BEREA TRAVEL BASEBALL
|CVBA REGULAR SEASON -vs- Berea Huge Heaters, Saturday June 23rd, 2007|
Braves miss early wake-up call, before Bulldogs take a big bite
Had it been a social gathering in Olmsted, instead of a baseball game, the Braves would have been prepared for the party. Unfortunately the first few innings of a 'MUST WIN' ball game with playoff implications on the line, actually count toward the final score. The Braves were yippity and yakking through pregame warm-up and the start of the contest and were no match for the Bulldogs who came in determined to take a bite out of someone's bottom. Costly mistakes and lack of focus were enough for the Bulldogs to put up 8 runs in the first two innings. Once the Braves stopped yakking about swimming, girls, video games, and started concentrating on baseball, they held the Olmsted Falls Bulldogs to only a single run over the next four innings. The Braves came out flat, with the outfield giving no respect to the big hitting bulldogs or the open field of Olmsted. The infield was even less prepared, as numerous errors were committed fielding and throwing. There were many great defensive plays and well-batted balls by the Braves the rest of the game, unfortunately there's no need mentioning those here because the first two innings just can't be discounted. The Braves once again were missing a team leader and a pregame practice routine to get focused and prepared to play. Using the first couple of innings to wake-up won't cut it against the leagues top teams.
|CVBA REGULAR SEASON -vs- Berea Huge Heaters, Saturday June 23rd, 2007|
A DEFENSIVE WEEKEND
The Braves put together back-to-back defensive gems over the weekend. On Friday night, the Braves held the Independence Falcons to one run in a 7-1 victory behind the arms of Patrick Dolson and Eddie Harper. On Saturday, Kevin Adams held the Berea Huge Heaters to just one run in a 5-inning 14-1 mercy-rule win. The Braves held their opponents without a run in 10 out of 12 innings played. The next two games will play a big part in the Braves play-off tournament seating. The Braves currently hold the 5th seed in the 8-team tourney to be played at the conclusion of the regular season.
|CVBA REGULAR SEASON -vs- Independence Falcons, Friday June 22nd, 2007|
Dolson & Harper ground Falcons
The Braves Johnny Klein played outstanding defensively at second base and Frank DeMarino scored three runs, but the story of the night was the pitching; Patrick Dolson threw four innings of shut-out ball and Eddie Harper was nearly perfect in relief and closing out the game. Dolson faced 19 at the plate, striking out 5 and walking-3. Harper faced 13 in 3-innings, striking out one, walking 2. Both gave up four hits a piece, but the only run allowed came on a first-and-third aggressive play to get an out with just five outs to go. Klein went 3-for-4 with the bat and drove in 3-runs, to add to an excellent defensive game at second base. Dolson added two hits, a run scored, and an RBI. Kevin Adams had two hits, including a double and a run scored. Frankie DeMarino went 2-for-2 with a walk, an RBI, three-runs scored and a pair of stolen bases as the Braves defeated the Independence Falcons 7-1.
|CVBA REGULAR SEASON -@- Keystone Wildcats, Wednesday June 20th, 2007|
Braves tame Cats, but can't corral them
The Keystone Wildcats are a dangerous breed; The Cats have only dropped 2 games in their first nineteen of the 2007 CVBA regular season, both losses to undefeated Avon Lake Scrappers. In games other than against the Scrappers, the Wildcats have out-scored their opponents by an average of 14-4 (244-69). Only three teams have held them under 10-runs (Scrappers, Fury & Falcons). The Braves, having only scored one-run in their previous meeting on May 11th (a solo Home Run by Kevin Adams), put together a game plan of; pitching outside the strike-zone and well-outside against the Cats big pull hitters, using bunting to move runners into scoring position and taking every chance available to score a run, any runs. Defensively, the pre-game speech directed the outfield to shift toward left, leaving the right fielder to defend the entire right side half of the field. The Braves shortstops were ordered deep and everyone was told to go after everything, putting it all on the line-even if it meant errors. The Braves were held to just two hits in the first meeting and vowed to put down consecutive bunts this time around if they had to put the ball in play and make some things happen. The Braves executed their game plan almost as well as could be expected.
Johnny Klein stepped to the plate as the Braves lead-off batter. He sent a 1-1 pitch liner to left-field, but it was snagged only inches from getting over the defense for extra bases. Eddie Harper was the first to discover the Home plate umpires exaggerated strike-zone. To Harpers credit, his called third strike on the inside, was not to his liking, but the young baller made no hesitation taking off on the dropped (called) third strike. Harper was gunned down at first, but not from lack of hustle. After the strike-out, and an introduction to the Home plate umpires wide strike zone, Kevin Adams hit a deep flyball to Center field. With the Centerfielder running to his left, he made a nice play on the well-hit ball for the final out in the inning, but you can't say that the Braves didn't go-down trying. Austin Barnhart took to the mound for the Braves. The coaching staff liked the way Barnhart used an arsenal of controlled-location pitches to keep the Avon Lake Fury at-bay on June 12th and asked him to do the same against the Wildcats. Things got off to a rough start ... make that a real rough start. I'm sure there wasn't a mind in the ball park that wasn't thinking that this game was going to turn into another ugly 18-2 blow-out for the Wildcats when the first two batters to step to the plate lined triples deep into the Braves outfield. The first one, the Braves right fielder, Frank DeMarino had a chance at but it just got over his mit - the second was a legit 3-bagger shot to the left-center gap. To make matters worst, the third Cat to come to the plate hit a towering full-count offering sky-high into the leftside of the infield. No Brave stepped up to call the ball and at the last moment Pitcher Austin Barnhart made a mad dash to call-it and get under it. The result ended with Barnhart and third baseman Paul Carias colliding and the ball dropping to earth. The play netted the second run for Keystone and the batter reaching second before the ball was recovered. Things looked like they were going down hill fast for the Braves before Barnhart sternly called for the next infield pop-up near the first base line for the first out. After a steal of third base by the runner on second, Barnhart forced a grounder to Carias at third. Carias' quick look-back of the runner at third wasn't enough, but the throw to first was on-time as the Braves surrendered out #2 to give up the third run in the inning. The third out was recorded on a grounder to first baseman Kevin Adams. Kevin's flip to Barnhart covering the bag ended the inning.
Braves 0, Wildcats 3
The Braves went down in order in the second. Kevin Adams hard swing at an 0-2 pitch resulted in a ball beat into the ground and back to the pitcher. Again, such as with Harper in the first inning running out a dropped third strike without hesitation even though the results at the plate weren't as planned, Adams was looking to come up with a big hit but even though he didn't get the results that he wanted, he fired out of the box without hesitation even though the odds of reaching first base safely weren't in his favor. Kevin was thrown out at first, but his hustle was noted. The next two Braves to the plate were retired by strike-out and the Braves trotted back out to face the big hitting bats of the Keystone Wildcats. Barnhart managed a strike-out in the middle of four consecutive hits, the fourth a rocket that nearly decapitated Barnhart at the mound. However, before the fourth hit, Austin Barnhart caught the runner at first leaning and picked him off with a smooth move for the second out. The final out was recorded on a pop fly to second, but not before the Wildcats swiped four bases and scored two more runs.
Braves 0, Wildcats 5
Patrick Dolson started things off for the Braves with a base hit through the rightside of the infield. Dolson stole his way to third and scored on a grounder to third off the bat of Jacob Miller. This was within the Braves game plan, to try to take advantage of every scoring opportunity as they present themselves and run the bases aggressively. That mentality though, came back to bite'em as Miller stole his way into scoring position at third but was gunned down this time at the plate on another grounder to third off the bat of Frank DeMarino in which the Braves elected to run home on again. The first play at home had the throw on-time, but Dolson slid under the tag on perhaps a questionable call. The second play on the play was executed well by Keystone as the throw was in plenty of time and the tag made solid on Miller. Blame third base coach (Aten) on those calls, but after not engineering a run the first time the Braves faced Keystone, you can understand his attempt at any cost this time around. DeMarino stole second and running on two-outs, Johnny Klein's single scored Frankie for the Braves second run. Harper flied out to second base to end the inning, but the Braves were on the score board and cut the lead to three. Barnhart found his grove after giving up a lead-off base hit to left field. Austin struck the next batter out on three pitches, then got the next two looking for his fourth strike-out of the game.
