Around the Horn

By Aidan Edelman

There’s a new wrinkle in this Koa spring baseball season: a fundraising project!

For those unaware, a player on Koa’s 13U East travel team, Miles K., has started a great new fundraising project for his Bar Mitzvah. The goal is to raise money for Koa Sports’ Play it Forward Scholarship fund, which exists to help give every child the right to play – especially those from lower-income households – so they can form the same great memories our current BABL and travel baseball kids. In the spirit of competition, we will be having all 27 of Koa’s BABL and travel baseball teams see who can fundraise the most between now and the end of May.

We’ve already started, and a few teams have already donated money to the cause. The team that raises the most money by May 31st will win a pizza party (which will feature a bouncy house, plenty of sports, and more!) at the Koa facility! We will be keeping track of all donations and adding a new standings table at the bottom of the blog to see who has raised the most so far.

Talk with your parents, talk with your coach, and let’s see how much money we can raise to that other kids can have the same fun we have! To read more about Miles’s project, and to see how people can donate, please click here. Good luck!

Here are the highlights from last weekend’s action:

 

BABL A

 

Crushers @ Bombers

Crushers 13

Bombers 8

In one of the most anticipated matchups of the season in BABL A, the Crushers and Bombers played a close, tight, competitive game with plenty of excitement. The Crushers started putting up runs early in the first inning and second, including a three-run home run by Alex B., who continues to tear through the league. However, the Bombers showed how resilient they can be. They retaliated by putting up six runs in the third, including a grand slam by the other Alex B. to give them the lead, but it wasn’t enough. Ben H. did just enough on the mound, and the Crushers came back thanks to some timely hitting and a few errors from the Bombers.

 

Launchers @ Mashers

Launchers 1

Mashers 9

The final score in this game belies just how close and competitive it was. Wes C. (Launchers) and Leo P. (Mashers) were locked in a fierce pitchers duel through the first three innings of this one. Wes allowed only one hit while striking out six, while Leo recorded all nine of his outs via the strikeout. Despite running into a little trouble early on, the Mashers were able to pull away late thanks to a patient approach against the Launchers’ bullpen and some heads up baserunning from Ryan R. and Ethan H. Ollie H. added two big hits as well.

 

Sluggers @ Slammers

Sluggers 7

Slammers 8

Another exciting one in BABL A as the Sluggers and Slammers played an instant classic. The game was in the Slammers’ control up until the last few innings. Another tremendous effort from Max R. at the plate (3B, HR) had the team in good position late in the game, but the Sluggers came all the way back. Led by Oliver F. on the mound and Aaron K. at the plate, the Sluggers stormed back, with clutch hits from Jack B. and Constantine K. to tie the game. However, there was still time for the Slammers to strike back, and they did when Daniel H. laced a double to the outfield to drive in the winning run! It was an epic game played between two very evenly-matched teams, and we hope these guys can play again in the playoffs in what would be a great rematch.

 

Homers @ Dingers

Homers 4

Dingers 14

It was a long time coming, but the Dingers finally notched their first win of the season, and they did so in dominating fashion against the Homers. The offense was led by Elliott R., who hit the team’s first home run of the season! He was joined in the hit parade by Jake R., Alex J., Eric F., and Mason B., as the Dingers set a new season high in runs scored. Additionally, Eric pitched the final inning – despite not pitching much this season beforehand – and recorded three very efficient outs (a strikeout and a 1-3 double play in which he caught a line drive right back at him and doubled off the runner at first base). Their first win was as fun as everyone imagined it would be, and every player on the team did something to help the team win. They’ll look to keep it going next weekend against some good competition in the Crushers and Slammers.

Next Week:

Bombers @ Sluggers

Mashers @ Homers

Homers @ Bombers

Sluggers @ Mashers

Crushers @ Launchers

Slammers @ Dingers

Dingers @ Crushers

Launchers @ Slammers

 

BABL AA

 

Fastballs @ Factory

Fastballs 4

Factory 10

Baseball Factory continued to tear through the league, taking care of business against the Fastballs behind some sound pitching and defense. The bats came alive and did not slow down throughout the game. The Fastballs battled behind a great first two innings from Landen H. on the mound. However, defensive miscues and baserunning mistakes let the game slip away late. RJ H. jacked a triple to the fence, showing off his raw power.

