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2016 NBBA World Series Statistical breakdown – Strength of Schedule

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For the past two years, we have written about the NBBA World Series statistical breakdown of Strength of Schedule.  The Renegades have an analytical side.  We break down much of the game into stats.  It helps us baseline, set goals and improve.  In 2014, we brought the concept of Strength of Schedule to the forefront.  At first, a few teams thought it was non sense.  Reality is its food for thought.  As the league continues to grow, we need to help it improve.  This past season may have been one of the most exciting beepball seasons ever.  As in March madness, people fill out their brackets to see who they think will win.  How many people would have picked the Indy Thunder over the Renegades in the championship game?  Bet you didn’t have that filled out!  The more discussion and thought we put into theses things, the better our league will become.  With teamwork, communication, marketing and public relations will come great opportunity.  Let’s move this league into the next level of competitive sports and get organized.

 

2016 Roster Changes

As we did the past two years, we have tried to come up with a method to measure the strength of each team’s schedule.  This can be a telling story on how hard a World Series schedule each team has.  Currently, the way the league seeds teams is to look at their finish in the prior year’s World Series.  Keep in mind, this is all that is done to seed.   If a roster is completely overhauled – the team does not move up or down the rankings.  Here is where it gets ugly.  If a team did not attend the previous year’s series, they are seeded in the order they got their registration fee into the league.  All of these teams are placed at the bottom of the brackets with no insight into who is on those teams.  This can produce a ton of problems for teams trying to play for a seed.  We discussed that in 2015 there was 24 teams BUT only 16 teams returned from the 2014 World Series.  This meant we had 8 teams playing in the World Series who were not seeded.  This was less of an issue in 2016 because the World Series contracted a bit to 20 teams.  Though before the World Series started there was already drama in the seeding. Have a seat and grab your popcorn as we look at some of the drama…

  • #17 Indy Edge – There was a lot of drama in Indy in the off season.  The RHI E-xtreme lost their sponsor and had to rename their team.  There was some shuffling around but 6 players on the roster from 2015 returned.  With the Indy shuffle, they also picked up some players from the Indy Thunder and the Indy Knights. The Edge also picked up two players from the New Jersey Lightning  So, the NBBA seeding policy looks at this as a new team name though they had just one new player in the league.  By the time they got to the World Series, they did have a rookie pitcher (who did great)..but to start the year, they were planning to go with the Indy Knights pitcher who took the Knights to a .375 batting average in 2015.  This was no #17 seed?
  • #18 San Antonio Jets – What do you get when you take the starting pitcher off the recent two time World Champs (Kevin Sibson), surround him with two of their young starting players (Zac Arambula and Axel Cox), add in a player who had won a title for them (Richie Flores), sprinkle in two long time players with a lot of success in the league (Dave Benney and Jason Ackiss).  Then add in some of the most exicting rookies in the league with Ricky Ruzika and the Almanza cousins.  You get a powerhouse offense.  Some people were saying they would be contending for a championship…but they were seeded 18th!
  • #19 Iowa Reapers – Ok…Iowa probably deserved this seed or something close to it.  They had won two games in the 2014 World Series against the Athens Timberwolves.  They did not play in 2015’s World Series.  With the mindset of seeding new teams at the bottom of the league…this felt ok.
  • #20 Seattle South King Sluggers – This truly felt right for them.  Seattle had never played in a World Series before and this was a big step for them.  Not one of their players on the roster had ever played in a World Series.  This was the true meaning of a new team.

Every year, teams seem to shuffle their rosters and 2016 was no exception.  Here are the rosters with the most turnover

  • #1 Austin Blackhawks – Austin remained the number one seed despite losing their pitcher and two starters.  Arumbala and Cox represented 31% of the runs scored in 2015.  All of these three left for the start of the Jets.  Austin replaced Kevin with Tim Hibner at pitcher (Tim won a few World Series with the Dawgs) and many consider him one of the top pitchers in the game.  Austin also recruited Chance Cranford, a former world Champion with the Dawgs).  But to give the Blackhawks a one seed with this team may have been a stretch because they simply lacked the depth and speed they had in the past.
  • #3 Bayou City Heat – They lost a .500 hitter in John Kibodeaux and their leader in defensive stops, Greg Gontaryk.  In their place, they picked up three players from the Colorado Storm and two players from the Long Island Bombers.  This is a lot of turnover for a top team
  • #4 Colorado Storm – Colorado Entered this tournament without two starters from the previous year in Doug Biggins and Mike Malloy as well as the loss of John Parker.  This trio represented 28% of the Storm’s 2015 offense and 39% of it’s defensive stops not made by the human Vacuum, Ethan Johnston.  Colorado returned Chad Sumner which helped the cause but he could not replace the results of three players by himself.
  • #6 Indy Thunder – With the demise of the Extreme, they picked up a few of their players.  This included Clint Woodard (who was 2nd on the RHI E-xtreme in defensive stops in 2015), Kyle Lewis (who hit .,533 in limited time with the Extreme) and Ed Brown(who hit .649 and led the Knights in runs).  But they also had picked up a few very exciting rookies that had been lighting up local tournaments in Gerald Dycus and Zach Buhler.  It should also be noted that Darnell Booker took a different role which allowed one of the top pitchers in the game to pitch.  this pitcher had won a title with the Kansas All-stars and his name is Jarred Woodard.  This team looked stacked going into the Series but remained a 6 seed.  If Vegas had odds on a champion, it was a sure money bet the Thunder had the best odds.
  • #9 Lone Star Road Runners – They lost their team leader in defensive stops (Richie Flores).  Flores also gave them 12 runs of offense in 2015.  Lone star also lost PJ Navarro and Marlon Stover.  This is a whopping 57% of their offensive production from the 2015 team.  With this loss and lack of proven replacements, they should have been knocked down a few seeds.

Which teams were impacted by the improper seeding?

With the break up of the RHI E-xtreme, Taiwan not returning and Austin losing players, it felt like for the first time in years there was a lot of parity in the league.  In past years, the blatant mis-seeding had wrecked havoc on a few teams.  The Indy Thunder and Long Island Bombers were last years victim of the mis-seeding    This year in the end, the teams most impacted by the seeding were the Austin Blackhawks, the Minnesota Millers and the Southwest Slammers.

Why?  Austin had to face San Antonio as their 2nd round opponent.   If you believed they deserved the #1 seed, they should not have been playing the Jets this early in the dance.  For the first time in years, Austin found its way to the loser’s bracket on Thursday morning.  Minnesota and Southwest were two teams impacted in a different way.  Both these teams earned a two seed in their bracket based on last year’s play.  However, they both got bumped to the three seed after pool play was over because the Edge and Jets earned the two seed over them.  At face value, this seems fare…BUT.  One could argue that Minnesota and the Slammers earned their two seed more than the Lonestar Roadrunners and Atlanta Eclipse.  The end result of this mis-seeding forced both the Slammers and Millers to have to play 10 games (no other team played more than 9 games).  Their 1-2 records on day one forced them to play at 9:00am on Tuesday.  With proper seeding, this would not have happened to them.  In the end it may not have made a huge difference but it did force both these teams to play three games on three consecutive days  in a row.  This is a grueling sport to be forced to do this.  It would take its toll on most teams in this league.

Let’s get to the Strength of Schedule stats

With all of this in mind, let’s look at the Strength of Schedule of the teams that played in the 2016 World Series.  The math is simple.  What we do is look at the final ranking of each team and add those rankings up.  Then we divide that sum by the total amount of games played.  This comes up with a figure that represents the average seed of the team they faced.  So for example, The Boston Renegades played 9 games against the following teams San Antonio Jets (5) + BCS Outlaws (16) + Minnesota Millers (9) + Southwest (11) + Chicago (8)+ Colorado (3) + Indy Thunder (1) +  Colorado (3) + Indy Thunder (1).  This equates to a score of 57 and we divide that by 9 games to get 6.3.  This means the average seed of a Renegade Opponent would be ranked 6th in the league.

Please note this Strength of Schedule score does not take into account the amount of games played.  A team playing 9-10 games is forced to play 3 games on multiple days of the World Series- and this can take a huge toll on a team.  Last year, the Taiwan Home Run were so mis-seeded they had to play what was possibly a World Series record of 12 games.  This year six teams played 7 games. six teams played 8 games, six teams played 9 games and The Southwest Slammers and Minnesota Millers were forced to play 10 games each.

SOS Rank WS finish Team Games Record SOS
1 2 Boston 9 7-2 6.33
2 3 Colorado 9 6-3 6.78
3 5 San Antonio 9 5-3 7.00
4 7 Indy Edge 8 6-2 8.00
T-5th 8 Chicago 8 4-4 9.50
T-5th 1 Indy Thunder 8 8-0 9.50
7 6 Austin 9 6-3 9.67
8 12 Lone Star 8 3-5 9.75
9 4 Bayou City 9 7-2 9.89
10 13 NJ Titans 7 3-4 10.29
11 10 Atlanta 8 4-4 10.38
12 11 Southwest 10 5-5 10.50
13 9 Minnesota 10 6-4 10.80
14 16 BCS 9 2-7 10.89
15 14 Tyler 7 2-5 11.71
16 15 Arizona 9 3-6 11.89
17 17 Iowa 7 2-5 12.29
18 18 Seattle 7 1-6 12.43
19 20 Athens 7 0-7 13.71
20 19 Rochester 7 2-5 13.86

As the Renegades climb the NBBA ladder, Boston has now played the toughest schedule in two of the past three years at the World Series (8th hardest in 2015).  That says a lot for how far this team has come in its ability to manage a tournament and improve its play on the field.

