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Old 03-20-2019, 04:40 PM   #21
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Glendale CF Robert Day was not the most likely candidate to hit three home runs in a game. At 5’7” and 160 pounds, he was one of the smallest players in the league. His scouting report for 1912 said that we was a strong defensive center fielder with speed who wasn’t particularly good at base running, making contact, or hitting for power. He was, however, known as a great teammate, and a fun-loving prankster. So, when he had his big game, everyone in the dugout and the home crowd was thrilled to see it.

Day was the number 9 hitter in the lineup on August 6. He came up to bat in the bottom of the 2nd, with 2 in and a man on. After falling behind in the count 1-2, he lifted a fly ball into the stands in straightaway left to give his team a 4 run lead.

He came up to the plate again in the 3rd with another run in and two men on base. This time, he hit the ball down the line. It didn’t get out by much, but it was enough to put his team up 8-0.

Day hit his third home run leading off the bottom of the 5th to make the score 9-0. For the rest of the game, Day walked in the 6th and struck out in the 8th. He ended the day 3-4 with 3 home runs, 3 runs scored, and 6 RBI. The home runs he hit in the game were only his 4th, 5th, and 6th of the season.

You can be sure that being the jokester he was know to be, Day never let his teammates forget that he was the first player in team history to hit three home runs in a game.
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Old 03-20-2019, 04:41 PM   #22
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Just over two weeks (8/23/12) after Robert Day had his three homer game, his teammate Justin Winterbottom became the final player to complete the feat during the 1912 season. Winterbottom was a more likely candidate than Day, standing 6’2” 210, the 28-year-old left fielder entered the game with 33 long balls on the season. Winterbottom graded out as average to well-above average in every offensive category. He was a slightly below average fielder, but his offensive skills generally helped people forget about that.

In his first at-bat, Winterbottom popped up to the shortstop. He came up again in the 3rd with two out and a runner on first. Winterbottom destroyed the first pitch he saw and hit it 427 ft to left center field, putting his team up 2-0.

When he came to the plate in the top of the 5th inning, the score was 3-1 in favor of the Redbirds. Winterbottom quickly made it 4-1 by crushing a 420 ft home run to left center on a 2-0 pitch.


He walked and scored in the 7th inning and then hit a 387 ft home run to straightaway left in the top of the 9th. Glendale went on to win 8-4 and Winterbottom finished the day 3-4 with 3 home runs, 4 runs scored, and 4 RBI.
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Old 03-20-2019, 05:06 PM   #23
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Lets take a look at the standings heading into the final month of the season.

AUGUST 30, 1912

EASTERN CONFERENCE:

Tucson Turtles 65-35
Florence Flames 55-45 10 GB
Flagstaff Axemen 54-46 11 GB
Douglas Jackrabbits 53-47 12 GB
Nogales Black Knights 36-64 29 GB


WESTERN CONFERENCE:

Mesa Spiders 55-45
Glendale Redbirds 48-52 7 GB
Phoenix Dust Devils 47-53 8 GB
Tempe Bulldogs 44-56 11 GB
Prescott Timberwolves 43-57 12 GB


Remember that two teams from each conference make the playoffs. With a month (20 games) to go, Tucson and Mesa look to be in command for home field advantage in their respective divisions.

In the East, the race for the second playoff spot is still incredibly close, with three teams separated by 2 games.

There was a lot of movement in the bottom four teams in the West over the last month. Glendale moves from fourth to second, Phoenix dropped from second to third, Tempe moved up a spot from fifth to fourth, and Prescott from third down to fifth.

The last month looked to be a fun pennant race.
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Old 03-20-2019, 05:20 PM   #24
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September 14, 1912 was a forgettable day on the field for the Tucson Turtles, as they lost to the Mesa Spiders 6-3. Sure, CF Steve Guilfoyle had a big game, with 3 hits, including a 2-run double, but a 5 run 6th inning put Mesa ahead to stay.

Despite the unremarkable game, that date will go down in Tucson history as the day the Turtles clinched the Eastern Conference for the first time. They were the first team to lock in a spot in the playoffs, and they celebrated long into the night.
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Old 03-20-2019, 05:31 PM   #25
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September 20, 1912

The Mesa Spiders played host to the Tempe Bulldogs on a day where they knew they could clinch the Western Conference and their spot in the postseason with a win.

