Thank you to all of the players and parents who attended this year's Bomber tryouts. This was the most competitive group of players we have seen during our Bomber tryouts. In the end, we could only select eleven for this team. Congratulations to the following players, who have earned a roster spot on the 2014 - 12U Oaklandon Bombers:
The 11U Bombers ended the 2013 season with a tough 16-15 loss in extra innings to the Noblesville Heat to earn the runner-up trophy in the Bomber Bash.
A relentless effort by the Bombers, playing down to the last out salvaged what otherwise would've been a truly disappointing blow-out loss and turned it into a memorable classic when the Oaklandon 11refused to give in despite the trying circumstances. Noblesville jumped on the Bombers for three runs in the top of the first, but the Bombers answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first and then another in the second to tie up the game.
In the top of the third, the Heat flipped the game in their favor scoring seven runs on six hits, capped off by a home run to take a 10-3 lead while leaving the Bombers stunned. The Bombers didn't lay down, though. Instead they started chipping away by scoring three runs in the bottom of the third as Jake Stadler, Patrick Mastrian and Nick Taylor all knocked in runs.
But rallies in the fourth and fifth innings came up short for the Bombers, while the Heat added three more runs to leave the Bombers staring at a 13-6 deficit heading into their final at bat of the season in the bottom of the sixth. Fortunately (well, depending on your point of view), the boys in red had been in a similar situation when they rallied to beat Triple Crown Blaze (OH) in the Spring Longball Championship
and earlier in the day they scored 13 runs in one inning against Zionsville. When Jake Stadler stepped to the plate to lead off the inning the Bombers tapped into all of that experience and went to work.
Here's how it broke down along with some extra inning craziness that eventually left the Bombers one run short.
- Stadler earns a walk and then Mastrian smokes a hot-hopper the Heat second baseman can't handle. Two on and no out. (13-6)
- With runners on second and third, Taylor rips a single to score Stadler and Mastrian. One on and still no one out. (13-8) Hmm, five runs seems much less daunting than seven and still no outs.
- The Bombers are in no hurry to swing unless they see a perfect strike. As the tension mounts, Mason Montgomery, Walker Stull and Matthew Lood all earn walks which pushes Taylor across the plate. Sacks full, still no outs (13-9)
- Griffin Lohman nearly earns a fourth walk, but ends up flying out to right field for the first out. Sacks still full, one out (13-9)
- After Zach Lewis took an up-and-in called strike two, he came out swinging on the next pitch and sizzled a single to right field to score Montgomery and put the tying run on first base. Bases loaded and one out (13-10)
- Now things would get really wild as Dawson Gabe stepped to the plate. Gabe represented the winning run and after taking a strike the big fella belted one over the left-fielder's head...wait a mintue! Is that getting outta here?!?!?! Bang...the ball peppered the fence two feet from clearing the top for a walk-off Granny. Wow! The loudest single any of us will ever witness. Stull scored and everyone moved up a base. Sacks full and one out. (13-11).
- Jacob Graff earns a walk to score Lood and move Lewis to third with the tying run. Sacks full, one out. (13-12)
- Nolan Bowser then hit a ground ball to shortstop and made it to first before Noblesville could turn a double play which brought Lewis home safely to tie the game. Runners at first and third, two out (13-13) With the comeback complete it was time to go for the win.
- Right back where the rally started, Jake Stadler worked an 0-2 count to full before hitting a shot to right field, but the Heat defender was able to track it down and send the game into extra innings.
- Simply another spectacular comeback effort by the Bombers, somehow finding a way to stay in the game.
- With a tie-breaker rule in effect, putting a runner at second base to start the inning, both teams were scoreless in the seventh inning which is a rare feat.
- The Bombers didn't go as quietly as it appears, though. Nick Taylor was unable to knock in the winning run as the second hitter in the seventh, but he did knock the first pitch he saw out of the park but it was foul by about the same amount as Gabe's shot in the sixth was short of going over the fence. Another walk-off denied in this game of inches.
- The Heat scored three in the top of the 8th which would hold up after the Bombers rallied for two runs behind four walks, but just couldn't get one more hit get the win.
- All credit and respect goes to the Noblesville Heat for their impressive win which included 12 hits and a strong backbone to hang on and hold off the furious rally by the Bombers. Truly an epic championship game to end the Bomber Bash.
The loss ended the Bombers season with a 40-16 record with plenty of great memories to take into the offseason.