Unlike last year where the quantity of games played was so varied (mostly due to the mis-seeding). Beyond the Millers and Slammers all teams played between 7-9 games.    Some key findings from looking at SOS (Strength of Schedule) include:

  • The Renegades made the title game and their only losses on the year came against the Indy Thunder.  They had quality wins over San Antonio, Chicago and Colorado, twice.
  • Colorado had a very tough road as well.  Even tougher when you recall they lost three players from their 2015 roster.  Two of their three losses came at the hands of the Renegades.  The other was on day one, to the Indy Edge.
  • Once again, the Bayou City Heat had an easy schedule. Four of their 9 games were against teams who finished 12th or higher.  They entered the dance seeded 2nd and finished in the 4 spot.  The best seed they played was Colorado and they lost to them twice.  They had “easy” wins over Iowa (17th), NJ Titans (13th) and Lone star, twice- (12th).
  • Minnesota which had a very tough year in 2015 had an easier time this year if you look strictly at strength of schedule.  Though they played 10 games, 7 of them were against opponents who finished 10th or higher.
  • The Indy Edge, which entered as a 17 seed, finished 7th but had the 4th hardest road to get there.  It would be expected their road would be hard based on the fact they were mis-seeded.  They actually beat the three seed (Colorado) in the round robin.  However, they lost to the Thunder (1) and Austin (6) – the former champs to knock them out of contention.  They were a scary team to have to face for sure.
  • The Indy Thunder had an easy first two days as their first four opponents finished 20th, 19th, 8th and 13th

In Conclusion

What makes the NBBA unique is that many games are played throughout the year.  Sadly, there is not an easy way (and cost effective way) for the league to track the progress of the teams…YET.  Maybe with experience and finances this could change in the future.  For now, we have to play with the World Series stats.  Its the only thing we have for the Beep baseball seam heads who like stats.  We come together for one glorious week to play ball.   In 2016, we saw a lot of parity in the league. To start the year, we saw two top teams break apart as Austin and RHI had some significant changes.  We also witnessed for the first time since 198o, two teams who had never been in a title game face off against each other with the Thunder beating the Renegades.  As we look toward 2017, we hope we can make some changes to the way we seed.  Heck, we can expect the Taiwan Home Run to be back..are we really going to seed them 21st again?  I hope we have learned from this and the fact it hurts other teams just as much as it hurts them.  Lets work toward seeding things correctly.  And yes, this writer has a proposal for that.  However, thats a story for another time

World Series Game Summaries – Day 5 (Championship game)

Boston Makes the Title Game for the First Time in History and loses to The Thunder

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Coach Weissman and Coach Booker were caught on camera on Day three of the World Series. At this time both squads were undefeated and they held up the number one sign. It would be a precursor to the 2016 title game

Coach Weissman started off the day making sure the players really took some time to enjoy themselves.  Relish in the fact the team was playing in the title game and was one of two teams left standing during the 2016 World Series.  It was something to be proud of.  Much like when the Red Sox won in 2004.  That team won it for every other player who had ever played for the Club that went 86 years without a championship.  We needed to recognize what we had accomplished since the team started playing competitively in 2002.  Weissman wanted the players to take some time and enjoy the atmosphere.  However, when the opening ceremonies were over, it was just another game.

The Indy Thunder brought with them an army.  It’s hard to say exactly how many people they brought but they listed 45 players and volunteers in the program.  Boston is one of the biggest programs in the world, but we could not afford to bring our entire staff (nor did they have the time off to spend a week in Iowa).  As the Indy Thunder was announced the fans began to cheer…but somewhere around their 20th person, they stopped paying attention….and by the time the Renegades were announced, people just wanted to watch the game.  There was only a smattering of applause for the Renegades as they took the line and the league struggled to pronounce many of the names in the process.  The coin toss was held and this time the Renegades would lose and would be the visiting team.  On the bench for the Renegades was Joe McCormick who missed the fireworks after being taken to the hospital in an ambulance the day before.  Our medical staff cleared Than Hunyh to play if and only if he would allow them to tape his leg.  And tape him they did.  Mike Marciello made a brace out of tape that allowed Thanh to move around without a limp and he would be part of this game despite the pain he was in.  On the other side of the ball, Miguel Tello was taking reps for the Thunder in pre game workouts and he would also be in the starting line-up as he was recovering from an injury that pulled him from the previous match up. Kyle Lewis was not starting for the Thunder but rumor was he was available if he was needed.

Though the Thunder was the faster team and a healthier team and had much greater depth than the Renegades.  They were also less experienced in big games and had never played in front of large crowds (other than their own army).  The key would be to get off to a good start and make sure the defense was playing on all cylinders.  Larry Haile was going to have to play a lot of defense in this game and we were going to try and Keep Thanh Huynh on the field as much as we could but rotating a Joe in (either Quintanilla or Yee) to see who could get hot at the plate.  For Indy, the key player missing in their line up was Kyle Lewis.  He made a huge stop on the Renegades in deep center field and also would end up on the all-offensive all-star team.  In his place was Tobey Gregory.  Could Tobey step up?

Christian Thaxton led off the game with newfound confidence as he scored just one time in the previous game.  In Thaxton style, he worked the count to 4 strikes with three foul balls and then hit a pop fly to the right side to start the game off. Miguel Tello had no chance and Boston was on the board.  Rob Dias hammered the 2nd pitch down the left field line to the “oohs” and “aaahs” of the crowd but it was foul.  He then fisted a weak pop up into the center field that Tello scampered over to put him down.  Larry Haile then hit a fly ball about 115 feet into left field that Eric Rodriguez got down to early on for the Gades second run of the inning.  Devenish would strike out (after hitting the pitcher) and Quintanilla would hit a pop fly that Tello would grab to end the frame.  Boston felt good about its start…but had hoped for just one more run to turn the line up over.

In the bottom of the first inning, it was time to see if the Renegade defense was going to be able to pull it together.  With leadoff hitter, Eric Rodriguez striking out, the Renegades felt good.  Gerald Dycus hit a hard grounder up the middle.  Zuccarello ran by the ball.  Larry Haile dove at it and as the ball rolled by Haile’s arms Gerald, Dycus hit the base.  The ball was dead and it would have to be done over.  He then hit the ball much better into right center where Thaxton dove at it…but it deflected off him for the first run of the Thunders game.  This brought Tobey Gregory to the plate.  He did not play in their first game yesterday.  Boston had scouting on Gregory and moved Thaxton from deep right center to the first base side.  Like the scouting read, Gregory hit a room service ball 100 feet right at Thaxton.  Christian went down and the ball landed 2 inches short of hitting him right in the gut.  Thaxton could not hear it or bring it into his body in time and Gregory scored on a Christmas present.  Zach Buhler then hit a ball up the right middle of the field past Guy Zuccarello into the hands of a diving Thaxton who made this play diving to his right for the 2nd out of the inning.  The Thunder had tied the score.  Tyler Rodriguez worked a full count then hit a fly ball to the left side which Justen Proctor charged.  As he ran in on the ball, he heard it go over his head.  As he put the breaks on he slipped and fell backwards.  Rodriguez had given the Thunder the lead with Proctor on his ass.  Rodenbeck drilled the first pitch he saw on a line to the third base side where Thanh Hunyh laid out and made a nice play to end the inning.

Heading into the second, both teams were settling into the match.  Guy Zuccarello, who is one of the hardest players in team history to strike out, led off with a 4-pitch whiff to start the inning.  Thaxton stepped to the plate and on the first pitch, hit a high fly up the middle of the field that was about 80 feet out, but when the ball landed, it had some spin and Eric Rodriguez was unable to make a play to catch the speed of Thaxton.  Rob Dias then blasted a shot into left field that left the fans “oooo’ing” for a run.  Larry Haile had a chance to keep the foot on the pedal but his swing path changed slightly and he and his battery could not connect as he whiffed on 4 straight pitches for the 2nd out of the inning.  This brought, the rookie, Devenish to the plate.  On the first pitch, he blasted a shot into left field that Adam Rodenbeck chased after.  The ball hugged the third baseline but well after the base it rolled into foul territory making it near impossible for Rodenbeck to get.  Joe Yee would ground out on a ball up the middle to Rodriguez to end a big inning for Boston and the Gades would lead 5-3.

The bottom of the second would be a tough inning for the Renegades as Christmas would come early for the Thunder.  Eric Rodriguez would not be denied this time as he lofted a fly ball into right center toward Thaxton.  The ball bounced in front of him but Thaxton was unable to keep it in front of him and Erod scored.  Gerald Dycus then hit a bomb into right center, again toward Thaxton, who made a diving stab but the ball bounced by him to tie the game.  This brought Gregory to the plate. This time he hit a grounder to Justen Proctor.  Justen went down to his knees (Weissman sat on the bench with a pained expression watching this) but misread the ball as it rolled by him.  Joe Yee was slow to the ground (and in his mind, he had better of heard Weissman yelling “where is the Jabba”) and it rolled under him and Gregory had two Christmas presents on the day.  This should have been the first out of the inning.  Zach Buhler then hit a ground ball up the middle.  Proctor never laid out for the ball.  Zuccarello slid to his right and dove on the ball.  When Guy could get his hands on the ball, Buhler was at the base.  Another gift from Boston.  At this time, Bryan Grillo had enough and called a time out for the defense.  This may have been Grillo’s 2nd time-out he had ever called.  He wanted to make sure everyone was all right.  The score was 7-5 Indy with no outs…but Boston had gift-wrapped the last two balls and this is something you can’t do with a team like the Thunder at the plate.  Tyler Rodriguez was next and he hit a high fly down the third baseline.  Proctor hustled over and touched the ball when it was in foul territory killing the play.  He made a great effort and actually picked it up before the speedy Tyler reached the base, but nonetheless, it was foul.  Rodriguez would then strike out.  Adam Rodenbeck stepped into the box.  The Renegades slid Thaxton over to protect the line and right on queue, Rodenbeck hit it down the line and it looked like an out.  However, Thaxton was unaware of how far he was from the line.  He laid out too early and the ball squirted by him for a run to turn the lineup over to the top again.  Rodriguez stepped to the plate and fouled it off down each line.  He then hit a nice line drive to the third baseman, Joe Yee.  Yee was late to the ground and it slid by him out to Larry Haile.  Haile looked awkward trying to go to the ground  Haile almost looked like a chicken who had been shot and was running away and Rodriguez had his 2nd run of the inning.  The game was getting away from the Renegades.  To this point, Indy had struck out twice, scored 9 times and Boston had only made 2 defensive stops.  Just when it looked like it could go on forever, Dycus hit a weak grounder to the right side.  Dias scrambled in and picked it up as Dycus missed the base, then Dycus dropped to give push ups.  He was likely out despite the missed base.  Tobey Gregory, then hit a grounder to the left side.  Proctor laid out but hit the ground to early and the ball rolled by his feet.  This time Joe Yee picked it up for the out.  After two innings Boston was now down 9-5.  Sadly, the two gifts to Gregory and Buhler led to 4 runs for Indy, which was the difference in this game.

Boston never quits.  leading off the third was Zuccarello.  He lofted a fly ball up the left side that was about 95 feet and made it past the short man.  Tyler Rodriguez slid over to pick up the ball but it kicked off his shins just as Guy was taking a bad line to third.  That bad line cost a run (he was already wearing the pink blindfold for a missed base on the previous day).  Thaxton, then hit a weak grounder down the third baseline that rolled about 90 feet, it was a foot race between him and Rodriguez.  Thaxton won.  It was now 9-6.  Rob Dias then lifted a lazy fly ball up the middle.  Miguel Tello raced to the middle of the field, taking an angle backwards and on two hops picked up the ball, right before Dias reached the base for a great defensive play.  Larry Haile then laced a hard grounder down the right side.  At about 110 feet, Tobey Gregory laid out and the ball hit him right in the box for another splendid defensive play and the Boston comeback was squandered.  Indy’s defense was looking much better on this day.  After three, Boston needed a quick defensive inning.