Mesa went into the bottom of the 3rd tied at 1 but exploded for 9 runs in the inning. Tempe did their best to come back but in the end, Mesa proved too strong.

The Spiders held on for a 12-9 victory and the team ran into the field to celebrate being the first team to ever win the Western Conference.
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Old 03-20-2019, 06:08 PM   #26
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Going into the final day of the season, there were still four teams with a chance to make the playoffs.

In the East, Douglas was 66-53 with a home game against Glendale and Flagstaff was 65-54 with a home game against Florence. Flagstaff needed a win and a Douglas loss to have a chance at forcing a tiebreaker game.

In the West, Glendale was 57-62 and on the road against Douglas. Tempe was 56-63 with a home game against Prescott. Tempe needed a win and a Glendale loss in order to force a tiebreaker game.


Flagstaff and Florence were scoreless through four but the Flames got on the scoreboard in the top of the 5th when John Marek knocked in a run with a single. Then, in the top of the 6th, Florence second baseman Mike Paysour hit a first pitch fastball over the fence in left-center field for a grand slam. Flagstaff tried, but was unable to overcome the 5 run deficit. They lost 5-2 as they watched their postseason hopes fall away.

Tempe was up 5-3 going into the bottom of the 5th and put up a 9 spot in the inning. The Bulldogs went on to win 20-5 but still needed Glendale to lose if they were going to have a chance to continue their season.

Glendale and Douglas both entered the game knowing they would be in the playoffs if they were able to get a win. Before the game was over, word made it to the ballpark that Douglas was in because of the Flagstaff loss and that Tempe had won their game, meaning the Redbirds really needed a win. Both teams got off to hot starts. Jordan Powell put Glendale ahead in the top of the 1st with a two-run home run and Mike Campion answered with a two-run bomb of his own in the bottom of the inning. Kelvin Marin drove in a run in the 4th to put Douglas up 4-3. Justin Winterbottom homered in the top of the 7th to tie the game at 3. In the top of the 8th, Glendale went ahead for good on and RBI single by SS Mike Wurst and a sacrifice fly by John Barrera. Glendale went on to win 5-3.

The playoff matchups were set.

Tucson would play host to Douglas in the East.

Mesa would play host to Glendale in the West.
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:20 PM   #27
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1912 PLAYOFF PREVIEW: EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP

Douglas Jackrabbits vs. Tucson Turtles

The Douglas Jackrabbits finished the regular season with a record of 66-54, nine games behind Tucson in the Eastern Conference. The Jackrabbits were excellent at home, winning 37 of their 60 games in Douglas. They struggled on the road, however, losing two more than they won. They were second in the league in runs scored, with 776, and sixth in runs allowed, with 667. They played well against Tucson on the year but lost 11 of their 20 meetings.

The Tucson Turtles finished the regular season with a record of 75-45, the best record in either conference. They won 38 games at home and 37 on the road. The Turtles finished third in the league in runs scored with 746 and fifth in runs allowed with 657.


Players to watch:

Offensively for Douglas, RF Danny Sosa, CF Chris Kelly, and LF Scott Klein all hit well over .300 with a combined 13 home runs in games against Tucson this season. Their bullpen pitched well against Tucson throughout the season with Josh Whiteside, Bill Stout, Todd Shaffer, Alejandro Vargas, and Connor Leathers all finishing with ERA’s of 3.00 or lower against the Turtles on the season.

Tucson’s offense was led by 2B Eddie Dollard, who hit .440 with 3 home runs and 15 RBI against Douglas on the year. Dollard fractured his wrist in September and will miss the series. That means 1B Steve Stoddard (.350/3/22) and 3B Ben McDaniel (.345/4/13) will need to find help somewhere else. Tucson starters Matt Bastow and Tony Vasquez both pitched very well against Douglas this year. They will need to continue that trend in order to move on the the championship
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:20 PM   #28
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1912 PLAYOFF PREVIEW: WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP

Glendale Redbirds vs. Mesa Spiders

The Glendale Redbirds finished the regular season with a record of 58-62, eight games behind the Mesa Spiders in the West and the sixth h best schedule overall in the league, as four teams in the East all finished over .500. The Redbirds were 35-25 at home but only 23-37 on the road. They ranked fourth in runs scored with 677 and eighth in runs against with 715. They split the season series with Mesa, winning 10 and losing 10.

