Around the Horn

In the final weekend of the BABL regular season, all teams pushed to earn a favorable seed as we head into playoffs. We are seeing some potential underdogs emerge in late October in what is shaping up to be a very exciting Fall Playoffs! On Sunday, the Koa Travel/BABL Showdown lived up to the hype as both the travel players and BABL All-Stars came ready to play. Also on Sunday, we saw “The Greatest Koa Travel Game of All Time.” Let’s take a look at the final week of the regular season, the epic Koa Travel comeback, and a sneak peek at the BABL Playoff Picture!

BABL A

Crushers (1-5-1) vs Sluggers (2-4)

8-7

Undermanned and outgunned, the Crushers showed tremendous heart as they pulled off the one-run victory over the Sluggers. With only 7 players available, the Crushers relied on patience and discipline as they drew 13 walks on the day (7 of 8 runs scored via a walk). William K., Colin M., and Wells T. (Crushers) were able to minimize free passes on the mound as they combined to strike out 10 and only walk 3. The Sluggers offense showed life late as Ichiro B. mashed his first homer of the season.

Next Week: Playoffs

Bombers (6-1) vs Crushers (1-5-1)

14-3

Once again with a shortage of players, the Crushers were unable to close out the Saturday Sweep against the powerhouse Bombers. Now tied for first place, the Bombers once again jumped out ahead early with huge doubles from Zack C. and Noah F., and they never looked back after that. The Sluggers still fought back late, however, with Garrison K. jacking his second long-ball of the year.

Next Week: Playoffs

Launchers (1-4-2) vs Mashers (5-2)

11-9

Upset Alert! The Launchers knocked off the Mashers in a nail-biter in what proved to be one of the biggest victories of the Launchers’ season. Pitching and defense kept the Launchers close, and they were able to stop the Mashers late. Akira S. (Launchers) entered to pitch in the late innings and consistently induced weak contact and allowed Reed S. to show off his leather in the infield. BIG win for the Launchers as they set their sights for the playoffs.

Next Week: Playoffs

Baseball Factory (6-1) vs Homers (1-5-1)

15-8

The Homers closed the gap in the middle innings, but Factory was able to pull ahead late to claim a first-place tie in BABL A. Michael L. (Homers) got the offense going with a 2-3 day at the plate. The Homers have a lot to be excited about heading into playoffs. The team was ferocious with two outs at the plate contributing to two 3-run 2-out rallies. As we have seen in the past, 2-out hitting is crucial come playoff time. If the Homers can continue to produce with 2 outs, look out!

Next Week: Playoffs

BABL AA

Fastballs (3-4) vs Splitters (3-4)

7-6

An exciting finish to the first BABL AA game early Saturday morning. As both teams jockey for playoff seeding, the Fastballs were able to come out ahead late as Jake B. stole home to take a 1-run lead. All-Star Kanen K. (Fastballs) got the offense rolling as he delivered a 3-4 day, finishing a homerun away from the cycle! The Splitter pitching staff was phenomenal and tough to solve behind the strong start from Thomas C. (3 IP, 1 H, 5 K). The Fastballs and Splitters are now tied heading into playoffs.

Next Week: Playoffs

Sliders (3-4) vs Splitters (3-4)

9-3

The Sliders showed their recipe for success in their final game before playoffs: strong pitching and defense. Declan O. turned in one of the best pitching performances of the BABL AA season as he had a No-No through the first 4 innings. During his masterpiece, the rest of the Sliders were able to send 9 across the plate. The Splitters scratched 3 runs late to make this one interesting behind the all-around performance from Jonah S. (3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 5 K; 1 H, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB).

Next Week: Playoffs

Changeups (6-0) vs Curveballs (1-6)

14-3

The Changeups remain unbeaten after their come-from-behind victory over the always-fiesty Curveballs. The Curveballs jumped ahead to an early 2-1 lead and kept the high-octane Changeups at bay. In the middle innings, the Changeup bats woke up and plated 13 runs over the next three innings. Trevor C. (Changeups) contributed to the offensive surge with 2 base hits while also carving up Curveballs hitters on the mound (3 IP, 2 ER, 4 K; 2-3, RBI).

Next Week: Playoffs

Screwballs (6-1) vs Farmers (2-5)

18-11

After losing to the Farmers on Opening Day, the Screwballs once again used a total team effort en route to their 6th straight victory. Every Screwball reached base at least once headlined by Lance H. and Oree Y. who each tallied 4 hits and Timmy L. and Eli W. who cashed in with 3 base hits each. The Farmers pushed across 7 runs in the bottom of the fifth with Aaron L. doing his part both at the plate and on the mound (4 IP, 2 ER, 6 K; 2-4, RBI, R). The Screwballs held on to the lead in the 6th, avenging their Opening Day loss to the Farmers.

Next Week: Playoffs

BABL AAA

Slammers (5-3) vs Blasters (0-8)

12-7

Neither offense could be solved in this high-scoring affair between the Slammers and Blasters. Multiple runs scored in all but 1 full inning as both teams cashed in with runners in scoring position. The Blasters held a 1-run lead heading into the top of the final inning, but the Slammers were ready for the comeback. They slammed 6 runs in their final at-bats with perfect 3-3 days from both Will R. and Phillip S. Andrew E. (Slammers) closed down the final 1 1/3 innings to earn the save.

Next Week: Playoffs

Wreckers (5-2-1) vs Dingers (5-2-1)

16-3

In their final matchup before the playoffs, the Wreckers made a statement over the Dingers to earn a first-place tie in BABL AAA. Zachary M. (Wreckers) brought his Ace-stuff as he struck out 7 Dingers in his start on the mound. The Dingers were led offensively by Thomas E. who ripped a screaming double into right field. Both teams can smell a potential playoff rematch this Saturday.

