It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame ….. let’s play two
April 13, 2021
We didn’t play two we played 33 games last week….. We won 21 even though a good portion were against our own clubs. Here is a summary from around the club.
The Coaches Pitch Tourney
In the first annual Coach Pitch Easter Tournament, the CP Sharks took home the gold by winning the title over the Typhoons 7-6. The Sharks went through Round Robin play undefeated and finishing with the top seed. Head coach Barry Freeman and his stud lineup consisting of Youjia Pang, Wickes Freeman, Shuto Satake, and the remaining cast put on a hitting clinic throughout the tournament.
After taking an early 7-1 lead in the Championship Game, the Typhoons valiantly fought back with a five-run fifth inning led by their own hit parade from George Hosford, Parker Shapiro, Osborne Coen, and Nick Fong. The Sharks then put the clamp down on the defensive side of the ball and the game remained scoreless throughout.
Congratulations to the Sharks and all of the Coach Pitch teams for making this a great first tournament. Good luck to all of the CP teams for the remainder of the regular season and into playoffs!
The Minors Week in Review
The 8th Annual TTBC Minors Baseball Tournament – Spring Classic took place over the Easter break. All four TTBC Minors teams: Eagles, Pirates, Sharks and Typhoons took part and all teams got their fill of baseball! Action began early in the morning throughout the week at Ho Man Tin West (HMTW) with the road to the finals leading back to TTBC’s home grounds of HKIS on Friday evening.
All games were hard-fought and the breadth of TTBC baseball talent was on full display. On Finals Friday, the Eagles looked to soar once again after coming up short in round-robin play as they took on the mighty Typhoons in the 3rd place game. Meanwhile Pirates and Sharks, vying for Tai Tam Bay supremacy, battled in the championship finals in a duel on HKIS’ main field.
TTBC co-Commissioner, Bill Barney was on hand Friday evening to officiate at the awards ceremony. Barney also helped pitch in the homerun derby which saw slugger Bo Huai of the Sharks take long-ball honors.
Here is a re-cap of how the week’s action unfolded as recounted by Coaches Dan Murphy (Sharks), David Weiss (Typhoons), Hubert Yang (Pirates) and Victor Gusak (Eagles):
Day 1 – 8am on April 5th at HMTW
Pirates 4 at Sharks 5
First day of the Easter TTBC Classic saw great action early as the hard hitting Sharks took on the speed and flame throwing Pirates.
Sharks saw Ethan Lee take the rubber to start with good action to hold the Pirates to 1 run after tow while the Sharks were able to drive production with key hits from Kingsley Wang’s double and Ethan Lee’s big bomb to center.
Sharks had 2 on with one out in the third as Will Talsness came in with the heat to shut down the Sharks.
Pirates came roaring back manufacturing 3 runs with lightning speed of Donny Ma and Takeo Blakely on the base paths.Aaron Lee’s triple helped get the go ahead run in the fourth which secured the win for the Sharks in a well fought game.
Typhoons 12 at Eagles 5
Competitive opening game at HMTW between the Eagles and Typhoons which ended in a 12-5 win for the Typhoons.
Eagles pitchers came ready to play with Gabriel Gusak and Alex Min as the key pitchers. Some excellent basework from the Eagles and a single for Kleigh Kennedy were key for the Eagles’ 5 scores.
For the Typhoons, Taylor Gardner and David Weiss were the key pitchers. Highlight hit of the day came from David Wu in a 4th inning triple. The Typhoons were joined by 2 CP players: Parker and George, who connected with live pitches and showed promising basework.
Day 2 – 8am on April 6th at HMTW
Pirates 13 at Eagles 8
Day two saw the Pirates looking to bounce back from their first loss since early November after losing a nail-biter on day 1, while the Eagles looked to re-find their groove. Both teams, including the coaches, looked sharper at the outset, having better made the adjustment to the early 8am start times.
Donny Ma got things started for the Pirates in the top of the 1st with a leadoff hit, the first of a 4 for 4 sizzling day at the plate for Ma. That kicked off a high scoring affair as the Pirates scored 3 in each of the first 3 innings, including a big RBI by Tommy Carale in the 1st to plate the first run, one of two RBIs by Carale on the day.