Braves 2, Wildcats 5
The Braves had an opportunity in the 4th when Austin Barnhart lead off with a well hit ball to center. Barnhart was waved to second early, but not hustling out of the box and a hesitation after rounding first lead to him getting gunned down trying to stretch the hit into a double. Again, the Braves game plan was to be aggressive on the bases. The coaching staff informed the players prior to the game that errors would be accepted if of the aggressive nature - this falls under that category. Adams followed with a base hit and swiped a pair of bases. The Braves left him stranded though on a strike-out and ground-out back to the mound and the threat was ended. Barnhart finished out his pitching assignment well, sandwiching a pair of strike-outs around a groundout to second. At 72-pitches hurled, the coaching staff put Barnhart on the shelf for another day, but hats off to a gutsy performance once again by #12.
Braves 2, Wildcats 5
The Braves chiseled away at the Home teams lead in the 5th. Jacob Miller's one-out hit lead things off. Paul Carias well placed bunt, drew the corner infielders in and Jacob Miller's steal on the pitch drew the short-stop to cover second. The result ended in Carias being thrown out at first, but left the entire left-side of the infield unmanned as Miller trotted to third on the play. A key at-bat in the game and justification of the sacrifice bunt came when Frankie DeMarino lined a 1-0 pitch up the middle to score Miller. The threat ended on another chopper back to the mound, but the Braves had pulled within two runs of the Keystone powerhouse. That margin would disappear quickly as Kevin Adams first batter faced took him to a full count, fouled away some offerings before drawing a base on balls. A pair of stolen bases and a 2-2 single scored one run. Another base on balls put the third runner on in the inning. Both runners would score on pass balls at the plate during a string where Adams struck out three and drilled a batter in the arm on a 1-2 pitch.
Braves 3, Wildcats 8
The Braves kept fighting though. Barnhart doubled with one-out and Adams singled. Adams stole second giving the Braves two runners in scoring position with one-out. Nick Paul flied out to the short-stop for the second out. Dean Hayes then took a hack at a 1-0 pitch and sent it spinning near the first base line. The ball was not handled in time and the throw to first was unsuccessful. Barnhart scored on the hit and with Adams running on the two-out contact, he rounded third and alertly discovered that the catcher was up the first base line after retrieving the squib hit from Hayes. Adams scored with no play on him as well, as Hayes was credited with driving in a pair of runs. Patrick Dolson followed with the fourth hit in the inning, moving Hayes to third. A steal of second by Dolson had a pair of runners in scoring position once again, but things were halted there as Jacob Miller's tomahawk attempt at a high first-pitch had visions of the young slugger hitting one over the outfield which was playing-in almost at the infield line. However, he was pitched to well and eventually called on a third strike.
A play worthy of ESPN Sportscenter came in the bottom of the sixth. With the lead-off batter aboard after a base hit, the first pitch to the second batter was lined down the first base line. Eddie Harper made a fantastic diving catch, after holding the runner on, then moving into his position at first on the pitch, then diving back left to field the liner. When he landed, his glove with ball inside, happened to be at-rest on the first base bag, netting in a double play as the runner was not so quick to react. Adams was credited with another hit batter, although from the reaction of the batter and the sound on the contact, it was more likely that the ball hit the bottom of the batters bat. Adams then fielded a bunt and disposed of the third out.
Braves 5, Wildcats 8
Paul Carias started the inning off with a grounder to first. A mishandling of the grounder, then confusion of covering the bag, allowed a hustling Carias to beat the ball to the bag to give the Braves a lead runner. Disappointingly, Carias, batter Jimmy Arnold and third base coach Stan Aten weren't on the same page on the following pitch(es). With Keystone picking up the Braves signs and yelling out 'Steal' or 'Bunt' each time the coach gave the respective sign, and with the coaches conversation with Carias prior to his at-bat that they were no longer going to be aggressive running the bases because we needed three-four runs, not just his run, the coach thought it would be safe to give the indicator sign or the steal sign without the other, hoping to throw off the Wildcats. Instead the Wildcats were smart enough to not misinterpret either sign, but the Braves weren't so clever. On the pitch, batter Jimmy Arnold squared to fake-bunt as Carias took off for second. The results ended in a strike on the batter and Carias being gunned down at the second base bag. Arnold was caught window shopping for the second out and Johnny Kleins ground-out to second ended the game.
NOTES: Austin Barnhart and Kevin Adams combined to strike-out 9 Wildcats, both also went 2-for-3 at the plate. Patrick Dolson, Jacob Miller and Frank DeMarino also added a pair of hits, as the Braves collected a dozen hits on the night. Paul Carias went 1-for-2 at the Plate with a well placed sacrifice bunt that put Miller into scoring position as DeMarino drove him in on the next at-bat. Dean Hayes infield hit scored two with 2-outs in the sixth. Eddie Harper woo'ed the crowd in the 6th Inning with a diving catch down the first base line, that ended with his glove laying on the base at first for a double-play.
|CVBA REGULAR SEASON -@- Westlake Destroyers, Saturday June 16th, 2007|
Braves aggressive Base Running over come Destroyers
The Braves took to the road for the third time in the past five days, this time they traveled to Westlake to take on the Destroyers. The Braves struggled at the plate as they went down in consecutive order 1-2-3 in both the first and second inning. Give credit to the Destroyer defense as several well hit balls were played successfully, including a screaming line-drive up the middle off the bat of Patrick Dolson that was speared by Westlakes second baseman. The Destroyers on the otherhand received a one-out double down the right field line, drew a walk with two-outs and both runners scored on a base hit up the middle.
Destroyers 2, Braves 0 after 2-innings.
The Braves tied the score in the top of the third as Jacob Miller, Dean Hayes and Paul Carias all reached base safely to begin the inning. Miller scored on Carias hit, and Hayes scored as Frank DeMarino put the ball in play, grounding out and sending Carias to third. However, a nice pick-off move from the Westlake pitcher clipped Carias off the base for the second out and a ground-out to short would end the promising inning. Kevin Adams received the start on the mound for the Braves and was beginning to get into form as he struck out two in facing the top of the order for the second time and recorded a third out by fielding his position.
Destroyers 2, Braves 2
The Braves pounded the ball in the 4th inning. Eddie Harper lead things off with a double and Kevin Adams drove him in with a single. After a pair of stolen bases by Adams during a strike-out and the second out, Nick Paul was asked to shake-up the Destroyer defense, who was settling in a bit too comfortable for the Braves liking. The perfectly place bunt down the first base line went for a base hit as no throw was made, but more importantly it scored Adams. Jacob Miller doubled to score Paul. Dean Hayes made the Berea faithful erupt when his batted ball to shortstop, scored Miller but the throw to first skipped under the first baseman's glove. First base Coach, Michael Harper sent Hayes to second and an attempt throw to get him there sailed into left field, Coach Aten waved him to third, and as the lazy throw from the out field came in, Hayes was sent home all on the same play. The throw from the Destroyers pitcher beat Hayes to the plate, but the catcher failed to hang onto the throw and Hayes scored an error filled Home Run on the play. When the dust settled, the Braves had pinned up five runs in the inning and trotted out to protect a 7-2 lead. Adams was replaced by Jacob Miller on the mound and Miller was rocked by a solo Home Run on a 2-1 pitch to start the inning. The hit appeared to rattle the young Brave, as he walked the next two. The fourth batter in the inning reached base after beating out a slow grounder to short-stop, scoring two runs. Four more base on balls would follow and a base hit. Miller fielded his position and got a lead runner out at the plate and on a first-n-third situation the Braves elected to throw down and get the out at second, which they did successfully without allowing the runner from third to score. The Destroyers tied the score with the big inning. The Braves put the rock in Eddie Harpers hands with two outs and the bases juiced. Harper's 1-1 pitch was dribbled back to him and the Braves ended the threat there. Destroyers 7, Braves 7
The Braves picked up where they left off offensively. Frank Demarino started things off with a base hit, followed by Johnny Klein, Eddie Harper, Patrick Dolson and Kevin Adams following suit. The Braves then fell as silent as quickly as they got the inning started as a pair of strike-outs and a ground-out back to the mound stranded Adams. The Braves managed to score four though during the barrage of bats. Harper came out for the 5th inning and also continued where he left off. After allowing the first two Westlake batters to reach base, Harper forced two pop-ups and a groundout to end the inning.