The Christmas gifts of the first and second innings that led to 5 runs for Indy were the difference.  The Indy defense was playing much better than the Renegades.  This was the main difference.  Woodard was getting extra time and was finding a groove.  The third inning had a different feel all together.  Zach Buhler led off with a fly ball up the middle. Zuccarello went back on the ball, circled it and got in front of it.  Just as he got to the ball, Buhler scored on a bang-bang play.  It would have nabbed many hitters but Buhler is fast and tough to get when the ball is in the air out at 115 feet.  Tyler Rodriguez hit a fly ball to left.  Thanh Hunyh over ran the ball, but Larry Haile was backing him up.  Haile hit the ground and as he was getting his mitts on the ball, the speedy Rodriguez slapped the base for another Thunder run on a bang-bang play.  This brought up Rodenbeck who hit another hard grounder to Thaxton.  Christian went down too early and the ball went by him.  Thunder 12 and Boston 6 with no outs.  Eric Rodriguez then lofted a fly ball to Proctor.  A foot race ensued and just before Proctor got the ball off the ground, Eric was in.  The third Indy run on a split second play due to the speed of the Thunder.  The speedy Dycus then hit a fly ball to right center.  Thaxton had one chance on it, but when he dove, he laid out on his stomach and the ball rolled over his legs.  A nice play to get there but a lack of fundamentals here made it impossible to get Dycus.  Tobey Gregory then hit a grounder up the middle.  Zuccarello over ran it but Haile was there to back him up.  Again, as Haile gets his hands on the ball, Gregory scores on another bang-bang play.  Boston was showing no quit, but the Thunder were blazing the lines this inning as they were like sharks smelling blood. Buhler came to the plate for the 2nd time in the inning after the Thunder had scored 6 straight runs.  He hit a hard grounder to the left side.  Proctor was late to the ground, But Thanh Hunyh was there to make the bleeding stop for Boston.  When the play was made, it was found Thanh made the out on a broken ball that had no beep.  The second time Boston made a play on a dead ball this week.  Tyler Rodriguez then hit a high fly ball to the center of the field.  Dias and Proctor converged and Dias was able to pick it up on two bounces for the second straight stop. Adam Rodenbeck was next and on the first pitch hit a line drive to left center toward Larry Haile, but Haile over ran it for the 7th run of the Indy inning.  Rodriguez then hit his 2nd pitch on the ground to the left side which Thanh Hunyh dove to his right for and as he dove to the ground his momentum took him onto his back and the ball hit him near his hip for the out.  Boston escaped the inning and after three it was 16-6.  Boston did not give up but this inning was the inning of the bang-bang play and the speed of the Thunder was making it very hard for Boston.

Boston was down 10 and staring at a possible 12 run rule.  They needed a few runs from the bottom half of the order which was just 1-6 on the day.  Shawn Devenish would lead off. He had that only run.  For Indy, they started the inning by bringing Ed Brown in on defense to replace Tyler Rodriguez.  Devenish hit the first pitch he saw off the bottom of his bat up the left center side of the field, which was where Tyler had been playing. This time rookie Zach Buhler was there.  It did not matter, Tyler’s brother Eric made a nice play angling back on the ball to stop it.  Joe Quintanilla came back in to pinch hit for Thanh.  Quintanilla hit a line drive up the middle of the field, but the ball did not travel far and Eric had time to run back and easily get in front of it as he made the play around 80 feet.  This brought Zuccarello up for the last chance for the bottom half of the order to try and score a run.  First pitch swinging, he and Cochran hit a weak grounder to the right.  Miguel Tello was there in a split second to pick up the ball and Boston threw up a donut for the first time and Boston was now done 16-6 after three innings.  All Indy needed to do was score two runs in the bottom of the inning, they could force the 12 run rule. This is the beep baseball equivalent to a mercy rule.

Indy would send up their 2-3-4 hitters.  Gerald Dycus led off the inning crushing a 130-foot fly ball down the first baseline but it was just foul.  In the end it was a long strike.  His next pitch was a ball off the bottom of his bat and Dias lined it up easily for the first out and three of the last four hitters had been stopped by the Boston defense.  Tobey Gregory was next and was 3-4 on the day with two gift-wrapped runs.  He fouled a few balls off to the right side.  He then lifted a high fly ball to the center of the field at about 55 feet.  Dias backed up on it and Proctor waited for Dias.  Neither could get it in time and Gregory scored another run on a ball that could have been an out.  Zach Buhler then lifted a high fly ball to about 115 feet of the middle of the field.  Zuccarello made a dive at it…but the ball went over him and Buhler scored easily to force the 12 run rule.  Since Indy was the home team, they would finish the inning.  Ed Brown in his first at bat lifted a short pop fly to the center of the field and on a hop, Justen Proctor finally made his first stop of the game for the 2nd out.  Rodenbeck would then hit the second pitch of his at-bat on the ground up the middle.  Guy Zuccarello was on it and it rolled right into his chest.

For Boston, they would need to score 12 runs to force Indy to have to come to the plate.  Boston had just 6 outs remaining in its season.  Leading off for the Renegades was Christian Thaxton. In a nice move by Indy, they inserted Clint Woodard into the game.  Clint had played in 5 title games but had never won.  Thaxton crushed the first pitch to left field that looked like it could be close to a home run but when the play was over, the ball was dead.  Thaxton knocked the beep out of the ball.  By rule, Thaxton would have to do it again.  He then hit a hard grounder to Eric Rodriguez, which bounced off him, but he was able to pick it up for the out. In essence Thaxton was punished for hitting the first ball too well.  Rob Dias was 1-2 on the day hit the 2nd pitch down the left side.  Rodriguez angled back toward the line and got in front of it for the 2nd out of the 5th.  Larry Haile then hit a 43 footer and Eric Rodriguez easily beat Larry and made the out before Larry could get half way down the line.  Three more outs would remain for the Renegades.

In the 6th, the bottom half of the renegade line-up would remain.  Devenish hit a hard grounder up the middle.  Eric Rodriguez angled to his left and made a diving stop of the ball that hit him in the armpit.  Rodriguez had made 4 stops in a row.  Off the bench for Boston, would come Tim Syphers.  Syphers lifted a fly ball foul down the third base line on the 2nd pitch.  He then hit an 80-foot grounder up the middle where Rodriguez and Tello converged as Tello picked it up easily.  To this point Eric Rodriguez would have 7 stops and Tello 5.  Hot Tub Thayer would be the last Renegade up and he would go down swinging to end the game and the dream for Boston.  The Thunder were the better team on this day.  Though the Boston defense gave away too many runs, which led to longer innings, the power and speed of the Thunder was too tough.  Boston was unable to get enough of it hits by the two front men of Indy.  The Thunder celebrated their first ever championship.  As they danced on the field, Weissman pulled his team off the bench and asked them to listen to Indy celebrate and implored them to keep their heads up and use the moment to fuel their off season work outs.  Boston did not have enough on this day but had its best ever season in team history finishing second in the league with a 13-2 record and their only two losses falling to the champion.  It was an amazing season. We walked off the field with our heads held high and our sights set on returning to this game in the future

A shot of the unsung heroes of the week. The Renegade coaches from left to Right Yuki Ara, Bryan Grillo, Ron Cochran, Rob Weissman, Jamie Dickerson and Mike Marciello

A shot of the unsung heroes of the week. The Renegade coaches from left to Right Yuki Ara, Bryan Grillo, Ron Cochran, Rob Weissman, Jamie Dickerson and Mike Marciello

If you would like to watch the game, it is available on-line.  The crew did an amazing job with play-by-play, color commentary, graphics and post production quality edits.  Even if you saw some of the game live that day, the quality of this video has been enhanced and includes the time when the live feed came off-line.  That video can be seen here: https://vimeo.com/179394573

 

Also…If you want to read the game summaries from the previous days at the World Series, see them below

World Series Game Summaries – Day 4

Renegades Win streak comes to a Crashing Halt as Indy Prevails 14-8

Rob Dias and Shawn Devenish had big games...BUT were not happy with the result and the loss of Joe McCormick

Rob Dias and Shawn Devenish had big games…BUT were not happy with anke result and the loss of Joe McCormick

