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on the National SOM League Tournament





Week 1 - Albany Internationals at Richmond Banshees


Second baseman Dustin Pedroia had 3 base hits as the Richmond Banshees beat the Albany Internationals by a score of 6 to 3.

In the bottom of the 7th inning Richmond scored 5 runs when they came up with 3 base hits.  The crucial at-bat was provided by Anthony Recker who thrilled the crowd when he launched a Grand Slam homerun. 





For the game Richmond out-hit Albany 10 to 6.  The victory went to Carlos Carrasco(1-0) who went 7 innings, allowing 3 runs.

Xavier Cedeno(0-1) was given the loss in relief.  He surrendered 3 runs and 1 hit in 2/3 of an inning. 


Week 1 - Seattle Pilots at Kona Coast Coffee Growers

If finishing my taxes today wasn’t bad enough, the Pilots came into town and swept the Coffee Growers. Seattle strung together great single innings while Kona Coast either left men on base or just couldn’t generate any offense.   


Opening Day: Pilots 5, Coffee Growers 2. Jose Fernandez opened his last season with Kona Coast. While striking out 8, Fernandez just lasted 4-1/3 innings while giving up a key double to unlikely hero Shawn O’Malley.


Game 2: Pilots 2, Coffee Growers 1. Both teams only managed 5 total hits, but two unearned runs were the difference when Coffee Grower starter Kevin Gausman threw the ball away on a comebacker.


Game 3: Pilots 5, Coffee Growers 2. Pilots Miguel Cabrera and Sandy Leon hit back-to-back HRs in the first inning when Seattle scored all its runs.


Week 2 - Starling City Nationals at Kona Coast Coffee Growers

What a difference going to downstairs for dinner makes…. Kona Coast sweeps Starling City, but two game were extra inning affairs sandwiching a 19-K performance. The Coffee Grower pitching staff, relied on so heavily last year, is back for a new season of close games.


Game 1: Coffee Growers 4, Nationals 3 (11 innings) – Francisco Lindor launched a 2-out walk-off solo HR in the bottom of the 11th for the first home victory of the season and his fourth hit of the game. The teams’ bullpens combined for 13 relief shutout innings (6-1/2 full innings) until Lindor’s blast.


Game 2: Coffee Growers 3, Nationals 0 – Jose Fernandez’s signature victory of his Coffee Grower career, as he struck out 19 against three walks and three hits. Starting with one-out in the 5th, he proceed to strike out the next nine batters. He made until 2 outs in the 9th and Seung-hwan Oh earned his first save when he struck out Jayson Werth with two on to end the game.


Game 3: Coffee Growers 2, Nationals 0 (15 innings) – In a scoreless game, Michael Taylor robbed Todd Frazier of a HR in the bottom of the 11th. However, he couldn’t reach it in the 15th. Todd Frazier’s two-out walk-off HR in the bottom of the 15th were the only runs of the game as Jerad Eickhoff pitched 11 shutout innings for the Nationals (and 147 pitches!). Mad Bum threw 8 shutout innings and the relief corps of Craig Kimbrel, Jonathan Broxton, and Dylan Bundy carried the scoreless allowed streak to 28 consecutive innings.


Week 2 - McHenry Cybermen at Chicago Mob



Jose Altuve blasted 2 homeruns and had 4 RBI as the Chicago Mob outscored the McHenry County Cybermen 11 to 5.

Altuve was spectacular at the plate.  The hometown fans showed their appreciation with a standing ovation his last time at bat.  He delivered a base-hit in the 1st inning, smacked a three-run homer in the 2nd inning, banged out a single in the 4th inning, delivered a solo blast in the 6th inning and delivered a one-base hit in the 8th inning.  Chicago out-hit McHenry County for the game, 16 hits to 8. 


The victory went to Tanner Roark(1-0) who went 8 and 1/3 innings, allowing 4 runs. Rick Porcello(1-2) ended up with the loss.  He served up 5 gopher balls in 5 and 1/3 innings. 


"I was really seeing the ball tonight," Altuve said "I wish it was always this easy."



Week 3 - Concord Grape at Kona Coast Coffee Growers


In another “all or nothing” series, Kona Coast crushes the Grape into juice. Of Kona’s April home series so far, it’s two Coffee Grower sweeps and one losing “got swept” series.




