The OYO Bombers made a late entry into the Hit For They Cycle tournament and then made a late run into the 20-team field before coming up short in the semi-finals, losing to the eventual tournament champ, Indiana Eagles Blue in frustrating fashion.
The Bombers were 1-1 in pool play, losing 11-5 to the Indy Vipers Blue in a game with little redeeming value. The Bombers bounced back to run past the Indy Vipers Red, 10-2 in a tidy five-inning game. Jake Stadler set the tone on the mound early and the Bombers' aggressive effort on the bases helped the runs pile up.
In tournament play, the Bombers blew open a tight game against the Fishers Tigers with a 6-run fifth inning to finish off the Tigers and advance to Sunday play. Matthew Lood and Walker Stull delivered the big hits, knocking in two runs apiece.
In the round of eight, the Bombers did their damage in the third inning, busting through a loud and annoying 1-1 game with and 8-run outburst on their way to a 13-5 win over the Indiana Eagles Orange. Zach Lewis, Nolan Bowser and Josh Carney eached drove in two runs to help fuel the offense.
The tournament ended in the semis with a 6-4 loss to the Indiana Eagles Blue. After falling behind 4-0 in the first, it appeared the Bombers would eventually rally past the Eagles, but several opportunities slipped by in the final three innings, before the Eagles sealed up the win.
The 3-2 tournament effort improved the Bombers record to 13-8-1 on the season.
After a strong showing in Florence, the Bombers came up short in the Florence Freedom Memorial Day Classic, losing 7-0 in the championship game to the Bluegrass (Lexington, KY) Xpress. The Bombers advanced to the final game with an impressive 11-1 win over the Louisville Shockers in the semis.
Bombers 11, Shockers 1
After a slow start, falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, the Bombers came alive at the plate, eventually blowing the game open with nine runs in the top of the sixth to reward a quality effort on the mound by Jake Stadler and Walker Stull. Stadler was forced to work his way out of a jam in the first, but limited the damage to one run by luring the shockers into a harmless fly ball to Stull in centerfield to strand another run at third base.
The Bombers took the lead for good in the top of the fourth inning with a pair of runs. Zach Lewis drew a walk to lead off and advanced to second on a single by Patrick Mastrian. Stadler helped his cause with a monster two-out hit to score both Lewis and Mastrian which sparked the eventual win.
After Stull took over on the mound for the final two innings, the Bombers finally exploded in the top of the sixth. Stull and Lewis lead off the rally with a single. Nolan Bowser walker to load the sacks followed by another single from Mastrian. Stadler came through again with a double to score three more runs and the route was on.
Jacob Graff singled to score Stadler, then Eli Clotfelter singled to score Graff after Josh Carney walked (sensing a trend here). Matthew Lood earned his way on via an error after smacking a triple earlier in the game. Stull and Lewis earned their second hits of the inning to score Clotfelter, Carney and Lood and wrap up the offensive onslaught.
The win earned a rematch with the Bluegrass Xpress Blue in the trophy round.
Bluegrass Xpress 7, Bombers 0
The Bombers gave the Xpress all they could handle early in the championship game as Patrick Mastrian engaged in a power pitching duel to keep the Xpress scoreless through the first three innings. A few timely hits in the fourth inning lead to a four-run fourth and the Xpress didn't look back.
In a game of inches, a shot to the gap in the fifth inning was nearly a line-drive double play but instead turned into a three-run inside-the-park HR on the cavernous turf outfield at UC Health Stadium.
The Bombers were never able to cash in their scoring chances coming up empty after scattering six hits throughout the game. Nick Taylor had two of those hits with Mastrian, Zach Lewis, Jake Stadler and Matthew Lood picking up one hit each.
The 1-1 tournament record moved the Bombers to 10-6-1 on the season.
The OYO Bombers finished pool play at the Florence (KY) Freedom Memorial Day Classic with a 2-1 record which was good enough to earn a No. 2 seed ad a trip to the semi-finals. After losing the opener 18-7 to the Bluegrass (Lexington, KY) Express Blue, the Bombers bounced back to pound Ram Baseball (Cincinnati, OH) 10-2 and the Lebanon (OH) Warriors 11-0 to keep their tournament hopes alive.