An 11:30 start on a Friday between two teams who had never been to the finals.  NBBA history was about to happen.  The winner of this match would go to the finals while the loser would play again later in the day.  There was a good chance this would be a preview of the finals.  Both teams entered the day 6-0 on the week. Both teams entered this game looking fresh and faster than many of the teams in the league.  Indy had a much easier path. On day one they crushed two teams that would place 19th and 20th.  They slaughtered Athens 21-0 and then wrecked Rochester 24-1.  Their toughest game on day one was against the Comets whom they easily beat 13-1 (The Renegades beat the Comets by just one run).  In double elimination they took down the NJ Titans 13-3, the Indy Edge 9-5 and then beat the San Antonio Jets 20-12.  The Renegades knew this team would be tough to beat as it was infused with a mix of youth and veterans with a championship caliber pitcher in Jarred Woodard.  Their roster also was the biggest of any team in the Series.  Boston would win another coin toss and elect to be the home team.  With three one-run games in their arsenal, this home team advantage gave Boston a sense of confidence. In order to win this game, Boston would have to keep the ball away from the left short man, Eric Rodriguez and its own defense would have to be aggressive and quick.  Many teams had been complaining  about the Thunder’s high level of vision amongst its core of young players. During blindlfold checks, they were all using mind folds and it was clear they were just a super talented team. To lead off the game, Eric Rodriguez hit a hard shot to the right side, Rob Dias laid out a perfect superman and the ball hit him square in the “box” for an immediate out.  A roar went through the Renegade team to make such an aggressive out to start the game.  Rookie Gerald Dykus then scored on a sweet line drive up the middle of the field to give Indy a lead.  Veteran, Kyle Lewis hit a ground ball up the middle which Rob Dias was able to stop for the 2nd out.  Up came another young rising star, Zach Buhler.  Buhler laced a shot into left field for a sure run.  On the play, 3rd baseman Thanh Huynh turned his back to the field and raced after the ball.  Joe McCormick also raced after the ball from the left center position as the players were aggressively trying to make an out.  The run would score but this would be crucial later in the game.  In the bottom of the first, Eric Rodriguez would stop both Christian Thaxton and Joe McCormick on grounders up the middle.  Even though neither of those balls were hit well, both Renegades are tough outs due to their speed.  Erod made the plays with much time to spare.  Rob Dias, the hero of the day before, scorched a ball into left field for the first Renegade run.  Larry Haile was then put out on a close play as Tyler Rodriguez made a stop on a ball hit up the middle of the field.  After one inning, Indy led 2-1.  Justen Proctor would make a nice stop on a pop fly off the bat of Adam Rodenbeck to start the 2nd.  Eric Rodriguez would then hit a similar pop fly to the right side but Dias could not bring it in and Indy went ahead 3-1.  Next, Guy Zuccarello  stopped rookie sensation, Gerald Dykus for the 2nd out.  Lefty, Kyle Lewis, to no surprise of the Renegades hit a line drive into left field that eluded Joe McCromick for a run.  Zach Buhler would strike out and heading into the bottom of the 2nd Indy held a 4-1 lead.  Shawn Devenish laced a shot into center field to lead off the 2nd on the 3rd pitch he saw.  He had been put out just once all year on a ball like this, in the Chicago game when he missed the base.  This time, Kyle Lewis made a diving stop and Devenish was out by a step as the Indy bench roared in applause. Guy Zuccarello would then hit a 42 foot ball to the right side and beat out Miguel Tello for the second Renegade run and show why there is no routine play in beep baseball.  Up stepped Thaxton and as the Indy coach was calling the Thunder to watch for the pull hitter, Thaxton lofted a weak liner to the right side and was put out on a bang-bang play by Adam Rodenbeck.  McCormick would end the inning after being given a second life after a late base call. He would be stopped on a grounder off the bottom of his bat to Erod (his 3rd put out in just two innings).  Indy now led just 4-2.    The Boston defense was gaining confidence and was flying around.  Justen Proctor would stop Tyler Rodriguez on a 50 foot pop fly to start the inning.  Guy Zuccarello would stop Adam Rodenbeck on a grounder up the middle and then Joe McCormick would make an outstanding play on a line drive to left field.  What made it even more outstanding was the ball was dead and not beeping when McCormick hauled it in.  The Renegades defense had pitched a donut and raced to the bench in anticipation.  When Indy took the field in the bottom of the inning, Indy had subbed in long time all-star, Clint Woodard.  Apparently, Tello had been hurt earlier on one of the plays.  Woodard could be Tello’s father and this may have given the Renegades a boost as the speed of Tello appeared to be lost.  Rob Dias hit a ball off the handle of his bat up the middle that got by Erod, but his brother Tyler made the play to start off the third inning.  Larry Haile then hit a line drive down the line into left field to bring the Renegades to within one run.  Because defense was going to be a key factor in this game, Boston had been playing a platoon in the next spot of the line up.  Thanh Huynh had been going in and out to play defense and Joe Yee would make an appearance for this at-bat.  He would be put out on a weak grounder to Erod. Next, Guy Zuccarello would be put out on a nice line drive up the middle to end the inning.  It was 4-3 and this game was turning into a defensive show. Zuccarello would make another nice stop on Gerald Dykus to start the 4th inning but he was unable to coral a high fly ball up the middle off the bat of Kyle Lewis.  Buhler would hit a weak ground ball to Proctor and Tyler Rodrigues would whiff as Indy led 5-3 heading into the bottom of the 4th inning.  Christian Thaxton would lead off the inning and have some trouble with his timing and after fouling off two pitches would strike out on just 4 pitches to start the frame.  Joe McCormick would then hit another ball off the bottom of his bat and for the third time Erod was there to make a stop.  Rob Dias then hit the first pitch he saw into deep left Center field to make it a 5-4 game.  Larry Haile would end the inning with another out to Erod.  Heading to the 5th inning, Cochran had struck out just one hitter while Woodard had racked up 3 strike outs.  The problem was Erod  had made 5 defensive stops and Boston was struggling to keep the top of the order away from him.  Despite McCormick and Thaxton being a combined 0-6, Boston was just one run down and with the home field advantage Boston was confident they would turn it around on offense.  Eric Rodriguez led off the 5th inning with a line shot to right center that Thaxton could not reach and Indy pulled ahead 6-4.  Up stepped Dykus and this was the turning point of the season.  Dykus launched a deep fly into left field much like the ball that Buhler hit in the first inning.  This time McCormick and Hunyh would not be as lucky as the two players slammed into each other in a collision that could be heard on adjacent fields.  Both players were down.  McCormick was on his back dazed while Hunyh was rolling on the ground in pain.  Thankfully, the Renegades had two doctors with them and it was in their hands at this point.  As McCormick did an inventory on his body parts, all of his joints were ok…but he was dizzy.  He was not concussed but his face was beginning to swell and his eye was turning black and blue.  Mike Marciello decided his day was over and needed to check him out more thoroughly.  Huynh was holding his leg as he had been stepped on during the collision.  He would stay in the game for the time being.  The Renegades were clearly shaken up but Weissman implored the team to take a “next man” up attitude.  Into the game came Joe Yee, a player who was fresh and had scored  6 runs during the week.  McCormick went to the bench with Marciello and Yuki Ara to be checked out.  When play continued, Kyle Lewis would score on a pop fly down the 1st base line and Dykus would put it over everyone’s head into left center.  Thanh Hunyh would then make a diving stop on a line drive up the middle of the field to stop Tyler Rodriguez and give the Renegades some hope.  Indy led just 9-4 and Boston was hoping to get the bats going.  It had come from behind multiple times this year and was not going to let the McCormick injury stop them.  While on the bench, McCormick was continuing to struggle and an ambulance call was made.  He would leave the bench during a time out and head to the hospital for a CT scan.  Shawn Devenish would start off the 5th inning with a line drive into left field that Lewis would not get this time but Zuccarello and Thaxton would be stopped by Erod again.  Joe Yee would strike out and the inning was over.  The momentum shifted to Indy.  After an Erod strike out to start off the 6th, they would plate four consecutive runs to push the score to 14-5.  In the bottom of the 6th, Dias and Devenish plated runs.  Weissman turned to Tim Syphers looking for a boost as he hit for Guy Zuccarello.  Syphers was stopped by Rodenbeck.  Thaxton would get on the board for his only run of the game but Joe Yee would ground out to Erod to end it.  Indy won the game 14-8 and would advance to the finals. Eric Rodrigues would tally 9 stops on defense for the game and Thaxton and McCormick would finish the day 1-8.  The Renegades would lose the game, one of their emotional leaders and some of their energy all at the same time.  They needed to dig in deep.  They awaited the winner of the Bayou City Heat and Colorado Storm game which seemed to be taking a long time.  The Renegades were just hoping that game would go extra innings and the teams would wear each other out.  The winner of that game would play Boston and it would be the 3rd game of the day for that team. Advantage Boston!  All Boston needed was one more win to make the finals.  McCormick would not return to the bench this day as he was struggling a bit at the hospital. Boston would see a franchise best 13-game win streak come to an end.

Most exciting Renegade game ever!  Renegades come back in 7 innings 11-10 and advance to Finals!

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As the Renegades celebrate their big victory, Spotter Jamie Dickerson’s expression says it all “Let’s GO!”. Our coaching staff is very passionate and this passion drives us every year!

After the loss, the Renegades needed to regroup.  Joe McCormick was not coming back and word from the hospital was he had multiple fractures in his sinus cavity.  He was also going back in for more CT scans as he started to vomit.  The team needed to find strength.  A next man up attitude was critical.  On field 5, the Bayou City Heat battled the Colorado Storm.  The Renegades were awaiting the winner of that match up.  The game was actually taking forever and as we rested, we were all cheering when we would see the teams continue to change sides.  Texts were flying back to us stating the game was going into extra innings.  The longer that game went, the more worn out they would be for our game.  The Renegades had an advantage here because that team would be playing its 3rd game on this day when they came to our field while Boston was playing just its second.  While this game was being played out, coach Weissman was looking for a strategy to play either team.  At the same time, our medical staff declared that Thanh Hunyh was unavailable for this match.  There was some concern that he may have a stress fractures in his shins.  They wanted to wait for his adrenaline to wear off as he was badly limping.  No matter whom we played, the Renegades were down two key players.  It was gut check time.  Joe Yee would be the first to be given a chance to contribute and would get the starting nod for this next match.  Shawn Devenish and Larry Haile would also be moved up in the batting order to take Joe Mac’s spot.  In time, we saw Colorado celebrating a 20-17 victory and the Renegade confidence grew as we had beaten this team yesterday. Boston was forced to make some lineup changes.  We planned to have Larry Haile play the outfield spot but when possible, we wanted to play Joe Quintanilla there as well for defensive reasons so a platoon was planned.  At third, the plan was to give Joe Yee the reps both ways.  Since the Renegades won another coin toss (Rob Dias and Thanh Hunyh were super excited to let us know they won again), we elected to be the home team.  This meant that Joe Quintanilla would draw the start in the outfield on defense.  When the score sheet was turned in, Weissman told the scorekeeper that Haile would hit for Quintanilla when that spot came up in the order.  The Colorado line up also looked slightly different from the previous day.  They had moved Richie Krussel into the lead off spot and Jimmie Burnett would also be in the line-up replacing Rocky Zamora’s bat.

