Around the Horn

In BABL, the playoff brackets are set. All the teams in BABL A, AA, and AAA know who and when they are playing, and will be spending the final week before playoffs to get set. They’ll get one last chance to get those extra reps in before it’s game on!

As for travel, all of our teams continued their own preparations for the end of the season. Several of them are peaking at the right time, as they continue to march strong towards the biggest, most important games of the season. We’re confident that they’re ready, though, and will be pulling hard for Koa to bring home some hardware and make our organization proud in the coming weeks.

We also had some exciting, fun All-Star games in BABL A and AAA, as some of the top players at those levels played some inspired ball in our exhibition games. Hopefully we’ll get another great game in the BABL AA All-Star game next Monday!

Here are the highlights from the final weekend of the regular season:

 

BABL A

 

Bombers @ Mashers

Bombers 13

Mashers 5

The Bombers pulled ahead in a close game and won 13-5, where each Bomber reached base via a hit or walk. Matty S. hit two triples and scored two runs, while Adam S. pitched two innings with five strikeouts and went 3-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored at the plate. The Bombers looked good in this game, as every player on the Bombers reached base via a hit or a walk in this game. Oliver H. gave the Mashers great pitching in the first couple of innings and combined that with three hits and three runs scored. The Bombers finish the regular season as the top seed in the playoffs, and will have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Mashers finish as the second seed.

 

Homers @ Sluggers

Homers 7

Sluggers 8

The Sluggers pulled out a big win over the Homers, as they pulled out a close 8-7 victory. Zach D. played arguably his best game of the season, as he struck out four Homers in three innings while adding a double, a run, and an RBI of his own. Luc B. and Mitchell H. hit doubles as well for the Sluggers, who played a gritty game and were rewarded well for it. The Homers finish as the third seed and will play the Mashers Saturday, while the fourth-seed Sluggers will battle the Bombers.

 

Mashers @ Homers

Mashers 14

Homers 7

The Mashers avenged their earlier loss to the Bombers with a convincing win over the Homers. With strong pitching by Luca P. and Ryan R. and some clutch hits by Leo P., the Mashers took the lead early. Their defense was much improved from the first game of the day and managed to hold the Homers to only four runs through the first three innings. Some late offense by the Homers gave them hope, but the Mashers were able to hold off a late comeback. Every Masher scored at least one run in this game.

 

Sluggers @ Bombers

Sluggers 5

Bombers 8

The Sluggers and Bombers – who will play each other in their first games this Saturday – played a close game, but the Bombers pulled away late and won 8-5. Wyatt R. hit a double and a triple and had four strikeouts in two innings pitched for the Bombers. Teddy B. pitched all three innings for the Sluggers, striking out seven. Albert L. went 2-4 with an RBI of his own.

 

BABL A All-Star Game vs. Koa 10U Travel

BABL A All-Stars 3

10U Travel 16

The BABL A All-Star game was played on Monday night under the lights at Field #2 at Cabin John Regional Park. As is the tradition here at Koa Sports, the BABL A All-Stars got to experience the thrill of competing at the travel level, as they squared off against our very own 10U travel team. The BABL A All-Star team was comprised of three representatives each among the four teams, with their coaches all joining forces to lead them in the game.

Before the game, both teams and their coaches made their way across the parking lot to Povich Field to join the BABL AAA All-Stars for the pregame ceremony, including their own personal introductions from Koa’s Head of Baseball Player Development, Casey Leister, and standing for the Star-Spangled Banner, just like the big-leaguers do. The smiles on the faces of the boys were priceless, and we hope the feeling of being named all-stars and getting to compete in this fun exhibition game is a feeling that sticks with them for a long time.

The game started off close, as the All-Stars actually scored the first run, but from there on out it was all 10U. The 10U Green Wave poured it on in the middle innings, scoring nine runs in the fourth inning alone. Tyler R., Andreas J., and Jacob E. each had multiple hits, while Reed S. and Alex C. combined to shut down the All Stars. It was a cool moment for the travel boys as well – several of them started off in BABL A and a few were named All-Stars seasons ago, so it was a cool moment all around. Combined with the BABL AAA All-Star Game, we had a great night of baseball under the lights on Monday night!