Destroyers 7, Braves 11
Dean Hayes lead things off in 6th with a base hit. DeMarino drove in his second run of the afternoon after Hayes managed to steal second and third. A walk of Johnny Klein and a pair of stolen bases to get himself into scoring position allowed Harper to single him in for two runs in the inning. Harper found trouble in the bottom of the inning, as he walked the first three batters. A pitching change was made as the Braves went with Patrick Dolson in the Save situation. Dolson came through striking out the first batter he faced. The Braves capitalized on Westlakes mistake thereafter. A batted ball to the left side of the diamond with bases loaded was not fielded clean, but the Westlake runner on second failed to run on the play, obviously forgetting he was in a force situation. The Braves threw to third for the force-out, then noticed there were two runners at second. The original runner from first, headed back to first after he arrived at second where his lead runner was still there. The Braves played on the pickled runner between first and second and tagged him for the third out. The Braves allowed the runner from third to score and count, being that the runner from first actually reached second, but then was caught off base. Had the runner not been ruled to touch second, the play would have went down as two force-outs and no run would have counted.
Destroyers 8, Braves 11
The Braves added a run in the seventh as Kevin Adams drew a lead-off walk, stole second, then third and scored on a Jimmy Arnold ground-out to short. The Braves went down 1-2-3 thereafter. Dolson stayed as the Braves pitcher to close-out the game and six-run lead. However, things became a bit concerning when the first three Destyroyers reached base on a single, walk and double. Dolson settled down and struck out the first out, then fielded his position and got the lead runner out at the plate. A base hit scored two before Dolson fielded the last out himself and disposed of the runner at first to preserve the win.
Eddie Harper gets the Win on the mound, Patrick Dolson records a Save
Kevin Adams recorded 2-hits, 5-stolen bases, 2-RBI's and 2-Runs scored. Adams faced 13 at the plate, striking out 5, walking 2, allowing 2-runs on 1-hit as the Braves Starter. Jacob Miller had 2-hits including a double, stolen base and 2-runs scored. Harper went 3-for-4 with 3-stolen bases, 2-RBI's and 2-Runs Scored and Dean Hayes went 2-for-3, reached base on an error, scored 3 times, recording 2 RBI's and swiping 3-bases.
|CVBA REGULAR SEASON -@- Garfield Tigers, Tuesday June 13th, 2007|
Braves dominate Tigers in Extra Innings
The Braves began the season getting trounced by the Garfield Tigers 18-7 in the first game of the North Royalton Tournament. The Braves were not happy with the way in which the Tigers strutted their stuff in that early season contest ... and they vowed to get even, someday. That day was said to be in the second game of the CVBA season when the Braves handed the Tigers a 9-5 defeat on May 4th. However, the Braves would take a step backwards if they split the season series with the Garfield Hts team. Tied at 7-7 the two growing rivals headed for extra innings to settle this contest. The Braves wasted no time in getting the revenge they seeked since mid-April as the top of the order lead-off the extra innings by scoring seven straight to come to the plate and 12-total for the Inning. The combination of walks, hits, errors and too many stolen bases for the Tigers liking, turned this game into a similar blow-out that the Tigers enjoyed to start the season. revenge was served cold on this humid night!
|CVBA REGULAR SEASON -@- Avon Lake Fury, Tuesday June 12th, 2007|
Braves survive early Fury, but get swept away in second storm
Johnny Klein reached base from the lead-off spot for the Braves to start off the contest. Klein was moved to second on a hit-n-run grounder to short, and advanced to third on a passed ball. Although, the Braves #3 & #4 batter left Klein stranded at third on a strike-out and fly-out to center field. The Braves were given a hand by Austin Barnhart, an 11-yr old who's been playing-up with the 12U Braves all season. Austin gave the Braves the start they were looking for by retiring the Avon Lake Fury 1-2-3 in the first. The Furys lead-off batter got on with a hard shot to third-baseman Paul Carias, who stopped it but couldn't contain it in time. Barnhart fielded a first pitch pop-up to the second batter and to the Braves luck, it came during an attempt steal - Barnhart alertly fielded the catch and doubled-off the base runner for a pair of quick outs. Austin then struck-out the final out on a 2-2 count, catching the batter looking with a low fastball on the outside corner.
Fury 0, Braves 0
Patrick Dolson appeared to get things started in the second inning with a line-shot at the rightside of the infield, however it was speared by the first baseman who happened to be playing about 7-feet off first base. Jacob Miller gave the Braves a re-start, lining a single. Miller stole his way around to third, but once again the braves left him stranded on a strike-out and a groundout to second. The Braves got a little sloppy in the bottom of the inning. After a lead-off single, the Braves appeared to have an ideal double-play ball hit up the center. Kevin Adams fielded the bouncer on the path to second, but instead chose to flip it to Dolson already at the bag, the exchange was fumbled and both runners reached base safely. Barnhart fielded his position on the mound, and threw-out the lead runner at third for the first out. A wild pitch put the runners at second and third and a double scored them for the games first runs. Barnhart forced a pop-up back to the mound and struck-out the third out, but not before the Fury were able to steal themselves to third and score the innings third run on a passed ball.
Fury 3, Braves 0
Nick Outrich placed a bloop single over first base to start the third inning, he was replaced on the bases by Frank DeMarino as Outrich was forced out at second on a fielders choice. DeMarino stole second and advanced to third on a grounder back to the mound. Franky would become the third runner to be left stranded at third in as many innings, as another strike-out ended the Braves threat. The Braves retired out #1 at first base, as first baseman Eddie Harper fielded a pop-up in foul territory. The Braves then surrendered three consecutive hits, but recorded the second out when the Fury tried to turn a single into a double and the throw from Johnny Klein to the second base bag was on-time. Barnhart took the last out himself, striking out the final out for the third consecutive inning.
Fury 4, Braves 0
The Braves went down 1-2-3 in the fourth, with the first two batters getting caught window shopping without buying, the third a ball batted back to the mound for quick work. Kevin Adams replaced Barnhart on the mound, as scheduled, but looking back on things the Braves coaching staff should have stayed with Barnhart for another inning. Not that Adams didn't do his job, but that keeping Adams fresh into the later part of the game would have been more ideal. Adams forced a fly-out to Harper at first, and a ground-out to Barnhart who moved to short-stop. The Fury then reached base safely on a single and promptly stole their way around to eventually score on a passed ball before Barnhart put away the final out from his short-stop position.
Fury 5, Braves 0
The Braves started off slow in the fifth inning, looking at a third strike for the third time in the game - but it seemed like about the eighth time a Berea batter became mesmerized on pitches over the inside part of the generous strike zone. Nick Paul singled to get things started and Paul Carias was signaled to bunt as Nick was signaled to steal second. The play seemed to open the game up for the Braves as Carias put down a well placed bunt down the first base line and it seemed like the Furys entire infield merged on it. The throw to first found no one covering the bag and the ball limped into shallow right field. Nick Paul reached second on the over-throw. The Braves stole Carias to third. After an infield pop-out for the second out, the Braves finally received some clutch hitting as Frank DeMarino and Johnny Klein came through with well hit balls. The Braves struck-out to end the inning, but not before scoring three. Adams went to work on the Avon lake bats in the bottom of the inning, striking out the lead-off batter, and forcing a flyout to center and a groundout to second, sandwiched around a lone single.
Fury 5, Braves 3
The Braves smelled blood and picked up where they left off. Austin Barnhart lined a deep double to center field. The Center fielder reached the ball in record time as what appeared to be a deep enough hit for a triple or inside-the-park homer, ended up being a tight double. Barnhart moved to third on a grounder back to the mound. Patrick Dolson drove in Barnhart and scored on a base hit from Jacob Miller. With Miller on second after a stolen base, Nick Paul lined a well hit ball down the left field line, but a nice running catch was made by the left fielder, sending Miller scrambling to get back to his base. Paul Carias drew a base on balls, while Miller stole his way to third. With Carias running on the pitch, Frank DeMarino spanked a well hit ball down the first base line, but it was speared in the dirt by the first baseman and he touched first base to end the threat. The Braves had tied the score though and the momentum was in favor of the Braves. "The Braves had the fury on the ropes!" - an old boxing term used to describe a situation where one side was getting the upper hand on the other. To become a 'Great team', one must capitalize on such a turn of events and use it to their advantage. However, throw all the cliché's out the window, becomes the Braves didn't seize the moment, instead they folded and looked lifeless in defending the bottom half of the inning. What should have been an inning where the Braves should have been batting again after 3-batters (4 at the most), instead they dropped balls in the outfield, mis-played others and even after that they had two outs on a pair of consecutive grounders into the teeth of the defense, they continued to fold, misplaying another ball in the outfield, giving up a triple. Throwing the ball around the infield, giving up runs, passed balls made things worst, out of position infielders watched lazy bloop hits fall to earth, walks only ran up the score and when Kevin Adams should have been out of the inning in just 7 -to-12 pitches, He and Jacob Miller who came in to spell Adams combined for 61-pitches thrown in the inning. It was a wasted effort of 5-1/2 innings of well played baseball.