Colorado would start off the game with back-to-back scores by Krussel and Ethan Johnston but then Chad Sumner would strike out, Justen Proctor would stop Morrow on a grounder up the middle and then Mike Jackson would strike out.  A defensive inning that started dreadful for Boston ended well and the team settled in as it came to the plate.  Christian would quickly get the party started with a first pitch pop fly to the right side for a run.  Ethan Johnston would stop Rob Dias on a grounder up the middle and then Shawn Devenish would strike out.  Up to the plate stepped Larry Haile when confusion would ensue.  Haile lofted a fly ball into the center of the field to tie the game up as the Renegade bench exploded.  As Joe Yee was entering the batters box a conference was forming at the scorers table.  Boston was being accused of batting out of order.  Weissman argued and argued and argued that he had given the change before the game had started but he was not being heard.  The head of umpires was called to the field and an argument was looking to be futile.  Weissman argued that in other games scorekeepers had been asking for the subs before they happened.  The inconsistency was a problem and it was unjust to take the run off the board.  Weissman lost and the Renegade run was taken off the board and a strikeout was put in the stats against Joe Quintanilla.  In the 2nd inning, Jimmie Burnett  would hit a pop fly to the left side and be stopped by Proctor.  Justen “JCP” would also stop Richie Krussel.  But Johnston and Sumner would plate runs on a fly ball to left field and a line drive to the first base side to make the game 4-1 Denver heading into the bottom of the 2nd inning.  Boston would have a rough inning.  Joe Yee who had made great improvements in his swing would start off the inning and strike out on 4 pitches.  Zuccarello would hit a grounder to the left side that Johnston would gobble up and then Johnston would nab Thaxton as well and Boston would throw a donut up for the frame.  Colorado would lead off the third with number 5 hitter, Mike Jackson who Rob Dias would stop for the first out.  Jimmie Burnett would then hit a grounder to Proctor for the 2nd out and this time, Krussel would strike out for a 1-2-3 inning.  Jimmie Burnett was injured on the play and off the bench came Willie Clinton to play defense.  Boston would feel the momentum shift quickly.  Rob Dias would line the 3rd pitch he saw into center field for a run.  Devenish hit the 1st pitch into the same area for another run when Joe Quintanilla’s spot would come up again in the line up.  This time so everyone could hear it, Weissman announced with a big smile on his face that Larry Haile was pinch-hitting.  On the 2nd pitch he lofted a fly ball down the 3rd base line to tie the game at 4 a piece.  Joe Yee’s struggles would continue as he struck out on another 4 pitches.  This was important because Cochran and Weissman had talked about Yee’s inconsistent swing between innings and he was going to be on a short leash.  Something had changed in his stance causing the swing paths to change.  After a Zuccarello ground out to Krussel, Thaxton faced a full count.  He then scored on a grounder that eluded Johnston and Boston had its first lead 5-4 after three innings.  That lead would be short-lived as Colorado would plate three straight runs to start off the 4th inning.  Johnston, Sumner and Morrow pushed the Storm to 7 runs but Proctor would stop Jackson, Dias would stop Clinton and Proctor would stop Krussel to finish off the inning.  Bad news for the Renegades in the bottom of the 4th. Devenish hit a pop fly to the left side and would be stopped by Johnston.  Larry Would strike out and then Weissman decided to give Joe Yee another at-bat after trying to get him to stand higher.  The result was his third strike out of the game and after 4 innings Colorado led 7-5.  Ethan Johnston would score on a ground ball to the 1st base line to start the inning for his 4th run of the game.  Rob Dias would stop Chad Sumner and Justen Proctor would stop Morrow before Jackson struck out to end the inning.  Heading to the 5th inning Colorado had an 8-5 lead and their excitement was growing.  Zuccarello would lead off the inning and on the 2nd pitch would ground out to the right side into the arms of Richie Krussel.  Thaxton would lace a bomb into left field for his 3rd run of the game but Dias would come up empty with Ethan Johnston putting him out and Devenish would strike out.  After 5 innings, Boston was down 8-6.  And in the bottom of the inning would have their 4-5-6 hitters coming up.  Leading off the 6th inning was pinch hitter Orlando Dominguez who had been battling a leg injury that left him limping bad.  He would hit a weak grounder to the third baseline that Proctor would pick up.  Krussel would then hit hard grounder up the middle of the field, but Zuccarello would make a huge stop for his first out of the game.  This Brought Ethan Johnston to the plate with a chance to put this game away.  After scoring 4 straight times, Johnston went down swinging.  After 5.5 innings it was 8-6 Colorado.  Boston had to find a way to get a run from the bottom of the order to give Thaxton a chance to hit.  Statistically, the best chance was Larry Haile who really had scored twice in this game but in the books was only 1-2 due to the “batting out of order” rule that was called in the 1st.  When this inning started, Weissman decided that the team would no longer use each player’s calling cards.  Instead we would pay tribute to our fallen hero who was back at the hotel, Joe McCormick.  Before each at-bat, Weissman would scream “Joe Mac” to the teams return cry of “Way Back”.  Though he was not on the field with us, he was in our hearts.  Haile fouled off the first pitch and then flailed three straight times.  Weissman and Cochran were baffled at the change in his swing.  One down and this time the decision was to bring Joe Quintanilla off the bench to hit for Yee.  In typical Joe Q fashion, he took the first pitch.  After three straight swings he faced a full count and hit a line drive up the middle of the field for a run.  The Renegade bench erupted.  Quintanilla had scored the first run of his World Series and picked a great time to do it.  Zuccarello then hit a hard grounder up the middle, which got by Krussel and Johnston but on a bang-ng play was put out by Rocky Zamora for the 2nd out of the inning.  The bottom of the lineup had done its job!  Thaxton stepped into the box with a chance to tie it.  He fouled off the first 2 pitches.  He swung and missed on the 3rd pitch.  He then fouled off another two pitches.  On the 6th pitch he put it into play with a line drive up the middle and raced down the line to tie the game.  Boston’s hopes of another walk of win were in the hands of Rob Dias.  Dias had a walk off hit against the Storm on Thursday.  This time he lofted a pop fly to the right side and Johnston ranged over to make the play.  Boston had tied the game and forced extra innings.  Boston was fired up to have a second life while the Storm was dreading another extra inning contest. Colorado wasted no time.  Chad Sumner gave them a lead with a blast down the first base line.  While this was going on, Weissman went to his video to look at Haile’s last at-bat to see if they could find something to help.  Justen Proctor stopped Demetrious Morrow on a ground ball.  Mike Jaconson who had been scoreless in the game then lofted a fly ball up the middle of the field.  Zuccarello could not bring it in and Colorado led 10-8.  Proctor then would stop Dominguez and Krussel for his 10th and 11th stops of the game.  Boston would need to find 2 runs to keep this game alive. Leading off in the 7th was Shawn Devenish who had been quiet  (1-4 with 2 strike outs).  He started the frame off with a ground out to Krussel.  Up stepped Larry Haile.  Weissman pointed to Cochran to take his lead on the target and on the first pitch they connected on this new target with a fly ball into left field as Haile plated a run to keep the dream alive.  We needed a run from the 5/6 hitters to get the game to Thaxton.  Joe Quintanilla stayed in the game after his big run in the 6th and strode to the plate.  Again he took the first pitch.  He managed to foul a ball off to the right side, swung and missed and fouled another off.  For the 2nd time he faced a full count.  This time he hit a ball down the first base line.  The ball stopped about 105 feet and was not far from the base.  Quintanilla took off and his line out of the box was not good as his momentum took him into fair territory.  Miraculously, the Colorado first baseman raced past the ball into foul territory a split second before Quintanilla raced by the fielder in fair territory.  The miracle was that the Storm fielder never could find the ball and that no umpire yelled stop to kill the play.  Quintanilla was SAFE!  Holy Moly, Quintanilla was SAFE.  The Boston bench went insane as the score was now tied 11-10 with just one out.  Zuccarello would have a chance to walk off.  As he stepped into the box he turned to Weissman and said, “can you believe it we got Christian another chance to hit!”  Weissman quickly asked if Zucarello was forfeiting his at-bat and the two of them had a laugh in a very exciting and tense moment.  Guy then hit another hard grounder up the middle and on another bang-bang play was stopped by Demetrious Morrow.  Up Stepped Christian Thaxton with the game on the line and a chance to walk off.  Thaxton was 4-5 on the day.  Thaxton fouled off the first two pitches and then swung and missed to bring the count to three strikes.  He then fouled off another pitch as both teams waited in anticipation.  With three strikes on him, Cochran delivered the next pitch and the timing was perfect but we caught it slightly off the top off the bat.  A fly ball sailed toward the center of the field as Thaxton dashed down the third base line.  He was SAFE.  Boston had won!  For the second time this week, they had come back to beat the Colorado Storm in extra innings.  For the first time in team history, the Renegades would be playing for the National title!  As the pig pile separated from the third baseline a few key stories were to be remembered.  Justen Proctor made 11 stops in this game to tie his career high against this same team in 2011.  Christian had his first ever walk off hit and paced the team with 5 runs scored.  Joe Quintanilla came off the bench and scored two of the biggest runs in Renegade history.  Joe McCormick was watching from the hotel proud of his teammates.  So many people were happy to get this win…if not to keep their coach out of the insane asylum for the gaff that cost them a run (and maybe more) in the first inning.  Boston would advance to play the only team who had beaten them all year, the Indianapolis Thunder.  See the team celebrate after their walk off win here (Video by Sarah Cochran)

This game was actually captured on a Facebook Live video from a few of the Chicago Comets.  If you would like to see some of that action shot from the 3rd baseline, visit this Facebook link

Also…If you want to read the game summaries from the previous days at the World Series, see them below

2015 World Series Statistical breakdown – Strength of Schedule

SABR CartoonMany baseball fans love the game for so many reasons.  Some people like the drama, some people like the strategy.  Some people like the history or the action.  Some people love it for the statistical side of the game.  For me, I grew up playing Strat-O-Matic baseball.  I used to love to make out line-ups, draft teams, play head to head against others and track my progress.  I was 13 years old and I knew how to calculate On base percentage, Slugging percentage, ERA.  I could score a game and determine how many unearned runs a pitcher gave up or figure out a quality start from how to determine a save.  No, we did not have WAR or UZR in those days.  But for me, I just love the analytical side of the game and we bring this into the way we coach and run the Renegades.  For now, Let’s have some fun looking at a stat we first introduced last year to the league….Strength of Schedule.

 

Strength of Schedule

As we did last year, we have tried to come up with a method to measure the strength of each team’s schedule.  This can be a telling story on how hard a World Series schedule each team has.  The way the league seeds teams is by looking at their finish in the prior year’s world series.  Keep in mind, this is all that is done to seed.  If a roster is completely overhauled – the team does not move up or down the rankings.  Here is where it gets ugly.  If a team did not attend the previous year’s series, they are seeded in the order that they got their registration fee into the league.  All of these teams are placed at the bottom of the brackets with no insight into who is on those teams.  This can produce a ton of problems for teams trying to play for a seed.  In 2015 there was 24 teams BUT only 16 teams returned from the 2014 World Series.  This meant we had 8 teams playing in the World Series that were not seeded.  Let’s name those teams in the order they were seeded by their registration fees

  • #17 New Jersey Titans – A team made up of players who left the NJ Lightning to start their own team
  • #18 Arizona Phenom – a team made up mostly from players who left the Southwest Slammers including players from the Stockton Stingrays
  • #19 Indy Knights – a team made up of players from the Indy Thunder, Wichita Sonics and Cleveland Scrappers
  • #20 Canada – a brand new team making their first ever World Series appearance without a single player having NBBA World Series experience on their roster.  Their only NBBA game experience came against the Seattle South Kings Sluggers (a team who had never made a World Series)
  • #21 Rochester –  A brand new team formed because Rochester was the host city.  Not one player had any NBBA experience and they had never played a game against an NBBA opponent
  • #22 Taiwan Lightning – Their first time playing in the World Series – at least one player had played with the Taiwan Home run in the 2013 World Series – Poe Huang.  They had experience playing against the Taiwan Homerun
  • #23 Taiwan Homerun – The 2013 World Series champions were unable to come in 2014 due to finances.  They also won the Series in 2012
  • #24 BCS Outlaws – Making their first ever NBBA World Series, though they had experience playing locally against other Texas teams.  Three of their players were former players of the Austin Blackhawks

With all of this movement, many of the teams that were seeded lost many of their starters.  This list is extensive and includes

  • #8 Southwest Slammers – Lost two starters in Pete Trejo  (tied for 2nd on their team in runs scored in 2014) and Chris Padilla as well as 4 of their bench players.  Keep in mind, The Slammers only had 10 people play in a game for them in the 2014 World Series- so 60% of their roster was gone..and they maintained an 8 seed
  • #9 Indy thunder – They gained 3 players from the Chicago Comets in Eric and Tyler Rodriguez as well as Corey White.  Three guys who would end up starting for them in 2015.  When you looked at their 2014 roster only 3 of their 11 players returned for the 2015 season.  They lost their two best defensive players (Dave Benney and Stanley Griffin) and top run scorer (Ed Brown)
  • #12 NJ Lightning – 7 of the 9 players on their roster left the team to start the NJ Titans (who by the way were ranked 17th).  They rebuilt their entire team with rookies surrounded by only 3 players with experience
  • #14 Lonestar – They picked up Richie Flores from Austin and Marlon Stover from NC – and both of these guys started for them

As you can clearly see the way the teams are seeded really makes no sense and because of this…Teams have a hard time playing to improve their seed.  For example a Team trying to play for a seed can run into issues.  An easy example is the Indy Thunder.  Who was their first opponent on day one of the brackets – The Taiwan Homerun.  What did this do to the Thunder – it forced them to play Long Island in their second game…And most importantly it put them on a track to have to play 3 games a day every day of the World Series.  These things are not right and ruin the spirit of the World Series.  Let’s face it…going into the World Series there were really on three teams who had a true legitimate chance to win,  Austin, Taiwan and RHI.  The Bayou City Heat were a long shot….and everyone else had almost no chance based on these rosters.  This means the other teams are pretty much just playing for a seed.  A seed they may not have any control over if their bracket has a team mis-seeded in it.