Game 1: Coffee Growers 7, Grape 2. A six-run explosion in the bottom of the 5th powered the Coffee Growers. Todd Frazier led off with a double and eventually moved over to 3rd on consecutive walks to Brandon Guyer and Francisco Lindor. Jonathan Lucroy singled to move everyone up one base. Jarrod Dyson’s single plated two and that was it for Ricky Nolasco. Alex Wilson got two ground outs but Rougned Odor then crushed a 3-run HR and the rout was complete. Mad Bum got into the eighth inning, allowing only two runs.


Game 2: Coffee Growers 5, Grape 2. Kona Coast wrecked Concord’s Danny Duffy, who didn’t survive the first inning. Duffy hit Brandon Guyer to lead off the bottom of the first, and two singles later, Kona Coast led 1-0. Todd Frazier then powered a 3-run homer and Mike Lefkow then called on Alex Wood to get the third out of the first. Chris Sale kept the Grape in check for seven innings. The Grape made noise in the 9th off Jonathan Broxton but Seung-hwan Oh struck out the only two batters he faced to secure the save.


Game 3: Coffee Growers 7, Grape 2. Again, Kona Coast got off to a quick start, scoring 6 in the first two innings off of Ivan Nova. Rougned Odor knocked in two in the first inning with a double, and then two more in the bottom of the second with another double. Jose Fernandez struck out 12 in just six innings of work without allowing an earned run on a rare Jarrod Dyson error.


Rougned Odor was 7-for-10  in the series, with 3 doubles, 1 triple, and 1 homerun, knocking in 8 of Kona Coast’s 19 runs in the series. The Big 3 starters (Mad Bum, Sale, Jose Fernandez) allowed 3 earned runs in 20-2/3 IP (1.31 ERA).


Week 1 - Nal Hutta Bounty Hunters at Piney Creek Palookas


Corey Kluber dominated striking out 13 Nal Hutta batters (only walking one) as the Piney Creek Palookas outscored the Nal Hutta Bounty Hunters 9 to 1.



Kluber (1-0) was indeed brilliant as he hand-cuffed the Nal Hutta offense.  He allowed only 6 hits and 1 walk in 9 innings.  Piney Creek managed 13 hits in their victory. 


Vince Velasquez (0-1) ended up with the loss.  He was hit hard and gave up 9 hits and 2 walks in 2 and 2/3 innings.  Jeff Fleischman was asked about the performance of Kluber, 'He had his good stuff out there tonight.  The fans really get into it when the strikeouts start mounting up - and that seems to give him even more adrenalin.'



Week 2 - Fenway Faithful at Piney Creek Palookas


Cory Kluber retired 14 batters on strikeouts at Centennial Field as the Piney Creek Palookas beat the Fenway Faithful by the count of 6 to 2.



The home town fans were very appreciative of the fine hitting performance provided by Dee Gordon.  He smacked a single in the 1st inning, smashed a two-run homer in the 6th inning and tripled plating a run in the 8th inning. The game was a scoreless duel until the 6th inning. 


Kluber (2-0) finished the game allowing 2 runs in the victory. The losing pitcher was Tom Koehler (0-1).  Everyone seemed to enjoy the performance of Kluber - except Fenway.  Jason Dube lamented, 'He just was 'on' tonight.  He was keeping our guys off balance all game.  A fine game by a good strikeout pitcher - makes it a fun game for the hometown fans - unfortunately we were the visitors!'














Week 16 - Kona Coast Coffe Growers at Chicago Mob


Kona wins 1 out of 3, but oh, what a game (Game # 3) that one was.

7/13 KCC 1 8 1 CHM 4 7 0 T.Roark (12-5) R.Ray (5-3)

7/14 KCC 3 9 0 CHM 5 11 0 M.Gonzalez (7-5) M.Bumgarner (13-2)

7/15 KCC 17 19 1 CHM 2 7 1 C.Sale (7-5) C.Rodon (5-12)


Gm1: Mob gets all their runs in the 4th inning. Kona gets the tying run up to the plate in the 9th but Melancon gets Lindor on a GB PX.


Gm2: Narvaez and Lind go deep off Bumgarmer and knock him out in the 4th inning. Again, Coffee Growers rally late but fall short.