Bluegrass Express 18, Bombers 7
The Bombers opened pool play against a stout opponent from Lexington, getting an early lift from a double-play by Patrick Mastrian in the first inning which squashed an early rally by the Express. The big-hitting Express didn't stay down long, rallying for nine runs in the third inning to seize control of the outcome.
The Bombers did have some offensive highlights, scoring seven runs on 12 hits. Nolan Bowser, Nick Taylor, Jake Stadler and Josh Carney each rapped two hits with Stadler driving in a pair of runs.
Bombers 10, Ram Baseball 2
Patrick Mastrian struck out two to greet the Ram Baseball squad with a goose egg in the top of the first, then the Bomber bats went to work with Walker Stull singling to begin a nine-run rally in the bottom of the first. After Stull scampered around the bases to score on a wild pitch, Nick Taylor knocked in Zach Lewis and Jacob Graff singled home Nolan Bowser. The Bombers then scored six runs with two outs thanks to five consecutive singles by Josh Carney, Eli Clotfelter, Matthew Lood, Stull and Lewis.
From there Mastrian and Nick Taylor kept Ram on lockdown from the mound, surrendering just two runs. Mastrian ended the game at the plate with a single that invoked the run-rule win even though the smash in the gap was actually an inside-the-park dinger.
Bombers 11, Warriors 0
The Bombers made quick work of the Warriors with an impressive effort at the plate and in the field. Walker Stull and Zach Lewis opened the game with a pair of singles with Stull scoring via Lewis' hit. Jake Stadler later came through with a two-out hit to score Lewis and Patrick Mastrian, giving the Bombers a 3-0 lead they would never relinquish.
In the top of the third, Lewis, Mastrian and Stadler played a familiar role with Lewis singling to lead off the inning, Mastrian earning a walk and Stadler knocking both in.
The Bombers put the game on ice with six runs in the fourth inning. After Eli Clotfelter and Matthew Lood set the table, Stull and Lewis singled to score the first two before Nolan Bowser found the gap for a triple to score the next two. Mastrian singled home Bowser and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Nick Taylor.
Meanwhile on the mound, the Bombers teamed up to come within one out of a combined no hitter, ending with a one-hit shutout to move into tourney play thanks to the quality mound work from Jake Stadler, Jacob Graff and Eli Clotfelter.
Following pool play the Bombers improved 9-5-1 on the season and will play the Lousiville (KY) Shockers in the semis.
The 13U Bombers put in some extra work hitting before taking the field at Billericay Park and the effort paid off when the bats exploded during a 14-5, 16-6 sweep of the Fishers Tigers. In the two games combined, the Bombers piled up 29 hits, including six home runs, and 30 runs in 11 total innings, failing to score in just two innings. So let's get into the good stuff.
Bombers 14, Tigers 5
The Bombers eased into the scoring binge in the first inning of game one when Patrick Mastrian smacked a base hit up the middle to bring home Zach Lewis. Josh Carney started the second inning off with a hit and then scored along with Eli Clotfelter on a bases-loaded single by Lewis. Quality ABs by Nolan Bowser and Mastrian followed as they hit grounders to second base allowing Jake Stadler and Lewis to score and extend the lead to 5-2.
Then the fireworks started as the Bombers were rolling in the third inning. Jacob Graff smoked a fastball outta the park in right-center for his first home run of the season. Then with two outs, the Bombers scrounged up a couple more runs. Stadler slammed a double to score Clotfelter and then Lewis sizzled another single to plate Stadler to put the Bombers in control, 8-2.
Patrick Mastrian led off the fourth with a monster blast to right-center allowing him to trot around the bases. Nick Taylor was then beaned, drilled again on a pickoff throw but eventually scored when Graff grounded into a double play. Mastrian kept rolling in the sixth inning with a two-run jack to left field to cap a three-hit, five RBI game from the clean-up spot. Graff and Stadler capped off the scoring by knocking in two more runs as the game was stopped after six innings.
The Bombers wasted little time jumping on the Tigers in game two as the home team. After surrendering a run in the top half, the offense took over to put the Bombers in the lead for good.
