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World Series 2016
2016 World Series
World Series Standings
Sidewinders Game by Game Updates
The Sidewinders hit town in Tempe, AZ for the World Series
Game one: Call the Paramedics – 2 injuries
Well, we had a tough start to our World Series. Day one, the Wednesday schedule had the Sidewinders playing a Double Header at Goodyear Stadium (Spring Training home for the Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Indians) in Goodyear, AZ. For the first game against the Santa Clara (CA) Twins, we went with our stud pitcher, Andrew Parrish. Parrish was ‘as advertised – facing only 4 over the minimum through 6 innings, shutting them down, allowed seven scattered hits. He mowed down the extra-large-sized squad from Santa Clara.
The Sidewinders leadoff speedster, Eric Esquilin had led off our first inning with a double and scored on a single by Dion Tenney. Sidewinders up 1-0.
The Twins finally scored one to tie it up in the 6th inning with a lead-off single followed by an RBI double down the first base line. The runner was thrown out at third attempting to stretch it to a triple. A double play then ended the threat. WE WERE TIED THROUGH 8 innings, 1-1 with Parrish striking out 6. However, the Twins pitcher also had pitched very well, also striking out 6.
The Sidewinder’s 7th inning started with a fly out and a ground-rule double by catcher Willie Gaston. Then another fly out, two outs. To end the inning, right fielder Terrell Jones grounded out to second, but hit the first base bag wrong and severely sprained his left knee (INJURY)– and was out for the rest of the tournament…..
All of the action was in the 9th inning. A leadoff double by the Twins was followed by two quick outs. One out to go and we had our 9th inning at bat to win or go into extra innings. However, they had two consecutive singles, scoring one after the second hit, just dinking over the infielder’s head. After the second single, CRAZY in frustration, Parrish threw his glove at an errant thrown ball from the 2nd baseman from right field. This is not allowed. Both runners were awarded two bases! They scored another run (giving them 3) and the runner at first was advanced to third. This was followed by another single, giving the Twins 3 runs in the inning and 4 runs total. Unreal! A fly ball to center ended the top of the 9th, Twins 4, Sidewinders 1. Parrish pitched complete game, 115 pitches. But his error had led to two unnecessary runs.
The Sidewinders weren’t done yet! An error by the Twins’ third baseman allowed the lead-off man to first. However, Dion Tenney pulled his hamstring running it out and had to be replaced by a pinch runner. INJURY. Christian Tomsich, a relief pitcher, came in to run for the injured Tenney. Ted Pratt then hit a single to right, moving the other runner to third. That was followed by an RBI base hit by Vince Palmer, scoring Tomsich. 4-2 Twins. With runners on first and third, Rocco Callaway hit a hard grounder to the shortstop, who booted the ball for another error. Pratt scored. 4-3 Twins. No outs!! Pinch runner for Palmer, speedster Will Scott. Then, Ben Blumenthal hit into a 6-4-3 double play, (son of a b….!), Scott to third. Willie Gaston struck out swinging on all three pitches to end the game, with the tying run on third. OUCH. Sidewinders lose 4-3.
Game Two: Keep the Paramedics in Goodyear Stadium.
Game Two was against the Orange County Rays, a tough Latino team that the Sidewinders had barely beat twice last year, 5-4 and 6-5. They are an energetic group of Latinos, who love baseball. The Sidewinders pitcher was our hero from last year. Zach Smith. Zach appeared nervous and after an initial strike out, could not pitch effectively. Three hits, two walks and an odd catcher’s interference play led to 4 runs in the first for the Rays and the end of Zach’s day. The catcher’s interference was due to a very strange open stance sweeping swing by their number 3 hitter, Equivel, whose swing took up way too much real estate.
Will Scott (former San Diego Padre AAA pitcher) came in to pitch for the Sidewinders in the second inning. Scott struck out two and walked two and then was hit in the right gluteus maximus with the hardest frickin’ ball you could ever hit, a line drive into his body by the Rays’ clean-up hitter Rodarte. Scott amazingly recovered the ball and threw the runner out for the third out of the inning. I thought he was done, but he is very tough and after some PT by one of our players who is a sport’s trainer, Brandon Thielk, he returned.