The Mesa Spiders finished the regular season with a record of 66-54. They had identical home and road records of 33-27. The Spiders were first in the league in runs scored with 790 and seventh in runs allowed with 687.

Players to watch:

Glendale’s best offensive players against Mesa on the season were LF Justin Winterbottom (.348/8/16) and 3B Kevin Wade (.333/5/22). Most of their pitching staff struggled.

Mesa’s best offensive players against Glendale were 1B Jeff Beasley (.372/5/15), 1B Aaron Boeck (.352/7/14), 3B George Luedtke (.351/2/16), RF Kyle Vault (.348/9/27), CF Bill Howard (.325/9/27), and LF Matt Bracken (.270/7/15). The Mesa bullpen pitched well against the Redbirds, with four pitchers ending up with ERA’s of 2.84 or under. Bobby Compton was their best starter, going 3-0 with a 4.05 ERA.
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Old 03-20-2019, 10:46 PM   #29
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Eastern Conference Championship Game 1:

The crowd showed up early to the ballpark for the first playoff game in the league’s history. The weather was beautiful and the Turtles were coming off of a great season and looked like the team to beat in the playoffs. More than a few fans had to be reminded that they weren’t allowed to bring their firearms into the stadium, but they didn’t seem to mind. They just wanted to see the Turtles win. The fans were drinking, singing, and shouting as the teams warmed up on the field.

Josh Simpson was the starter in game one for Tucson. His first pitch was hit on the ground to short, but Andy Lepore mishandled the ball and the Jackrabbits had the leadoff man aboard. The next two batters flied out and Simpson looked like he might avoid any damage until he hit Chris Kelly on a 1-2 pitch. With runners at 1st and 2nd and two down, Phil Thooft battled to a full count, fouling off several pitches until he got one he liked. Thooft lines a ball to short right center to drive in a run and quite the crowd. Douglas had a one run lead before Tucson ever came to the plate.

Douglas starter Eric Peterson worked around a couple of singles to put up a scoreless first inning but wasn’t so lucky in the second. A single and two walks set up Steve Guilfoyle to come to the plate with the bases loaded and two out. Guilfoyle drove a 1-0 pitch to ten wall incenter for a three-run double, giving the Turtles the lead. Elijah Leggett drove Guilfoyle in with a double of his own and Tucson lead 4-1 after two. The crowd was back in the game.

Steve Stoddard added a home run in the third inning to stretch the lead to 5-1 and Josh Simpson was dealing, setting down 13 in a row after giving up a leadoff single in the 2nd. He was pulled with two out in the 5th, with his team still up by four.

Tucson added two more runs to its lead in the bottom of the 6th on a bases loaded walk followed by a bases loaded hit batter. They picked up two more in the 7th on a fielder’s choice and an RBI single by Elijah Leggett.

Rich Tidwell hit a solo home run in the 8th to give Douglas a second run but that would be all they could muster on this day. The final score was 9-2 Tucson. The Turtles took a 1-0 lead in the series.

Josh Simpson picked up the win, pitching 5.2 innings, allowing 3 hits, 1 unearned run, and striking out 5.

Steve Guilfoyle went 3-5 with 1 double, 1 runs scored, and 3 RBI.

Elijah Leggett went 3-4 with 1 double and 2 RBI.
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Old 03-20-2019, 11:10 PM   #30
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WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS GAME 1:

Bobby Compton got the start for Mesa in game one. He had a league leading 17 wins during the regular season. The Redbirds jumped on him for a run in the 1st when Justin Winterbottom and Kevin Was singles back to back with one out and Winterbottom came home on a fielder’s choice.

Glendale sent Ernesto Osorio to the mound. He was 13-5 on the season. He walked the first batter he sat but then induced a double play and settled in. He didn’t allow another base runner until a one out single in the 4th.