 

The 10U travel team walking together over to Povich Field for the pregame ceremony. This is what being part of a team is all about!

 

Next Week:

(4) Sluggers @ (1) Bombers

(3) Homers @ (2) Mashers

Sluggers/Bombers winner vs. Homers/Mashers winner

 

BABL AA

 

Screwballs @ Factory

Screwballs 16

Factory 3

The Screwballs locked up the third seed in BABL AA with a rout of Baseball Factory. Logan Z. and Kevin Z. showed great plate discipline in drawing three walks each, and on the whole, the Screwballs were able to draw out Factory’s pitching staff by drawing 16 bases on balls as a team. Joey K., Timmy L., and Will M. combined to limit Factory – the eighth seed in the playoffs – to only three runs on five hits and three walks. King in particular had a terrific outing, as he recorded nine outs on only 49 pitches, throwing 84% of them for strikes.

 

Sliders @ Fastballs

Sliders 3

Fastballs 4

In a close final game to the regular season, the Fastballs pulled out a walk-off win over the Sliders and their talented pitching staff. In a back-and-forth pitchers duel, Will G. started off strong on the mound for the Fastballs, and Stephen W. followed suit afterwards. Some sloppy defense late led to two Sliders runs, tying the game at 3-3. Then, in the bottom of the sixth, with the winning run on third base and two outs after two tough strikeouts, Eoin S. executed a beautiful bunt that walked off the game and got the win for the Fastballs! The Fastballs and Sliders finish the regular season in the second seed and the fifth seed, respectively.

 

Changeups @ Curveballs

Changeups 7

Curveballs 8

Another closely played game here, as the Curveballs rallied late to take this one 8-7. The Curveballs got the win by capitalizing on mental mistakes by the Changeups late in the game – a few throwing errors kept the Curveballs alive long enough to plate four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Garrison K. notched two hits to lead the Curveballs at the plate, Jake L. and Andrew D. making game saving catches in the field. Cooper G. pitched the final three innings to pick up the win, striking out five and allowing only one earned run. The win gives the Curves some confidence going into the playoffs. The Changeups and Curveballs finish the regular season in the sixth and seventh seeds, respectively.

 

Movers @ Splitters

Movers 14

Splitters 1

The Movers jumped out to a big early lead against the Splitters and didn’t let up en route to a monster win. Chand A. was in complete control on the mound, only giving up one unearned run. The Splitter gave up way too many walks, and watched too many first pitch strikes and second pitch strikes go by. The Movers’ win gives them the fourth seed in the playoffs and some confidence heading into the playoffs. Despite the loss, the Splitters finished the regular season as the top seed in BABL AA, and will get the benefit of home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. They’ll be looking to avenge this loss, their first of the season.

 

Next Week:

(8) Factory @ (1) Splitters

(5) Sliders @ (4) Movers

(6) Changeups @ (3) Screwballs

(7) Curveballs @ (2) Fastballs

Sliders/Movers winner vs. Factory/Splitters winner (Semi-Final Game 1)

Changeups/Screwballs winner vs. Curveballs/Fastballs winner (Semi-Final Game 2)

Semi-Final Game 1 winner vs. Semi-Final Game 2 Winner

BABL AA All-Star Game

 

BABL AAA

 

Slammers @ Launchers

Slammers 13

Launchers 12

This game had a little bit of everything – lockdown pitching at times, stellar defense, and plenty of offense. The Slammers took an early 4-0 lead in this one behind a great start by Oree Y. on the mound. The Launchers came back, eventually taking a 12-6 lead thanks to Kevin F. and his gutsy pitching performance in relief. Then, in the top of the last inning, the wheels came off for the Launchers. The Slammers used a patient approach at the plate to get guys on base. Then, clutch hits from Aiden K., Benjy E., and Alex C. sealed the deal, giving the Slammers a 13-12 win in a truly exciting game from start to finish. Eli W. also impressed behind the plate. The first-year catcher has improved every game behind the plate and has been a boon for coaches Aidan Edelman and Ryan Ebert and their team.