Fury 12, Braves 5
The Braves managed to get three runners on base in the top of the seventh after two-outs were committed. Eddie Harper scored a lone run in the inning before the teams lined up to shake hands after 5-1/2 innings of solid baseball followed by a 1/2 inning of T-ball style defense.
The loss was disappointing. The Avon Lake Fury is arguably the third best team in this league. It's no shame to lose to them. It's no shame to get out played by them in the final innings. However, to execute a game plan where Austin Barnhart controlled great location on his pitches through three innings and Kevin Adams came in with some beef in relief, hold the Fury to five runs through five innings, and make a great run at a comeback in the sixth - opening up the game playing small ball in the fifth, running the bases well, and tying up the game on legit hitting ... only to come out lifeless and give the game away is inexcusable. The Braves didn't want it bad enough, the coaching staff isn't pushing the right buttons. This team needs to find their identity before seasons end in order to build on that in the off-season and capitalize on it next season. If we are not going to be aggressive at the plate, then we better pride ourselves on playing sound defense, but you can't do one or the other then give up on what kept you in the game in the late innings and expect to win.
The Teams looking for player(s) to step up become leaders on this team. a vocal leader to keep everyone's engine rev'ed and the team well-focused could have went a long way in this particular game. We know it is only 11U travel baseball, but there is a time to learn competitiveness and it's a perfect age to 'try'.
|CVBA REGULAR SEASON -vs- Olmsted Falls Bulldogs, Saturday June 9th, 2007|
Braves Catch Bulldogs in 4th and hold-on
The Braves fell behind 9-3 early, but a 10-run fourth inning was enough for the Braves to hang-on and get the win against the Olmsted Falls Bulldogs who came into the game sporting a 9-3 record.
Eddie Harper, Patrick Dolson and Kevin Adams combined on the mound. Nick Outrich went 4-for-4 from the plate and Frank DeMarino had a blast to the wall for the Braves.
|CVBA REGULAR SEASON @ Highland Hornets, Thursday June 6th, 2007|
Braves Bats can't over-come errors
The Braves met Wednesday night for dinner and discussed, among many things, taking care of business defensively - especially in the early innings of games. They accomplished what they set out to do, limiting the Hornets to one run in the first and second innings, while putting up three runs of their own. However, the Hornets overcame an excellent pitching performance by Kevin Adams - putting the ball in play in the forth inning as the Berea defense became it's worst enemy. The Braves pride themselves on defense while their bats take a awhile to heat-up. Adams and Jacob Miller both pitched great, but a few errors put the game out of reach by time the Berea bats exploded for four-runs in the 7th. The Braves battled back and never quit, but it was a case of "too little too late". The Braves played well though. Coach Aten commented on Friday morning that he wished he would have had a more positive post-game speech after the loss. "After thinking about things, we played a pretty good ball game last night, we just got beat by a better team." Aten said. The Braves pitched well to the locations called from the duggout. On two occasions, the Hornet hitters reached out and took outside pitches to the opposite field. Even the Home plate umpire commented that they were great pitches, just great hits by Highland. Jimmy Arnold (2b) and Dean Hayes (SS) started and played complete games for the Braves middle infield. Hayes was tested early and often and fielded everything hit his way that was expected of him. Arnold filled in nicely covering runners on the bases and getting back into position. The Braves were without Patrick Dolson and Nick Outrich for the contest.
EXTRA: Frank DeMarino, Johnny Klein, Dean Hayes & Kevin Adams came up with consecutive hits in the top of the seventh, capped by a monstrous shot off the top of the center field fence off Adams bat, but even though all four scored, it was a case of too little, too late for the Braves. Klein, moved into the lead-off role, scored in all three plate appearances. On one occasion, Klein drew a walk on a 1-3 pitch, stole second on the next pitch, and legged it all the way home when the over-throw from the catcher skipped past the center fielder. Demarino and Adams added two hits apiece.
|CVBA REGULAR SEASON -vs- Highland Hornets, Saturday June 2nd, 2007|
Braves stung early and often by Hornets
After a 45-minute delay in the start of the game because of inclement weather in the game prior, the Berea Braves and Highland Hornets got underway at 9:00pm, under fair skies.
One would think that after such a late start, and factoring in the age of the players, that the umpires strike-zone would be expanded to help speed the game along. However, the opposite occurred and the Braves started off the top of the first trying to pitch within perhaps the smallest strike-zone they've seen all season. The Braves average about 4-walks per game, mostly one or two and occasionally six or seven, but in this 5-inning yawner, the Braves walked 13-batters as they attempted to find the Home Plate umpires strike-zone. To make matters worst, every close call seemed to go the opposite way too. It wasn't entirely the umpires fault that the Highland Hornets appeared to dominate the Braves though, the Berea team shot themselves in the foot enough to lose this ball game regardless.
The Braves and Hornets traded 10-runs (5 apiece) under 11-walked batters (combined) in the first Inning alone, as both teams suffered under a stingy strike-zone that didn't seem to be a strike at-all unless the pitch was swung at and missed or fouled off. Both teams could have just been patient at the plate and helped themselves to a free base, but Highland went down in four batters with a lone hit, and Berea went down in order in the second, after both teams batted through the entire line-up in the first.
The Braves found themselves in trouble again with a tight strike-zone in the third and walked three of the first five batters in the inning, as the first six to come to the plate drew at least three called balls. Add in four batted balls that found holes or errors and the Hornets stung the Braves for another 5-runs, nearly batting through the order again. The Braves came to swing the bat though, and refused to play Highlands obvious strategy of milking the unjust zone. The Braves managed a run in the bottom of the third.
The Braves fielding just wasn't there to put the stop to the Hornets attack, and the pitching tailed off after two Berea pitchers hurled over 120-pitches in the five inning game.
The game was called at 11:00pm because of the City Park Curfew, and I don't think anyone in the Park objected to ending the poorly played game.
Most Berea families made it home in time to catch the final minutes of the Cleveland Cavaliers clinching the Eastern Conference Championship over the Detroit Pistons, and that was perfect medicine to wash away any lingering thoughts on the sandlot on this night.
*Game called due to city curfew
|CVBA REGULAR SEASON -vs- Independence Blue Devils, Thursday May 31st, 2007|
Blue Devils stick a Pitch Fork into Braves Win Streak
The Braves coming off a six-day break, looked flat, compared to the Blue Devils who hosted a Memorial Day Tournament over the weekend and played like they were still in Tournament form. Over the years of coaching, I've found that it is almost a 50/50 split on whether a week-off will rejuvenate a young team, or adding practices during a lay-off will burn them out. Factor in that the Braves have been riding a small roster of mostly nine-players, and a five-game win streak that got started on four-wins over six-days, and this coaching staff thought they would take the week-off approach (it was well deserved). Perhaps it was the wrong decision, or just the wrong decision against this particular opponent who played like they were still alive in tournament play.
Maybe the Holiday weekend had nothing to do with it, maybe this team is still struggling when playing in hot-humid weather and/or at Groza Park, where all four of their losses have been held. The Braves are 4-0 on the road, and 3-4 at Home. In any regard, the Braves were not themselves and it resulted in a snap of their five game win streak.
Patrick Dolson took to the hill for the Braves, and a combination of fielding errors behind him, some timely hitting and a struggle to keep the ball down in the strike-zone resulted in a 5-run first inning for the Blue Devils. The Braves need to improve on their first inning defense. In eleven games a particular pattern has emerged, as the Braves have given up three-runs or more FIVE times in the first inning, and no more than twice in any other inning. Take away a grand-slam hit off the Braves in the 6th inning against Keystone and no other inning have the Braves allowed more than 12 runs (combined) in any one inning, other than the first, where they have doubled that production in giving up 24-runs in the initial inning. ... And that was the topic of discussion in the Braves post-game meeting. We won't get into particulars of fielding errors, but the Braves began the game sloppy, yet still had a chance to get out of the inning while giving up only three runs, but a costly error rounded the score to 5-0 after one inning of play.
Neither team scored in the second and third inning. Dolson faced only four batters in both the second and third. However, the Braves offense was giving Pat no support, as the visiting dugout was pitching a no-hitter through three innings.