Winterbottom and Wade struck again in the 3rd inning, with a double and an RBI single respectively. Wade then came home on a double by All-Star escatcher J.D. Romagnoli. Glendale was up 3-0 after 3 innings.

In the top of the 4th, the Redbirds chased Compton from the game. Robert Day tripled and scored on a double by shortstop Mike Wurst. Second Baseman John Barrera then drove him in with a single. The crowd was silent as Glendale led by a score of 5-0.

Osorio continued to pitch well into the 7th when Mesa second baseman Jeff Beasley singled to right to lead off the inning. Osorio retired the next batter but Beasley stole 2nd and 3rd base, which allowed him to score on a groundout.

The Redbirds held on to win 5-1 and take a 1-0 lead in the series.

Ernesto Osorio picked up the win, pitching 7 innings, allowing 1 run on 2 hits, 2 walks, and 3 strikeouts.

Justin Winterbottom went 2-3 with 2 runs scored.

Kevin Wade went 3-4 with 1 run scored, 1 RBI, and 1 walk.
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Old 03-21-2019, 12:49 AM   #31
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EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS GAME 2:

The Turtles were looking to put their foot down in game two after a convincing game one victory. They sent Matt Bastow to the mound. He had pitched well against Douglas during the regular season, going 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA IN 16.2 innings over 3 starts. After retiring the leadoff man, Bastow walked RF Rich Tidwell after going to a full count. Douglas 1B followed that with a home run and the Jackrabbits jumped out to a 2-0 lead.

Josh Sheppard was pitching for Douglas. He shut down the top of the Turtles order on eight pitches in the 1st. He walked one in the 2nd but was off to an excellent start.

Rich Tidwell stepped up to the plate with one out in the 3rd and hit the ball hard to right. The 38-year-old still had good speed and, with the help of a funny bounce, was able to round the bases for an inside-the-park home run.

With the score sitting at 3-0 Douglas, Sheppard ran into some trouble in the 4th. Elijah Leggett worked a full count and singled up the middle, followed by a double by Justin Blohm. Steve Stoddard and Jaylen Lucas each drove in a run with a single to pull the Jackrabbits within 1 one. Sheppard induces a couple of ground ball outs but SS Andy Lapore hit a sharp grounder up the middle and into center for a single. Stoddard scores easily but Lucas was thrown out at the plate to end the inning. The game was tied at 3.

Barstow was removed from the game when Tidwell singled off of him with one out in the 5th. He was replaced by Gregg Sheridan who quickly retired the first batter he saw. However, he then gave up back to back singles, the second of which Phil Thooft knocked into left to drive in a run and put Douglas back up by one.

The Turtles tied the game back up in the 6th inning. Jaylen Lucas drew a walk then scored on a fielder’s choice a couple of betters later.

The next threat came in the top of the 9th inning. Mike Rems pinch hit for light-hitting shortstop Steve Hughes and tripled into right-center field. Tidwell walked with one out, setting the stage for Maine Campion. Campion wasn’t able to get the run in though. He grounded into a 4-6-3 double play instead.

Andy Lapore led off the bottom of the 9th with a single after fouling off several 0-2 pitches. Lapore was caught stealing just before Steve Guilfoyle singled to center and the Turtles failed to score, sending the game into extra innings.

The Tucson closer, Chris Lawrence was on the mound to start the 10th. He had originally entered the game to start the 8th. He got Chris Kelly to hit a lazy pop fly to left for the first out. He then struck out Phil Thooft but Tucson catcher Justin Blohm couldn’t hang on to the ball. Thooft reaches first base on the passed ball. The Turtles’ manager, Danny Farley, went to the mound and replaced Lawrence with Matt Teter. Teter pitches in 70 games on the year and racked up 10 saves with an ERA of 2.78. The first batter he faced was Kelvin Marin who hit a sharp line drive that was caught by the first baseman, Stoddard. The next batter he faced was the RF Danny Sosa. Teter fell behind 3-0 and tried to throw a get-me-over fastball in hopes that Sosa might be taking. Sosa came out of his shoes and crushed the ball into the left field seats to put the Jackrabbits up by two.