 

Movers @ Curveballs

Movers 8

Curveballs 1

Another strong team, the Movers, continued their own roll through the league, as they defeated the Curveballs 8-1. The offense was led by Aidan W., Ichi B., and Dylan N., who each had RBI hits. On the mound, Chand A. and Carly G. combined to shut down the Curveballs on offense. For the Curveballs, an inability to consistently hit the strike zone helped put the team in an early hole. However, they would get their revenge in the next game.

 

Curveballs @ Fastballs

Curveballs 12

Fastballs 0

This game was all Curveballs, as they jumped out to an early seven run lead after the first inning. Will H. pitched very well in his first time on the mound, and Max F. continues to impress as a catcher behind the plate. The extra work he has put in has really paid off, and given his team a big boost as they have a reliable guy to handle the sport’s most important position. The offense woke up in a big way, driving the ball all over the park and taking advantage of some shaky defense from the Fastballs. Unfortunately for the Fastballs, Will G. and Simon J. did what they could on the mound, but the lack of defense and offense doomed the team.

 

Factory @ Movers

Factory 9

Movers 5

In what could very well be a preview of this spring’s BABL AA championship game, Baseball Factory and the Movers played a fierce game, but too much from Factory towards the end helped them pull out a huge win and a season sweep of the Movers. Again, pitching, hitting, and baserunning shined for Factory, as the club was able to overcome a few errors in the field to pick up the win. For the Movers, four players collected hits and RBIs to help the team put their five runs up. The Movers have gotten contributions up and down the roster all season, and should be a tough out in the playoffs despite this loss.

 

Changeups @ Splitters

Changeups 6

Splitters 10

This was an overall great game played by the Splitters and Changeups. The Splitters jumped on the Changeups early and held the game until the Changeups were able to tie it up in the fourth inning. The Splitters took the lead in the 5th and were able to hold on for a victory. Luke R. pitched well, allowing just a couple of baserunners. Sloppy defense lead to the Changeups getting four runs in the fourth, but the Splitters bats and quality relief pitching held on the win the game. Ben C. started the day with a lead-off triple. The Changeups refused to go away, with Luke S. pitching well in relief and Michael K. playing excellent defense and getting a clutch hit to help bring his team back. They tied the game at six entering the home half of the fifth, but the Splitters exploded for four runs after that, highlighted by back-to-back doubles by Peter S. and Will F. The Splitters are slowly climbing their way up the standings and look like they’re in good shape heading into the stretch run.

 

Sliders @ Screwballs

Sliders 2

Screwballs 14

Another strong showing all around for the Screwballs, as they easily handled a very good Sliders team. The offense was rolling all day, accruing 14 hits and nine walks as a team. In fact, every player on the roster reached base either via a hit and/or a walk in the game. Five of those hits went for extra bases, with Timmy L. smacking two doubles, CJ L. and Charlie R. hitting doubles as well, and Kevin Z. knocking a triple. While the Screwballs’ pitching wasn’t overpowering by any means – and despite issuing nine walks – it was effective, as the Sliders couldn’t muster many hard hit balls. The Screwballs are hoping their all-around good play continues, especially with a chance at the top overall seed in play.

Next Week:

Fastballs @ Splitters

Movers @ Sliders

Curveballs @ Screwballs

Splitters @ Screwballs (Monday Night)

 

BABL AAA

 

Blasters @ Dingers

Blasters 10

Dingers 5

The Blasters continued to roll, taking care of business against the Dingers at Wheaton Regional Park. The Dingers jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and had some standout defensive performances from Jake S. behind the plate and Hector S. at shortstop. They battled throughout the game against the top-seeded Blasters. Unfortunately, the offense couldn’t make up for the amount of walks the pitching staff allowed, which sunk any hope of a rally. For the Blasters, it’s another win for a team that is rolling right now. Jack P. has taken nicely to the leadoff spot in the team’s lineup, showing great plate discipline and the defensive versatility to handle various up-the-middle positions. Meanwhile, Jeffrey B. continues to impress on the mound. After allowing the four early runs, he settled in for three more shutout innings. His poise on the mound was very impressive.