The Sidewinders responded with a two-out rally in the 3rd. A walk to Scott and a base hit by Howie Marx was followed by a two RBI triple into the right field corner by lead-off hitter Eric Esquilin. That was followed by another RBI hit by Ted Pratt, scoring Eric. Parrish was hit by a pitch and Vince Palmer walked, loading the bases (still two outs). But Rocco Callaway grounded to second to end the third inning. A walk and two doubles gave the Rays another run in the 3rd. During that rally, a foul ball hit the Sidewinder’s catcher Jason Creel flush in the knee, around the pad. INJURY. 5-3 Rays.
In the bottom of the 4th, the Rays’ lead-off man hit a line drive that hit the Sidewinder’s pitcher Will Scott in the Achilles tendon, knocking him down and bouncing into left field for a single. This was the second time Scott had been hit! He was in pain, but after a brief break in the action, he continued and finished the inning! A sacrifice bunt followed and a double to left center to score their 6th run. Rays 6, Sidewinders 3.
Scott could not continue (INJURY) and was replaced on the mound by lefty Christian Tomsich in the bottom of the 5th inning. A lead-off double to center by Madrid for the Rays was followed by a walk and a fly out to center, one out. Alvarez then smacked a double to center, scoring Madrid. Rays 7, Sidewinders 3
In the top of the 6th, Parrish led off with a base hit for the Sidewinders. The Twins pitcher then pulled a groin and had to be removed-INJURY. After a fly out, Rocco Callaway singled to right, Parrish to 3rd. A wild pitch allowed Parrish to score and Callaway to advance to second base. After a fly out by Jason Creel, Willie Gaston singled to right field, scoring Callaway. Sidewinders 5, Rays 7.
In the bottom of the 6th, the Rays lead-off hitter Ornelas singled to left. That was followed by a double to center by Johann, runners second and third. Tomsich then settled down and began to pitch VERY effectively. (WS jitters….) He struck out the next batter swinging, followed by a weak grounder to first base. A ground ball to second was then booted by our second baseman, scoring Ornelas, but Johann was cut down at the plate trying to score…..Rays 8, Sidewinders 5.
In the 7th inning, Willie Gaston Will hit an ‘almost’ home run to center. It bounced against the screen and apparently hit over the yellow line. This turned a certain triple into a ground-rule-double, and he was placed back to 2nd over the manager’s objections! That was followed by a long fly out that would have scored Scott as a sacrifice fly had he been on third. The next batter struck out to end the inning.
Tomsich pitched very well over the next three innings, allowing three hits and striking out four.
The bottom of the ninth started for the Sidewinders by Mark Ortega striking out but reaching first base on the wild pitch. Promising. However, a double play (TERRIBLE CALL, Scott was clearly safe at first! Bad bad bad) followed. Then pinch hitter Ben Blumenthal hit a long double to right center. That was followed by an RBI single by Esquilin to right center, scoring Ortega. But Pratt fouled out and the game was over, Rays 8, Sidewinders 6.
Oh and two the first day – not how we thought it was going to go. We should have beat the Twins, but the Rays just played better baseball to beat us. Tip your cap……
Game 3: Thursday morning…..a New Beginning……..
At Maryvale complex (Milwaukee Brewers fields), the Sidewinders went with our other hero from last year, Ted Pratt on the mound for Game 3. We noticed that we had probably played some of the best teams in our division on Wednesday. The opponent was the Orange County Royals. The OC Royals had gone 2-0 on Wednesday, playing teams from the Netherlands, the Dutch Tigers and the Seattle Ravens. Their manager appeared very confident. Little did he know what team he was about to play…….
Pratt pitched a very nice game. He scattered 6 hits for the complete game. He did walk 6. The Royals scored two runs in the 2nd inning when the Sidewinders booted the ball around, committing three errors. The Royals scored 2. Pratt also gave up a run in the 4th inning when an errant pick off throw to first base went wide, allowing the runner to go to 3rd base. He then scored when the Royal’s second baseman singled.