With all of this in mind, Let’s look at the Strength of Schedule of the teams that played in the 2015 World Series.  The math is simple.  What we do is look at the final ranking of each team and add those rankings up.  Then we divide that sum by the total amount of games played.  This comes up with a figure that represents the average seed of the team they faced.  So for example, The Boston Renegades played 9 games against the following teams Indy Knights (12) + Arizona Phenom (20) + NJ Lightning (17) + Tyler (15) + Colorado (6) + Indy Knights (12) + Indy Thunder (8) + Bayou City Heat (4) + Colorado (6).  This equates to a score of 100 and we divide that by 9 games to get 11.11.  This means the average seed of a Renegade Opponent would be ranked 11th in the league

Please note this Strength of schedule score does not take into account the amount of games played.  A team playing 9-10 games is forced to play 3 games on multiple days of the World Series- and this can take a huge toll on a team.  This year, the Taiwan Home Run were forced to play 12 games…which is likely an NBBA record (though that is unofficial).  Only one team played 12 games while four teams played 10 games, six teams played 9 games and 13 teams played 8 games.  This is a wide variance of games played.  With teams all carrying different size rosters, that can have an impact on teams staying healthy through the week

SOS Rank WS finish Team Games Record SOS
1 2 Taiwan HR 12 9-3 5.58
2 3 RHI 8 6-2 6.75
3 1 Austin 9 8-1 8.00
4 6 Colorado 8 5-3 8.25
5 10 Minnesota 8 4-4 9.88
6 9 Southwest 10 6-4 10.20
7 7 Chicago 8 6-2 10.50
8 5 Boston 9 7-2 11.11
9 13 Lonestar 9 4-5 11.56
10 11 Taiwan Light 10 5-5 11.80
11 8 Indy Thunder 10 6-4 12.00
12 4 Bayou City 8 6-2 12.00
13 14 Atlanta 9 4-5 12.22
14 16 NJ Titans 9 3-6 13.11
15 19 BCS 8 2-6 13.25
16 12 Indy Knights 10 5-5 13.60
17 23 Columbus 8 1-7 14.25
18 15 Tyler 9 5-4 14.56
19 20 Arizona 8 2-6 14.75
T-20 18 Canada 8 2-6 15.13
T-20 17 NJ Lightning 8 3-5 15.13
22 21 Long Island 8 4-4 17.00
23 24 Rochester 8 0-8 17.13
24 22 Athens 8 2-6 17.50

In 2014 using this algorithm, the Renegades played the toughest schedule…This year we played just the 8th toughest schedule…as we did not play a top team till the 3rd day of the World Series,  The seven wins the Renegades had in a World Series were the best in team history and the 3rd highest total of all team at the series.  The Renegades did not play any of the top 3 teams in 2015.

One important thing to keep in mind is the discrepancy in the amount of games played.  The Taiwan Home Run played 12 games in 5 days and had the toughest average opponent with a 5.58.  This means their average opponent was ranked between 5th and 6th in the league.  They played the #1 Austin Blackhawks three times and also played the #3 RHI Extreme twice and #4 Bayou City Heat.  They were also forced to play 3 games on the day of the Championship game because they had to play RHI on Saturday morning for the right to be in the championship game. (that game was schedule to be played on Friday – but due to the length of the game vs Bayou City was moved to Saturday morning.)  Some key findings from looking at SOS (Strength of Schedule) include

  • The Taiwan Home run were the only team to play 12 games and they almost won the title
  • Austin went 8-1 and had a very tough schedule as they played the 3rd toughest schedule at the Series – Earning this title
  • This year the surprise team was the Minnesota Millers.  The Millers placed 10th but had the 5th hardest schedule as they had to face both Austin and RHI.  SOS may be misleading a little here as they only played 8 games and just two of them were against top 6 teams.  The key was they played a lot of middle seeded teams to keep the average low such as Atlanta (14), Lonestar (13) Indy Knights (12) and two upper level squads in the Indy Thunder (8) and the Southwest Slammers (9)
  • The Bayou City Heat who finished 4th had a somewhat cupcake schedule – the 12th hardest in the league.  Their first three games were against three teams that finished at the very bottom of the league, 24 (Rochester), 22 (Athens) and 21 (Long Island).  These games provided no competition for them and made up 38% of their schedule
  • The Columbus Midnight Stars won just one game and finished 23rd but their strength of schedule was 17th in the league.  They were forced to play the #8 (Indy Thunder) and the #6 (Colorado Storm) teams on the first day of the World Series
  • The Long Island Bombers imploded.  They are a veteran team who plays many games within the East Coast.  They entered the tournament as the 10 seed and finished as the 21 seed.  What is more surprising is they had one of the easiest schedules and still finished 21st.  They started off by beating the 22 and 24 seeds (Athens and Rochester ) then had to play the #4 Bayou City Heat..the toughest opponent they would face all week.  Things got worse for them as they lost on day 1 of double elimination in their first game to the 13 seed Lone Star Roadrunners – and then because of all of the mis -seeding, they were forced to play the Indy Thunder (#8) and lost to them to be eliminated on day 1 of the World Series.  This forced them to play for the 21st place.  Let’s be clear, Long Island IS NOT the 3rd worst team in the league.  They got hosed by the lack of proper seeding for the brackets.  Even though they never played Taiwan, they were impacted by that mis-seed more than any other team in the league.
  • The Colorado Storm had a tough schedule – as they were forced to play only one team ranked higher than 11th and played 50% of their games against top 5 teams
  • The Southwest Slammers  finished 9th but had the 6th hardest schedule…Possibly the 2nd hardest schedule if you account for the fact they were one of 5 teams to play more than 9 games.  The Slammers had to play the #2 Taiwan Home Run and #3 RHI Extreme on day 1 of the Series and later got to play the #6 Colorado Storm and #7 Chicago Comets in double elimination

What makes the NBBA unique is that many games are played throughout the year.  Sadly, there is not an easy way (and cost effective way) for the league to track the progress of the teams.  Maybe with experience and finances this could change in the future.  For now, we have to play with the World Series stats.  Its the only thing we have for the Beep baseball Seam heads who like stats.  We come together for one glorious week to play ball.  From this week, we get some data to play with.  In 2015, we walked away with Austin winning the title.  We saw amazing guts and strength from a Taiwan Home Run team that was forced to play 12 games in 5 days.  We saw a few teams have their hopes dashed by the way the dance was seeded (Indy Thunder and Long Island).  We saw the largest NBBA World Series in league history.  And we witnessed a banner year from the Boston Renegades!

2015 World Series Statistical breakdown – Batting Average

SABR CartoonYes, its been a long time since the World Series ended…but don’t we need a league hot stove?  Besides, it takes a while to look at the stats for 24 teams and compile them, since they are not in the easiest format to consume.  There are a few key things we all know by now.  Austin won…again.  Rochester joined the league for the first time and did not win a game.   Batting Averages were insanely high this year.  Games were taking a very long time because the offense was up across the board.  Sometimes scores felt more like an NFL game than an NBBA game.  Let’s dive into the sexy part of the game….offense!

Batting Average

This year, the league batting average was .373.  For comparison, this was almost 100 points higher than the 2014 World Series when the league hit .276.  Did the offense suddenly improve?  Likely not, it was due to the fields we played on.  Some of the fields in New York played hard and the grass was not thick enough to slow the balls down.  A weak hit could roll long distances on some fields.  The fields were the reason for some of the high scores.  Good fields with thick grass not only feature the defense more but they are actually safer for our athletes.  Hard fields can result in four hour games in 90 degree heat which can take its toll.  Especially playing 3 games per day.  The most extreme of games was played this season between the Taiwan Home Run and the Bayou City Heat with Taiwan winning 43-37.  These two teams average…AVERAGED more than 20 runs a game on offense for the week.  In the 2015 World Series, only 9 of the 24 teams hit over the league average of .373 (defined as a weighted average by adding all of the at bats and all of the hits together and doing the proper math.  The simple average of averaging that team batting averages and dividing by the 24 teams was a less impressive .347). In fact, 10 teams hit under .300 for the week.  It is not an offensive league right now, but the higher seeded teams scored many more runs and therefor had many more at bats. For example, The Taiwan Home Run had 416 at bats in the 12 games they played while the Rochester Red Wings (in their first year) played 8 games and only had 150 at bats.  In fact, the Home Run scored more runs than 13 teams had at-bats, think about that for a moment.  This is a tribute to how good the Home Run really are.  Playing that many games may be a league record in a week.  There is no way they deserved to play that schedule.  This is a problem with the way the league seeds the tournament that needs to be addressed (more to come on this is in a future post).  The league batting average is being skewed toward the upper teams as the top 8 teams accounted for 40% of the at-bats in the World Series.  What does this mean?  It means the top 8 teams (which also had the top 8 batting averages) separated themselves from the rest of the league.  The Boston Renegades were among these teams.  The following chart ranks the teams by batting average (and shows where they finished in the World Series.