Walker Stull, Zach Lewis and Nolan Bowser each singled and then eased their way home after Patrick Mastrian crushed a Grand Slam to right-center for his third dinger of the day. With no outs, the Bombers kept rolling with hits from Nick Taylor and Jacob Graff followed by walks from Josh Carney and Eli Clotfelter to score Taylor. Walker Stull completed the first-inning scoring binge in style with his own Grand Slam to center field.
The Bombers resumed the scoring in the bottom of the third after singles by Nolan Bowser and Mastrian set the table, Jake Stadler singled to score both. Then in the bottom of the fourth, Carney and Clotfelter set the table with a pair of walks and advanced the third and second allowing Coach Bowser to make a bold call and give 'Slam' Stull the bunt sign. Stull put the ball in play nicely allowing to give himself up to score Carney. Lewis followed with a single to score Clotfelter which put the Bombers up 13-3.
After giving up three runs in the top of the fifth, the Bombers invoked the 10-run rule in the bottom half with three more runs. Nick Taylor quickly added the first run, leading off by muscling a dinger into the trees behind the left-field fence. Stadler walked and scored the second run on a double by Carney. Graff singled and eventually scored the final run when Stull drew a bases-loaded walk to wrap up the action.
The two wins improved the Bombers record to 7-4-1 on the season as the kick things into high gear at the Florence Freedom Memorial Day Classic in Florence, KY over Memorial Day weekend.
The 13U Bombers weren't able to overcome an early 5-0 deficit before eventually losing 9-0 to the aptly named Ohio Elite in pool play of the TDS Crossroads Qualifier.
Once again, the Bombers were unable to plate a run as Walker Stull, Patrick Mastrian and Josh Carney provided the only hits in the game. Unfortunately, the Bombers were unable to get back on the field for the rest of the weekend due to a combination of poor weather and an equally poor desire by the host site to prep the fields after the rain finished falling on Sunday. At least I had time to mow the lawn on Sunday afternoon, although I did have to apply some sunscreen. I'm sure the fields were still a mess, though.
Regardless, the loss to the Ohio Elite dropped the Bombers to 5-4-1 on the season. The team looks forward to celebrating a scored run in their next outing, a doubleheader on Sunday (3pm/5pm) at Billericay Park against the Fishers Tigers.
The Bombers opened pool play in the TBS Crossroads Qualifier with a tough-luck 2-0 loss to the Bulls White on Friday night at Grand Park.
Great pitching and defense are usually the foundation for a win but both teams delivered that combo which meant something had to give and the Bombers simply weren't able to cash in on any scoring opportunities.
Walker Stull and Matthew Lood teamed up on the mound to give up just four hits and two runs as the defense behind them put forth a stout effort in the field. Stull started the game and gave up one run in five efficient innings to keep the game tight.
The Bombers had a few scoring opportunities but came up short in the hunt for a timely hit, limited to just three hits for the game. Jake Stadler and Zach Lewis each singled, but the signature highlight of the night came from Patrick Mastrian who blistered a fastball, sending it screaming to deep centerfield for a stand-up triple.
The loss dropped the Bombers to 5-3-1 as they resume pool play on Saturday morning against the Ohio Elite at 11:15 a.m. on Field 11 at Grand Park.
The Bombers played one inning of baseball in pool play of the Boiler Breakout on Saturday before the cold and extensive rain ended play for the day and minimized pool play to one game.
As it turned out, the Boiler Breakout tournament ended up being a doubleheader against the Northern Stars (Lafayette, IN). Unfortunately, the Bombers won the pool play game, 5-4 but ended up losing the first tournament game, 6-0 to complete one of the longer doubleheaders the Bombers have ever endured.
In the pool play win, Walker Stull, Nick Taylor, Matthew Lood, Eli Clotfelter, Nolan Bowser, Jake Stadler and Patrick Mastrian teamed up on the mound to allow only three hits and nurse home the win. Stadler, Bowser and Zach Lewis all knocked in runs with Stadler collecting two hits in the game.