 

Launchers @ Dingers

Launchers 7

Dingers 14

The Launchers won big when these two teams played last weekend. The Dingers returned the favor this time around, winning 14-7. Ari K. went 3-5 on the day, and was the big spark on offense for the Launchers. Stevie J. pitched well for the Dingers, who were patient at the plate and took all the extra bases they could against the Launchers’ pitching. The Launchers didn’t have their best day between their two games, but they still finished the regular season in the second seed, and will prepare to play the Wreckers on Saturday.

 

Dingers @ Slammers

Dingers 13

Slammers 9

This was a slugfest, as both the Dingers and Slammers exchanged blows early and often in this one. The Dingers got booming triples from Garrett B. and Kristopher K. and several hard hit balls from others as well. Alex C. carried his offense from the Slammers’ first game over to the second one, lacing a triple of his own, as the Slammers’ bats came prepared. With the game tied late, several balks that led to runs allowed the Dingers to take the lead before the game was called early due to limited daylight. These two teams will play a play-in game on Friday night to determine who will play the top-seeded BLasters on Saturday.

 

Wreckers @ Blasters

Wreckers 11

Blasters 3

With only 8 players the Wreckers were able to to still get the W as they won 11-3.  Peter L. had a great day at the plate as he barreled two balls for singles. Jacob S. did a great job behind the dish blocking baseballs and slowing down the Blasters’ run game. Jacob also ripped a double into left field.  Noah R. had an amazing diving catch in left field.  With all that said, the player of the game was George K., who threw a no-hitter! Way to go, George! The Wreckers finish the regular season third in BABL AAA and will face the Launchers in their first game Saturday, while the Blasters finish as the top seed and will await the winner of the Dingers/Slammers play-in game.

 

BABL AAA All-Star Game

AL All-Stars 5

NL All-Stars 10

The BABL AAA All-Star game was also played on Monday night under the lights at Povich Field at Cabin John Regional Park. Unlike the BABL A game, the AAA All-Stars were drafted by Koa’s dedicated front office staff onto their two teams, and played against each other rather than a travel opponent – which provided some fun experiences, as teammates got to hit and pitch against one another for the first time all season. The AAA All-Star teams were comprised of five representatives each among the five teams, with their coaches split up and assigned to coach one of the two sides – either the AL squad or the NL squad.

Before the game, both teams and their coaches were joined by the BABL A All-Stars and the 10U travel team for the pregame ceremony, including their own personal introductions from Koa’s Head of Baseball Player Development, Casey Leister, and standing for the Star-Spangled Banner, just like the big-leaguers do. The smiles on the faces of the boys were priceless, and we hope the feeling of being named all-stars and getting to compete in this fun exhibition game is a feeling that sticks with them for a long time.

The NL squad jumped out to an early lead, scoring four in the bottom of the first on key hits from Garrett B. (Dingers) and Oree Y. (Slammers), among others. The AL came back and tied the game in the third on the strength of RBIs from Eli W. (Slammers), Liam C. (Dingers), and Peter L. (Wreckers). With a brand new game in the middle innings, the NL squad settled in and took a lead they never surrendered. Jack P. (Blasters) got things started with a leadoff walk in the bottom of the third and the team never looked back. Michael S. (Blasters), the AAA All-Star Game MVP, drove in three runs, including two on a clutch single in the middle innings that put the game out of reach. The NL let up one run in the last inning before slamming the door shut.