Eddie Harper relieved Dolson in the fourth. A pair of base-hits surrounding a catchers interference call, lead to a well executed bunt by the Blue Devils and the Braves were gouged for four more runs in the inning, making the score 9-0 in favor of the visiting Independence team. The Braves got on the scoreboard in the fourth, as Johnny Klein drew a lead-off, full-count Walk and Jacob Miller's liner to center erased the no-hitter. Kevin Adams followed suit with a base hit of his own, driving in Klein. Patrick Dolson kept the inning alive with a single scoring Miller and the Braves got caught at the plate trying to squeeze Adams in on the play.
Through Four-innings, Score: Blue Devils 9, Braves 2
Kevin Adams received some work on the mound in the fifth. Adams threw two-innings of shut-out ball, facing the minimum of six at the plate, striking out one, and giving up one-hit. Patrick Dolson took care of the lone base runner, by picking him off in an attempt steal of third. The Braves drew a pair of walks, and a base hit in the fifth, but poor base running resulted in two outs recorded at third on attempt steals - one on a player going on his own, the other a poor attempt at execution. The Braves added a run in the 6th, on Johnny Klein's lead-ff double down the left field line. Adams drove Klein in for the second time, but Adams and Nick Klein were stranded in scoring position.
Jacob Miller also received some work on the mound, as he started and finished the seventh inning. Two walks, and two base hits, including a double, only netted the Blue Devils a lone run. The Braves went down in order 1-2-3 to end the contest.
|CVBA REGULAR SEASON -vs- Westlake Destroyers, Saturday May 25th, 2007|
Braves Win Again ... extend Win streak to Five
The Braves spotted the Westlake Destroyers 3-runs before recording an out. There are 21-outs to defend in a seven inning game, after the initial three runs among the first four batters, the Braves clamped down allowing only 23 plate appearances from there on out. The visiting Westlake team went down in order (1-2-3) in the 2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th innings.
Jacob Miller, started on the hill for the Braves. He did his job, forcing two soft grounders into the Braves defense to start the first, both were misplayed. After giving up two legit base hits following the errors, the Braves found themselves down by three with no-outs recorded. Miller forced a ground-out to Paul Carias at third, then struck-out out #2 on three straight pitches, and fielded the third out. The Braves put two runners on by way of walks, but they were sandwiched between two strike-outs and then stranded on a third-out grounder back to the mound.
Miller forced a groundout to Nick Paul at second base, then fanned the next two he faced, making quick work of the second inning. Nick Paul started things off with a lead-off double in the bottom of the inning. Patrick Dolson scored him with a single of his own. Dolson stole his way into scoring position at third during a strike-out for the first out. Paul Carias put the ball in play, grounding out to the short-stop, but not before driving in Dolson for the second run of the inning. The Braves threat ended there, but they started to close the gap on the destroyers lead.
The Westlake lead-off batter reached base on his first at-bat when it was mishandled at third in the first inning, despite idea placement of the defense by the Braves coaching staff. The same batter, reached base safely to lead-off the third inning, but this time a soft 'inbetweener' escaped past short-stop Eddie Harper. Miller walked the second batter. Meanwhile a throw down to third on an attempt steal scored the Destroyers leadoff batter for the second time in as many at-bats. The Braves recorded a double-play to eliminate the walk, on a line drive back to Harper at short-stop, and a quick throw to second doubled up the runner as Nick Paul was quick and alert to cover the bag on the play. Miller fielded his position well for the third out. The Braves got a lead-off single of their own from lead-off batter, Eddie Harper. A quick steal of second and third had Harper in scoring position. However the Destroyers starting-pitcher was holding his own, striking out a pair and forcing a pop-out to first.
Patrick Dolson relieved Miller on the mound. Dolson pitched only two innings, facing the minimum of six batters, striking out four, forcing a ground-out to second, and giving up one base-hit that the Braves gunned down the runner trying to stretch it into a double. The Braves meanwhile, rallied behind Dolsons pitching; Dean Hayes tripled to start off the fourth inning. and Nick Paul scored Hayes, by 'hitting behind the runner'. In the fifth inning, the Braves began to smell blood, and the Destroyers allowed them to hang around this long, it was time to take advantage. Eddie Harper singled to start a two-out rally, followed by Johnny Kleins double, Jacob Millers RBI single and Kevin Adams 2-RBI double. The Braves stranded Adams on second, but after taking a two-run lead, the Braves coaching staff went to Adams to take the mound and close-out the game.
In the top of the sixth, Adams retired the top of the Destroyers line-up 1-2-3, on two infield grounders and a strike-out. The Braves added an 'insurance run' in the sixth, as the Destroyers sailed a dropped-third strike throw to first, on out number three, into right field. Nick Outrich stole his way around to third and scored on an RBI flair off the bat of Jimmy Arnold. Westlake put the first runner on by way of hit. The Braves recorded an out on a fielder-choice, then put away two fly balls, the last a towering shot to Nick Outrich in right field, just as he secured the last out of the last game.
|CVBA REGULAR SEASON -vs- Medina Sting, Tuesday May 22nd, 2007|
KEVIN ADAMS 3-RUN HOMER IN THE SIXTH EXTENDS THE BRAVES WIN STREAK TO FOUR
The Braves started the season (May 3rd) with an impressive 7-5 defensive win on the road, against the Medina Sting. Both teams have continued to play well as they meet this time at Groza Park in Berea carrying similar records; The Sting (4-5) and Braves (5-3). Kevin Adams took the hill for the Braves and pitched four gutsy innings while battling a sinus cold that kept him out of school the previous day. Adams walked the lead-off batter in the first inning and a quick steal of second and third, scored him as the throw down to third sailed into left field and past the dual back-up. The second batter singled through the leftside of the infield, and the Braves appeared on the ropes early. Adams settled in, striking out batter number-three, and in the process picked the base runner off at second. With two outs, the Stings clean-up hitter singled safely to left field. Adams got out of the inning by forcing a groundout to short for the final out. The Braves went right to work; Eddie Harper drew a full-count walk and stole his way into scoring position. Harper advanced to third on a groundout to third in which he smartly waited for the throw to first before advancing. With a runner on third and one-out, Jacob Miller sent a towering Sacrifice fly to center, scoring Harper on the tag-up and tying the score 1-1. Adams walked and stole two bases, but he was left stranded at third after a groundout to first.
After One-Inning: Sting 1, Braves 1.
Adams struck-out the first batter of the second inning, but gave up a double to right field, then a full count walk. After a pair of steals, the Sting had runners on first and third with one-out. A groundout to short, scored the go-ahead run. A single through the rightside put the Sting up by two. The Braves got out of the Inning when Catcher, Patrick Dolson threw-out the runner attempting to steal third. The Braves almost went down in order in the bottom of the second, except for Paul Carias line-drive single in the left-center field gap. Carias was left stranded on first
Through Two-Innings: Sting 3, Braves 1.
Adams continued to make things hard on himself by hitting the leadoff batter with the second pitch. A fly-out to Johnny Klein in center took care of out #1. Adams fielded his position for the second out and a hard liner to the glove of Frank DeMarino finished off the threat without a run. The Braves built on the defensive momentum by getting their bats hot. Harper walked for the second time in the game, to lead-off the bottom of the third. Johnny Klein, Jacob Miller and Kevin Adams cranked-out consecutive singles and Patrick Dolson drove in Miller and Adams with a shot down the third base line. A groundout to second and a groundout back to the mound left Dolson stranded on third, but not before the Braves scored four.
Through Three-Innings: Braves 5, Sting 3
Kevin Adams, at 44-pitches thrown, trotted out for Inning number-4. A bloop hit to short left gave the Sting a lead-off runner for the third time in four innings. Adams struck-out the 6th batter in the line-up for the second time in as many plate appearances. Another hit batter (struck in the helmet), put runners at first and third after a pair of stolen bases. Adams beared down and fanned the 8th and 9th batters in the Stings line-up to end the threat and preserve the lead. The Sting made a pitching change and it proved a good move, as the Braves went down 1-2-3 on a strike-out, ground-out to third, and a fly-out to right field.
Through four-Innings: Braves 5, Sting 3
The Braves went to their bullpen and called on Eddie Harper to carry them into the later innings. Harper took care of the first out, forcing a ground-out to second. However, with the lead-off batter down this time, the top of the order for the Sting hit two hard liners into both outfield gaps. Harper retired out number-two on four pitches, and faced runners at second and third (after steals) with two-outs. The Stings clean-up hitter did just that (cleaned-up the bases) as an errant throw from short-stop Kevin Adams scored two, tying the game. Harper took care of things by picking off the runner from second, for the Braves third pick-off of the game and the final out of the top of the fifth. The Braves got a lead-off single of their own off a Texas-leaguer to short right from Jacob Millers bat. Miller stole second and third and was joined on the bases by Nick Paul who drew a walk. The Stings relief pitching continued to get the upper hand though, as three Braves would strike out in the inning and things began to look grim as several signs were missed or misinterpreted from third base coach, Stan Aten.
