Commish Corner Fall 2011 Finals!

Commish Corner Fall 2011 Finals!

Commish Corner – Fall 2011 Finals!



“And one of us left a surprise that the Commish stepped in!”

Game Summaries

30+ Finals – Padres, 3-Peat Champions!

Padres Perspective

Cowboys of the 90's....49ers of the 80's...Yankees of several decades...and.... the Padres? Very rarely would you hear the Padres used in the same sentence as these other historic franchises, but the Padres of 2010 and 2011 are starting to get some sports writers' attention as they etch their name into the history books. The Padres won their third consecutive championship on Sunday against the always toughRedlegs. Last season, the Padres squeaked out a walk off win against the hard hitting Redlegs, and this season's final was another tight one.

The Redlegs came out strong in the first inning scoring twice to take a quick lead. The Pads knew that if they didn't answer quick with runs of their own, the game could get out of hand quickly. The home half of the first began with Blake, Jayson, and Tom working consecutive one out walks. Plate discipline proved to be huge for the otherwise free swinging Padres. RJ followed with a double to center, scoring 2 and tying the game. Kenny followed with what would've been an sac fly, but a baserunningmistakeended the inning - leaving the first inning tied at two.

Murph made quick work of the Redlegs' bats in the top of the second before the Padres took a sizeable lead in the home half of the inning. Murph began the inning with another base on balls and made what could've been a costly baserunning mistake if it weren't for the Pope himself, Paul, who kept the inning alive with a line drive single to left. John followed with a fielder's choice before Harold came up big with a clutchRBI single through a gaping hole on the left side of the infield. A controversial walk from Jeff, anda strike out wild pitch, coupled with a Redlegs' throwing error, allowed two additional runs to score and put the Padres in a position to capitalize. The Padres' leadoff hitter and season batting champ Ryan did just that,ending the inning with an RBI single making thescore 6-2 in favor of the Padres.

The Redlegs did a great job of not letting the potentially deflating bottom of the second keep them down. They fought back to score two runs in the top half of the third- bringing them within two runs. The defending champs knew thatno lead was safe. They squeaked across 4 more runsover the next three innings, while Tom heldthe Redlegs' bats in check over his first two innings on the hill. By the endof the 5th inning, the Padres helda 10-4 lead. Once again, the Redlegs reminded the Padres that they weren't out of the game - scoring 4 huge runs in the top of the 6th to once again bring the game within two runs.

Enter Jayson "you can call me MVP" Putnam. Jayson proceeded to do what he has done all season long - close out games. Two late runs by the Padres proved unnecessary as Jayson pitched three shutout innings, only allowing one hit over that span to close out a third consecutive championship for the Padres. A teary eyed manager made himself available for a quick interview in between celebratory beers. "Many guys on this team have been together for quite some time." We've had plenty of losing seasons, so we're going to enjoy this run we're on." One thing I can say is that our newer guys love to win and we're not going to allow a couple of winning seasons to make us complacent." "We're going for four next year!"

Congrats to the Redlegs for a great season and thank you for a great game.

Redlegs Perspective

The Redlegs and Padres found themselves facing off in the +30 Championship Game once again, and with the way these two teams compete, it won't be the last time. The two teams battled most of the game, but too many mental mistakes by the Redlegs allowed the game to slip away and it was the Padres who eventually prevailed to claim the trophy 12 to 8.
Chris and Ryan pitched their hearts out once again, leaving it all on the field. Some good a bats by everyone, but left too many on the bases.
Great season Redlegs, and hats off to the Padres for winning an unprecedented 3 straight championships! See you in the Spring! Special Thanks and Bon Voyage to Ryan and wife - the best to both of you!!

MVP Putnam shut down the Redlegs when he needed to.

Murph looks picturesque!

Redlegs rally!

...and make a nice play to cut down a run!

But the Padres prevail!

19+ Finals – Hurricanes 2-Peat Champions!

10 and 10 – Coaches Budnik and Conklin meet at 1b!