Justin Blohm led off the bottom of the 10th with a single. After Steve Stoddard flied out to left field, Blohm advanced to second when Jaylen Lucas reached on an error by shortstop Danny Farrar who had come into the game after the starter had been lifted for a pinch hitter. Second baseman Andy Sausser struck out looking and Roy Lewis singled to load the bases. With two out and the bags full in the bottom of the 10th, Andy Lapore, who is starting because of the injury to Eddie Dollard, hit a long fly ball to left field. Scott Klein chased it to the warning track, lept into the air, and came down with the ball.

The Douglas Jackrabbits held on for a thrilling 6-4 victory which evened the series at 1-1.

Andy Lapore had 3 hits and 2 RBI in a losing effort.

Mike Campion went 2-5 with 1 double, 1 home run, 1 run scored, and 2 RBI.

Rich Tidwell went 3-3 with 2 walks, 3 runs scored, an inside-the-park home run, and one RBI.

Danny Sosa Sosa went 2-4 with the game-winning two-run home run in the 10th inning.


Game 3 would move to Douglas.
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Old 03-21-2019, 01:27 PM   #32
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WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP: GAME 2

The Redbirds felt good about taking game one in Mesa. They knew that a win in game two would put them in great position to win the series. They were confident that starter Dennis Gunderson was capable of giving them a chance to win. They figured they just needed to find a way to score a few runs against mesa starter Cody Francis.

Glendale leadoff man John Barrera singled to start the game. He then stole second and moved to third on a groundout, but Francis was able to work around the base runner to come away with a clean inning.

Gunderson was not so fortunate in the bottom of the frame. He allowed back to back singles and a sacrifice fly, giving Mesa a 1-0 lead after one.

Glendale failed to score again in the 2nd and Mesa added to their lead. After retiring the first two batters, Gunderson allied three consecutive doubles to Aaron Boeck, Jon Simon, and Aaron Fraser followed by a single by Jeff Beasley. The Spiders took a 4-0 lead into the 3rd inning.

Barrera singled again with one out in the 3rd. He moved to second on a passed ball and came around to score on a Kevin Wade double. Glendale was finally on the board.

Mesa quickly got the run back in the bottom of the 3rd on a Matt Bracken double and an RBI single by George Luedtke. Mesa had a 5-1 lead, a lot of momentum, and a rocking home crowd.

All of that changed in the 4th. Redbird catcher JD Romagnoli sent the first pitch of the inning into the seats in left field. Then, after Dennis Aldridge drew a walk, DH Kymani Sinclair unloaded on a 2-1 fastball and hit it 431ft into right-center field to make the score 5-4. After Robert Day singled, Francis retired the next two batters and looked like he might be able to escape with the lead. However, he walked Justin Winterbottom on four pitches and gave up an RBI double to Kevin Wade. Francis was removed from the game and replaced by John Murphy, whose first pitch was rocketed to left field for a two run single. He got the next batter out, but Glendale had scored six in the inning. The score was Redbirds 7-Spiders 5.

In the top of the 5th, Glendale tacked on another run. Kymani Sinclair doubled and came around to score on a double by John Barrera. The score was 8-5 and the crowd in Mesa was feeling extremely anxious.

With the score still 8-5, Kyle Vault struck out to start the bottom of the 6th for Mesa. Glendale went to the bullpen and called on right-hander John Nye. Aaron Boeck greeted Nye with a single. Jon Simon hit a sharp ground ball to third. Instead of potentially turning an inning-ending double play, Kevin Wade misplayed the ball and Mesa had two men on. Ian Fraser followed the error with an RBI single, pulling the Spiders within two. Nye’s struggles continued as he walked Jeff Beasley to load the bases. He was able to get a second out when Bill Howard hit a sacrifice fly to center. The score was 8-7 with Matt Bracken coming to the plate. The crowd rose to their feet, sensing that this could be the make or break moment in this game.

Strike one. A perfectly placed fastball.

Nye threw another heater. This one got away from him and Bracken made him pay. The stadium erupted as the ball sailed over the fence in right-center. Mesa was back on top 10-8. Bracken got a curtain call.
Jeff Beasley knocked in two more runs with a double in the 8th and the Spiders won the game 12-8.

Ian Fraser was 3-4 with 1 double, 3 runs scored, and 2 RBI.