Gm3: Where to begin? How about the play account of Kona Coast's 2nd inning?

*** TOP OF INNING 2 ***
0 J.Profar 1- 9 5 Single b-1 
0 1 B.Guyer 3- 8 3 1 Home Run 1-H b-H 
0 M.Sano 5-11 9 3 Single b-1 
0 1 R.Perez 1- 2 5 Home Run 1-H b-H 
0 M.Ozuna 3- 2 5 Walk b-1 
0 1 F.Lindor 2- 7 6 Single 1-2 b-1 
0 12 T.Frazier 6-12 4 Single 2-3 1-2 b-1 
0 123 J.Schoop 4- 8 5 Strike Out b-0 
1 123 L.Martin 3- 6 3 5 Home Run 3-H 2-H 1-H b-H 
1 J.Profar 6- 8 3 Single b-1 
1 1 B.Guyer 3- 8 5 5 Home Run 1-H b-H 
1 M.Sano 1- 9 5 Home Run b-H 
1 R.Perez 4- 9 2 5 Home Run b-H 
1 M.Ozuna 5- 8 5 3 Double b-2 
1 2 F.Lindor 2- 9 4 Strike Out b-0 
2 2 T.Frazier 2-10 6 Walk b-1 
2 12 J.Schoop 5- 2 3 Ground Out b-0 

That is 6 home runs, all off of Carlos Rodan. CG's had 10 home runs in the game and get this: Light hitting Roberto Perez had 4 of them! Brandon Guyer had 3. Left Rodon in due to short relief innings but Criminy! He didn't deserve this.


Week 14 - Game # 2 - Nal Hutta Bounty Hunters at Grand Rapids Micro Brewers

Matt Shoemaker dominated striking out 12 Nal Hutta batters at Dark Tower where the Grand Rapids Micro Brewers beat the Nal Hutta Bounty Hunters by the score of 4 to 3.

         -- Matt was mowing down the Bounty Hunters --


Shoemaker(5-8) pitched one of his finer games as he simply was too much for the Nal Hutta batters.  He didn't give up much, just 3 hits and 1 walk in 8 innings dropping his ERA from 5.24 to 4.93.  Nal Hutta had a chance to come back in the 9th but they came up short. 


Shoemaker got help from Hector Neris who was credited with his 6th save. Vince Velasquez(3-8) was the losing pitcher.  He surrended 3 homeruns in his 7 innings. 


Shoemaker was pleased with his performance.  He noted, "I had good zip on my pitches.  Just as important, my location was right on.  The fans really got into the game too - that always helps me.  Now, if I can only do that again in my next outing."








          Clay Grant and Jeff Fleischman
       at AT&T Ball Park in San Francisco
      August 24, 2017 (Phillies @ Giants)



A couple of views from
our seats at AT&T Park



  Jeff enjoying a "cold one" at the Giants - Phillies game.  The guy sitting in front of us thought that he had the "best seat" in the house.  Uh.... NO! (we were on the 3rd level).  His buddy sitting to his right actually shed some hair from his head into my beer!  Fortunuately, I saw it in my cup and didn't finish my drink.  Thanks, pal....



  (TOP) Clay and I went to the Nikko Hotel (Feinstein's Nightclub) on Friday, August 25th and saw Billy Davis, Jr. and Marilyn McCoo (remember the 5th Dimension and the "Age of Aquarius"... "Up Up and Away In My Beautiful Balloon...They were GREAT..... (BOTTOM) Riding the World Famous Cable Cars down to Fisherman's Wharf...






Catcher Evan Gattis launched 2 homeruns and had 4 RBI as the Albany Internationals defeated the WOEFUL Stanford Robber Barons in 10 innings by the score of 9 to 8 at The Dago Dome.



The score was tied at 8 after nine.  Albany won the game in the 10th inning. After two were out Jose Peraza ripped a base-hit.  Peraza took second on a stolen base.  Matt Carpenter then tripled scoring the run.  Albany had 16 hits for the night while Stanford had 12. 


The win was credited to Francisco Liriano (2-3) who went 1 and 1/3 innings allowing 1 run. Liriano got help from Xavier Cedeno who earned his 4th save. Clay Buchholz (7-8) was charged with the loss in relief. 


