Tuesday, September 27, 2011

SFL: The Lost Games

There were some games that slipped through the cracks last week while I was attending to a personal matter but nonetheless, we had a double-header last Thursday. The Green Team reclaimed their post at top of the SFL standings after a pair of wins while their pitching was great allowing only two runs in two games. After a 4-2 win over the Black Team, Green jumped in front of Black by a half game. Games will continue this weekend.

SFL Standings
Team W L T .PCT GB RA RS
Green 5 3 0 .625 - 26 27
Black 4 3 1 .571 0.5 22 26
Gray 2 5 1 .286 2.5 23 19

Latest Games
Thursday, September 22
Game 11: Green 4, Black 2
Game 12: Green 3, Gray 0

SFL Scores
Saturday, September 3
Game 1: Black 3, Gray 1
Game 2: Green 4, Black 3

Sunday, September 4
Game 3: Green 6, Gray 3
Game 4: Gray 1, Black 1 F/6

Sunday, September 11
Game 5 (from 9/10): Black 8, Green 3
Game 6 (from 9/10): Gray 5, Green 0

Wednesday, September 14
Game 7 (from 9/11): Gray 5, Black 1
Game 8 (from 9/11): Black 4 Green 2

Sunday, September 18
Game 9: Green 5, Gray 1
Game 10: Black 4, Gray 2

Thursday, September 22
Game 11: Green 4, Black 2
Game 12: Green 3, Gray 0

Remaining Schedule
Saturday, October 1
Game 13: Gray v. Black, 9 am
Game 14: Black v. Green, 11 am

Sunday, October 2
Game 15: Green v. Gray, 9 am
Game 16: Black v. Gray, 11 am

Wednesday, October 5
Game 17: Green v. Black, 9 am
Game 18: Gray v. Green, 11 am

Follow updates on The Coach's Cave Twitter feed @thecoachscave (#SFL) for Storm Fall League updates.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Support Staff

Another Family Day has come and gone and it seems to be getting bigger every year. This being only my second year in the program, it is difficult for me to speak of years past, but this year's turnout seemed to give our regular season attendance a run for its money. The spread which was laid out for players, coaches, parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, girlfriends, and everyone else in attendance put to shame every Saturday afternoon tailgate party held at Rec Park.

A special thanks goes out to all the parents who lent a helping hand in yesterday's event. Their efforts helped make the 2011 Family Day the best one yet. But the efforts they put forth every other day of the year and support they provide have helped make the program what it is today. We have not yet reached any of our goals but we are well on our way and it could not be possible without the tireless efforts of the families involved.

As far as the game is concerned, Josh Crout is my hero for driving in the tying, and go-ahead runs with a 2-out, 2-run double in the bottom of the 7th inning which gave the Green Team a 4-3 victory and now gives me bragging rights over Coach Sankovich for the rest of the fall. The Black Team took an early 2-0 lead after a RBI-hits from Jae Leeworthy and Jake Gilstorff. Green answered back when Matt Toth doubled home a pair. After a 2-out hit of their own, Black now led 3-2, but the Green bullpen put up zeros the rest of the way. Glenn Stewart, Brandon Grunda, Doug Fox, and Mike Morgan held the game in check for the final four innings to preserve the 4-3 win.

Finally, a special thanks goes out to former players Zack Justice and Cam Castro for their help yesterday. Zack lent a helping hand behind the plate calling the balls and strikes while Cam donated his dulcet tones for the pre-game introductions. Their efforts are yet another example of people who are willing to do whatever it takes to lend a helping hand and who also believe in the direction this program is going. Thank you and RAGE ON!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Balls in Play

The SFL has reached and passed the halfway point and the action is heating up. Games have been close, with seemingly every game going into the last inning with teams either tied or within a run of each other. Usually what has made the difference in each game has been a single play for one side or another which either swings momentum, or stops it altogether. A common misconception is that big plays always happen in the late innings. While that is true to some degree, in that those are the plays we remember most vividly, big plays happen throughout the entire game.

From an offensive standpoint, one way to increase your chances for a big play is to put the ball in play. As any baseball fan, player, or coach will tell you, striking out accomplishes nothing during an at-bat. But what they may not know is just how big of an impact strikeouts actually have on the course of a game. Through ten games of the SFL, teams are hitting a combined .241 (85-for-352). If strikeouts are removed, the average jumps to .323 (73-for-226), an increase of nearly 100 points when the ball is put in play. When people talk about the little things in baseball which can make a difference between winning and losing, this is one of those things they are talking about.

Special Thanks
A special thanks goes out to players Josh Crout, Shaun Gaydos, Brandon Grunda, Chase Haas, Heath Kelley, Sean Mathews, Brad Raley, Reid Rizzo, Matt Toth, Dylan Yankle, and guest coaches/instructors Cam Castro, Ryan Rua, and Ben Willis for their help at camp...we couldn't have done it without you!

SFL Weekend Recap
The Gray Team dropped a pair of games when SFL action resumed on Sunday after games were put on hold for Saturday's Prospect Camp. The Black and Green Teams took advantage and kept pace with each other atop the SFL standings with wins on Sunday. In the first game, the Green Team erased an early 1-0 deficit and opened the game up with a pair of runs in the fifth and sixth innings en route to a 5-1 victory. In the nightcap, the Black Team led 4-0 into the sixth, but Gray made it interesting after back-to-back home runs by Zach Mosbarger and Garrett Emling, but that would be all the scoring and Black held on for a 4-2 win.

