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:
A rouge rain cloud spent the morning hours parked above the Field of Dreams complex in Noblesville complete with thunder, lightening and enough rain to soak the fields and force an hour rain delay (after we had already arrived at the park, natch). As it turns out, the wild morning weather would foreshadow a wild quarterfinal game for the 12U Bombers as they delivered a thrilling, and at times bizarre, 9-8 over the Indiana Twins to advance to the Fourth Fest semis.
Foul balls were sometimes fair. Fair balls were sometimes foul. Baserunners who were safe were sometimes out. Baserunners who walked off the field knowing they were out...yeah, sometimes safe. Oh and bean balls were plentiful and some actually hit the batters. Fortunately, this collection of odd calls didn't favor one team in particular but did destroy the momentum for both teams as they tried to mount various rallies.
As the game unfolded, there were plenty of runs to go around. The Bombers broke loose in the bottom of the second, after giving up a run in the top half, with four runs to take an early lead. Nick Taylor started the fun by slamming a ground-rule double and eventually scored on a pair of wild pitches. Matthew Lood later clutched up with the bases loaded and singled to score Zach Lewis, Shaun Shipley and Walker Stull.
The Bombers used a little more power to put up another four-spot in the bottom of the fourth inning. Once again, Taylor started the fun by hammering a double and then Ty Johnson let his teammate trot home by blasting a two-run dinger. The Bombers went back to small ball for the other two runs, as Mason Montgomery worked his way into scoring position then was singled home by Lewis. Lood then knocked in Lewis, again.
After all of that, the Bombers still needed one more run to win in the bottom of the fifth as the time was about to run out. Patrick Mastrian started the game-winning rally with a hit and then the bean-ball parade fired up with Nolan Bowser, Johnson and Montgomery all taking one for the team, the last two with two outs, which pushed Mastrian home with the winning run.
The win moved the Bombers to 33-14-3 on the year.
Next up: The Bombers play the Dayton Dodgers in the Fourth Fest semis. Oh, wait, the Bombers lost the semifinal game 10-1. It really wasn't much fun and other than Matthew Lood singling home Walker Stull in the bottom of the third inning, left little else to highlight. So, yeah, Bombers ended the weekend 33-15-3.
The Bombers advanced in the winner's bracket of the Fourth Fest with a 4-2 win over the River City Thunder.
A quick start put the Bombers in apparent control of the game but the game result eventually remained in doubt until the last pitch when the Bombers sealed up the win.
Patrick Mastrian led off the game with on of his two hits in the game. Nick Taylor, Ty Johnson, Zach Lewis and Jacob Graff added the only other hits in the game.
But not all hits are created equal and Taylor delivered the big blow with a three-run in the bottom of the first inning to put the Bombers in control early.
Runs were hard to come by after Taylor's blast and the Bombers held on to take a 4-1 lead to the top of the sixth after Graff knocked in Walker Stull with what would be the game-winning run.
Graff, Taylor and Mastrian kept the Thunder from rumbling on offense most of the game, before Mastrian had to power his way out of a last gasp rally in the top of the sixth. After the Thunder delivered a pair of doubles, Walker Stull tracked down a fly ball at the fence and then Mastrian blew away the next batter on strikes to lock up the win with a closer's flair.
The win improved the Bombers' record to 32-14-3.
Next up: The Bomber's advance to the quarterfinals of the Fourth Fest where they will face the Indiana Twins.
The 12U Bombers split their pool play games at the Fourth Fest in Noblesville but were able to limit the runs scored to remain among the top half of teams headed into tournament play.
Dayton (OH) Dodgers 5, Bombers 4
The 12U Bombers dropped a hard-fought, well-pitched game to the Dayton Dodgers, 5-4 to open pool play in the Noblesville Fourth Fest tournament.
Both teams scored early before things tightened up over the final four innings. Matthew Lood and Ty Johnson combined to keep the Dodgers in check after a few early runs, but two solo home runs by the Dodgers' big slugger would prove to be the difference in this one.
Walker Stull, Patrick Mastrian, Zach Lewis and Matthew Lood collected the only hits for the Bombers, while Nolan Bowser, Mason Montgomery and Lood all knocked in runs highlighed by Lood's double in the gap.
Bombers 3, Bulls Gray 0
The Bombers struggled to take advantage of scoring opportunities but leaned on strong pitching and defense before finally breaking through to beat the Indiana Bulls Gray, 3-0.
Jake Stadler started strong on the hill, holding the Bulls scoreless through the first three innings, allowing just three hits while striking out three. Zach Lewis completed the shut out with three innings of solid relief, scattering two hits and striking out one.
Patrick Mastrian led the offense with two hits and one of two critical RBI's in the game, the other delivered by Shaun Shipley. The Bombers struggled to find timely hits all game but used pressure on the base paths, advancing to third on a pair of pop fouls down the third base line which helped deliver two of their three runs.
The pool-play split left the Bombers with a 31-14-3 record heading into tournament play.
Next up: The Bombers open tournament play against the River City Thunder.
The 12U Bombers didn't waste any time avenging a tough tournament loss against the Edgewood Bulldogs last weekend, when they scored five runs in the first inning of a Wednesday double-header which they would go on to sweep, 11-4, 12-7.
Bombers 11, Edgewood 4
After scoring no runs on one hit at Grand Park, the Bombers returned to OYO and lit up the park even before the sun went down with 10 hits and 11 runs in the first game. Ty Johnson, Jacob Graff and Shaun Shipley all ripped doubles taking advantage of the deep field six fences. In fact, Shipley made those fences look pedestrian by blasting a shot that appeared to go through the fence.
Jake Stadler set the tone on the mound with a pair of scoreless innings to start the game before giving way to Walker Stull, Zach Lewis and Ty Johnson to close out the win.
Bombers 12, Edgewood 7
The Bombers took a different route to winning the second game, hopping on the comeback trail after falling behind 4-0 after three innings. The Bombers zoomed back past the Bulldogs with seven runs in the fourth and another four in the fifth to take control for good. Six of those fourth inning runs came with two outs fueled by consecutive hits from Stadler, Nick Taylor and Johnson.
Jacob Graff, Nick Taylor, Mason Montgomery, Nolan Bowser and Patrick Mastrian combined to keep the Bulldogs in check enough to make the offensive outburst hold up under the lights.
The two wins improved the Bombers record to 30-14-3 on the season.
Favorite play of the game: In the spirit of this World Cup summer, the double-header at OYO could be considered a friendly with the grills going and good food shared between the teams during the break between games. Bob Lood dominated the grill master duties with burgers and dogs cooked to order throughout the first game and the break.
Next up: The Bombers head up to Noblesville for their annual Fourth Fest appearance over the July 4th weekend.
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