Favorite play of the game: After Nick Taylor cut two runs off the 7-run deficit in the bottom of the sixth, the Bombers were thinking big and the natural instinct was to start counting up which player would tie the game and win it. While taking the temperature of the players to see if anyone needed some "you-can-do-it" motivation, I mentioned to Zach Lewis that he was currently the winning run. He replied, "Yes, I am!" with a level of confidence bordering on cockiness that surprised me. That spirit was pervasive in the dugout with none of the players shrinking under the pressure but instead looking to rise to the occasion. I knew we had a chance to complete the comeback if the baseball gods would cooperate. That they did, and this group of 11-year-olds just collectively willed themselves back into the game. They are still stunned they didn't end up winning, and that's a great thing.
The 11U Bombers won their second game of the day on Sunday, beating the Derby City (KY) Prospects, 3-1 to earn a third game where they will play for the Bomber Bash championship.
The tough Prospects team had the Bombers chasing early with sound defense and crafty pitching which kept the Bombers off balance and scoreless in their first three at bats. The Prospects took an early 1-0 lead with a timely two-out hit in the top of the second. That would be all of the runs the Bombers would surrender as Dawson Gabe stayed strong on the hill through four innings before Patrick Mastrian came on in the fifth inning to close out the win, including striking out the side in the sixth.
The Bombers just needed some runs and finally in the bottom of the fourth, they were able to scratch across two runs to take the lead. Nolan Bowser started the inning off with a hit, then a Jake Stadler was hit by a pitch and Mastrian earned a free pass to load the bases. Nick Taylor then hit a hot shot that the third baseman couldn't handle to score a run and leave the sacks full. Mason Montgomery then sold out to lay down a suicide sacrifice bunt to score Jake Stadler.
The Bombers picked up an insurance run in the fifth inning when a bases loaded situation turned nutty on a play at the plate. After a trio of walks with one out, Jacob Graff hit a ball back to the pitcher whose low throw to the plate appeared to be dropped by the catcher. Griffin Lohman was called out on a force play, but when the catcher kicked the loose ball away from the plate, Zach Lewis quietly scooted home without a play at the plate.
The win ensured the Bombers would end their Bomber Bash trophy hunt with some hardware but after logging their 40th win of the season, that first place trophy is the only thing in focus now.
Favorite play of the game: With the bases full in the fourth inning and the Prospects pitcher working out of the wind up, Jake Stadler drew his attention when he started racing home from third. As the Derby City pitcher rushed his delivery to throw the ball home, Mason Montgomery put his bat on the low throw to lay down a perfect suicide bunt and let Stadler slide home without a play. The play was executed so well it looked like it had to be illegal from the other side.
Next up: The Bombers play the Noblesville Heat in their last game of the season for the Bomber Bash championship.
The 11U Bombers advanced to the semifinals of the Bomber Bash with an impressive 16-3 win over the Zionsville Eagles on Saturday morning.
The Bombers turned a tight 3-2 game into a blowout when they started pounding the ball all over the park to score 13 runs in the bottom of the third inning. The eleven Bombers all hit and most hit twice as the Bombers had 18 at bats in the marathon half inning. Patrick Mastrian rose up to put away the Eagles with not one, but two big home runs in the 13-run barrage. Other Bombers to log hits in the run-rule rally included Mason Montgomery (twice!), Griffin Lohman, Zach Lewis, Jake Stadler and Wakler Stull. Patience at the plate and applying pressure on the base paths helped turn all of those hits into a lot of runs.
Jake Stadler kept the Eagles in check on the mound through three innings, then Zach Lewis recovered from a lead-off homer to retire the next three Eagles in order and end the game early on the 10-run rule. The win improved the Bombers record to 39-15 for the season and set up a semifinal matchup with the Derby City Prospects.
Favorite play of the game: After Nolan Bowser and Jake Stadler drew walks to open the bottom of the third, clean-up hitter Patrick Mastrian worked his way to a full count and then just unloaded on a fast ball for his first home run of the season, to jump-start the game-deciding rally. That ball bounced out of the park in a hurry and put a bounce in every Bombers' step to get a Sunday trophy hunt off on the right foot.
Next up: The Bombers play for a shot at the Bomber Bash trophy round when they face the Derby City (KY) Prospects in the semifinals on Sunday afternoon.
The 11U OYO Bombers won their annual Bomber Bash matchup with the Campbell County (KY) Bombers to complete pool play with a 9-5 win on Saturday afternoon.
The OYO Bombers had to get up off the deck and battle back after the CC Bombers jumped out to a 5-0 lead thanks to a five-run rally in the top of the second inning. The CC Bombers used four consecutive hits, including a double to fuel the attack and quickly put the OYO boys in a bind.
The OYO Bombers answered with three runs in the bottom half of the second with singles by Patrick Mastrian, Mason Montgomery and Matthew Lood firing up the offense. From there the OYO Bombers kept Campbell County scoreless for the remainder of the game, which meant Oaklandon had to keep the runs crossing the dish.
