend Bash 1 (I made that name up because the tournament has no name) at South Mountain High School. The Firebirds - in their inaguaral tournament - played very well and continue to improve. The three team tournament ended with a bit of disappointment as the Firebirds lost to rival Phoenix Rebels, 6-4, in the championship game. (Individual game write-ups can be found below.)
Statistically, the Firebirds out-hit their opponents in the hits category, 20-15, and ended up hitting .238 for the tournament in comparison to our opponents .195 batting average.
David Gutierrez once again led the way for the Firebirds going 4-for-9 (.444 batting average). Gutierrez also led the team in On Base Percentage (.615) and Slugging Percentage (.556) and had nine total bases to lead the pack. Fill-in Anthony Sumrall also collected four hits (4-for-10) and collected three singles and a double. Sumrall led the team in stolen bases (4-for-4) and also collected three RBI's.
Jaycob Bennett (not Jason) went 3-for-9 and led the team in RBI's (7) and doubles (2). Hunter Parks (single and a triple), Lucas Wyant (two singles), and Rodrigo Ornelas (two singles) collected two hits each while Josh Hu (triple), DJ Wyman (double,) and Ryan Hughes (double and two RBI's) each had one hit.
Wyman, Hu, Gutierrez, Parks, Hughes, and newcomer Brendon Jones collected one RBI each.
Defensively the Firebirds had success with exception to, again, a few bad innings. The Firebirds collected just seven tournament errors compared to our opponents 11 errors.
Bennett pitched a complete game against the Gators on Sunday giving up just four hits in five innings. Bennett also gave up just two runs and struck out four. Hu gave up just three hits in three innings on Saturday against the Gators. Like Bennett, he also gave up just two runs while striking out four.
Despite their losses, Wyman and Parks pitched brilliantly. Wyman pitched a no-hitter in his four innings on Saturday against the Rebels while Parks rendered just six hits in his complete game effort (six innings of pitching) versus the Rebels in the championship game on Sunday.
The Firebirds were without All-Star centerfielder Trent Wohrle who was home treating an upset tummy. (All kidding aside, we missed you Trent and sure could have used your wheels in the outfield.)
Walks, again, was the story of the tournament for the Firebirds as our pitchers gave up a combined 24 walks (compared to just 13 strikeouts) in the 21 innings of play.
The new look Arizona Firebirds are improving each tournament and are looking forward to the next opportunity! WAY TO GO FIREBIRDS!
Newcomer Brendan Jones; Cartwheelin' Ryan Hughes; Smilin' Josh Hu
2012 USSSA MLK Classic NIT Recap
Saturday, January 14 | 1:00pm | AZ Titans EV | LOST 8-4
Saturday, January 14 | 3:15pm | AZ Vandals | LOST 8-3
Sunday, January 15 | 10:45am | BBC Generals | WON 4-3
Monday, January 16 | 10:45am | Scottsdale Dirtbags | LOST 7-1
The Heavy Hitters Baseball Academy finished 1-3 in the 2012 USSSA MLK Classic NIT at Big League Dreams. The Hitters played with great energy and lost to some very good teams. In fact, in their first battle against the Arizona Titans EV squad - the eventual MLK Champions - the Hitters stayed right with them until the final inning. (Individual game write-ups can be found below.)
Statistically, the Hitters matched their opponents in the hits category, 23-23, and ended up hitting .271 for the tournament in comparison to our opponents .240 batting average.
David Gutierrez led the way for the Hitters going 5-for-9 (.556 batting average). Guitierrez also had nine total bases to lead the pack. Fill-in Anthony Sumrall also collected five hits (5-for-11) and collected four singles and a double.
Fill-in (and hopefully newcomer) Hunter Parks went 3-for-5 (team leading .600 batting average) and led the team in On Base Percentage (.750) and tied in the category of Slugging Percentage (.600). Those with two hits in the tournament included: Jaycob Bennett (2-for-5 including a double; .400 BA; .600 Slugging Percentage); Jack Pollard (2-for-6; .333 BA); DJ Wyman (2-for-10; .200 BA).
Pollard, Gutierrez, Wyman, Wyant, Hughes, and Sumrall all collected one RBI each.