Through five-Innings: Braves 5, Sting 5
The Sting's went for the Braves jugular in the 6th. Harper again retired the lead-off batter on a pop-fly to second baseman, Patrick Dolson. Although, once again it was the second and third batters that put the sting on Harper. A liner to center and a well placed high fly that landed between three Braves in short left-center put two on with one-out. Harper's second pitch to the 8th batter in the line-up forced a fly-out again to Dolson at second for the second out. A first-pitch liner into the left-center gap scored two as the cut-off throw was bobbled and no-throw was delivered to the plate. Harper's 1-2 pitch to the next batter grounded out to Dolson at second for the third out, but not before damage was done and the visiting Medina team lead 7-5. Franky DeMarino came up with a very key hit in the 6th. An infield grounder that Franky beat-out, extended the inning to reach the Braves top of the order. DeMarino stole second and Harper moved him to third with a ground-out fielded by the catcher. Johnny Klein lined a double, scoring DeMarino and putting the tying run at second. Klein stole third and Jacob Miller walked, and stole second, setting the stage for Kevin Adams heroics. Adams, who looked like he was feeling the effects of the sinus cold he was battling all week, and expiring all energy he had while pitching the first four innings, was asked to channel what energy he had left and put it all into this final at-bat. Adams responded by lacing the first pitch well-over the left field fence for a three-run homer.
Through six-Innings: Braves 9, Sting 7
The Braves went to Patrick Dolson to close-out the seventh and to protect a two-run lead. It took Dolson just three pitches; a grounder to Adams at first. A deep fly ball that was put away by Jacob Miller in left field and a towering fly ball that was secured by Nick Outrich in right field.
Final: Braves 9, Sting 7
The Braves completed a four game win-streak in just six days.
Adams pitched 4-complete innings, facing 20-batters, giving up 3-runs on 3-hits, striking out five, walking 2 and hitting 2.
Harper faced 11 at the plate over 2-innings of work, walking none, surrendering four runs on five hits.
Dolson faced 3, giving up no-runs or no-hits, throwing just three-pitches in the final inning.
The Braves record improves to 6-3.
|CVBA REGULAR SEASON -@- Berea Huge Heaters, Sunday May 20th, 2007|
Battle of Berea favors the Braves
The Braves nine runs in the second inning helped them cruise to a 23-6 win over their Berea counterparts. All ten batters in the Braves lineup scored, eight crossed the plate twice, and four scored three or more times. Eddie Harper lead all Braves by going 5-5 with a double and four runs scored. Austin Barnhart collected four hits and five RBI's, including a three-run Homer in the fourth. Jacob Miller gets the Win on the mound after relieving Nick Paul who pitched for the first time at the Travel baseball level. Paul served up a Home Run to the first batter he faced ("Welcome to Pitching in Travel, Nick!"), but settled in nicely, walking none, striking out one, and was the victim of uncharacteristic errors behind from the Braves defense. Miller got off to a rough start himself, walking the first three batters he faced. Although Jacob helped bail himself out as the Braves executed a nice pick-off play of an aggressive runner t third for the first out, then Miller struck-out the next two to get out of the inning. Miller faced 13 through three-innings of work, striking out 7, surrendering only two-runs on one hit, walking a total of four.
|CVBA REGULAR SEASON -@- Independence Falcons, Friday May 18th, (8:00pm) 2007|
Braves Win in Extra Innings
The Braves behind no-hit pitching from Patrick Dolson, jumped out to a three run lead through the middle of the fourth, but the Falcons got hot in the bottom of the Inning, scoring five runs of their own. The Braves got back on track in the fifth as Johnny Klein and Jacob Miller lead-off the inning with base hits. Kevin Adams batted in Klein, Frank DeMarino batted in Miller and Patrick Dolson's RBI Double put the Braves up 6-5. The Falcons tied it in the sixth off a lead-off walk, a stolen base and a sacrifice fly. The Braves thought they had manufactured the winning run in the seventh when Paul Carias sacrifice fly to the deep part of the infield scored Dolson on the tag-up and poor throw to the plate. The Falcons came right back, tying things in the seventh on a well executed lead-off bunt. A steal of second and third and eventually a steal of home, tied the game before Adams retired the next three batters in order, the last two on strike-outs.
As the late starting game neared 10:30pm, Jimmy Arnold started the extra innings off with a single down the line and Jacob Miller kept things alive with a two-out single, scoring Arnold. Kevin Adams put the game out of reach for Independence with a smash (inside-the-park) Home Run to the deep left-center field gap. The Braves were one-out away in the bottom of the eighth after Kevin Adams fanned the first two batters. However, a walk and an RBI single brought the tying run to the plate. Adams retired the final out on a 1-2 count by way of strike-out.
Complete Team effort by the Braves
Patrick Dolson (3-for-5 at the plate, w/ 5 stolen bases and 2-runs scored) threw 3-innings of no-hit ball, Paul Carias sacrifice fly scores the go-ahead run in the 7th. Kevin Adams two-run inside-the-park Home Run in the 8th puts the Braves out of reach for the Win. Jacob Miller went 4-for-5 with the bat, Nick Outrich guns down a runner at the plate for the final out in the 6th, Jimmy Arnold adds two hits and a score in the 8th. Frank DeMarino made his catching debut and drove in a pair of runs. Johnny Klein went 2-for-4 with a walk, 3-stolen bases and a run scored. Eddie Harper pitched 2-2/3 Innings in relief and added 2-hits.
|CVBA REGULAR SEASON -@- Hudson Hurricane, Thursday May 17th, 2007|
Braves Run through Hurricanes
The Braves traveled to Hudson to take on the Hurricanes for the second time in the same week. The Hurricanes traveled to Berea on Sunday (May 13th) and handed the Braves an 18-11 defeat. In this second leg of a Home/Away, the Braves were the ones who hit well, pitched well, and ran the bases extremely aggressive to hand the Hudson team their first loss of the season, as Berea prevailed 13-8. Five Braves had two-hits a pieced, capped by Kevin Adams 2-RBI double in the first, Patrick Dolson's 2-RBI Triple in the 4th, and Johnny Klein's 2-RBI double in the 5th inning. The Braves stole 15-bases in the 6-inning game, that got off to a late start when no umpires showed until 6:30pm. Four Braves scored multiple times; Eddie Harper (2-for-3, 5-stolen bases) lead all from the lead-off spot by scoring three runs. Second Baseman Frank DeMarino (2-for-4), Dolson (1-for-2, triple and 2-walks), and Nick Outrich (1-for-2, walk, 3-stolen bases) each scored twice. Kevin Adams pitched the first four innings in efficient manner, needing only 12-pitches in the first, and 11 in each of the 2nd, 3rd before surrendering 22-pitches in the 4th innings for a total of 55 pitches. Adams, faced 20 at the plate, striking out 4, walking 1 in giving up 5-runs on 7-hits. Jacob Miller, in relief, faced 10 in a little over one-inning of work, walking 4, striking out 3 and giving up 3-runs on 3-hits. Eddie Harper recorded the Save, closing out the 6th and final Inning, after coming in with no-outs and bases loaded. Harper forced an Infield Fly Rule from his first batter, as a pop fly to the center of the infield drew enough confusion that the Braves threw home and applied a tag on a runner coming from third to go along with the automatic out of the batter. After a pair of base hits, Harper fanned the last out, stranding two on the bases to secured the win.
|CVBA REGULAR SEASON -vs- Hudson Hurricane, Sunday May 13th, 2007|
Hudson prevails in high scoring affair
Braves bats were as lively as any game this year, however, the Hudson Hurricanes bats were better. Tied at 8-8 after three innings of play and the Braves leading 10-8 after 4-Innings, the Hudson Hurricanes pulled it out down the stretch with an 18-11 defeat of the home town Braves. Many Braves had multiple hits for their mothers on this fine Mothers Day evening; Tommy Stuhldreher lead the way with three hits, including a double, driving in four runs. Nick Paul went 3-for-4 with five stolen bases and Kevin Adams, Eddie Harper and Johnny Klein each collected two-hits. Adams scored three times as Stuhldreher, Harper and Klein each scored twice. Johnny Klein also recorded 5 stolen bases from the lead-off position.