In the bottom of the third, the OYO Bombers took back the lead for good thanks to a couple of hit batsmen and RBIs from Jacob Graff, Nolan Bowser, Nick Taylor and Mason Montgomery. OYO used a similar formula in the bottom of the fifth to close out the scoring with a pair of runs. Once again, Dawson Gabe wore a fastball for a free pass to first and then Graff knocked him in. Jake Stadler would later ground out, allowing Graff to score.
Patrick Mastrian, Walker Stull, Jake Stadler and Griffin Lohman shared the pitching duties to earn the Bomber Bash win and send the OYO Bombers to tournament play as the overall No. 2 seed. The win pushed the Bombers record to 38-15 for the season. Now they will look to play three more during their trophy hunt on Sunday.
Favorite play of the game: In the top of the fifth inning with one out and a CC Bomber on first base, the OYO Bombers went around the horn to turn a double play and end the inning. Matthew Lood started the play by fielding the ground ball at third base and firing to Jacob Graff at second, Graff quickly rerouted the ball to first base where Zach Lewis caught the ball off the bag and swept the tag (replays remain inconclusive on whether the tag was actually made) to earn the call and complete the double play.
Next up: The Bombers open tournament play against the Zionsville Eagles on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. in the quarterfinals of the Bomber Bash.
The 11U Bombers powered their way past the North Mac Outlaws (IL), 19-0 to improve to 2-0 in Bomber Bash pool play on Friday evening, thus locking up the top seed out of Pool A.
Jacob Graff and Nolan Bowser opened the game with a pair of singles to score the first of 19 runs on 19 hits by the Bombers as they ambushed the Outlaws. Then with two runs in and and the bases loaded in the second inning, Jake Stadler opened the floodgates on a major two-out rally when he belted a towering blast over the right field fence. The Outlaws right fielder didn't even flinch as he watched the bomb sail over his head and outta the park. Get out the rye bread and mustard, Grandma! It's Grand Salami time!
The Bombers scored four more runs in the second for a 10-run inning that left the Outlaws too far behind to recover. Matthew Lood, Zach Lewis and Nolan Bowser combined to shut out the Outlaws on just two hits in four innings on the mound.
The win improved the Bombers record to 37-15 on the year as they appeared ready to make another trophy run in the Bomber Bash with strong bats and solid pitching and defense.
Favorite play of the game: In the bottom of the second inning, somebody's son lost track of a routine fly ball to right field in the clouds (really?) allowing the Outlaws' lead-off hitter on base. After taking a commanding 12-0 lead, this was no time to let up and let mistakes begin to compound. The next batter smoked a line drive up the middle, but second baseman Jacob Graff snared the liner and then fired to first to double-off the runner and erase any hopes of a rally for the Outlaws. That's called picking up your teammate.
Next up: The Bombers wrap up pool play on Saturday at 2 p.m. when they face the Campbell County Bombers in the annual Bomber Bash matchup between the two Bombers.
The 11U Bombers opened Bomber Bash pool play on point with a sharp 10-2 win over HSE Blue on Wednesday night.
Speaking of bashing, the Bombers wasted little time knocking the ball all over the field as Jacob Graff and Jake Stadler both rattle the fence with their first inning hits. Then Nick Taylor let them trot home with a behemoth blast over the center field fence to give the Bombers an early 3-0 lead. The Bombers picked up two more runs in the top of the second fueled by hits from Walker Stull, Matthew Lood and Zach Lewis.
The Bombers gave up a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning but then took control with two more runs in the top of the third. Nolan Bowser started the inning off with a single and then relief runner Jacob Graff made his way around the bases to score on a passed ball. Patrick Mastrian turned a walk into a run by getting to third and then letting Taylor knock him in with a ground ball out. The Bombers then pushed the lead to eight runs by scoring three in the top of the fifth.
The fifth-inning runs came in a blink of an eye with Dawson Gabe and Graff on base, Jake Stadler turned on a fastball and sent it to the parking lot for a no-doubt-three-run-dinger of his own. Bomber Base, indeed!
Dawson Gabe, Walker Stull and Jake Stadler shared the pitching duties and didn't eat up many tournament innings while keeping the HSE Blue bats from doing too much damage. The win improved the Bombers record to 36-15 on the season.
Favorite play of the game: After the HSE Blue opened the bottom of the first with a lead-off single, the Bombers locked down the defense to keep the Royals from answering on the scoreboard. With one out and a runner on first, Mason Montgomery fielded a fly ball in the right-center gap and fired to first to double off the runner and set the tone for the Bombers on the defensive side of the equation.
Next up: The Bombers continue Bomber Bash pool play on Friday night when they take on the Outlaws (IL) at 5:30 p.m. at Veteran's Memorial Park.