 

Launchers @ Slammers

Launchers 9

Slammers 3

This rivalry dates back to the championship game last fall, when the Launchers orchestrated a come-from-behind win over a Slammers team that many had written off. Now, with coaches Aidan Edelman and Ryan Ebert (both on the Slammers last fall) going against each other following Ebert’s move to the Launchers, the rivalry has a new level. The Launchers won the game, the only regular season meeting between the teams. James H. started off the game with a leadoff triple that spun away from the Slammers’ center fielder. The Launchers got an early 2-0 lead behind hits from James and Jake R., and Larry B. was able to protect it. Despite some iffy command early on, Larry was able to settle down and silenced the Slammers’ bats throughout the afternoon. For the Slammers, who were undermanned to begin the game before having one player suffer an in-game injury, it was a tough loss, but one they played hard in. Jack M. pitched very well and was only felled by some shaky defense and too many passed balls. Thomas A. had his best day at the plate this season, going 2-3 and hitting the ball hard three times, scoring twice in the process.

 

Wreckers vs. Dingers

Wreckers 20

Dingers 6

The Wreckers looked ready to go against a Dingers team that had already played one game earlier. The Wreckers came out with a decent three run first inning. Anthony C. struck out the side in the bottom of the first which helped lead the Wreckers to eight more runs in the top of the second. Noah R. came up with timely singles with runners on base and drove in a team high five runs. Ethan S. had yet another big hit in the second with a bases clearing two-RBI triple. The 12 hits the team had were all legitimate hits, not just bleeders or balls that were misplayed in the field – showing the team is making strides offensively. The Dingers added two new arms to their rotation in the game – Jake S. and Hector S. – with Jake in particular pitching very well. Unfortunately, too many errors and walks helped put the team in an early hole they couldn’t escape from. Garrett B. had a good game offensively, with two clutch hits and a walk.

Next Week:

Launchers @ Dingers

Blasters @ Slammers

Wreckers @ Bradley Eagles 13U Dev. Team

 

Travel

 

Koa 10U vs. DC Dynasty 10U Red

Game 1: 6-2 loss

Game 2: 14-3 win

Another weekend split for the 10U Green Wave, who followed up a close loss with a dominating win against DC Dynasty. In the first game, the team allowed one big inning to allow Dynasty to pull away, but the bats would start to come alive at the end of the game, which set the stage for the next matchup. In the second game the team pressured Dynasty from the start. After a scoreless first inning, Koa scored runs in each of the next four innings on their way to a 14 hit game. They never let go of the lead and strong pitching from Reed S. and Andreas J. closed the door for the win. William K. racked up four hits on the day, and continues to be a fixture near the top of the team’s lineup.

 

Koa 11U vs. Reston Warriors 11U Platinum/Black

Game 1: 13-2 loss

Game 2: 14-2 loss

To say it was a tough weekend for the 11U Green Wave would be an understatement. A late start time, long distance to travel, using a poor quality portable mound, and some questionable umpiring can only go so far in explaining away the team’s performance against these two good Reston teams, though. Despite that, we’ll try to focus on the positives. Let’s focus on Alex V.’s improvements at the plate. After struggling at the plate for the first few weeks, Alex put in a lot of work on his swing, and it paid off this week. He barrelled up three pitches, driving them to the outfield, to get back in the groove at the plate. As far as pitching is concerned, and although the scores ended up lopsided, Koa pitchers only allowed ten hits over the two games. They got in trouble by walking more hitters than they should, but the pitches in the zone were not hit hard. We all know the team is better than they’ve played the past two weekends, and are looking forward to when the Green Wave to break out of this slump.

 

Koa 12U vs. Loudoun Aces 12U

Game 1: 10-3 loss

Game 2: 9-8 loss

After sweeping last weekend, the 12U Green Wave once again found themselves on the wrong side of the win-loss column, losing two equally tough games to Loudoun. Game one saw the Aces get ahead early 4-0, but Koa was able to score three in the next two innings to make it a 5-3 ball game with RBI’s coming from JB H., Nate M., and Caleb K. Loudoun went on to add five more runs in the next two innings for finish the game off with a 10-3 victory. Game two started off very similar to game one with Loudoun jumping out to a 8-3 lead before the Green Wave added three runs in the fourth and three more in the top of the sixth to make it a tie game, with Simon R. hitting the game tying single. The Aces unfortunately were able to walk it off with a single in the bottom of the inning. The hitting really came alive in game two, and Andrew L. pitched well in relief. We all know this team has more talent than they’ve shown so far this season – we’re just waiting for them to get on a run.

