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.
The Bombers took care of business on Saturday afternoon, beating the Indiana Hurricanes, 5-1 to wrap up pool play in the King of the Swing tournament. The Bombers first win of the season also secured a top seed in tournament play for the Bombers.
After failing to finish off their first win on Friday night, the defense and pitching remained air tight until the last out of the game. Nick Taylor, Zach Lewis, Eli Clotfelter and Walker Stull combined on the mound to allow just one bloop hit and one unearned run in seven innings.
The Hurricanes' pitching was up to the challenge as the game remained scoreless through three innings. But the Bombers broke through in the top of the fourth inning, scoring three runs and then backed it up with two more runs in the fifth inning.
Nolan Bowser started the scoring rally in the fourth with a leadoff hit and then advanced to third base on a double by Taylor. Jacob Graff then executed a safety squeeze bunt to score Bowser with the first run. The play worked so well, Walker Stull did the same thing and scored Taylor while arriving safely at first base. Stull then caused problems for the 'Canes on the bases, eventually scoring after an error while stealing third base.
In the fifth inning, Patrick Mastrian turned a beaning into a run when he scampered home on a single by Taylor who would eventually score from third when Jacob Graff drew attention of the Canes by trying to steal second base.
The Bombers move to tournament play on Sunday when they get a rematch with USAthletic Flames at 9 a.m. ET.
The 13U Bombers opened the season at Forest Park in Noblesville in frustrating fashion letting a 10-2 lead slip away late before ending in a 10-10 tie against the USAthletic Flames. The Bombers are now 0-0-1 in pool play for the King of the Swing tournament.
While the Flames did their damage late, scoring eight fifth (and final) inning runs, the Bombers built an early cushion with six first-inning runs and then three more in the second. The two teams scored 20 runs on just five combined hits so it certainly played out like an the first game of the year after a harsh winter.
For starters, both teams were plenty patient at the plate which resulted in enough walks to fund the March of Dimes for a year. Matthew Lood did break the seal with the bats, earning the Bombers' first hit of the season in the first inning to drive in Jacob Graff. In the second inning, Zach Lewis laid down a safety squeeze bunt which ended up clearing the bases after an errant throw past first base.
Nick Taylor scored one more important run in the top of the fourth after drawing a walk and working his way around the bases to score on a passed ball.
The Bombers continue King of the Swing pool play on Saturday when they play at 3 p.m. against the the Indy Hurricanes.
The 13U Oaklandon Bombers will hold their annual spaghetti dinner and silent auction fundraiser to earn money to attend a national tournament in Omaha, NE. This special group of boys has become one of the top travel baseball teams in Central Indiana with three championship titles (including the GameDay USA National Championships) along with an impressive record of 45–20-4 in 2014. Over the last four years, this team has compiled a 153-65-4 record, 15 championships and 5 runner-up finishes! The boys have continued training hard through this winter and are looking forward to another successful season in 2015. With your help, they will be able to travel a little further to test their skills against other top teams all across the United States.
The 13U Bombers are a 100% self-funded team that relies entirely on the generosity of local donors and sponsors. This year, the team is hosting a dinner and silent auction fundraiser on February 28, 2014 to raise the necessary funds to take the boys to the TCS Slumpbuster and College World Series in June. We are asking for your help to make this a successful event by donating an item, gift card, or gift basket to be auctioned.
You can donate auction items, money or purchase tickets online at http://oyobombersbaseball.myevent.com. Thanks for your support!
The Bombers begin Winter workouts in earnest in January with weekly practice and conditioning as a team.
Day: Sunday Jan. 18-warm enough to go outside
Where: Dream Big Baseball, 2274 Fortville Pike Rd., Greenfield, IN 46140
Date: Thursday nights, Jan. 29- Apr. 2
The 12U Bombers put all facets of their game together, playing at an elite level to deliver a dominant championship run to win a ring at the GameDay USA Nationals at Bilericay Park in Fishers. That win ended the Bombers' season in style as they finished their 12U campaign with a 45-20-4 record, but it is hard to believe they ever lost after the effort at Bilericay.
Hyperbole? No, the Bombers were truly dominant against a talented, 18-team field.
Those numbers are ridiculous and as gaudy as the offensive numbers were, the pitching and defense was just as strong, all fueled by the team pulling together as a collective unit to do their jobs and compete at a high level. It was a special weekend to witness. Every player throughout the lineup made multiple plays and they just fed off each other grinding to those run-rule wins.
The championship game was worth a little closer look though, as the Bombers avenged the frustrating loss to the Indiana Prospects they suffered a week earlier in the Bomber Bash. A perfect tournament weekend was down to one game as the park started quieting down with just two teams left to play, all others on their way home. The previous six wins would be hollow without closing the deal against the Prospects.
The game started out poorly as the Prospects knocked a three-run homer with two outs in the top of the first to take an early lead, appearing to pick up where they left off at OYO. This time, though, Patrick Mastrian was taking charge. I've been watching this kid plays all kinds of games since he was in Kindergarten at OCC and his talent as tilted outcomes in his team's favor many times. But I have never seen Patrick seize a game by the throat and drag his team along with him like he did in this championship game. He raised the intensity and level of play throughout the 11-man lineup and they all came through in the clutch.
Mastrian answered the three runs by the Prospects with a single to lead off the bottom of the first. He eventually came around to score on a passed ball. He then took the ball to the hill and pitched five innings, giving up just one hit and one run to stymie the Prospects and give the Bombers a chance to eventually rally.
And rally they did. With threatening rain clouds rolling in, the Bombers took the lead in the bottom of the third when Nick Taylor fisted a three-run homer over the fence. The Prospects rallied to tie the score in the top of the fourth but Mastrian shut down any thoughts of a big rally with a pair of strike outs to end the threat.