WS Finish Team AB Runs Runs per game Avg
4 Bayou City 279 177 22.1 .634
2 Taiwan HR 416 241 20.1 .579
1 Austin 275 149 16.6 .542
5 BOSTON 271 145 16.1 .535
3 RHI 221 118 14.8 .534
7 Chicago 236 110 13.8 .466
6 Colorado 211 91 11.4 .431
8 Indy thunder 286 118 11.8 .413
12 Indy Knights 264 99 9.9 .375
9 Southwest 247 86 8.6 .348
10 Minnesota 193 67 8.4 .347
21 Long Island 200 68 8.5 .340
11 Taiwan Light 253 81 8.1 .320
15 Tyler 223 67 7.4 .300
20 Arizona 202 60 7.5 .297
13 Lonestar 222 63 7.0 .284
14 Atlanta 210 54 6.0 .257
17 NJ Lightning 197 50 6.3 .254
16 NJ Titans 212 53 5.9 .250
22 Athens 175 37 4.6 .211
23 Columbus 180 36 4.5 .200
18 Canada 170 32 4.0 .188
19 BCS 170 31 3.9 .182
24 Rochester 150 6 0.8 .040

The hard work that Boston has put in made a huge difference to it’s stats.  The inflated batting average was not just due to the fields we played on, it was due to the hard work.  We tried some new coaching techniques.  Our players worked to make changes and looked to improve their skills and knowledge of their swing.  We added a third pitcher to the team in Jamie Dickerson.  Ron Cochran worked on things to make him a better pitcher in the league.   All of these things paid off.

While many rosters changed in the league from one year to the next, the Renegades did not witness much turnover.  Each and every Renegade player saw major increases in their numbers.  In fact, the renegades had the largest increase in batting average in the league from 2014 to 2015.  Yes, adding Christian Thaxton and his .719 average helped…But seeing major increases from most everyone also played a role.  Rob Dias entered his second season and his average rose .157 points.  Larry Haile saw an increase of .189 points.  Joe Quintanilla saw a .500 point swing in his stats as he hit .500 following a .000 performance in 2014.  The real surprise for the Renegades was Guy Zuccarello.  Guy increased his average by .400 points from .143 to .543.  So, yes, Thaxton’s .719 average helped but there were so many others on this team who had major improvements in their average from year to year.  Let’s take a look at the 16 teams who played in the past two World Series.  The following chart shows their averages for each season.  It also shows the change in batting average between the two seasons and ranks the teams in descending order of this delta.

Rank Team 2014 2015 Delta
1 Boston .306 .535 .229
2 Bayou City .408 .634 .226
3 Athens .021 .211 .190
4 Indy Thunder .253 .413 .160
5 Lonestar .143 .284 .141
6 Atlanta .124 .257 .133
7 Minnesota .232 .347 .115
8 Long Island .233 .340 .107
9 Chicago .366 .466 .100
10 Southwest .258 .348 .090
11 Tyler .217 .300 .083
12 RHI .459 .534 .075
13 Columbus .127 .200 .073
14 NJ Lightning .200 .254 .054
15 Colorado .391 .431 .040
16 Austin .582 .542 -.040
16 team avg .284 .373 .089

Look who is at the top….the Boston Renegades!  Let’s hear it for the coaches!  Let’s hear it for the hard work the players put in!  We had a great year and we did it our way.  We did it in a somewhat unique way for this league.  The Boston way is growing it’s own talent and working on continuous improvement with the players and coaches.  This chart shows some amazing things for the Boston Renegades.  Boston was one of two teams that witnessed a .200 point increase in the team average.  The other team was the Bayou City Heat , owners of the highest 2015 World Series average at .634 (the only team to hit greater than .600).

Both the Bayou City Heat and Boston Renegades got contributions from players who came back to the team who had not played in 2014.  Boston returned Shayne Cantan (who hit .375) and Bayou City returned John Kibodeaux (who hit .500).  Boston also recruited a new rookie that made the all-star team in Christian Thaxton (.719).   Newer players like Rob Dias for Boston and Joseph Fleeks for Bayou City saw big jumps in their average (Fleeks went from .091 to .690). Both these teams topped the league in improvements.  Both these teams did it without adding offensive players from other rosters in this time period (Bayou City did recruit Greg Gontaryk to play defense for them)

Let’s look at all the other teams who played in both the 2014 and 2015 World Series.  The rank next to the team name below relates to the rank in the delta of their batting average year over year where 16 had the least improvement (Boston was tops and Bayou was 2nd).

In a way to have some fun, Let’s bucket all of the other teams into categories.  This is in no way meant to be disrespectful.  Its just me having some fun.  Running a team in this league is hard work.  It’s so hard to coach, fundraise, recruit and make everyone happy.  Keep this in mind, the visual impaired community is small enough that its hard to field a roster at times…especially a home grown roster.  That said, it’s more impressive that some teams have had some success doing this.

Building a program from within – These guys join Boston as Home grown teams whom are improving

  • #6 Atlanta who witnessed a .124 point increase.  – Greg Hoggle, their pitcher decreased his K rate from 57% to 49% which always helps the average.  They saw some steady improvement from most players but got a big lift from the emergence of their rookie, Dontrey Hunt who hit .393
  • #7 Minnesota whom witnessed a .115 point increase – Their improvement in batting average can be tied to the improvement of Evan Van Duyne whose average jumped from .276 to .645 and Josh Xiong who moved from .259 to .406.  Both these guys are home grown and the Millers have a 100% home grown roster.

Going further into the league, things are not as impressive.  In fact, teams are not at the same level as Bayou City and Boston at improving.  We are grouping these teams into a few buckets.  These labels are just to have some fun…They are in no way meant to be disrespectful

One Direction – Not talking about the boy band…but the direction you can go when you struggle in a season….The only way you can go is up

  • #3 Athens ranked third in improvement by raising their Average .190 points…but they only had one way to go – up.  They scored just 3 runs in the 2014 World Series.

Free Agent impact – Team’s improvement is related to the impact of signing players from other teams

  • #4 The Indy Thunder were impressive in their own part, ranking 4th in improvement….but they did things different than Boston and Bayou City.  They improved as a team..but 5 of their 6 starters changed from 2014 to 2105..as three of those players moved to the Thunder from the Chicago Comets, where they learned to play ball – (the Rodriguez brothers and Corey White).  Even though the Thunder improved, they did so by picking up players from another team’s system.  In sum, their line up was not home grown and their improvement was the result of recruiting players from another team…as many of the Indy Thunder starters left to start the Indy Knights
  • #5 Lonestar ranked 5th in improvement – They saw some of their home grown players improve dramatically such as PJ Navarro (.378), Pedro Garcia (.324), Drew Bennet (.286) – But they also picked up two players from other teams.  Joining them were Richie Flores (from Austin who hit .333) and Marlon stover from NC (who hit .500).  Their rise in batting average was weighted toward the addition of Flores and Stover.

Roster trouble – It’s not easy to keep a team together.  Some teams get old and struggle to recruit new talent.  Other teams just struggle to get along and find a common goal.  These teams had too much turnover forcing their teams to rebuild in any way they could

  • #9 Chicago had a major roster overhaul as they lost three players to the Indy Thunder and they struggled a bit to field a roster of their own and had to pull in Jeff Dell from Cleveland.  Their increase was barely over the average increase of the league (.100 point increase for Chicago..and a .089 increase for the league)
  • #10 Southwest witnessed an increase of .090 points (just over the league average) but some of their players left to start the Arizona Phenom in 2015.  Their increase was attributed to bringing in players such as Scott Hogwood who led their team in hitting at .581
  • #14 NJ Lightning – Their improvement was 100% attributed to bringing in Kevin Barrett who pitches for Cleveland.  Regardless, they also did this with 4 of the 6 starters gone to the NJ Titans.  To even field a team after the rift that fractioned off another team considers a lot of praise

Don’t let the stats fool you – These teams saw increases, but it was likely due to the fast fields

  • #8 Long Island – Yes they saw a great improvement in their team average by .107 points but they played a weak schedule.  They played poorly and were impacted by the mis-seeding of the Taiwan Home Run and finished 21st in the league.  This weak schedule (which will be discussed in a different post had them face weaker defensive teams)  Also stars like Joe Dejesus saw his average drop from .355 in 2014 to .280 in 2015
  • #11 Tyler – though they saw an increase in their average and brought on rookie sensation, Derrick Floyd, their batting average increased slightly less than the league average – so their stats could be more of a result of the fast fields…though its important to note Ron Jordan moved from .345 to .649 for the Tigers
  • #13 Columbus – Like Athens, not much direction to go but up when the team hit .127 in 2014.  Its important to note their average increase was below the 16 team average

Studs – but not improving – Year over year the change they had was not there.  Maybe when your great, its hard to get better?

  • #12 RHI – A top team in both seasons, they picked up Dave Benney from the Indy Thunder (who hit .520).  Nick Silver saw his average jump .200 points to .686 as did Demile Wright (who hit .708).  Their stats may not look like they improved much but they had one of the toughest defensive schedules in the league
  • #15 Colorado – Colorado is doing some good stuff as they are working in a new pitcher and have two new rookies that are exciting in Mike Jackson (.300) and Mike Malloy (.286).  Their youth movement extends beyond their players as they are trying to bring a long a new pitcher (Cory Buckingham) who threw a bunch of innings  and is learning on the job.  They did not see the increase they would have if they let Johnny Walker pitch every game. Overall, their team is still too heavy on out of towners as roughly half of their starting line up resides outside of Colorado.
  • #16 Austin – The only team which saw a decline in their batting average from 2014.  How could that be?  They played a tougher schedule in 2015…having to play Taiwan twice.  Also some of their starters saw a decline in their godly stats – Lupe Perez battled injuries and saw his average drop from .778 to .588, Axel Cox dropped from .519 to .487.

So there you have it.  A look at Batting averages across the league.  Come on back to our web site to check on future articles about the Strength of schedule each team had as well as a look at who the NBBA Rookie All-stars were in 2015!

Renegades Sweep in New Jersey

Though we do not have a beat writer…Here is a recap of the three games we played in New Jersey on the last weekend of June

Boston flashes the “leather” and defeats the bombers 6-5

MVP's of the game against Long Island

Rob Dias, Jamie Dickerson and Christian Thaxton all had big games against Long Island. Dias would score three times and make three stops on Defense. Dickerson would make his first appearance as a pitcher for the Gades and plate 4 of the Gades 6 runs. Thaxton scored the first run of his Renegade career

Game one of the 2015 season would be played in Lincroft, NJ, the first time in team history they had played in this town. Horrid weather reports made this day look difficult and time limits would be put into play of 1 hours and 45 minutes….though these games would move so quickly, there was no need.  For the Renegades, the challenges continued as the team was short on callers and had been working coach Kara Peters into that role.  A few days before the trip, she broke a toe and was unable to call on the field.  On the mound the Renegades would spilt long time pitcher Danny cotter with first year pitcher (2nd year coach), Jamie Dickerson.  Dickerson would be forced to go both ways, pitching to some of the guys and calling the right side of the team defense with Bryan Geillo on the left side.

