“Great moments are born from Great Opportunities”
Herb Brooks, USA Hockey Coach in 1980
April 29, 2021
On an overcast dreary day at To Shek field TTBC baseball history was made this past weekend. In the first game of the day the undefeated Majors Eagles became the first team to win the Majors division regular season of HKLL in the last 20 years with a 19-4 win over the JBC Buffaloes. In the second game of the day the Thunder completed the 1,2 Sweep of the league when they beat the feisty TTBC Typhoons to secure the home seed for the upcoming play-offs. The Typhoons, thanks to their heroics the previous week still have a chance to play their way into the 4th seed with a victory over the Astros this coming Sunday.
The next three weeks will hopefully see a TTBC team crowned from this great opportunity.
Here is the update from around the Bay Area:
Some exciting baseball at Ho Man Tin West (HMTW) this past weekend during week three of the second part of the season – or simply the post-season. The Eagles looked to continue their dominance of the Lower bracket. In the Upper bracket, the Pirates, Sharks and Typhoons were all in action in some highly entertaining ball games.
The high-flying Eagles hosted the Astros as the birds looked to extend their win streak to three games in the playoffs. They managed to do just that and pick up the win in a dramatic, come-from-behind thriller to seal the victory. Down 10 to 6 with last bats in the bottom of the fourth, the Eagles’ resolve was on full display as they clawed back to win 10 – 6.
Oliver Barnes got the start and would be relieved by Alexander Min and Charles Tien – but it was Tien who earned the win in this game. The threesome collectively allowed the 10 runs on four hits whilst striking out 10 Astros.
Tien led the charge offensively slugging his way to seven total bases by way of two doubles and a triple. He would also add two RBIs. Kleigh Kennedy also contributed with two hits and two RBIs as well.
In another edition of “Battle for Tai Tam Bay”, the Sharks hosted the Pirates in another doozy that would go six innings. Although leading from the start, the Sharks’ fins were threatened in the fourth inning and even in the sixth as the Pirates mounted come-backs in both innings. The Sharks would prevail 5 to 7 in this one, equalizing competitive play with the Pirates at two wins and two losses.
Briggs Freeman started and picked up the “W” in this contest with Kingsley Wang coming in from the bullpen. The duo allowed five runs on nine hits while striking out nine.
A multiple hit game for Shark’s leadoff Sebastian Snape helped spearhead the charge but the big story was the production from the bottom half of the line-up with Jackson Manalac, Aaron Lee, Joshua Anderson and Bo Huai all picking up timely hits.
Will Talsness earned his first start of the season in a solid outing for the Pirates. He would be relieved by Isshin Satake, Blake Yang and Ryan Lem. The quartet allowed seven runs on nine hits and struck out 10 Sharks.
Takeo Blakely and Satake had multiple hits on the day. However, it was Lem who launched a bomb in the fourth inning which came up a couple of feet short of the fences which may have changed the complexion of the game – woulda, coulda, shoulda…
The late match-up saw the Typhoons host the Yakult Swallows of the Japanese Baseball Club in a highly entertaining baseball game. Great hitting and defence from both teams was the theme. A fitting send-off for Riggs Ernst, who will hone his baseball talent back in the States – we wish Ernst all the best.
Ken Ando led the Typhoons charge posting a pair of doubles and scoring once. Hotin “The Hammer” Woo contributed with a key RBI and Evan Racine kept his hot bat alight with a timely hit.
Defensively, Davids Weiss and Wu shared mound duties for the Typhoons. The pair would allow seven runs on 11 hits but striking out 10. Saul Friedman made the highlight reel robbing the Swallows of a multi-base hit by snagging a fly ball in deep left field and keeping the Typhoons in the game. The final score: Swallows 7 – 2 Typhoons.
The Eagles beat the Buffaloes in a dominant offensive show to clinch the HKLL Majors division regular season championship. Max, Ryan G and Andes hit safely in their 12 combined at bats. The twin Ryans (Ryan W is the other) drove in 4 runs each yet could not even keep pace with Andes who knocked in five. Max Barney saw his consecutive streak of scoreless innings end at 11 yet he still pitched well scattering two hits and whiffing four in getting the win.
The Thunder beat the Typhoons 11-1 on Sunday with Marcus Sabella making some tremendous defensive plays and going 2 for 3 at the plate. Ethan Holland and Daniel Looram combined for 8 strikeouts and 0 walks over 4 innings to lead the pitching while Looram, Holland, and Nam also had multiple hits for the Thunder who wrapped up the second seed in the upcoming Majors playoffs.
Few bright spots for Typhoons in Sunday’s effort against the Thunder. Isabelle Smythe showed range at 2B with a catch in shallow right field to end a disastrous 3rd inning. A difficult play rarely made at this level. Multiple errors on routine plays allowed the Thunder to build a comfortable lead. Typhoons look forward to our final contest of the regular season facing the Astros this weekend for a battle to lock up 4th place & a spot in the playoffs. The Eagles and Thunder will face-off in the final regular season game.
In their last regular season game, the Juniors Typhoons were matched up against a fiesty and vastly improved Astros team. Jett Pederson took the mound and fired away at the Astro’s line up for nearly 3 full innings, mixing in a variety of pitches that kept the ‘Stros largely at bay. The Typhoon bats were consistent and impressive as Nicky Hui hit 3 doubles, Julian Zhang went 3 for 4 and Beecher Davis knocked a double bagger into Center for a clutch hit with two outs. Jett Pederson also went 2 for 4, and was hit by pitches twice — he now leads the Juniors league with 7 hit by pitches (he’s a ball magnet!) Jett was followed on the mound by Daniel Zhang and Evan Wu, both of whom kept the score tight with solid pitching into the late innings. In the field, Hunter Bacchus showed his mettle in left field with two clutch catches and James Looram manned home plate for 3 impressive innings, battling heat, humidity and the endless dust storms swirling around the plate. In the end, despite a valiant final inning, 2 out rally, the Typhoons were vanquished 13-9 in their final game of the regular season, but look to come back strong against the TTBC Eagles in the opening round of the playoffs – watch out for the resurgent Typhoon Nation in the Post-Season!
The Record Books
A new record was broken this week when Andes Chai took the lead with the most hits in a majors season. Evan Wu and Ethan Holland added to their records in the week.
The TTBC Leaders
Takeo Blakely (Pirates) 24
Donovan Ma (Pirates) 21
Briggs Freeman (Sharks) 18
Kingsley Wang (Sharks) 18
Taylor Gardner (Typhoons) 17
Kingsley Wang (Sharks) 16
Briggs Freeman (Sharks) 15
Takeo Blakely (Pirates) 14
Taylor Gardner (Typhoons) 14
Donovan Ma (Pirates) 12
Jack Simmons (Sharks) 12
Taylor Gardner (Typhoons) 54
Briggs Freeman (Sharks) 46
Isshin Satake (Pirates) 40
David Weiss (Typhoons) 40
Blake Yang (Pirates) 32
Oliver Barnes (Eagles) 27
Chai 43 – New TTBC Record
Holland 46 – TTBC Record
Chai 44 – TTBC Record
The Juniors Stats
Evan Wu – 20 –
Niki Hui – 18
Rohan Shah – 16
Woochan Nam – 16
Daniel Zhang – 15
Sean Nelson – 14
Evan Wu – 19
Niki Hui – 12
Rohan Shah – 10
Sean Nelson – 10
Kaes Carter – 10
Wochan Nam – 19
J Pederson -19
Evan Wu – 13
Daniel Zhang – 12
Rohan Shah – 7
Fasten your seatbelts this will likely be another exciting weekend of baseball for the TTBC clubs.