Defensively the Hitters were sound with exception to a few bad innings. The Hitters collected just eight tournament errors... a far cry from past tournament totals.
Hunter Parks pitched a beauty in the game against the Dirtbags giving up just five base hits in five innings in his losing effort. DJ Wyman also pitched well in his three inning no-decision stint against the tournament champions, the Titans EV. Jaycob Bennett picked up the lone Hitters victory in his four innings against the the BBC Generals while Josh Hu gave up just three hits, had two strikeouts, gave up just one run, and had no walks in his three and two-thirds innings against the Vandals. David Gutierrez, Lucas Wyant, Jack Pollard, and Anthony Sumrall also pitched in the tournament and had defining moments.
Walks was the story of the tournament for the Hitters as our pitchers gave up a combined 25 walks (compared to just 15 strikeouts) in the 26 innings of play.
To view all SCORES, Click HERE
By the way... The Arizona Titans EV Won the Championship Over Ahwatukee Sting Gold, 2-1
USSSA Winter Nationals Super NIT Tournament Recap
Tuesday, December 27 9:30am vs. AZ Rush Black LOST 23-2 (Ouch!)
Tuesday, December 27 11:45am vs. MLSB Sidewinders WON 7-4
Wednesday, December 28 2:00pm vs. AZ Xtreme LOST 5-4
Thursday, December 29 9:30pam vs. Mountain Lion BB WON 4-2
Thursday, December 29 9:30pam vs. Scottsdale Dirtbags LOST 10-0
The Heavy Hitters Baseball Academy finished 2-3 in the USSSA Winter Nationals Super NIT over the holiday break. The Hitter looked brilliant at times but lacked focus at other times.
From a statistical standpoint, Lucas Wyant hit .500 (3-for-6) for the tournament while Jaycob Bennett (.444; 4-for-9), Gutierrez (.364; 4-for-11), and Josh Hu (.333; 3-for-9) followed close behind. Bennett also garnered three doubles to go along with his single. RJ Larson led the Hitters with 3 RBI's while Bennett, Brady Stubbs, Jack Pollard, and Wyant each had 2. Trent Wohrle led the Hitters in steals, with 3.
From the pitchers mound, Avalos gem on Thursday was the highlight for the Hitters. Hu picked up the other win in his 4 inning stint against the Sidewinders.
On the negative side, the Hitters were outscored, 44-17; out-hit, 37-26; stole just 9 bases to our opponents 28 stolen bases; and committed more errors,19-8. The Hitters had 17 strikeouts and 17 walks while our opponents recorded just 9 strikeouts but walked 25 times.
For SCORES of all games, click HERE
By the way... AZ Rage defeated AZ Rush Black (who the Hitters suffered their first loss in the tournament to) 4-3, in the Championship Game
The South Mountain Runnin' Rebels defeated the Phoenix Rebels, 13-7, in the consolation game.
*** New to Site - Direct link (in left column) to USSSA Power and Point Rankings ***
New Look, New Energy, New Attitude...
Meet Your Arizona Firebirds!
No more Heavy Hitters Baseball Academy 14 and under team... It's now the Arizona Firebirds... the team name has changed but most the faces remain the same.
No more silver and black... it's now all about the red and black!
As you can see the look of the website has also changed... new logo... new colors. About the only thing to stay the same is the web address - http://freeteams.net/heavyhittersaz/. I thought it would be best to keep the same link for those who already have the site bookmarked or are used to the web name. (Plus, for the life of me I can't figure out out to change the name without starting a whole new site). Enjoy and...
Here are your Arizona Firebirds!
"WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!"
If you play like champions, act like champions, dream like champions... you will be champions. Gentlemen of the Heavy Hitters Baseball Academy... you are... CHAMPIONS!
The 14u Heavy Hitters posted a perfect 5-0 record at the 2011 USSSA Fall Classic 1 tournament at Big League Dreams Park September 17 and 18 enroute to their first championship trophy.
Congratulations Heavy Hitters! This is just the beginning of a wonderful journey!
Your 2011 USSSA Fall Classic 1 CHAMPIONS!
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