In the tournament loss, the Bombers fell behind 3-0 but were never able to mount a rally on offense despite the strong defense backing up a solid pitching effort from Walker Stull, Nick Taylor, Jake Stadler and Patrick Mastrian. Taylor rapped the only two hits of the game for the Bombers as they struggled at the plate against a solid pitching outing from the Stars.
The highlights of the tournament weekend were reserved for off-field activities, including indoor putt putt and a lethal dad's air hockey tournament won by Todd Stull while trying to wait out the rain on Saturday. On Sunday, the Bowser crew took the lead on a strong tailgating effort behind the right field fence.
The Bombers left Lafayette with a 5-2-1 record for the season.
The 13U Bombers swept the Indy Black Sox amidst the festivities of OYO Opening Day on a beautiful Saturday at Veterans Memorial Park. The Bombers held on to win the first game, 7-4 and then broke through in the second game for a 9-2 win.
Eight of the 10 Bombers pitched at least one inning and kept the Black Sox bats off balance all afternoon with an air tight defense behind them making all of the available plays look routine. The solid defensive work was needed as the Bombers struggled to capitalize on several scoring opportunities when the Black Sox flashed their own defensive prowess in the field to minimize any budding rallies.
A double in game one by Josh Carney and a triple in game two by Walker Stull highlighted the Bombers' offensive attack. Stull's shot to right-center traveled well in excess of 250 feet bouncing to the 300-foot fence as he raced around the sacks. Nick Taylor, Nolan Bowser and Zach Lewis also had multiple hits on the day.
In the second game, Taylor nearly decapitated Coach Lewis with a line drive foul ball that appeared to have a homing device set on the coach's temple, forcing the old man to tap into his youthful reflexes and gracefully drop like a sack of potatoes. Fortunately, no video has surfaced to confirm this description so I'm sticking with it.
The sweep moved the Bombers to 4-1-1 on the season as they head to Lafayette this weekend to play in the Boiler Breakout tournament.
The 13U Bombers found themselves in a championship game three days into the start of the season but this time couldn't generate enough runs to keep up with the Indiana Hurricanes, dropping the King of the Swing title game, 4-1.
Credit to the Canes who beat the Bombers at their own game executing at the plate with timely singles and bunts to take advantage of base runners. The Bombers were held to just four hits through seven innings, two of those hits courtesy of Josh Carney. But for the most part, the lefty/righty combo the Hurricanes threw at the Bombers worked ahead and kept the good guys off balance at the plate for the balance of the game.
The loss dropped the Bombers to 2-1-1 on the season but they did pick up a little hardware for their runner-up efforts on the weekend.
The Bombers ran past the USAthletic Flames, 10-0 to earn a spot in the King of the Swing championship game.
Nick Taylor was effective on the mound for the Bombers, giving up just three hits in four shut out innings before giving way to Jake Stadler who kept a lid on the Flames in the fifth and final inning.
The Bombers wasted no time getting the offense going as leadoff man, Walker Stull drew a walk, stole his way to third base and was then knocked in by Nolan Bowser to put the Bombers up for good. Later in the inning, Jacob Graff did his job at the plate with a ground out that scored Patrick Mastrian from third base.
Josh Carney provided the fireworks in the second inning, leading off with a blast to the wall for a double and then scoring on a single by Jake Stadler.
The Bombers blew the game open in the bottom of the third by running wild on the bases and plating four runs. Mastrian and Taylor lead off the inning with walks and advance to third and second, respectively on a wild pitch. Mastrian then scored on another wild pitch and then an error brought home Taylor and put Jacob Graff on first. Zach Lewis was then hit by a pitch setting up the next two runs. Matthew Lood sent Graff home with a single and Eli Clotfelter put the ball on the ground to score Lewis and push the lead to 7-0.
After a scoreless fourth inning, the Bombers ended the game in the fifth with three runs to invoke the 10-run rule. Nick Taylor singled to start the rally and an error moved him to third. Lewis bunted Taylor home and was safe at first while also moving Graff to third. Graff scored and Lewis moved to third on a wild pitch and then the Flames booted a ground ball by Clotfelter which allowed Lewis to score and end the game.
The Bombers improved their record to 2-0-1 and will play the Hurricanes in the championship game.
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