Next Week: Playoffs

BABL Playoff Picture

BABL A

9:30 AM: Launchers #5 vs Sluggers #4

11:30 AM: Crushers #7 vs Factory #2

11:30 AM: Homers #6 vs Mashers #3

1:30 PM: Bombers #1 vs Launchers/Sluggers

BABL AA

9:30 AM: Splitters #5 vs Sliders #4

12:15 PM: Curveballs #7 vs Screwballs #2

12:15 PM: Farmers #6 vs Fastballs #3

3 PM: Changeups #1 vs Splitters/Sliders

BABL AAA

11 AM: Blasters #4 vs Wreckers #1

11 AM: Slammers #3 vs Dingers #2

2:30 PM: CHAMPIONSHIP

Travel

10U Green Wave vs BABL A All Stars

10-1

The 10U Green Wave came out swinging to defeat the BABL A All-Stars on a beautiful Sunday at Richard Montgomery High School. Led my starting pitcher Shane M., the travel team jumped on top of the All-Stars early and stifled several BABL rallies throughout the game.

Next Week: NVTBL Playoffs

Cooper G. delivers a strike for the BABL A All-Stars against 10U Travel

11U Green Wave vs BABL AA All Stars

13-9

In the second Koa BABL/Travel Showdown of the day, the 11U Green Wave were able to hold off a late-game AA All Star comeback. Kosuke H. got his first All Star Game start on the mound and delivered with two perfect innings.

Next Week: NVTBL Playoffs

12U Green Wave (2-10) vs Virginia Stars

Gm 1: 0-12 L   Gm 2: 1-7 L

Once again, the 12U Green Wave let one inning slip away in their final doubleheader before the NVTBL playoffs. The Green Wave were led by strong pitching from RHP James R. and LHP Austin W., but the defense was unable to stop the bleeding in one big inning by the Virginia Stars. If this starting pitching holds up, the 12U Green Wave will be hard to beat in late October playoffs.

Next Week: NVTBL Playoffs

13U Green Wave (6-4) vs Baseball Factory and BABL AAA All Stars

Gm 1: 3-18 L   Gm 2: 12-10

6-18

After losing big to Baseball Factory in Game 1, the 13U Green Wave bats came alive as they earned the split against their rival. In Game 2, entering the final inning trailing by 2 runs, 13U played station-to-station ball and eventually pushed across 4 runs to bury Factory. The middle of the order combined for 6 hits and 5 RBI as the big run-producers did their job.

Last week, the 13U travel team faced off under the lights against the BABL AAA All-Stars and ran into some early trouble. Down 9-0 after the first inning, the team gathered itself and clawed back to make the score 11-6. But the All-Stars would not be denied, as they piled seven more runs on in the final frame.

Next Week: NVTBL Tournament (Makeup from Columbus Day Tournament)

13U Travel catcher Zach M. makes the tag to get the out at home against an acrobatic opponent

14U East Green Wave (8-3) vs Loudon Aces

Gm 1: 7-4 W   Gm 2: 23-2 W

For the second week in a row, the 14U East Green Wave tallied 30 runs across both games of the doubleheader. The top of the order got the offense rolling as the 1-6 hitters combined for 14 hits over the two games. 14U East pitching did their job as well headlined by Jake G. who turned in another quality start (4 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 K). Once again, 14U East makes a statement as they are turning heads in the DMV baseball community.

Next Week: Arlington Senators (doubleheader)

14U West Green Wave (5-5) vs All In Eagles

Gm 1: 8-2 W   Gm 2: 15-14 W

The 14U West Green Wave earned the Sunday Sweep over the rival Eagles on Sunday. But the highlight from this one comes in Game 2, where 14U West completed the greatest comeback in Koa Travel Baseball history. Trailing 14-4 heading into the last inning, 14U West comes to bat. When the first batter stepped in the box, the Green Wave new they were coming back. And they did! 14U put across 11 runs to walk off a 15-14 victory. Coach Peter Bowles after the game: “one of the greatest games I’ve ever been part of.”

Next Week: BCC Big Train (doubleheader)

High School JV Green Wave (2-8) vs MVP Terps

Gm 1: 7-12 L   Gm 2: 4-5 L

The JV Green Wave held strong against a loaded MVP Terps squad as Koa dropped two close ball games. After giving up 12 in Game 1, the Koa pitching staff sharpened up in a solid performance in Game 2. Slammin’ Sammy S. was unhittable in his 3 innings of work as he struck out 8 Terps. Ethan G. and Liam S. combined for 3 innings out of the bullpen and kept Koa in the game late.

Next Week: Replay Rangers (doubleheader)

High School Varsity Green Wave (6-4) vs Virginia Patriots

Gm 1: 17-5 W   Gm 2: 9-13 L

The High School Varsity Green Wave faced their toughest challenger yet in the Virginia Patriots. Zach G. had a tough test as he set to duel with a Division 1- committed Patriot pitcher (JMU). And Zach G. delivered both at the plate and the mound (2-3, 3 RBI). Young Andre L. was not intimidated by the D-1 commit as he laced two doubles into the gap.

Next Week: MVP Royals

Congrats to the BABL All-Star Game MVPs!

BABL A All-Star Game MVP: Reed S., Launchers

BABL AA All-Star Game MVP: Kanen K., Fastballs

BABL AAA All-Star Game MVP: Grady W., Dingers

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