“The ball was jumping off my bat” Gattis said.  “I gotta tell you, the Stanford Manager “Shoe” Shuey, ALWAYS seems to leave his Pitchers in the game WAY TOOOOO Long… I go up the the plate each time…  and I’m salivating and “SMACKING MY LIPS”.... You know…. It’s really TOOOOO BAD that the Robber Barons are not in our Division and we don’t get to play them more often.  If we did..... I’d make the ALL STAR TEAM... and probably get a HUGE salary increase.  Oh Well....   


Week 19 - Mississippi Big Orange at Kona Coast Coffee Growers


Game 1:  Big Orange 1, Coffee Growers 0. Unheralded Andrew Triggs, with help from the bullpen, outpitches Madison Bumgarner. Mississippi only gets four hits but strings 3 singles together in the third inning a scores the only run of the game with two outs. In the 8th, Kona Coast gets a runner to third with one out but can’t push over a run.


Game 2:  Coffee Growers 3, Big Orange 2 (12 innings). A hugely frustrating game for Kona Coast, which stranded 16 runners and had three runners thrown out at home. Mississippi had one runner thrown out at home, so the Coffee Grower outfield got into the action, too. Justin Verlander and Chris Sale pitched well, and the two bullpens gave up no earned runs. Kona Coast FINALLY pushed over the win in the 12th. With two outs, Jarrod Dyson singled. He stole second and Dioner Navarro sailed his throw into CF, with Dyson moving to 3rd. The intentional pass was given to Brandon Guyer. Francisco Lindor, the next batter, took offense and lined a clean single to win the game.


Game 3: Big Orange 4, Coffee Growers 2. Jacob Degrom outpitches Jose Fernandez.  Mississippi starts the third inning with a HBP, and then followed by three singles and a WP to grab a 3-0 lead. Another Fernandez WP led to another run in the 5th. In the 8th, Kona Coast’s Jonathan Lucroy leads off with a HR. The defense then crumbles and the Coffee Growers get one more. But that’s it as Carlos Torres gets the impressive five out save.






GAME # 1 - 


Corey Kluber carried a no-hitter into the 9th inning as the Piney Creek Palookas bested the Greensboro Smoke 3 to 0 at Centennial Field.


Kluber (16-6) escaped virtually unscathed against the Greensboro hitters.  He gave up just 1 hit and 2 walks in 9 innings.  Kluber whiffed an impressive total of 10 Greensboro batters.  The right-handed Kluber lost a no-hitter when Joe Mauer singled with two outs in the 9th inning on a 1-5 chance and got a "3" to wreck the masterpiece.  Piney Creek managed 9 hits in their victory. 




Hisashi Iwakuma (11-13) was the loser.  When asked about his strikeout total for the game, Kluber offered, 'I am the "KLU-BOT" and I am the Best!!. It also helps when you have the best fans in G.U.S.S.O.M.O. rooting for you!. The fan's really got into it.   It is fun to see them tally up the strikeout totals up there in the stands.  Fortunately, I kept them busy this afternoon... no wait, this evening in Highlands Ranch....NO.... here at HOME in Centennial Field.... - Of course, it would be all for naught without the 'W' and the best Manager that I've ever played for.  Jeff has helped to make me who I am... I mean with all the confidence he's had in me.'


GAME # 2 - 


Left fielder Melky Cabrera had 4 hits and 3 RBI and Anthony Desclafani had a strong outing as the Piney Creek Palookas defeated the Greensboro Smoke by the score of 6 to 1 at Centennial Field.


Jhan Marinez who is an amazing (6-0) since being picked up in the Supplemental Draft, was brilliant in relief and registered the victory.  He didn't give up much, just 1 hit and no walks in 2 innings lowering his ERA from 4.19 to 3.96.  Piney Creek out-hit Greensboro for the game, 10 hits to 4. 


The losing pitcher was Nick Tropeano (1-4).  He surrendered 6 runs and 5 hits in 1 and 2/3 innings.


GAME # 3 - 


In a close game, the impressive Piney Creek Palookas got by the Greensboro Smoke by the score of 4 to 2.


Piney Creek brought 2 runs across the plate in the 5th inning.  The highlight belonged to Andrew Benintendi who excited the crowd when he clubbed a two-run home run.  Overall, Piney Creek out-hit Greensboro 8 to 5. 