The Pirates would get the early jump, but the Eagles would not go quietly this morning, scoring 3 in each of the bottom of the 4th and 5th to climb back and get within striking distance. Kleigh Kennedy and Charles Tian would lead the Eagles with 2 hits apiece, and Ollie Barnes and Simon Chen would both knock in 2 RBIs. However, the Pirates kept just enough pressure on and scored a few late insurance runs over the last 2 innings to keep the Eagles at arms-length for the 13 to 8 win.
Blake Yang started on the hill for the Pirates and went 2 innings. Ma struck out the side in the 3rd to add pitching to his hot bat. And the Pirates debuted two new arms, with Anyssa Yang and Eugene Yan collectively throwing 12 strikes in 21 pitches in line with the Pirates typical high strike %s. Together with Ryan Lem, who closed out the game on the mound, the Pirates pitchers struck out 9 Eagles. Barnes, Gabriel Gusak, Alexander Min and Charles Tian pitched admirably for the Eagles, preventing the Pirates from running away to give their team a chance to get back into the game and collectively striking out 6 Pirates on the day.
Sharks 9 at Typhoons 9
The Sharks vs the Typhoons was an all-out slugfest in the Easter classic.
The Sharks started off strong with Jack Simmons’ single to center scoring 2. As Taylor Gardner buckled down to retire the side leaving 2 men on. In the bottom of the first the Typhoons answered right back with a double from David Weiss to deep right. Typhoons continued the hot hitting to drive in 3 runs.
Second inning saw even more action as Briggs Freeman doubled driving in 2 as the Sharks reclaimed the lead in the top half of the second to only see that relinquished in the bottom half as back-to-back doubles from Ken Ando and Weiss to reclaim the lead.
Both teams settled in with shutout innings as the Sharks regained the lead in the fourth 8 -7. The Sharks were knocking on the door to draw more runs in the 5th with two outs with and an Ethan Lee pop up to right field only to see Riggs Ernst track down the over the shoulder diving catch to end the inning in the catch heard round Ho Man Tin!!
Sharks secured the lead in the top of the 6th with Luke Murphy taking the mound to close out the game. Sharks had an opportunity to end the game on a ground out to the second baseman, but left the door open and David Weiss stole home to tie and ending the game in a 9-9 stalemate.
Day 3 – 8am on April 8th at HMTW
Sharks 13 – Eagles 8
In the third day of action the Sharks hosted the Eagles which was a high scoring affair. Ian Horng took the bump against the speedy Eagles who started aggressive on the base path scoring 3.
Charles Tian was on the mound for the Eagles as the Sharks bats were alive with hard hits from Bo Huai and walk from Kingsley Wang led to a bases clearing double from Briggs Freeman to tie the game.
Horng settled in to take control of the top half of the second allowing no runs. Top of the second saw Sharks hard hitting continue with a lead-off double from Jack Simmons followed by Henry Wolf to drive in the runs.
Top 4th the Eagles come soaring back with speed around the base paths and sharp hits from Simon Chen.
Top of the 6th the Eagles continued their push to tie to see Luke Murphy compose himself on the bump to close out the Eagles threat.
Typhoons 5 at Pirates 6
Competitive tense baseball remains the theme of this tournament, as the Pirates and Typhoons battled it out in another back and forth nail biter. The Typhoons would take an early 2-0 lead in the top of the 1st with a trio of well hit doubles by Taylor Gardner, Ken Ando and David Wu. Pirates starter Isshin Satake held tough and would limit the damage, holding the Typhoons to 2 in the first and none in the second, to keep the Pirates in the game. The Pirates would battle back with 3 runs in the bottom of the 2nd to go up 3 to 2, off hits by Tommy Carale and a 2-run triple by Takeo Blakely.