The game remained tied heading to the bottom of the fifth when Matthew Lood led off with a single and moved to second after Zach Lewis grounded out to the right side. A single from Mastrian moved Lood to third where Nolan Bowser would knock him in to give the Bombers what would end up being the winning run.
But the Bombers weren't done.
At third base, Mastrian crept like a panther ready to pounce helping him get a phenomenal jump on what appeared to be a routine passed ball. Instead the ball bounced back toward the third baseline putting Mastrian in serious jeopardy. No worries, he wouldn't be denied and simply hopped over the ball and swipe tag, touched the dish and then jacked up the Bomber faithful with a series of intense exclamations and fist pumps.
Game's throat seized.
Now for the knock out. With two outs, Walker Stull killed what little will remained for the Prospects with a three-run homer to left-center field.
Mastrian closed out the win on the mound in the top of the sixth after Mason Montgomery snagged a liner at shortstop for the first out. The second batter struck out and then a fly ball to Zach Lewis in right field ended the game and set off a championship celebration for the Bombers.
The finish was apropos and reminiscent of the Bombers' championship win in the 9U Bomber Bash when Mastrian closed out the win with a fly ball to Lewis. The final out at Bilericay also brought an end to the small field career of the collective team. After four years, the Bombers compiled a 153-65-4 record, 15 championships, and 5 runner up finishes.
Pretty impressive and with such a great finish, the Bombers proved they are ready to move on to the big diamond and the next phase of their baseball development.
The 12U Bombers closed out the 2014 season in spectacular fashion, running roughshod over a strong field in the GameDay Nationals, winning all seven games which earned the team a championship ring.
But the journey to that ultimate, fantastic finish wasn't so easy, although in hindsight an important factor, so let's rewind to where we left off last and highlight the last month of the season.
Following a disappointing departure from the Fourth Fest, the Bombers mounted up for a major roadie to the Lowcountry of South Carolina for the Perfect Game Super 25 12U National Championship in Charleston, SC.
The Bombers' mere presence kept away two-thirds of the field (or something like that) as the team from the street was eventually part of an eight-team field with stout opponents from Long Island, NY, Charleston, SC, East Atlanta, GA, Peachtree City, GA, Naperville, IL, and the International Baseball Academy of Puerto Rico.
Despite a final-inning fade in their first game which led to a nasty 17-4 loss against the eventual champs from Charleston, the Bombers showed up strong and competitive throughout the tournament finishing with a 2-3-1 record. But there were plenty of highlights both on and off the field. Some exhilarating, some hilarious and others, down right bizarre...again, both on and off the field.
There were rain delays including enough rain on Saturday to eventually wash out the whole schedule. There were lightening delays which interrupted a wild finish against Naperville that ended in a tie. There was also a lighting (no n) delay thanks to all of the other delays. While trying to finish the final game against EAB out of Atlanta on Monday evening, the field lights went out. Poof! Darkness. During the delay that lasted around 30 minutes (but felt like three hours at that point) included the two teams gathering on the mound and eventually playing duck-duck-goose.
OK, we've covered the hilarious and bizarre on-field highlights, but there were exhilarating moments as well. The first thing that comes to mind is Nick Taylor tracking down a deeeeeep shot down the left field line to preserve a 10-9 win over the East Coast Jays (NY). The Jays made a furious rally in the sixth inning and appeared ready to take the lead but Taylor just wouldn't allow it despite a 280-foot shot that appeared well over his head.
It was like watching those elite frisbee dogs when the owner fires the disc way out in front of the dog and you think he has no chance to catch it and then suddenly, Holy shizzle, he's got it! Game over, everyone mob Nick in left field. Kids were winded just running out to hop on the dog pile it was so far away. What a play!
Taylor delivered the signature highlight of the weekend for the Bombers. But he was also involved in a series of plays that helped the Bombers preserve a 3-3 tie in a fantastic, extra-inning game against Naperville. With two outs in the top of the sixth, Taylor crushed a 280-foot triple which scored Shaun Shipley to give the Bombers new life in a game that appeared to slip away. Then on defense, Naperville had runners on first and second with one out. A single down the left field line didn't end the game when Zach Lewis chased down the ball and threw a strike home to keep the runner at third.
Then, big time plays happened.
Jacob Graff chased down a bloop, pop-up in no-man's land behind first base in shallow right field. With his momentum taking him away from the plate, the Naperville runner tried to score after tagging. Graff turned and threw a one-hopper to Taylor at the plate where the big fella, taking up prime real estate in front of the play, man-mitted the short hop and applied a tag to end the inning and threat to end the game with a double play.
Off the field highlights included, in no particular order:
OK, the brief summary of the Charleston trip wasn't so brief. Fortunately, we can make up time with a review of the Bomber Bash.
The Bomber Bash was a scaled down event compared to past years, but a tough field of teams showed up for the wood bat tournament at OYO.
The Bombers started well, avenging a loss earlier in the season by beating Yorktown 9-1. Then holding on for a 7-4 win over the Indy Warthogz before beating the Indy Nitro 11-5 set up the Bombers for a solid trophy hunt. That hunt didn't go as planned though as the Bombers caught a case of the Sunday blahs, first dropping a tough game to the Indiana Prospects, 5-3 and then running out of juice while ending their tournament run with a 3-1 loss to the Warthogz.
The highlight of the weekend was Nolan Bowser making that wood bat work, turning heads with the crack off the sweet spot for his first home run. While the big hits were hard to come by, the weekend using wood bats set the Bombers up for a strong finish in Fishers when they returned to using their big barrels.
Thank you to all of the players and parents who attended this year's Bomber tryouts. Congratulations to the following players, who have earned a roster spot on the 2015 13U OYO Bombers:
1-10 of 190