Jhan Marinez, now an incredible (7-0) was the winner allowing no runs in 2 innings. Marinez got relief help from Wade Davis who gained credit for his 9th save.  Mike Fiers (7-12) suffered the loss.  He surrendered 2 runs and 6 hits in 4 and 1/3 innings. 







GAME # 1 - The Greensboro Smoke defeated the Piney Creek Palookas by a score of 9 to 5 at The Highlands Ranch “Hood.

Greensboro wasted no time and took the lead in the first inning scoring 4 runners on 3 hits.  The biggest moment was provided by Josh Reddick who excited the crowd when he blasted a two-run home run.  Greensboro had 13 hits for the game and Piney Creek had 10. 


Mike Fiers (8-11) got the win allowing 5 runs in 8 innings. Collin McHugh (9-9) is a loser… no… wasthe losing pitcher.  He served up 3 homeruns in his 7 innings.  


GAME # 2 - Dee Gordon had 2 base hits as the Piney Creek Palookas defeated the Greensboro Smoke 2 to 1 at The “Hood”.


Drew Pomeranz (9-9) had a solid outing for Piney Creek.  He surrendered 2 hits and 1 walk in 5 innings.  Pomeranz mowed down 9 Greensboro batters.  Piney Creek had 12 hits for the game and Greensboro had 4. 


Wade Davis earned his 9th save.  The loss was charged to Albert Suarez (1-6). He got hit hard, allowing 9 hits and 4 walks in 6 innings.  


GAME # 3 -  Caleb Joseph (yes, Lars had a very hard time believing it… are you kidding me ??  Caleb Joseph???) hit 2 doubles and had 5 RBI as the Piney Creek Palookas beat the Greensboro Smoke by a score of 9 to 6.


The Greensboro fans (OK…. “FAN”… OK, Lars) didn't appreciate the big day Joseph had.  He doubled plating two runs in the 2nd inning, doubled clearing the bases in the 6th inning and ripped a single in the 8th inning.  Piney Creek ended up with 11 hits for the game while Greensboro had 7. 




The victory went to Hector Rondon (5-3) who went 2/3 of an inning, allowing no runs. Addison Reed was credited with his 17th save.  Zach Eflin (0-4) took the loss….. and Lars immediately tried to trade him to Piney Creek!  He was unable to control the Piney Creek offense and allowed 9 hits and 3 walks in 6 and 2/3 innings.  



Game # 1

Corey Kluber whiffed 11 batters at Centennial Field where the Piney Creek Palookas beat the Nal Hutta Bounty Hunters by the score of 5 to 1.


Kluber (15-6) was on top of his game.  He allowed just 2 hits and 1 walk in 8 innings..... giving him 37 walks and 225 strikeouts (so far) for the season. 




Piney Creek had 9 hits for the game and Nal Hutta had 2.  The losing pitcher was Daniel Mengden (0-1).  He pitched 7 innings allowing 9 hits and 3 walks. Everyone seemed to enjoy the performance of Kluber except Nal Hutta.  Jason Kip lamented, “He just was 'ON' tonight.  He was keeping our guys off balance all game.  A fine game by a good strikeout pitcher - makes it a fun game for the hometown fans - unfortunately we were the visitors!”


Game # 2


Johnny Cueto (20-10) and Anthony Desclafani (6-7) locked horns in a pitcher's duel with Cueto and the Nal Hutta Bounty Hunters coming out on top of the Piney Creek Palookas 3 to 1.


Nal Hutta promptly took the lead in their half of the first when they came up with 2 runs on 2 hits.  That early scoring held up.  Brandon Maurer relieved and was untouched by Piney Creek as he recorded the save, his 23rd


By the way, ALL 3 RUNS came via HOME RUNS… off the bats of M.Machado (33rd), N.Cruz (49th), and B.Moss (32nd).  Piney Creek out hit Nal Hutta 6 hits to 5 hits….


Game # 3


Pedro Strop (2-2) got credit for the win at Centennial Field as the Piney Creek Palookas shutout the Nal Hutta Bounty Hunters 6 to 0.  In the 3rd inning Piney Creek went on top for good plating an isolated run.  Overall Piney Creek out-hit Nal Hutta 8 to 2.  And… Nat Hutta only had one (1) hit through 8 innings.