Jeff Beasley was 3-4 with 1 double, 3 runs scored, and 3 RBI.

Matt Bracken was 2-5 with 2 runs scored, 1 home run and 3 RBI.

Game 3 would be in Glendale.
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Old 03-21-2019, 05:39 PM   #33
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EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP: GAME 3

David Villavicencio stepped onto the mound in front of an excited crowd in Douglas, AZ on October 5, 1912, trying to provide his team with a quality outing against the tough Tucson Turtles lineup. He knew the Jackrabbits needed to win at home to have a chance at moving on the the Arizona Series. He successfully navigated the 1st inning, allowing a single but keeping Tucson off the board.

Tony Vasquez was on the hiss for the Turtles. He was in trouble quickly. Scott Klein doubles on the second pitch of the game and Rich Tidwell doubled and drove him home one pitch later. Douglas added a second run when Phil Thooft drove in Tidwell with a sacrifice fly. After 1, the Jackrabbits were up 2-0.

Villavicencio bobbled a ground ball to start the 3rd inning, allowing Roy Lewis to reach base. Andy Lepore worked a walk and Tucson had a great opportunity brewing. Villavicencio got two straight outs on soft fly balls near the infield, but the Turtles got a big two out hit by Elijah Leggett to pull wishing one.

Phil Thooft added another run for Douglas in the 4th when he homered to right. The Jackrabbits were on top 3-1.

Villavicencio was removed from the game with two on and one out in the 6th. Lefty reliever Chris O’Bannon got Jaylen Lucas to ground into a double play to end the threat.

Rich Tidwell led off the bottom of the sixth with a first pitch home rim. The bullpens pitched well and neither team really mounted another threat.

The Douglas Jackrabbits won the game 4-1 and went up 2-1 in the best of seven series.

David Villavicencio got the win, pitching 5.1 innings, allowing 4 hits, 1 unearned run, 3 walks, and 2 strikeouts.

Rich Tidwell was 2-3 with 1 double, 1 home run, 1 double, 2 runs scored, and 2 RBI.
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Old 03-21-2019, 06:58 PM   #34
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WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP: GAME 3

After Mesa’s dramatic come from behind victory in game two, the Redbirds were happy to be home. They needed to win the next two games at home before heading back to Mesa for game 5. Glendale starter Ethan Cairns was ready for his start. He felt good in the bullpen and was excited to get started. The home ballpark was full of excited Redbirds fans who were glad their team had come home with a split.

Cairns excitement quickly turned to frustration. After retiring the first two batters, he gave up a single to game two hero Matt Bracken. Bracken stole second base while Bill Howard was batting, which allowed him to score when Howard singled into left center two pitches later. Dan Brunet followed that with a two-run home run down the right field line and the Glendale crowd had its wind knocked out before their team ever came up to bat.

Cairns settled in and pitched well for the next few innings, allowing the Glendale offense a chance to try to get back in the game. The Redbirds scored two in the bottom of the third on a Justin Winterbottom double followed by a long home run by Jordan Powell.

Then, in the bottom of the 4th, the Glendale crowd came to life when Kymani Sinclair tied the game with a home run that just cleared the fence down the line in left. Before Mesa starter Roland Radtke could get another out, he gave up another run on three consecutive singles by Robert Day, Mike Wurst, and John Barrera. Radtke settles back in and got out of the inning just down by one. He Redbirds were up 4-3 after 4.

With one out in the top of the 6th, Matt Bracken came up with another big hit, a double to kick off a Mesa rally. He scored on a Bill Howard single to tie the game. Cairns gave way to Danny Vaccaro who retired two of the three batters he saw, but did allow one inherited runner to score on a single by Kyle Vault putting the Spiders back in the lead 5-4.

Glendale put two runners on base in the 7th inning but couldn’t get a run in.

In the top of the 9th, Mesa broke the game open. Jeff Beasley came to the plate with the bases loaded and two out after a single and a couple of walks. Beasley pulled a double down the line in left that cleared the bases. He was caught trying to take third, but the Spiders had an 8-5 lead with just three outs remaining for the Redbirds.

Glendale wasn’t able to get anything going in the bottom of the 9th and Mesa came away with a 2-1 series advantage.