However, the sleeping tiger inside the Sidewinders awoke. We scored 6 runs in the 4th inning, also helped by FOUR ERRORS by the Royals. Willie Gaston and Dion Tenney both had doubles. The Royals also scored a run in the 4th, as mentioned above. Sidewinders 6, Royals 3. Pratt did not allow any other runs. He struck out 8. The Sidewinders added another run in the 5th inning, on back-to-back doubles by Ben Blumenthal and Vince Palmer. Sidewinders 7, Royals 3.
The Royals pitcher tired in the 6th inning after throwing 96 pitches. The relief pitcher was not as impressive. He faced Armageddon from the Sidewinders in the 7th inning. Six hits, highlighted by a double by Dion Tenney (again), a triple by Vince Palmer. Dion Tenney had another single and Howie Marx a double followed by a GRAND SLAM home run by Will Scott led to 13 runs! Sidewinders 20, Royals 3. End of Game.
Games 4 and 5 on Friday.
We had morning game at 10AM and then followed by 2pm game at Salt River Complex, Scottsdale Arizona. Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies complex.
The opponent for game 4 was from the Netherlands, the Dutch Tigers. We knew that they were not particularly strong. In fact, they should have been in the Lower American League Division. It was a novelty playing them, however. At this point, the Sidewinders only hope to make it to the Championship rounds for the weekend was to win and allow as few runs as possible, since that is the deciding factor for rankings of the 15 teams at the World Series. We were sitting very well so far in this regard, having allowed only 15 runs in the first 3 games, albeit having a losing record! Basically, we needed to win both games Friday and also just about shut out both of our opponents!
We had flown in RINGER Left-Handed Pitcher Caleb Cochran from Atlanta on Thursday. Caleb in a former Piedmont College star pitcher. He is 26, has an MBA, and works as a business consultant for Zaxby’s Restaurants. Caleb was as advertised! We told him what he had to do. His fastball was clocked at 88-89mph and he has a devastating slider and change up. Caleb pitched a complete game, struck out 20 Dutchmen, and got the much needed shut-out!!
The Sidewinders scored 4 in the 4th inning on doubles by Vince Palmer and Ted Pratt. We also scored 2 in the 3rd inning on a two-run home run by Vince Palmer. Sidewinders 6, Tigers 0.
We scored 2 more in the 5th on an RBI double by Mark Ortega and an RBI single by Vince Palmer. After that, we just cruised and saved ourselves, as the game ended Sidewinders 8, Tigers 0. First mission accomplished!
Game 4, Salt River Complex versus Seattle Ravens.
This game was an obvious ‘Must Win’ and also requiring that we allow as few runs as possible.
We went with another RINGER, stud pitcher Brandon Thielk, from Chicago IL. Brandon attended Arizona State and enjoys returning to the Phoenix area to play some ball. He is a devastating pitcher, with 88-89mph fast ball and almost impossible to hit breaking stuff!
Brandon mowed down the Ravens! He pitched a complete 9 inning game, throwing 100 pitches. He scattered 6 hits and struck out 6. The Ravens managed 2 unearned runs in the 5th inning on two singles and two errors by 2nd baseman Blumenthal.
The Sidewinders threatened in the 3rd inning, but had a runner thrown out at the plate. In the 4th inning, a double by Palmer and then 3 consecutive hits by Parrish, Callaway and a two RBI single by Jason Creel (now playing with a sore knee) and a sacrifice fly by Willie Gaston allowed the Sidewinders to score 3. The Sidewinders added a run in the 6th inning when Creel had an RBI double scoring Callaway. Sidewinders 4, Ravens 2.
The Sidewinders added a 5th run in the 6th inning on another RBI double by Creel. We also added another run in the 7th inning when Joe Wilson stole home when he caught the Ravens’ defense napping!
But the game was blown open when the Good Guys erupted for 5 runs in the 8th inning and another 8 runs in the 9th inning! The eighth inning started with 6 consecutive hits! Vince Palmer had an RBI double and Jason Creel had another two RBI single. Sidewinders 10, Ravens 2.