Hurricanes Perspective!
If you had to prepare a script for the 19+ Division Fall 2011 Legends Baseball League this past summer, you would probably not have thought to write that two teams without winning records would make it to, then produce one of the best championship games played in the five years of Legends baseball, nor would you have expected two kids not even old enough to have a celebratory beer in honor of the championship they won to be the key players in the defense of a hard-fought spring title. Yet that is exactly what happened at Veterans Park on Sunday November 13th.
The Thunder and Hurricanes met to decide the 19+ League title having only won a total of four regular season games between them, but both managing to defeat strong BlackSox and Nationals teams in the semis respectively to earn the right to go head to head one more time during the season. The Thunder, making it to the big show for the first time in their history, played the Hurricanes in the regular season once this season with a late game come-from-behind victory going the way of the Hurricanes, as well as all prior season games between the two. Yet it was clear this was going to be different ... and it was.
Zach Tatum, a Legends rookie, fresh out of local Battlefield high school and the Dale City and Gainesville Little Leagues, encored his fantastic starting pitching role in the semi-finals by throwing four solid innings as starter, while Canes bats quickly mounted a 5-1 advantage after three innings. Key hitting and baserunning by Eric Ottenheimer (spring 19+ MVP), John Dean, Ben Deen and Greg Budnik led the charge for the Canes. Feeling in control, however the Canes tough defense blinked for just a moment in the top of the fourth inning and quickly the Thunder bats took advantage of a few defensive miscues and brought the game to level at 5-5.
At this point, both teams tried unsuccessfully to take charge of the game, each bringing in their closers to try to stave off the offense of the other, while failing to solidify the defense that was necessary to do so. The Canes closer Alex Budnik got roughed up quickly in his first inning, allowing only his second 4-run-rule inning since September and third of the year, but then the Canes came right back and put up a four spot of their own, with Budnik helping his own cause with extremely key and critically necessary 2 RBI, two out, bases loaded single to bring the game level at 11-11. Still no one could tell where this game was headed ... even Canes outfielder (and Legends rookie) Mark Summa was transfixed as the game now hung on the final three innings of play.
With pressure mounting, Budnik seemed to find his groove, holding the Thunder scoreless in the top of the seventh, then Canes' then went about what they do best - holding a lead in a late game situations. Chalking two more runs to go ahead 13-11 on a key hit by catcher Glenn Wright, the defense rose up (key play by second baseman Dayne Wills) and stopped the Thunder in the 8th inning, leaving the Canes in a position where they had to face the top of the Thunder lineup in the ninth in order to secure victory. True to the game's script, however, it was to have some twists and turns no one could have expected. The Thunder mixed a combination of hits and a walk to score a run, bringing the game to a one-run differential with two outs and the tying run in scoring position at second base. But when you live by a hard curve in the dirt, you can die by one too. With two strikes on what the Canes hoped would be the final batter, Budnik delivered another of his intense curve balls which the batter couldn't handle - swinging and missing for strike 3! But catcher Wright could only block the pitch, then had trouble throwing to first around the batter-runner and the Canes couldn't cash in the final put-out at first, thus leaving runners on the corners and bringing the Thunder manager Paul Conklin to plate with the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on first. With the count nervously run to 2-2, instead of the slider or curve, Wright called for a high fast ball, which Budnik delivered exactly where it needed to be - irresistible, but unhittable ... strike 3! Game, set, match: Hurricanes!Reigning 2011 Legends 19+ Champions!
Congratulations to League 19+ MVP Zach Tatum for his key pitching performances and hitting in the playoffs when it mattered the most. Truly the definition of a Most Valuable Player as exemplified by the vote of his teammates! Honorable mention goes to Alex Budnik for his great closer pitching performances in the playoffs and finals and key game-tying RBIs late in the game to protect the championship win!
Our hats off also to a fantastic Thunder team, who have progressed so well since their expansion and definitely exhibited their right to be counted among the best of Legends! Also, kudos to umpires George Marino and Adam Scott for providing us with a well-called championship game and definitely to Commissioner Ron Cortese for his patience and leadership throughout this weather-soaked season and all the tough choices he had to make to allow us to play the game we all enjoy so much!


It was a great day for baseball and things looked to be promising for the Thunder with both pitchers Jordan and Brian healthy and ready to go. In a game with at least 4 or 5 lead changes, the Hurricanes and Thunder battled all day. Too many costly errors led to the Thunder loss. We would take a 4 run lead to only squander it each time we jumped on top. Down 14-12 going into the top of the ninth the Thunder put the pressure on with a leadoff single followed by an RBI double to bring it within 1 run. This game had classic written all over it, although a couple quick outs killed the rally in the meat of our lineup. A dropped strike 3 that would have resulted in the end of the game was botched on the throw to 1st that gave the Thunder the life they would need to take the lead with runners now on 1st and 3rd. Coach Conklin stepped to the plate and worked the count full only to swing and miss on what would have been ball 4. All in all it was truly a great game and both teams fought hard to keep it interesting. Congrats to the Hurricanes for winning their 2nd championship in as many seasons! It was a great fall season and we all look forward to the spring.

MVP Zach fires!

Safe at home!

…and at 3rd!

Last pitch of game - Conklin chases high…and is not happy with the result!


More pictures to be posted soon!

See you all next year!

Story and pictures courtesy “the Commish” with game reports by the managers