Rich Hill (8-2) was the losing pitcher.  Despite the loss, he struckout 10 Piney Creek batters in 6 and 1/3 innings.




Wrigley wins 2 of 3 close games....

9/10 WRR 9 13 1 CHM 7 10 0 K.Hendricks (17-3) J.Garcia (6-11)
9/11 WRR 3 7 0 CHM 4 11 0 K.Barracloug (2-3) J.Lackey (7-9)
9/12 WRR 5 8 0 CHM 2 7 0 10 F.Rodney (7-3) K.Barracloug (2-4)


Game # 1: Mob ahead 3 - 0 with 2 outs in the top of the 4th, lightweight callup John Ryan Murphy (13% OB chance) singles.  Raiders proceed to score 9 runs in the inning before the 3rd out.  Incredibly, Mob rallies with a 4 spot in the 7th and in the 8th, Denard Span misses a game tying BP HR 1 - 7 with an 8 split roll.   Kyle Seager walks with 1 out in the 9th but Fernando Rodney gets Paulo Orlando and Adam Lind.


Game # 2:  Raiders get a 2 run homer from Jeff Francouer in the 3rd to give Wrigley a 3 - 0 lead and John Lackey is on automatic.  However, in the 5th, a squeeze bunt by Danny Espinosa and back to back doubles by Trumbo and Seager tie the game.  With 2 outs in the 8th, Adam Lind rolls a 2 - 9 off Lackey and the ball may still be going.  Mark Melancon with the 1 - 2 - 3 save.  Mob pitchers Rodan, Bear Claw and Melancon fan 13 Raiders.


Game # 3: Oh so frustrating for Mob fans.  Ty Blach gets his GUSSOMO debut and does well but gives up solo HR's to Kris Bryant and Mark Reynolds.  Mob can't touch Andrew Cashner but get to him in the 7th, scoring twice to tie but it should have been more.  Orlando was out on a squeeze attempt by Espinosa (61%). Men on 1st and 2nd and Span singled but Lind was held up at 3rd and then Jose Altuve rolled a field goal number for the 3rd out.   With a man on 2nd with 1 out in the bottom of the 9th, Chicago missed two 1 - 8 BP singles.  Raiders wasted no time in the 10th, scoring 3 times and Rodney put The Mob down 1 - 2 - 3 in the bottom of the inning for a series win.


 Play off chances on fumes.  Good series, Don.






GAME # 2 -

Left fielder Ryan Rua blasted 2 homeruns and had 3 RBI… and then started a Bench-clearing fight as the Chicago Mob defeated the hapless Gotham City Batmen by a score of 8 to 7 at Terrapin Station.

Rua started off having a good day.  He lofted a Solo-Blast “Downtown” in the 3rd inning, Doubled resulting in a run in the 4th inning and ripped a Solo Home Run in the 6th inning.  It was his “cocky Bat Flip” that set off the Gotham City Batmen.  Then ran onto the field (with their bats) and the melee began!!  Rua got body-slammed by Andrew Romine, and Jose Iglesias bit Jose Altuve on the arm. Things settled down and surprisingly, no one was ejected from the game.  The Umpires were in a very forgiving mood during this game. Gotham City had a chance in the 9th but they came up short. 



Ryan Rua taking one on the Chops after his ‘bat flip”… but then being congratulated by his teammates…

The win was credited to Derek Law (2-2) who went 2/3 of an inning allowing no runs. Mark Melancon earned his 45th save.  Joel De La Cruz (1-6) was the “L” losing pitcher.  He served up 4 homeruns in his 5 and 1/3 innings!!!  



GAME # 3 -


The McHenry County Cybermen and the Wrigley Raiders locked up in an exciting one-run game at The Tardis.  The final score was the McHenry County Cybermen 9, the Wrigley Raiders 8 in 12 innings.




                                                                 GIVE ME THEM RAIDERS!!!


Both teams had scored 8 runs after nine full innings.  McHenry County ended up winning it in the 12th inning.  Jose Abreu doubled.  After an out was recorded, Rene Rivera came up and he drew a walk.  Martin Prado then ripped a base-hit to load the bases.  Jed Lowrie followed next and he stroked a one-base hit giving McHenry County the victory and sending the 47,558 home-town fans home happy.  McHenry County had 15 hits overall, while Wrigley had 10.