The guys also rapped a bunch of balls in the 9th inning, scoring 5 more runs, with 6 hits including a double by Tenney and an INSIDE THE PARK home run by Will Scott!
Sidewinders win 15-2. Almost a shut out! So we were then 3-2, giving up only 17 runs over 5 games, by far the least of any team in the 15 pool of teams. Most teams were over 30 runs, even the squads that went 4-1, including our in-state rivals, the Georgia Barons.
Sidewinders are Seed #6 to the playoff round highest seed versus other 3-2 teams due to least runs allowed!! We qualify to play over the weekend in the championship round for the title.
Championship Round Seeds:
#1 Santa Clara Twins 4-1
#2 Orange County Rays 4-1
#3 Rocky Mountain Oysters 4-1
#4 Georgia Barons 4-1
#5 Long Island Cardinals 4-1
#6 Atlanta Sidewinders 3-2
#7 Paso Robles Punishers 3-2
#8 Scottsdale Scorpions 3-2
Quarterfinals: Saturday 10 AM.
8 plays 1
7 plays 2
6 plays 3 Sidewinders play Oysters
5 plays 4
Game 6: Quarter Final Playoff versus #1 seed, Rocky Mountain Oysters from Denver CO. Maryvale Complex. Saturday morning, 10am. Oysters went 4-1 in pool play.
Well, we thought long and hard about who to pitch this game. Will Scott was still a bit sore from being hit twice, but said he was OK. We kind of wanted to pitch Andrew Parrish, but we wanted him to pitch the Semi-Final (but you have to get there first). We decided to go with Zach Smith, who botched game two, but he had only thrown one inning so far. He said he was up for it, and we were counting on him to pitch like he has done in the past. Very, very bad idea, as it turned out. Just like in Game 2, Zach’s stuff was somewhat slow, flat and very hittable. Bad news!
The Oysters raked Zach. To be truthful, it wasn’t completely his fault. An error by the left fielder, dropping an easy fly ball started the first inning. The game had started when the Sidewinders, with a base hit and an error, had runners on 2nd and 3rd, but could not score. This became an overall theme in the game as we left two runners on base in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 7th innings! You cannot leave that many men on base and in scoring position and hope to win…..
When the Oysters came up in the bottom of the first, an error by left fielder Tenney, who tried to play the field on his injured leg, but was a bad decision and he had to come out. Then a hit-by-pitch and 3 consecutive singles and another hit before we got the first out and they had scored 4. Two more hits, a pop out and then two more seeing-eye hits scored 4 more giving the Oysters 8 runs in the first inning. We were in shock.
We brought Andrew Parrish in to pitch in the second inning and he did very well until the 4th inning when he hit two batters and gave up a walk, followed by two SAC flies scoring two more. The Sidewinders also scored 2 in the 4th on four consecutive singles by Parrish, Callaway, Blumenthal, and Gaston. Oysters 10, Sidewinders 2.
We tried to play catch up and ignore the score. We scored one in the 7th with a hit by Callaway and an RBI double by Mark Ortega. Oysters 10, Sidewinders 3.
We then scored 3 more in the 8th on a base hit by Pratt, an error, and an RBI double by Parrish. Callaway then hit a big 2 RBI single to center. But that was it. Oysters 10, Sidewinders 6.
Nothing much occurred after that and we are on our way home. The Georgia Barons also lost in the quarterfinals to the Long Island Cardinals, taking them into extra innings. A Baron was hit in the face with a pitch and broke his eye socket. He had surgery in Arizona and is OK.
Wait till next year……….
Santa Clara Twins 10, Scottsdale Scorpions 2
Long Island Cardinals 7, Georgia Barons 2
Paso Robles 8, OC Rays 3
Rocky Mountain Oysters 10, Atlanta Sidewinders 6
Paso Robles 11, Rocky Mountain Oysters 8
Santa Clara Twins 7, Long Island Cardinals 6
Paso Robles 5, Santa Clara Twins 3
Paso Robles repeats as champions 2015, 2016.
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