The 11U Bombers were looking forward to playing the Indiana Mustangs in their final Fourth Fest game on Sunday afternoon. Of course, that was after earning the top seed in pool play and appearing to be on a collision course with the No. 2-seed Mustangs in the championship game.
Unfortunately, both teams were sent to the consolation bracket after losing the first tournament game, making the final game on Sunday a matchup for pride instead of hardware. The Bombers struggled to bring their championship focus to the game while the Mustangs were in it for all six innings and eventually ran away with a 14-5 win. After falling behind 4-0 early, the Bombers rallied for five runs in the fourth inning to take the lead but couldn't maintain their focus to finish strong.
Jacob Graff and Nick Taylor led off with nice hits in the first and second innings, respectively but were both stranded as the Bombers failed to knock the runners in despite both reaching scoring position with no outs. Finally in the fourth inning, the Bombers came up with a few strong at bats and timely hits. Jake Stadler led off the inning with a single, then with two outs, Matthew Lood drilled a single to score Nick Taylor and leave runners at second and third. Griffin Lohman then had a 12-pitch at bat that included a wild pitch to score Walker Stull from third and eventually left Lohman with a walk. After Lood scored on a passed ball, Zach Lewis smoked a single up the middle to score Lohman to complete the five-run rally.
But from there it was all Mustangs which brought a long and frustrating weekend in the Fourth Fest to a close and dropped the Bombers record to 35-15 on the season.
Favorite play of the game: Griffin Lohman went to work with his fourth-inning at bat as the Bombers were grinding to get back in the game. Lohman simply wouldn't give in after starting out with an 0-2 count, the big fella ended up fouling off six pitches to stay alive before eventually earning a free pass. Great effort and focus which all of the Bombers showed in the fourth inning but ended up being in short supply the rest of the way.
Next up: The Bombers wrap up the 2013 season back home when they host the Bomber Bash at OYO Memorial Park beginning on Wednesday. The Bombers open play Wednesday against HSE Blue.
After a disappointing loss to open Fourth Fest tournament play, the 11U Bombers bounced back with some pride to beat the Indiana Vipers Red, 12-6 in the Fourth Fest consolation bracket.
The Bombers rallied from 2-0 and 5-2 deficits before breaking the game open with a seven-run rally in the bottom of the fourth inning to seize the W. While the Bombers took advantage of several mistakes in the field by the Vipers, they also came up with some timely hits that had been in short supply in earlier games. Nick Taylor smoked a two-run single in the third inning and then came around to score on a wild pitch to tie the game at five in the third inning.
In the game-deciding fourth inning rally, Griffin Lohman and Zach Lewis had back-to-back hits to get the rally started and then Jake Stadler hit a towering two-run double followed by hits by Taylor and Mason Montgomery. 12 Bombers went to plate to put away the Vipers during the rally.
Montgomery and Lohman teamed up on the mound with both settling into a groove to hold off the Vipers. Montgomery absorbed a literal shot to the gut when a Viper line drive left a black and blue souvenir on the right-hander's abs. Man, I wish I had abs.
The win gave the Bombers one more game in the Fourth Fest and improved their record to 35-14.
Favorite play of the game: Patrick Mastrian flashed some ridiculous leather all weekend in Noblesville and did his thing against the Vipers in the second inning with a diving catch which turned into a double play to end the Viper rally before it started.
Next up: The Bombers will wrap up Fourt Fest play on Sunday afternoon against the Indiana Mustangs.
The 11U Bombers were unable to take advantage of their top seed in the Fourth Fest when they couldn't match the sharp play of the Indiana Bulls Black 10U team leading to an 8-1 loss in the opening round of tournament play.
The Bulls pitcher kept the Bombers guessing at the plate all game while throwing a complete-game, three hitter. The Bombers did hit their fair share of pitches but the Bulls defense was air tight and gave few opportunities to rally. The best comeback opportunity for the Bombers came in the fourth inning when the Bombers finally made their way through the batting order. With one run in and the bases loaded, Patrick Mastrian smashed a line drive that left the bat looking to change the game, but then went directly to the Bulls second baseman to end the inning and stop the rally before it got going in earnest.
The loss pushed the Bombers out of the championship bracket and down to the consolation round while dropping their record to 34-14 for the season.
Favorite play of the game: After a botched foul ball call that should've been an out gave the Bulls new life to start the second inning, the bases were eventually loaded with no outs. The next Bulls batter slammed a line drive to deep center field where Mason Montgomery made a nice catch and then fired to Patrick Mastrian at second base to complete a double play. Eventually the Bombers made it out of the inning without giving up a run much to the relief of the ump.
Next up: The Bombers take on the Indiana Vipers Red in the semi-finals of the Fourth Fest consolation bracket on Saturday evening.