Nicolas C. (Launchers), Oree Y. (Slammers), Kevin K. (Wreckers), Stevie J. (Dingers), and Roan D. (Slammers) threw an inning each for the NL, while Will S. (Slammers), Cody P. (Launchers), Hector S. (Dingers), and Anthony C. (Wreckers) went for the AL. As with the BABL A game, Monday night was a great night all around. These boys exemplify everything the coaches strive to instill in their players – respect for the game, success on and off the field, a commitment to the game, and adherence to Koa’s four core values (positive, dedicated, team first, fun). Combined with the BABL A All-Star Game, we had a great night of baseball under the lights on Monday night! Thank you to everyone who made the night possible, and congratulations once again to all our BABL A and AAA all-stars! (BABL AA All-Star Game recap to come next week.)

 

Next Week:

(5) Dingers @ (4) Slammers

(3) Wreckers @ (2) Launchers

Dingers/Slammers winner @ (1) Blasters

Wreckers/Launchers winner vs Dingers/Slammers/Blasters winner

 

Travel

 

Koa 10U vs. Great Falls Nationals 10U

Game 1: 13-12 win

Game 2: 17-6 loss

Before their Monday night showdown with the BABL A All-Stars, the 10U Green Wave split on Sunday, taking the first game against Great Falls on a walk-off before losing game two. In game one, the team had some defensive lapses, but showed a lot of guts to come back and win the first game on a walk off error, as Alex C. smoked one to the Great Falls first baseman that was too hot to handle. Most of the damage was done in the middle innings, as Reed S. and Curtis G. each had three RBIs during that time. They were outhit in game two, giving up nine runs in the first inning and never giving themselves a chance to get back into the game. Tyler R. had multiple hits and didn’t allow anything in only two-thirds of an inning of relief work.

 

Koa 11U Wild Bill 11U

Game 1: 17-5 win

Game 2: 17-4 win

Have a day, Adrian! Adrian G. was incredible all day long for the 11U Green Wave as they easily handled Wild Bill. The Green Wave started plating runs early and often, with the first three hitters of the game hitting doubles. Coming back from a 2-0 deficit, Koa was aggressive at the plate and on the bases, taking the extra base whenever a throw missed the cutoff man. Zach B. came into the game in the first inning in relief, and proceeded to throw 2.1 innings of three hit ball, striking out five to earn the W. It was more of the same from the Green Wave bats in game two, with aggressive ABs putting pressure on Wild Bill. The boys made the routine plays in the field (zero errors!), and Henry E. threw a runner out at home from RF by 35 feet. Overall a good day at the office. Adrian easily earns Player of the Week honors, with a final stat line of 7-7, 6 R, 3 2B, 5 SB, 8 RBI between two games. It’s one of the most impressive individual performances we’ve seen all season. Congratulations Adrian!

 

Koa 12U vs. Replay Rangers 12U

Game 1: 25-7 win

Game 2: 16-4 win

The 12U Green Wave showed no mercy in completely dismantling the Replay Rangers on Sunday afternoon. The team pounded out 14 hits and drew 13 walks in an offensive clinic in the first game, which ended via the mercy rule. Half the team recorded multiple hits and drove in multiple runs, with Massimo L. and Kanen K. leading the way with three hits and five RBIs, respectively. The team set a record with an unbelievable 17-run inning (!!!) in the second frame. It made the seven runs they scored next inning look dull by comparison! It was more of the same in game two, as every player who received multiple plate appearances recorded a hit. Andrew L. started this one and limited damage early while the bats continued to rake. They won’t always come this easy, but this was big time showing from 12U.

 

Koa 13U vs. Metropolitan Senators 13U South/Potomac Riverdogs 13U

Game 1: 13-2 win

Game 2: 5-1 win

The 13U Green Wave continued to impress in NVTBL regular season play, as two opponents went down Sunday. In game one, the Green Wave struck quickly, jumping out to a 3-1 lead in the first inning by manufacturing runs with productive outs. The floodgates opened in the second, leading to eight runs. The team had ten stolen bases on the game, while James R. and Andrew P. allowed only one earned run combined. Andrew also drove in three at the plate. Game two was all about the starter. Andy S. carried a 2-0 lead through six innings as he executed pitches and let a spotless defense play behind him. With no errors allowed in the game, all 13U had to do was push across some runs, and they did just that by tacking on three runs in the top of the seventh to secure the win. Andy went six innings with four strikeouts, pitching around trouble and letting his defense work.