The Typhoons scored 2 more in the top of the 3rd to go back up 4 to 3. Then the pitching and defense for both teams buckled down for a few consecutive scoreless frames in a tight game where every play mattered. In the bottom of the 5th, the Pirates would score 3 more runs all with 2 outs already to take the 6 to 4 lead, and then handed the ball to Donny Ma to try and close out the game in the 6th. More drama would ensue, with the Typhoons cutting the lead to 1 on a pair of hard singles by Gardner and Ando before Ma was able to get a final groundout to 1B. Pirates 6 – Typhoons 5 the final score, with the game tying run left stranded at 1B.
David Weiss, Gardner, Ando and Wu would pitch well for the Typhoons. Satake, Blakely, Taku Cheng (making his pitching debut), Blake Yang and Ma would take the hill for the Pirates, with all but one of the pitchers throwing between 61% strikes to 79% strikes — the Pirates have now thrown 9 different pitchers in the first 3 days of the tournament, all of whom have thrown strikes effectively. Pirate Eugene Yan would get his first hit of the season – a nice hard smash in the bottom of the 4th. Gardner was perfect at the plate going 3 for 3 and scoring 3 runs for the Typhoons.
Special Thanks to the Umpires
“I’ve never questioned the integrity of an umpire. Their eyesight, yes.” (Leo Durocher)
Showing the diversity of TTBC baseball talent, TTBC juniors players traded their bats and gloves for the count-clicker and home plate brush in umpiring duties throughout the Minors tournament.
They proved proficient in the game and did a terrific job in maintaining control of all match-ups. Composed, in-charge and not giving an inch to the (lunatic) Minors coaches who have on occasion forgotten that they are not coaching in the World Series.
- Damien Lee
- Sean Nelson
- Aaron You
- Damien Lee
- Jacob Lee
- Jacob Lee
- Theo Simms
- Taira Blakely
- Nicholas Hui
- Woochan Nam
- Sean Nelson
Special thanks to Juniors Coach, Jason Carter for arranging and providing an opportunity for these boys to showcase their baseball knowledge and talent.
Day 4 – 6.30pm on April 9th at HKIS
3rd Place Game: Eagles 11 at Typhoons 8
The air was crisp and so were the bats Friday night as the Eagles and Typhoons clashed for 3rd place in the Easter tournament. The Eagles were playing for pride, dropping the first 3 games earlier in the week while the Typhoons had their sights on salvaging a podium spot. Both teams were short handed and missing key players. The Eagles came out swinging and put up a couple of early runs in the top of the 1st. The damage was minimized thanks to highlight reel catch by Parker Shapiro in CF robing Gabe Gusak of a extra base hit. The Eagles held the Typhoons at bay in the bottom of the 1st and added three more in the 2nd. David Weiss single handedly attempted to carry his team and hit a monster HR in the 4th to bring the Typhoons within striking distance but the Eagles tightened up and displayed stellar D by closing out the inning on a double play. Ollie Barnes and Gabe Gusak led the Eagles with multiple hits and Simon Chen made his pitching debut to help the short handed pitching staff. Sierra Lee also set the stage making an impressive catch at second base on the first pitch of the game.
Championship Game: Pirates 15 at Sharks 8
The Sharks and Pirates looked to perform a repeat of the thrilling opening day game between the two teams. That first game went to the Sharks, and the Pirates were hoping the change of scenery to the comfy confines of the HKIS Field and the bright lights of primetime baseball would turn the fates this time around.
While this game could not match the closeness of the first game, it was obvious to all that these were two strong willed, strong skilled and well-matched teams battling it out, arm for arm and bat for bat with fielding to match. Some hard hits and hard pitches on both sides kept the action hot.
But a few extra free passes, stolen bases on the base path and some bounces for the away team, let the Pirates split the tournament series against the Sharks one game apiece, and take the 8th Annual TTBC Minors Baseball Tournament – Spring Classic crown with the Friday night win: Pirates 15 – 8 Sharks.