|CVBA REGULAR SEASON -vs- Keystone Wildcats, Friday May 11th, 2007|
Braves Give Up Big Hits to Wildcats
On Friday the Keystone Wildcats put a hurting on the Braves with two swings of the bat. A Grand-slam blast in the fifth off the bat of #21 Bullock gave the Wildcats a 9-1 lead, and a 3-run shot off the bat of #8 Stiner capped an offensive explosion for the visiting Keystone team. The Braves went down 15-1, with their lone run coming from a solo Home Run by Kevin Adams to lead-off the second Inning. Johnny Klein and Nick Outrich both singled in the 5th as the only other hits from the Braves.
|CVBA REGULAR SEASON -vs- Avon Lake Fury, Tuesday May 8th, 2007|
BRAVES FLAT IN FIRST LOSS
The Berea Braves pitching kept them in the game long enough to defend their home field, but a flat defense, sleepy bats and unfocused overall play lead to the Braves first defeat in league play. Jacob Miller struck out three through two innings of play before handing a 0-3 deficit over to Eddie Harper who held the Fury through five Innings, but the Braves bats only produced a lone run in the fourth, closing the lead to 3-1. Avon Lake put the Braves away in the 6th. After leading off with two base hits and the only base on balls that the Braves surrendered on the night, the coaching staff went to Kevin Adams with one-out and the bases loaded. A double and a single scored three before Adams forced tow ground balls back to the mound to get out of the inning. The Fury added another in the 7th as the Braves were held to 5-hits on the humid night.
|CVBA REGULAR SEASON -vs- Garfield hts Tigers Friday May 4th, 2007|
BRAVES TAME TIGERS
The Braves and Garfield Hts. Tigers squared off in a tournament a couple weeks ago. It was the Braves first game of the season and the Tigers welcomed them by laying 12-runs on them in the first inning of the season. The Tigers went on to win 18-7. Well, that was preseason and a meaningless tournament for the Braves; tonight's game was the second game in as many nights and the second regular season game of the season. The Braves out-played the Tigers on this night, picking up where they left off the night prior in Medina. The Braves set the
game up with sound fundamental defense, and put it away with timely hitting and aggressive base running. The Braves improved to 2-0 on the season with a 9-5 victory over the Garfield Tigers.
|CVBA REGULAR SEASON -vs- Medina, Thursday May 3rd, 2007|
Braves Win Season Opener with Defensive Gem
The Braves turned a Double-Play on the first base runner to reach base in their CVBA debut, and that seemed to set the tone for the night as the Berea Braves downed the Medina Sting 7-5 in an epic defensive battle.
The Braves batted five in the first, had runners in scoring position with one-out, but couldn't produce a run. Medina countered with a lead-off walk. On the first pitch to the second batter, Dean Hayes ran down a fly ball well in foul territory down the left field line to make a diving catch for out number-one. On the second offering to the Stings third batter, he hit a liner back to the mound, where Jacob Miller fielded it and doubled-up the base runner who was stealing on the pitch.
The Braves recorded a 'Big Inning' in the top of the second Inning. (A 'Big Inning' is what we call an inning that a team scores more runs in that one inning than they score in all the other innings combined). The Braves scored five-runs without hitting the ball in play. Jacob Miller, Dean Hayes, Paul Carias, Frank DeMarino, Nick Paul, Johnny Klein, and Eddie Harper reached base on balls with the Sting only recording one out. Kevin Adams hit into an Infield Fly Ruling for the second out, but Nick Paul scored the 5th run after the ball landed between the middle infielders. The Sting got on the score board in the bottom of the second after a one-out single followed by a two-out double. Dean Hayes made the first out of this inning also, with a catch in left field. Miller recorded the second out by way of strike-out and Eddie Harper disposed of an infield grounder from short-stop. Braves-5, Sting-1
The Braves had runners again in scoring position with one-out after Hayes and Carias walked for the second time each. However, the Braves left a pair of runners (or more) stranded in the third consecutive inning. Medina stung back in the bottom of the third. Miller recorded his second strike-out of the game to start off the bottom of the third, however, things went 'down hill' after that (no pun intended for the sizeable mound that the Braves hurlers would have to get used to). Miller loaded the bases on walks before the Stings clean-up hitter lined a double scoring two. The bases were juiced again by way of balls and the Braves coaching staff decided to make a change on the mound. Eddie Harper was brought in with bases loaded and one-out. On a wild-pitch Medina recorded their third run by stealing home. Harper walked the first batter he faced to an open first base as runners advanced on the previous passed ball, but he gunned down the final two outs to halt the Stings attack. Braves-5, Sting-4
With one-out Johnny Klein was robbed of a liner to right field, as the ball was hit sharply enough and right at the out-of-position right fielder playing short field, that he was able to field it and throw Klein out at first for the second out. Harper and Adams followed with base hits, before Patrick Dolson was robbed of a well-hit liner to short left-center field that the left fielder made a nice diving stab of for the third-out. Medina started off with a base hit from their lead-off batter. After a strike-out by Harper, Johnny Klein secured away a flyball to center and Eddie Harper fielded his position well on the mound for the third out.
The Braves Jacob Miller singled to lead-off the Inning. Hayes and Carias drew base on balls to load the bases. With one-out, Frank DeMarino put the ball in play, as Miller scored while the Sting chose to record a force-out at second. The Braves got the Insurance run that they needed. Harper and the Braves defense put the Sting down in the fifth inning 1-2-3. After a lead-off batter drew a walk, Johnny Klein put away another fly in center for the first out. The third batter in the inning hit a fly ball to short right field where Nick Paul ran it down from his second base position, then alertly threw to second base to double up another over-zealous Medina Sting who again was stealing on the play. Braves-6, Sting-4
The Braves inched ahead 7-4 as Eddie Harper singled with one-out. Kevin Adams was hit in the middle of the back on the first pitch he seen and Patrick Dolson batted in Harper with a single of his own. The Sting kept pace manufacturing a run on a walk and a base hit. Johnny Klein had another catch in Center Field and Kevin Adams recorded the final out from his short-stop position.
The Braves went down 1-2-3 in the seventh, and sent Kevin Adams to the mound to close the deal. Eddie Harper fielded a grounder from short-stop and threw'em out at first for out number-one, but the next batter singled through the leftside of the infield. A Walk put the tying run on base and after a pair of steals, the runners were in scoring position. Kevin Adams took care of the rest as he struck-out out number-two on three pitches, and retired the final out on a 2-2 count.
Jacob Miller gets the Win, going 2-1/3 as the starter and handing a 5-4 lead over to Eddie Harper. In long-relief, Harper threw four Innings, striking out five, and giving up only one-run on two-hits while walking three. Kevin Adams recorded the save.
REGULAR SEASON BEGINS
|TOURNAMENT (York Field, N. Royalton) vs Mentor, Sunday April 22nd, 2007|
Braves allow Mentor to hang around too long
Although not as fancy of a resume as Brecksville's Tom Tupa (below), Coach Stan Aten was excited to face his home town and alma-mater, Mentor, where the Braves coach played all of his youth ball and was a two-year varsity lettermen in baseball for Mentor High School and played two years for Mentor American Legion through age 18. This would mark the first time Coach Aten has coached against his hometown in his ten years of coaching baseball in Berea. Trivia: Mentor High School is the largest public High school in the State of Ohio (Coach Aten had nearly 1,100 in his graduating class).
Mentor, after winning the coin flip, elected to be the Home team. (Note: the Berea Braves are now 0-3 on coin flips). With the Braves batting first, Eddie Harper (3-for-3 on the day, with a run scored and 3 stolen bases) launched a 2-out Triple. Kevin Adams walked and stole second, putting a pair of runners in scoring position, but they were left stranded as Mentor disposed of out number-3 with a dribbler back to the mound. Mentor struck first with a 2-out single, a stolen base, and a double to put the Eastside team up 1-0.
