Offense Backs Schauer’s Complete Game Shutout

Sometimes, the beauty of a game can be lost behind the harsh appearance found in nine innings of scrapping and grinding it out. In a game that would decide who would hold first place here in the late season, there was no shortage of raw effort on the field of battle.  Quickly forgetting that nothing was actually at stake, players propelled themselves headlong into the prolonged conflict of a baseball game.

Holding runners and catching them stealing are difficult tasks and it is an area that both teams have struggled in throughout the year, but recently, there has been a spike in these categories due to the strong arms of quick, hard working catchers and the persistence of pitchers in their goal to reduce the size of leads on the base pads.

Watching a batter foul away pitch after pitch, running counts full of balls and strikes, and the pitcher extending the at-bat with constant pick-off attempts can be confusing and tedious to some easily distracted spectators, but for others more focused on the gritty texture of the game, the menu of twists and turns has provided an intense, leathery flavor worthy of quiet contemplation or loud exuberance.

It has been a season full of action and effort, fun and recreation, and steady improvement among all players.  As we learn this game together, not a single second goes by that isn’t filled with valuable memories and priceless lessons.  Although we may not show it, I know that this brotherhood is very important to all of us.  Thank you.

Next season, it seems there may be expansion and change due to the overwhelming interest in joining the fun we have discovered at Kenny Jones Field.  Starting in the early spring, next season will be germinating in the minds of many of us and hopefully everyone interested in organizing the league will be able to meet around a table and create a healthy schedule of games for us all to participate in every week.

Jesse Engaard

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July 22, double-header preview

Mike Weiss has done a fantastic job organizing for this week.  It was difficult to limit the game with so many consistent players, some newer friends, some out of town visitors, and the return of Jesse Engaard!

So here we go with the 2nd double-header of the year!  Game 1 starts at 6:30 SHARP!  Projected starters D. Schauer vs. J. Grace!!  Game 2 9pm beginning.

There is a 20% chance of rain today, let’s hope it holds off!

Team Around the Horn looks to rebound against the strong play of Phundamentally Sound.

Kurt Hunte is gonna do some bad stuff to TAtH pitching tonight!

Kurt Hunte is gonna do some bad stuff to TAtH pitching tonight!

Sound pitching too much for Horners

July 15, 2009

………………………………….1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9…..R…H…E

Phundamentally Sound….0..0..1..1..2..0..0..3..5….12..14…2

Team Around the Horn….2..2..0..0..0..0..1..0..1…..6…14…4

Licensed to Rake:  you cannot stop him, you can only hope to contain him

When Phundamentally Sound starter Jonny Szczesniak gave up 4 unanswered runs in the first 2 innings, it seemed like Team Around the Horn was going to be in control for the long haul.  The most beautiful yet dangerous elemental truth of baseball shined through:  it is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

P. Sound overcame 2 Horner double plays in the third and fourth inning to mount an improbable comeback on some late offense.  In the third inning Kurt Hunte’s looper to left was robbed by shortstop Scott Solomon, who fell on to his back on the play.  Pete Pendleton tagged from third after his single only to be gunned at the plate by the versitile newcomer.  In the 4th, Team Around the Horn also turned the traditional 6-4-3 double play to put the kibosh down on a swelling rally.

penny, mike, baughan, randy

Szczesniak gave way to long man Mark Stehle during a 4-4 tie after six strong innings where he stuck out six and walked four.  Stehle gave up one earned run over three innings to earn the win.  Justin Stuhltrager went 8 1/3 for Team Around the Horn, his cruise control fell off during the 8th and 9th when the P. Sound were able to string their hits together and the fatigued defense began to let up.  Did player/coach Stuhltrager leave himself in too long? History will be the judge.

Dave Smith contributed two hits and reached base four times (not including a disputed called 3rd strike in the bottom of the 6th with two on) in the losing effort.  Pitchers Justin Stuhltrager(3K, 5BB) and Scott Solomon (got the last 2 outs in the 9th) looked pretty sharp for the most part.

Double Threat: Mark Stehle had 3 hits at the plate, and earned the Win on the mound

There ended up being some offensive standouts for the winning P. Sound:  Mark Stehle (3hits, 2RBI, 2runs), Joshua Grace (3 doubles, 2RBI, 3runs), and newcomer Randy Ribay (3hits, 2 runs) all were raking.  Ribay’s season as player coach of the Circle of Hope softball team in Camden, NJ recently ended freeing him up to tear it up in center field and at the plate.

Rookie of the Week:  Randy Ribay, CF

There were a lot of people who wanted to play and couldn’t get in this time.  Interest is at an all-time high, our league organizers are trying to find ways to maintain a high level of play with the people who have been playing together for three years while maintaining open spots for other friends and hopefuls.  Thanks for all the good attitudes and patience as we figure it out.

If you are dying to play baseball and haven’t been able to play on Wed for whatever reason, you can contact Kurt Hunte about a Saturday game…occaisonally Andrew Jones will organize a Sunday afternoon ball game as well.

Notes:  Phundamentally Sound leadoff man, short stop, pitcher, and deejay Michael Fichman left the game in the 9th with an injured thumb.  Hopefully he is straightened out by next week…Derek Schauer is scheduled to start on the mound next week for TAtH…Jesse Engaard is rumored to be extending his Maine Oddyssey for another month…Kenny Steif & Dann Pudish should be returning to duty on 7/22…

dude loves the Buckos

attn:  0,016

Phundamentally Sound strike back, outlast TAtH in game 2

July 8th, Game 2

…………………………………….1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9……R…H…E

Team Around the Horn….0..2..2..2..3..0..2..2..1……14…17…9

Phundamentally Sound….4..0..8..0..2..0..4..2..x…..20…16..5

When the dust cleared after 17innings and nearly 6hrs of baseball, Phundamentally Sound Ace Joshua Grace finished the complete game by getting Brian Baughan to pop out to first.  They looked more like the Italian Stallion in Rocky II than a dominant club, but timely hitting and good baserunning paid off as Team Around the Horn was denied the sweep.