Bill Howard went 2-4 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI.

Jeff Beasley was only 1-5, but his one hit was the big three run double.

Matt Bracken has two big hits in the game, including a double. He also scored two runs.
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Old 03-21-2019, 08:10 PM   #35
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EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP: GAME 4

The Turtles headed into game four down two games to one and really wanted to avoid falling into a deeper hole. Josh Simpson was headed to the hill to try to shut down the Douglas offense.

The Tucson offense got off to a fast start. Following a first pitch pop-out, Steve Guilfoyle singled and moved to third on a double by Elijah Leggett. Justin Blohm drew a walk to load the bases for Steve Stoddard who singled into left-center field. Only one runner came across to score on the hit. The Turtles weren’t able to capitalize further as Jaylen Lucas grounded into an inning-ending double play. 1-0 Tucson.

Douglas loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the 2nd but Simpson was able to get a strikeout and a groundout to avoid allowing any runs to score.

Simpson led off the 4th inning by hitting Phil Thooft on an 0-2 pitch. Kelvin Martin doubled and Thooft had to stop at third. After retiring Danny Sosa, Simpson gave up a two-run double to catcher Steve Duffy. That hit put Douglas on top 2-1.

Casey Atkinson replaces Simpson to start the 5th inning and struggled to find the strike zone early. He gave up a single on the first pitch and then walked the next two batters on ten pitches. Kelvin Martin, Steve Duffy, and Scott Hughes each singled and the Jackrabbits added on four runs to take a 6-1 lead.

The Turtles scored a run in the top of the 6th on a bases loaded walk by reliever Joe Patterson but left them loaded without another run coming across.

Kelvin Martin added an RBI single in the 6th and Danny Sosa added a solo home run in the 8th. The Jackrabbits won game 4 by a score of 8-2 and took a commanding 3-1 series lead. Game 5 would move back to Tucson.

Eric Peterson earned the win, pitching 5.1 innings, allowing 2 runs on 8 hits with 1 walk and 3 strikeouts.

Kelvin Martin was 3-5 with 1 double, 2 runs scored, and 2 RBI.

Steve Duffy went 3-5 with 1 double and 4 RBI.
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Old 03-21-2019, 09:52 PM   #36
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WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP: GAME 4

Game 4 was set to be a rematch between Bobby Compton for Mesa and Ernesto Osorio for Glendale. Osorio was much better than Compton in game 1 and the Mesa hurler was out to prove something in game 4.

Both pitchers were strong through the front three innings. Osorio had allowed one hit and two walks, but thanks to a couple of double plays, had faced only one over the minimum. Compton had also walked two and given up one single with two double plays mixed in. They were matching each other seemingly pitch for pitch.

In the top of the 4th with one out, Bill Howard and Matt Bracken got back to back singles. A Dan Brunet sacrifice fly sent Howard across the plate and the Spiders took a 1-0 lead.

JD Romagnoli led off the bottom of the 5th with a single and scored two batters later when Kymani Sinclair doubled to left-center field. After 5, the game was tied at 1.

Osorio got into trouble again in the 6th, walking Howard and giving up another single to Bracken. He was removed from the game and replaced by Danny Vaccaro, who struck out the first man he saw. Third baseman George Luedtke then doubled down the right field line and drove in a run. The inning ended with Mesa in the lead 2-1.

Compton continued to shut down the Redbirds through the 7th before being lifted to start the 8th. Carlos Curiel and Jonathon Jones allowed one hit without letting Glendale score over he next two innings to preserve the win.

Mesa won game 4 by a score of 2-1 and took a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. Game 5 would be back in Mesa.

Bobby Compton picked up the win, pitching 7 innings, allowing 1 run on 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 2.

George Luedtke was 3-3 with 1 double and 1 RBI.
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Old 03-21-2019, 11:18 PM   #37
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EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP: GAME 5

The Turtles had their backs against the wall, trailing 3-1 in the series. Douglas wanted to finish the series off in game 5 and not allow Tucson to get any momentum. The pitching matchup was Matt Bastow for Tucson against Jim Sheppard for Douglas. Neither pitcher had been very impressive in game 2.