 

Koa 14U vs. Mitchell Marlins

Game 1: 8-7 loss

A special Friday night exhibition game between the 14U Green Wave and the Mitchell Marlins came to be through a friendship between coach Rob Castillo and the Marlins’ head coach. Hey, we’re always down for some extra baseball here at Koa! Unfortunately, things didn’t go the way the Green Wave had hoped, as they were on the losing end of a walk-off. The boys let up several runs early but came roaring back with a furious comeback in the middle innings. Scoring all seven of their runs in the fourth inning, the club put themselves in a position to win, but the three hole hitter for the Marlins ripped an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth to walk off the Green Wave.

 

Koa 14U vs. Springfield Sharks 14U/Falls Church Colts 14U

Game 1: 8-8 tie

Game 2: 5-3 win

It was a quick turnaround for the 14U Green Wave after the Friday night game. In a couple of hard fought games, the boys tied game one against Springfield while taking game two against Falls Church. In game one, the team had plenty of chances. There were no huge innings for either team in this game, but there was at least one run scored in each half inning except for the last one for Springfield. When they needed a stop in the final inning, Dylan P. and the defense held firm to prevent any go-ahead runs from crossing the plate. The boys drew plenty of walks to record their runs. In game two, the Green Wave grabbed the lead for good in the fourth. Greyson F. came through in the clutch with a two-run double to seal the deal. It was one of only a handful of hits on the game, but it was easily the biggest. Danny M. and Will P. kept things close on the mound, allowing for the late offensive breakthrough.

 

Koa JV vs. Bradley Eagles JV Black

Game 1: 10-4 loss

Game 2: 18-3 loss

Another tough weekend for the JV Green Wave, as they dropped two to the Bradley Eagles. In the first game, the Eagles didn’t pull away until late, as the Green Wave was able to keep things close until the very end. Robbie L. pitched his first game for the team, allowing three earned runs in four innings, giving up six hits and two walks with four strikeouts, giving the Green Wave a chance to win the game as it was 4-2 when he left the game. Robbie was pulled due to an increasing pitch count before the fifth innings, but his willingness and desire to continue to pitch was definitely noticed. Game two wasn’t as close, as they got down six runs before even coming to bat, and couldn’t muster up a comeback. Robbie led the team with two hits in game two, with Ari F., Zach Z., Ray A., Sam S., and Nate H. each recording hits as well.

 

Next Week:

Koa 10U vs. Falls Church Copperheads 10U/Mt. Vernon Patriots 10U Grey

Koa 11U vs. Metro Senators 11U/ATB Arsenal 11U White

Koa 12U vs. ATB Arsenal 12U Blue/Metro Senators 12U

Koa 13U vs. Arlington Senators 13U National

Koa 14U vs. Arlington Senators 14U National

Koa JV vs. NOVA Premier 15U Blue

 

Player of the Week

Adrian G. – 11U

7-7, 6 R, 3 2B, 5 SB, 8 RBI between two games

Pitcher of the Week

Andy S. – 13U

6 IP, 0 ER, 4 K, 8 H, 4 BB

Standings

BABL AW-LBABL AAW-LBABL AAAW-L
Bombers7-3Splitters7-1-1Blasters6-4
Mashers4-3-2Fastballs7-2Launchers6-4
Homers4-4-1Screwballs6-3Wreckers5-5
Sluggers2-7-1Movers5-3-1Slammers4-6
Sliders3-5-1Dingers4-6
Changeups3-6
Curveballs2-7
Factory1-7-1
TravelW-L
10U8-6-1
11U9-3
12U9-5
13U12-2
14U8-6-1
HS JV2-10
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