SFL Standings
Team W L T .PCT GB RA RS
Black 4 2 1 .667 - 18 24
Green 3 3 0 .500 1.0 24 20
Gray 2 4 1 .333 2.0 20 19

Latest Games
Sunday, September 18
Game 9: Green 5, Gray 1
Game 10: Black 4, Gray 2

SFL Scores
Saturday, September 3
Game 1: Black 3, Gray 1
Game 2: Green 4, Black 3

Sunday, September 4
Game 3: Green 6, Gray 3
Game 4: Gray 1, Black 1 F/6

Sunday, September 11
Game 5 (from 9/10): Black 8, Green 3
Game 6 (from 9/10): Gray 5, Green 0

Wednesday, September 14
Game 7 (from 9/11): Gray 5, Black 1
Game 8 (from 9/11): Black 4 Green 2

Sunday, September 18
Game 9: Green 5, Gray 1
Game 10: Black 4, Gray 2

Remaining Schedule
Sunday, September 25
Game 11: Green v. Black, 9 am
Game 12: Gray v. Green, 11 am

Saturday, October 1
Game 13: Gray v. Black, 9 am
Game 14: Black v. Green, 11 am

Sunday, October 2
Game 15: Green v. Gray, 9 am
Game 16: Black v. Gray, 11 am

Wednesday, October 5
Game 17: Green v. Black, 9 am
Game 18: Gray v. Green, 11 am

Follow updates on The Coach's Cave Twitter feed @thecoachscave (#SFL) for Storm Fall League updates.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Green with Envy

SFL action resumed on Sunday after the weather postponed its first games of the year. The forst-place Green Team took the field looking to extend a slim half-game lead in the standings. But the Black and Gray Teams, respectively, took care of business to hand the front-runners a pair of losses. SFL games will resume on Wednesday after a team workout on Tuesday.

SFL Standings
Team W L T .PCT GB RA RS
Black 2 1 1 .667 - 9 15
Green 2 2 0 .500 0.5 19 13
Gray 1 2 1 .333 1.0 10 10

SFL Scores
Saturday, September 3
Game 1: Black 3, Gray 1
Game 2: Green 4, Black 3

Sunday, September 4
Game 3: Green 6, Gray 3
Game 4: Gray 1, Black 1 F/6

Sunday, September 11
Game 5 (from 9/10): Black 8, Green 3
Game 6 (from 9/10): Gray 5, Green 0

Remaining Schedule
Wednesday, September 14
Game 7 (from 9/11): Gray v. Black, 3 pm
Game 8 (from 9/11): Black v. Green, 5 pm

Sunday, September 18
Game 9: Green v. Gray, 9 am
Game 10: Black v. Gray, 11 am

Sunday, September 25
Game 11: Green v. Black, 9 am
Game 12: Gray v. Green, 11 am

Saturday, October 1
Game 13: Gray v. Black, 9 am
Game 14: Black v. Green, 11 am

Sunday, October 2
Game 15: Green v. Gray, 9 am
Game 16: Black v. Gray, 11 am

Wednesday, October 5
Game 17: Green v. Black, 9 am
Game 18: Gray v. Green, 11 am

Follow updates on The Coach's Cave Twitter feed @thecoachscave (#SFL) for Storm Fall League updates.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

SFL is Underway...and Underwater

The Storm Fall League (SFL) is underway at The K Zone and despite today's (and possibly tomorrow's) games were cancelled due to rain, the start to the 2011 version has been very positive. The two areas from the 2011 regular season that needed improvement, pitching and defense, has shown just that, improvement. Walks are down and with more pitches in the strike zone, more balls are being put in play, giving fielders more chances to make plays, which they have. The offense hasn't been as prolific as in years past, but losing the GLIAC's top two hitters in Brandon James (.421 AVG.) and MLB draftee Ryan Rua (.400) will have that effect. But ask any coach and they'll tell you that the pitching always starts faster than does the hitting. Regardless, the games have been much cleaner and there has been more of a focus on the "smaller" aspects of the game (advancing runners, keeping the double play in order, etc.). Despite the increased quality of play, there is room for improvement, and it's always exciting to think about what we're capable of accomplishing.

Recent Scores
Saturday, September 3
Game 1: Black 3, Gray 1
Game 2: Green 4, Black 3

Sunday, September 4
Game 3: Green 6, Gray 3
Game 4: Gray 1, Black 1 F/6

Saturday, September 10
Game 5: Green v. Black, PPD (weather)
Game 6: Gray v. Green, PPD (weather)

Remaining Schedule
Sunday, September 11
Game 7: Gray v. Black, 9 am
Game 8: Black v. Green, 11 am

Sunday, September 18
Game 9: Green v. Gray, 9 am
Game 10: Black v. Gray, 11 am

Sunday, September 25
Game 11: Green v. Black, 9 am
Game 12: Gray v. Green, 11 am

Saturday, October 1
Game 13: Gray v. Black, 9 am
Game 14: Black v. Green, 11 am

Sunday, October 2
Game 15: Green v. Gray, 9 am
Game 16: Black v. Gray, 11 am

Wednesday, October 5
Game 17: Green v. Black, 9 am
Game 18: Gray v. Green, 11 am

Standings W L T .PCT GB RA RS
Green 2 0 0 1.000 - 6 10
Black 1 1 1 .500 0.5 6 7
Gray 0 2 1 .000 2.0 10 5

Follow updates on The Coach's Cave Twitter feed @thecoachscave (#SFL) for Storm Fall League updates.