The Braves came right back, Nick Paul (1-for-1, 2-Runs and 2-stolen bases) drew a lead-off walk and stole his way around to third. Frank DeMarino (1-for-2, Hit by pitch) drove in Nick with a single. CJ, a borrowed player from the Ohio Orioles, followed with a hit of his own, stole second and had runners on second and third with one-out, but the Braves stranded two more instead of breaking the game open. Score: Mentor-1, Berea-1
Eddie Harper receiving the start on the mound for the Braves held Mentor to 2-runs through four innings. Harper faced 16 batters, striking out 3, giving up 5-hits, in forcing 9 infield ground-outs or pop-ups. Eddie's bat contributed all game long as he tripled in the 1st inning, doubled in the 3rd, singled in the 4th and reached base on balls in the fifth. Harper received some help from his teammates after his lead-off double in the third-inning. Patrick Dolson and Nick Paul both singled with one-out and Nick Outrich and Frank DeMarino both reached base after being struck by pitches. Harper scored on Nick's hit and Dolson received Home for free with the second hit-by-pitch while bases were loaded. However, the Braves left the bases juiced for the 5th, 6th & 7th base runners stranded on the bases for the Braves through just three innings. For those scoring at home, that is a recipe for disaster. Only thing that could be worst than that, is that the Braves stranded their 8th, 9th and 10th runners on the bases in the fourth inning, after a lead-off base hit by Harper, and walk by Adams. Nick Paul drew a walk with one-out, loading the bases. Give Mentor some credit, they pitched well with runners on bases, recording a strike-out and ground-out back to the mound to end the latest Braves threat.
With two-outs in the 5th, and leading 4-2, Jimmy Abraham (single) and Eddie Harper (walk) stole their way into scoring position ... but you all are familiar with this scene by now, Abraham and Harper became the 11th & 12th stranded Braves base runners in this five inning contest.
Mentor waited for their chance and it came in the bottom of the fifth. Kevin Adams didn't have his best stuff in relief of Harper, and Mentor capitalized on it. 6-hits, a hit batter and a few errors allowed the Mentor team to bat through the lineup. Adams fanned one, and the Braves forced a fielders choice for the second out, but the Home plate umpire called the game on a time limit, as Mentor's 7-runs in the Inning downed the Braves for the third time in as many games in this opening tournament.
|TOURNAMENT (York Field, N. Royalton) vs Brecksville, Sunday April 22nd, 2007|
Bees take the sting out of the Braves Bats
For those who didn't recognize the Brecksville Bee's famous Head Coach, it was none other than Tom Tupa. Coach Tupa lead his Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School Football team to the State Championship during his youth, also playing pitcher and shortstop on the baseball team and averaged 20.8 points per game in High school basketball. Tupa then attended the Ohio State University, where he lettered four years between 1984 and 1987. He graduated as the team's all-time punting leader. In addition, he was the starting quarterback for all games in his senior year at OSU. During his tenure as a Buckeye, he played in the Rose Bowl, Florida Citrus Bowl, and Cotton Bowl, a rarity for one college player in four years. Tupa was drafted in the third round (68th overall) of the 1988 NFL Draft by the Phoenix (now Arizona) Cardinals. Tom Tupa went on to play in the NFL for 7 different teams over 17-yrs, including the Cleveland Browns from 1993-1995. Tupa retired from the NFL in 2006.
The Braves Head Coach Scott Adams wasn't intimidated by the lofty resume of the opposing coach when he guessed wrong on the coin flip to determine the Home team, Coach Adams just flat out choked, calling 'tails' when it came up 'heads'. The Braves coaching staff is 0-1 on the year in calling the coin toss, and 0-2 on the coin toss overall. Wanted: Psychic to help with future coin flips.
The Brecksville Bees are an 'Open' team, meaning that they are not governed by any city or school boundaries in which to draw their players from. They could have an All-star collection of players from many towns, unlike the Berea Braves who are a collection of Berea City School residents, allowed only two players from outside the School district. Keep that in mind as you read the rest of this game re-cap.
The Bee's pitching staff was phenomenal to say the least. In a 7-inning game, the minimum amount of batters that can appear at the plate for one team is 21, The Bees only faced 23 Braves. Johnny Klein reached base on an error in the 4th Inning, but was gunned down at the plate on an attempt steal. Jacob Miller drew a lead-off walk in the 6th Inning but was caught in a double-play, and Jimmy Abraham drew a 7th inning base on balls, but was left stranded at second. The Bees pitching staff threw a combined no-hitter, striking out 11, with 2-Walks, forcing 9 infield groundouts, giving up one-error.
The Braves stayed in the game even with the lack of base runners by playing excellent defense. The Braves Center Fielder Johnny Klein put away several towering fly balls in center field, Kevin Adams retired several from his short-stop position, including one that caught him moving left to back-up the bag at second, as the hard grounder was hit into his hole. Adams fielded the hit with a backhand, deep on the grass, as the Braves coaching staff called for him to hold onto the ball (believing he had no chance at the runner at first), without hesitation, Kevin gunned him down. Patrick Dolson disposed of grounders hit to him at third and him and Catcher Eddie Harper hooked up to tag out an over-zealous runner who thought he was going to score on a dropped third strike at the plate. Eddie made a great fake as if he was going to throw down to first, he then turned and gunned down the runner coming down the third base line. Nick Outrich put away a high fly ball to right field to end the fourth inning. The Braves made too many nice plays around the diamond to mention.
Pitching for the Braves; Paul Carias started, facing 15, walking 3, giving up 6-runs on 5-hits in 2-innings of work. Jacob Miller came in relief going 3-innings, facing 18, striking out 2, walking 4, giving up 5 runs on 4-hits. Patrick Dolson finished the game, going one inning, facing 7 at the plate, surrendering 2-runs.
|TOURNAMENT (York Field, N. Royalton) vs Garfield Hts. Saturday April 21st, 2007|
First Inning Jitters do-in Braves
Patrick Dolson cranked a lead-off triple in the 3rd inning, but big hits were too far and in-between to overcome a 12-run first inning by Garfield Hts.
The Braves jumped out to a 3-run lead in the top of the first as Johnny Klein and Jimmy Abraham lead the game off with consecutive walks. The first run of the season was scored by Johnny as Kevin Adams and Patrick Dolson also drew consecutive walks, forcing in Klein. Nick Paul batted in Adams with the season's first base hit. Jacob Miller was hit by the first pitch, loading the bases with one-out. However, Garfield Hts struck back recording a strike-out and a grounder back to the mound to end the Braves threat.
A lead-off walk, a couple of bad hops that skipped passed the middle infield, a half dozen hits, and a pair (or three) questionable umpire rulings lead to a disastrous inning to start the season defensively. Patrick Dolson faced 16-batters in the inning, walking two, but received no help from the team defense through the first 9 batters. An outstanding catch down the right field line was made by Jacob Miller for the first out. In getting out of the inning, Dolson threw 54-pitches (36 of them for strikes). That is exactly what was asked of him.
Frank DeMarino drew a lead-off walk and Johnny Klein followed suit drawing his second consecutive base on balls. Jimmy Abraham hit into a fielders choice, moving Frank to third. Abraham stole second putting a pair of runners into scoring position with one-out. Eddie Harper's dribbler back to the mound scored DeMarino on the hit and scored a hustling Abraham on the throw, cutting the lead to 12-5.
Garfield Hts came right back taking three runs in the bottom of the second. With Kevin Adams pitching, a pair of walks surrounding a strike-out, put runners on the corners. Adams then took exception to the second walk (after getting 'squeezed' by the plate umpire), and promptly caught the runner on first leaning, picking him off for the second out. Kevin, as Patrick did before him, threw strikes but two of the three batted balls were routine grounders that found holes in the defense. Eddie Harper then turned the third out from his shortstop position to end the inning.
Patrick Dolson drove the first pitch of the third inning deep over the center fielders head, legging a triple. However, the Braves left him stranded when an attempt steal by Nick Paul backfired as Jacob Miller popped-out to the pitcher as Paul was stealing resulting into an easy double-play. Nick Outrich grounded out to the first baseman to end he inning. Kevin Adams regained form in the bottom of the Inning forcing a groundout to second, a strike-out, and groundout to shortstop retiring the side 1-2-3
In the Fourth Inning, the Braves were gunned down with three strike-outs. Johnny Klein singled and stole two bases in the inning but was stranded on third. Jimmy Abraham was handed the ball in the bottom of the fourth. Jimmy had control problems in keeping the ball down in the strike zone. The Braves defense gave him his first break by catching a runner off third, getting him in a run-down and tagging him out at the plate. Jimmy retired the second out by way of strike-out and forced the third out with a ground-out to Kevin Adams at first base. Garfield Hts scored three on the Inning, putting them up 18-5.
The Braves didn't give up easy. A Lead-off dropped third strike allowed a hustling Eddie Harper to reach first base after the throw down sailed down the right field line. Eddie was moved to third on an infield hit by Kevin Adams. Adams stole second putting runners in scoring position. An attempt bunt by Nick Paul drew a Balk call from the Home Plate umpire, sending Eddie home and Kevin to third. Nicks groundout to the right side of the infield drove in Adams for the Braves final run.
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