J Grace, still hard to solve

In a losing effort, Dave Smith scored 3 times and Josh Hunter put in 3 hits while Derek Schauer kept the gas on for all 8 of his innings.   Tempers flared when Nate Hunter was hit by a pitch, and emotions ran high when Eliza Jones roped a single to center fielf…but Team Around the Horn was unable to get sustained rallies going.

eliza rips a single for TAtH

Phundamentally Sound took control early when sluggers Kenny Steif & John Balzarini had back to back triples in the first inning.    The sluggers combined for 5runs, 5hits, 5RBI and proved to be tough outs.  A big 3rd inning put a hurtin’ on the Horners, and the P Sound would never lose the lead they took in the first.

slugger John Balzarini delivering the goods

Attn:  00,012

Weiss returns with 4hits, Team Around the Horn triumphs

July 8 game 1
…………..1  2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9…R ..H E
Ph. S….. 0 1 2 0 3 0 4 0  … 10 14 2
TAtH…. 0 0 0 0 3 9 7 x  … 19 20 3

TAtH slugger MIke Weiss made his return known

Team Around the Horn brought some bats with them. Mike Weiss came home with a bang (4-4, walk, 2 runs, 2SB) and Justin Stuhltrager (4-5, 2runs, SB + 8inning complete game with 6K’s for the win) stood out and Phundamentally Sound starter Jonny Szczesniak was outlasted. He began the game with 4 shutout innings until TAtH got something going in the 5th and then fell apart in the 6th.

Jonny Szczesniak throws his signiture "Billy the Kid" aka Slider

There was a lot of hype, and a lot of people watching with anticipation as the game got going at 6pm. We decided to stop it after 8innings during the 6th inning because we wanted to make sure there was fair time for game 2.
Phundamentally Sound were led by Kurt Hunte (3hits) and Kenny Steif (4RBI). The defense looked great for most of the game, but had a couple shaky innings that proved fatal. Philip Craig came in to pitch late in the game, but Team Around the Horn rallied.

Team Around the Horn battery Weiss & Stuhltrager

Team Around the Horn battery Weiss & Stuhltrager

Between the defense of John Paetch, the ability to put together a few big innings, and the arm of Stuhltrager (he can deal, boy!) Team Around the Horn walked away with game 1.

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Wed July 8 DOUBLE HEADER preview!

The rumors are true.  This week we will be playing a double header due to the increased interest and increased hype due to the fact that Team Around the Horn’s catcher Mike Weiss will be making a short-lived return.

Phundamentally Sound slugger Jonny Szczesniak smiles after last weeks big hit

Phundamentally Sound slugger Jonny Szczesniak smiles after last week's big hit

Justin is doing his best to accomodate the many people who wish to play in both games, but alas there are too many.  He will be working it out based on seniority and steadyness over time.  Thanks for being cool with what he cooks up.

We need the first game to start at 6pm sharp, so get there early if you want to be loose.

Kris Eden posted the amazing pics from last week into the photo pool, you can see them on the sidebar.  Thanks, Killer!

The weather for Wed; is looking good, some rain on Tuesday will hopefully soften things up and dry out.  See you at the field!

Big bats in the 9th Sound Sweet As Ever

It was every child’s dream situation.  Bottom of the 9th, 2 out, bases loaded, tie game, full count.  Jonny Szczesniak later said that his knees were shaking as he awaited the Derek Schauer payoff pitch.  The ball sailed towards the plate as time slowed, just before Szczesniak raked it to deep center field for a walk-off hit to fulfill an incredible game.

It was another glorious outing for both teams, great chemistry and steller defense.  Both starting pitchers were hard to solve, J Grace striking out twelve Around the Horners over eight innings.  It was the bats that came up late in the game.  In the top of the 9th Team Around the Horn tied it up after stringing together some singles against Phundamentally Sound’s closer Jonny Szczesniak.  After the blown save, it was Szczesniak who would have the last word.

An all-around great game, much fun was had.  The lead changed hands five times and rally caps were a plenty.  Kris Eden took some good photos (we’ll see them in the Flickr group later this week).

Highlights for Team Around the Horn would be the pitching of starter Justin Stuhltrager, the offense (3 hits, 3 SB) of leadoff man Dann Pudish, and the leather of left John Paetsch & James P.  Phundamentally Sound had steller defense by shortstop Michael Fichman, the rookie debut of catcher Buddy Szczesniak, and the bottom of the 9th catalyst 2out triple by OF Kurt Hunte.

With two out, Hunte launched a 350′ fly ball to left field in which he would settle for nothing less than a triple.  Next Mark drew a walk to put runners at the corners.  After discussing an intentional walk to Phundamentally Sound’s cleanup hitter Joshua Grace, the first pitch from Schauer hit him just North of the elbow to load the bases for Szczesniak-who answered destiny’s call.

Next week looks to be a ton of fun.  Mike Weiss will even be making an appearance.  More photographers.  Perhaps concessions are not too distant in the future for spectators.  Great game to all and good luck next week!

Attendence:  0,006