The Thunder won 8-7 against the Typhoons in a Dim Sum game on Thursday Dylan Burgess, Daniel Looram and Sebi Schroth each went 2 for 2 to lead the hitting. Pitchers struck out 11 lead by Harrison Waag and Dylan Burgess. On the weekend, the Thunder beat the Astros 9-1 behind the stellar pitching of Ethan Holland who struck out 13 over 6 innings giving up 1 run throwing 52 strikes against 14 balls- it was an amazing performance!! Also at the plate Ethan went 4 for 4 hitting several balls to the fence while Daniel Looram and Ian Nam collected 3 hits each. It was a great win for the Thunder and keeps them in position for a run in the final month of play.
The Eagles beat the Typhoons in a dim sum game 9-7 off the back. Andes Chai pitched two shutout innings and knocked two of the runs. Adrian Unertyl went 3 for 4 on his birthday and was helped by Jake Thompson who went 2/3 for the losing Typhoons. In the game on Sunday the Eagles flew past the Lions with Kai S and Ryan G both going 3 for 4 from the dish.
The Eagles battled back and forth with an inspired Royals team eventually grinding out another hard fought victory outlasting the Royals 10-8. Veteran Rohan Shah was a perfect 4 for 4 from the plate while Kaes Carter and Theo Simms also added two hits each. The Eagles continued making good contact at the plate putting forth a balanced attack that produced 12 hits from seven different Eagles. The pitching strategy of putting the ball in play paid dividends with a total of only 2 walks allowed over 5 full innings from four different pitchers. The Eagles look to put themselves in a top playoff position as they take on the Astros in the regular season finale next Sunday.
The hard hitting and resilient Juniors Typhoons hammered away at a 5-run deficit to nearly take the win from a scrappy Astros team, losing 10-9 in the final inning. In their last plate appearance the Typhoon offense put up four runs in a heroic comeback effort. Aiden Friedlander, Daniel Zhang, and Jett Pederson fueled the rally with hits and an RBI each. The offensive slugfest was punctuated by an out-of-the-park shot by Evan Wu with two men on, scattering the tribe of monkeys hovering over left field. There was a momentary “Tar Wars” controversy as the Astros contested the legality of Wu’s BBCORE bat, but the Typhoons won the appeal and the runs stood. Evan’s long ball was one of the furthest we’ve yet seen hit out over deep left field.
Jett Pederson toed the rubber for the first two innings fighting hard to keep the score within reach as defensive errors began mounting by the Typhoon infielders and outfielders. Even Wu came in on relief in the third throwing an array of bullets and junk balls, finally staving off a short Astros rally. Daniel Zhang had a shaky start in the final inning and with bases loaded Shaye Schroth turned a double play at second that gave the Typhoons a final crack at the lead.
The Typhoons had 15 hits in the game over the Astro’s 10, with Jett Pederson, Daniel & Juilian Zhang, James Looram and Evan Wu each compiling multiple hits.
Stats for the week:
K Wang (Sharks) 18
B Freeman (Sharks) 16
T Blakely (Pirates) 15
J Simmons (Sharks) 14
I Satake (Pirates) 11
T Gardner (Typhoons) 11
K Wang (Sharks) 16
B Freeman (Sharks) 14
T Gardner (Typhoons) 13
J Simmons (Sharks) 11
C Ackerman (Typhoons) 10
T Gardner (Typhoons) 40
B Freeman (Sharks) 37
C Park (Eagles) 24
I Satake (Pirates) 25
D Weiss (Typhoons) 25
Evan Wu – 19
Niki Hui – 15
Rohan Shah – 15
Daniel Zhang – 14
Woochan Nam – 13
Sean Nelson – 12
Theo Simms – 8
Aaron You – 8
Evan Wu – 17
Niki Hui – 11
Rohan Shah – 10
Daniel Zhang 10
Sean Nelson – 9
Kaes Carter – 8
Woochan Nam – 6
Wochan nam – 18
Evan Wu – 15
J Pederson -9
Daniel Zhang – 8
Theo Simms – 5
Kaes Carter – 5
Rohan Shah – 5
In addition to great games there was also three days of private coaching by the Pieter, Zach and Taira. Hope everyone had a good easter and we look forward to another good week of baseball.