 

Koa 13U East vs. Stars Baseball 13U Jewett

Game 1: 6-5 win

Game 2: 10-4 win

Another week, another sweep for the 13U East Green Wave, as a shorthanded squad came away with two wins against a good Stars team. In game one, James R. pitched a complete game to secure a one-run win. Koa jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second, but the Stars battled back to make it 4-3 Koa in the 4th. The Green Wave tacked on two more in the bottom of the fifth to go up 6-3 behind an RBI double from Andrew P. – the team’s third double on the game. The Stars scored two more in the sixth, but James pitched a perfect seventh inning for a 6-5 win despite being outhit. Andy S. made his return to the mound in game two for the first time in four weeks and pitched four and a third innings to earn the win. Koa jumped out to a 5-0 lead and never looked back. Excellent defensive plays and only two walks surrendered by the pitchers made sure the Stars never had a chance. Between the two games, Jay A. came a home run short of hitting for the cycle.

 

Koa 13U West vs. Arlington Senators 13U Central

Game 1: 7-6 win

Game 2: 11-11 tie

The 13U West Green Wave played two close games last weekend and played well in each game. Down 5-6 in the bottom of the last inning in game one, Oree Y. got hit by a pitch for the third time in the game. With Oree on first base and one out, Nico C. and Jack F. hit back to back singles to load the bases. Eli W. worked a walk on a quality seven pitch at-bat to tie the game. With one out and the game winning run at third, Elliot B. hit a single to walk-off with a 7-6 victory. In game two, Elliot and George K. had multiple hits and five RBIs combined to help Koa come back from a 10-5 deficit after four innings. The Green Wave scored five runs in the top of the fifth to tie the game, but the Senators answered with a run in the bottom of the inning to take an 11-10 lead. Nico came up with a big strikeout with only a few minutes left before the time limit ended the game to allow Koa to get one more at-bat. Tommy D. worked a walk and stole his way to 2B with 1 out, then made it to third on a fielding error and then scored the tying run when Nico did his job and hit a ground ball to the right side. The Senators had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the inning but Nico was able to shut the door to keep the game at an 11-11 tie.

 

Koa 14U vs. Moose 14U

Game 1: 3-2 win

Game 2: 19-11 loss

The 14U Green Wave suffered two losses against a Moose team they split against earlier this season. In game one, the team was able to notch ten hits (including four doubles), as almost every player in the lineup came away with at least one. Danny M. and Grady W. combined for a strong showing on the mound, and the team was able to pull out a close victory. Game two was the complete opposite. The score was tied 7-7 after the first inning, but Moose was able to get more in the middle innings that the Green Wave was. They tallied 20 hits to Koa’s nine, while the Green Wave struck out twice as frequently (ten) as Moose (five). Sammy P., Ethan S., and Grady each had multiple hits.

Despite the great days at the plate for those three, according to assistant coach Steven Friedman, there’s still some work to be done in terms of approach. “The boys hit very when they have an aggressive approach” Friedman said, while saying that too often the team can be “looking for walks.” That should be a focal point going forward through the rest of the season.

Next Week:

Koa 10U vs. DC Splinters 10U/Arlington Aces 10U

Koa 11U vs. Falls Church Copperheads 11U

Koa 12U vs. Virginia Stars 12U Boles/Potomac Riverdogs 12U

Koa 13U East vs. Sterling Xplosion 13U/Virginia Cobras 13U

Koa 13U West vs. Dynamic 13U

Koa 14U vs. Mitchell Marlins 14U (Sat.)/Cadets 14U West (Sun. double-header)

 

Player of the Week

Alex B. – Bombers

1-3, grand slam home run

 

Pitcher of the Week

Leo P. – Mashers

3 IP, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K

 

Standings

BABL A W-L BABL AA W-L BABL AAA W-L
Bombers 6-1 Screwballs 6-1 Blasters 4-1-2
Crushers 5-1-1 Factory 6-1 Launchers 3-3-1
Mashers 5-2 Movers 6-2 Slammers 3-4
Launchers 4-2-1 Sliders 4-3 Wreckers 2-4-1
 Slammers  3-4 Splitters 3-4 Dingers 2-5
 Sluggers  2-5 Curveballs 2-4-1
 Dingers  1-6 Fastballs 1-6-1
 Homers  1-6 Changeups 0-7
Travel W-L
10U 3-7
11U 4-6
12U 2-8
13U East 9-3
13U West 3-5-2
14U 5-4-1

Play It Forward Fundraiser Standings (Only Teams That Have Donated Will Be Listed – Top Team Wins a Pizza Party!)

Team Division Amount Raised
13U East Travel $250
Blasters BABL AAA $100
Fastballs BABL AA $50
12U Travel $50
Bombers BABL A $36
Dingers BABL A $20
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