Long Island was a little late getting to the fields, and the Renegades hoped this would impact their bats.  the game started off with Bomber, Joe Dejesus fouling off 8 pitches in a row before taking the K.  Then Alex Barrera would score the games first run on a pop up to the left side that he beat out on a bang bang play.  Chris Dejesus would then stroke a hard grounder down the first base line that Aqil Sajjad would range way over to the first base line and stop with his bare hand.  Rob Dias then would take a smash from Braulio Thorne away to stop the threat.  Those bats were not sleeping for Long Island.  For The Renegades, Joe McCormick would start the year in the lead off spot and score on a weak hit to knot the game at one a piece.  The top of the second would be highlighted by Rob Dias taking a hard hit ball away from lead off hitter Jose Dejesus and then as it often works, he would score the Renegades second run in the bottom of the second.  Larry Haile would also plate a run in the 2nd with two outs to give Boston a 3-1 lead.  In the top of the third, Alex Barrera would hit a weak ball to Guy Zuccarello and would be put out by 10-15 feet…or so both teams thought when the umpire called him safe.  In discussion, the umpire claimed that Guy did not use two hands to pick up the ball (which is not required).  After arguing for a short time, the umpire decided to make up a rule and the score was 3-2.  This goes to the importance of training umpires before a tournament and should not have been allowed.  In the bottom of the third with one out, rookie, Christian Thaxton strode to the plate 0-1 after a whiff in his first at bat with Jamie Dickerson on the mound.  Thaxton hit a hard grounder to the left side and sprinted to 3rd base and scored his first ever run.  What made this special was it was one of the few times he had ever run to third (He played junior college baseball).  It was a big moment as both Jamie and Christian got their first run on the same at-bat, something that has not happened since the teams first year of play in 2002.  Rob Dias would add on insurance in the third to push the score to 5-2.  In the Long Island 4th, Joe McCormick made two stops and in the bottom of the frame the Renegades started to struggle as Evan silver and Thaxton would strike out.  In the 5th, Chris Dejesus would score on a play where two renegades (Dias, Sajjad)  collided in the middle of the field to pull within two runs at 5-3.  The renegades had confidence and Rob Dias provided his third hit to lead off the bottom of the 5th for his third run of the game…but the top of the order went down easily with two strike outs and a weak grounder.  Would That extra insurance be enough cushion?  Jose Dejesus struck out to start the top of the 6th, Alex Barera scored his third run of the game, Chris Dejesus struck out and Braulio Thorne scored on a bang bang play where rob Dias ranged well Into left field to make a play…but the umps ruled in favor of Thorne and the score was now 6-5(don’t forget the free run the ump gave Long Island). Jim Hughes came to the dish 0-3 on the day and hit a grounder up the gut that Rob Dias corralled for the final out.  Boston won the game 6-5 behind Rob Dias making three runs and three stops. This would extend the Renegade win streak over Long Island to 8 games

Boston Bats wake up and show no mercy on New Jersey

Joe Yee and Aqil Sajjad

Joe Yee and Aqil Sajjad each scored three runs against New Jersey to be the MVP’s of this game

In game two, the Gades would face off against the host, New Jersey Lightning who had some turmoil in the off season as many of their players left to start another team.  The Jersey line up on this day consisted of just two players from the 2014 roster and also included two sighted players that were under blindfolds.  To make things more challenging, their starting pitcher was unable to go as she was in a cast.  Coach Weissman, wanted to get their bats going after striking out 33% of the time in the previous game and put the starters in to start the game.  The desired result was not there to start the game as Joe McCormick, Rob Dias and Christian Thaxton all struck out in the first.  Thankfully, Larry Haile plated a run as the number two hitter.  New Jersey would fare much worse as they would strike out 5 times in the first two innings and after two frames the Renegades were In Control 4-0.  The third inning is where the lightning came out of the bottle.  In this frame Boston had one of its biggest innings in history as it plated 9 runs highlighted by Joe McCormick, Joe Yee and Aqil Sajjad plating a pair each in the inning.  These 9 runs were the 3rd most the Renegades had scored in an inning.  The last time they did this was in the 2012 World Series against the Minnesota Millers.  the most they had ever scored was 11 against the Stockton Stingrays in 2007.  The real thunder came when Rob “hot tub” Thayer came off the bench and scored on a nice hit Into left field.  The team Errupted in excitement for Thayer who has as much heart and soul as any player on the squad and works so hard to better himself.  After three frames, the Renegades led 13-0 and NJ had put just one ball in play.  This invoked the 12 run rule, meaning the Lightning would continue to hit and the Renegades would stay on defense unless the game was tied up.  NJ would struggle on offense in this match as they struck out 16 times.  For Boston the defensive highlight was in the 5h frame when rookie Christian Thaxton made a stop at deep rover on a well hit ball from Doug Winthrop, for Thaxton’s first career defensive stop.  Weissman succeeded in getting the bats going and getting his pitchers some confidence. The Renegades would start the season with a 2-0 record and face Pennsylvania for the final game.

Boston Starts hot and holds on vs Pennsylvania

Aqil Sajjad and Joe McCormick were the stars of this game.  Aqil made two great stops on defense and scored a run.  Mac scored a pair to lead the Renegades

Aqil Sajjad and Joe McCormick were the stars of this game. Aqil made two great stops on defense and scored a run. Mac scored a pair to lead the Renegades

The Pennsylvania Wolfpack broke a 12 game long losing streak to the Renegades in 2014 by playing two tough games resulting in an extra innings loss and a 1 run victory over the Renegades.  Like the Lightning, the Wolfpack also lost key personal in the 2015 season including their founder and Captain, Greg Gontaryk, their pitcher, Bob Gomberg and a few players.  This team looked different but two guys who remained were Mike Coughlin and Scott Hogwood who would bat 1&2 for the Wolfpack.  Each would strike out to start off the game.  In the bottom of the first, the Renegades continued their hitting as Joe McCormick, Larry Haile and Rob Dias plated back- to-back-to back runs that barely traveled 80 feet each.  All of these balls were hit toward Mike Coughlin who was struggling in the field trying to make stops in time with the speed of the Renegades.  When the dust settled, Boston was up 5-0 after one frame.  Entering the third inning, the Wolpack had 5 strike outs, When Mike Coughlin got them on the board with a run scoring hit and Lamont Bordley came off the bench to replace an injured Randy George and he also plated a run to pull the score to 5-2.  The third inning was bad for Boston as the top of the order could not answer and McCormick and Haile each struck out.  Heading to the 4th inning, Coughlin was looking like a one man show as he pulled the Wolfpack to a 5-3 deficit and he had racked up 4 of the 6 defensive stops for the Wolfpack at this point in the game.  Further trouble would happen for the Wolfpack when slugger Scott Hogwood was put out on a hard shot down the third baseline by Aqil Sajjad.  When Hogwood hit the base he did not get up.  The Wolfpack captain had to leave the game with ribs that may have been fractured.  Boston would huddle in the 4th inning and ask for insurance.  That call was answered by a deep bomb to center field off the bat of Christian Thaxton for the most impressive hit of Boston’s weekend and would prove to be the final straw giving Boston  a 6-3 advantage with Hogwood out for the remainder of the game.  Mike Coughlin would have a career day vs Boston as he would score a run in the 6th and finish the day with 3 runs on offense and 7 of the Wolfpacks 10 stops on defense.  In the end, the Wolfpack did not have enough balls in play on offense to mount the comeback they needed and the Renegades walked away with a sweep and a grip on the 2015 Beast of the East title!

Renegades Finish 9th in 2012 World Series

The 2012 World Series was in Ames Iowa  and the Renegades entered as the 6 seed, the best seed in team history.   In its six games, the Gades were 5-1 but brought the least amount of players in team history to a World Series.  Ames would see record high temperatures during the week as teams were forced to play in temperatures exceeding 103 degrees on fields that cried for water.  Combine these conditions with a day of high winds and the scores of many games would be very high.  Boston started off slow as they blew a big lead to New Jersey and the Lightning came back in the bottom of the 6th to walk off.  The eventual champion Taiwan Home Run would mercy rule the Renegades in 3 innings of play sending Boston to the double elimination round as a three seed.  Boston would play its highest scoring game in team history losing to Chicago 31-21 but would beat Cleveland to stay alive in the double elimination bracket till Thursday. Thursday morning, the Colorado Storm would knock the Renegades into the placement round with hopes of a 9 seed being the best the Renegades could do.  With two games remaining, Boston defeated the Lone Star Road runners and Minnesota Millers to finish strong and capture a nine seed.   For box scores and game recaps for the whole year, please visit this page.

 

Player Avg AB PO Player Avg AB PO
Mccormick .643 28 5 Sajjad .364 33 6
Haile .600 35 9 Thayer .077 13 0
Zuccarello .406 32 36 Silver .000 3 5
Ward .406 32 11 O’Neill .000 4 0
Quintanilla .379 29 2

Avg= Batting Average, AB= At-Bats, PO= Put-outs on Defense

 

2012 World Series Final Results

Finish Team Record Team Batting Avg Defensive Stop %
1 Taiwan 8-1 .521 59%
2 Austin 6-2 .580 56%
3 Bayou City 6-2 .579 54%
4 Chicago 5-3 .459 40%
5 Colorado 7-2 .552 52%
6 RHI Extreme 5-3 .534 53%
7 Indianapolis 5-3 .408 40%
8 Southwest 3-4 .330 44%
9 Boston 3-4 .426 42%
10 Minnesota 2-5 .255 42%
11 Lone Star 4-5 .350 51%
12 Long Island 3-5 .345 47%
13 Cleveland 5-4 .392 51%
14 New Jersey 3-5 .311 42%
15 Wichita 1-6 .188 45%
16 Tyler 2-7 .271 35%
17 Iowa 0-7 .192 29%

Renegades win the 2012 Haddonfield Lions Club Classic!

For the third year in a row, the Renegades traveled to Haddonfield and left as the champion. This year they defeated the New Jersey Lightning 8-5, the York Thundersticks 15-0 and the Pennsylvania Wolfpack 11-6. The first two games were played in wet and rainy conditions. Every player on the Renegade active roster scored in this tournament which was the first time in team history this has ever occurred. Please see our game results links for the information about the games (Link to the 2012 Results page)

Team photo after 2012 Haddonfield Lions Club Classic win!

Team photo from left to right:
Row 1: JJ Ward, Evan Silver, Joe Quintanilla, Rob Weissman, Joey Duggan, Aqil Sajjad, Guy Zuccarello, Dan Cotter
Standing: Laura Ward, Lisa Klinkenberg, Bryan Grillo, Joe Duggan, Rob Thayerr, Darren Black, Larry Haile, Joe McCormick