Tucson tried to put together a rally in the bottom of the 2nd when Jaylen Lucas doubled followed by an Andy Sausser walk. They were unable to turn it into a run and the game remained scoreless.

The Turtles got back to back singles by Steve Guilfoyle and Elijah Leggett in the 3rd but once again failed to capitalize.

Bastow ran into trouble in the top of the 4th. He allowed a leadoff single to Rich Tidwell and a two run home run to Mike Campion. The fans were restless. The dugout grew tense. The Jackrabbits had a 2-0 lead and just needed to hold on for a few more innings to move on to the Arizona Series.

The first two batters were quickly erased in the bottom of the inning but Andy Sausser lined the first pitch he saw off the wall in center for a double. Roy Lewis fell behind in the count 1-2 but then lined a double into right to get Tucson on the board. He was stranded at second but the Turtles had some life.

The Jackrabbits had two runners reach base in the 5th on a single and an error but were unable to come away with any runs.

Sheppard was replaced on the mound by Sean Daniels to start the bottom of the 5th for Douglas. The change didn’t work out for the Jackrabbits. Ben McDaniel singled. Steve Guilfoyle followed that with a single of his own. Elijah Leggett walked to load the bases. Justin Blohm grounder I to a fielder’s choice, erasing the runner on third, but Steve Stoddard tied the game at 2 with a single. Daniels was able to strike out Jaylen Lucas for the second out but Andy Sausser drove in a run with a single to left and Roy Lewis drove in two more with a single to right. By the time the final out of the inning was recorded, Tucson led 5-2.

Andy Lepore and Steve Stoddard each added RBI singles in the 7th and 8th innings to stretch the final score to 7-2 Turtles. Tucson forced a game 6, which would be played in Douglas.

Steve Stoddard was 3-5 with 2 runs and 2 RBI.

Andy Sausser was 4-4 with 1 double, 1 run scored, and 1 RBI.

Roy Lewis was 2-5 with 1 double and 3 RBI.
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Old 03-22-2019, 11:27 AM   #38
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WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP: GAME 5

Everything was stacked against the Glendale Redbirds going into game 5. They were on the road. They were in a win or go home situation. Their starter, Dennis Gunderson had really struggled in game 2 of the series. But they decided to take the approach that they had no pressure on them. They weren’t supposed to be here. They were under .500 on the regular season. If they were to lose, it was what everyone expected. On the other hand, they said, it would be embarrassing for Mesa to lose. They finished well ahead of the Redbirds on the regular season. They were the ones that had pressure. The Glendale players just needed to go out and play loose and let things happen naturally. Yeah. That was it.

Glendale jumped on Mesa starter Cody Francis early. John Barrera doubles to lead off the game and scored on a single by Kevin Wade. With two out, Wade came around to score when JD Romagnoli reaches base on an error. Glendale had an early two run lead.

Gunderson gave up a leadoff single to Ian Fraser in the bottom of the opening frame. That was followed by an error putting runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs. Gunderson worked out of the jam for maintain his early 2-0 lead.

Mesa strung together a couple of hits again in the 2nd but ended up with nothing on the scoreboard to show for it.

With one out in the third, Justin Winterbottom singles and scored on a Kevin Wade triple. Wade came home to score on a sacrifice fly y Jordan Powell and the Redbirds had a 4-0 lead. Things were starting to look pretty good.

Gunderson couldn’t find the strike zone to start the bottom of the 4th, walking the first two batters he faced. After Adam Boeck singles to load the bases, singles by Jon Simon and Ian Fraser plated two for the Spiders. Gunderson then walked Jeff Beasley to force in a run and was removed from the game. Danny Vaccaro replaces him and gave up a game tying single to Bill Howard. Matt Bracken recorded the first out of the inning when he hit a sacrifice fly to left giving Mesa the lead. No other runs scored in the inning, but the damage had been done. The Spiders now led 5-4.

Mesa started to pull away a bit in the bottom of the 5th when Ian Fraser hit a 434 ft home run to make the score 7-4.

Glendale refused to go down without a fight. John Berrera single to lead off the 7th. Justin Winterbottom then doubles, putting runners at 2nd and 3rd. Jordan Powell fouled off several pitches before finally finding one he could drive. He got a hold of the pitch and crushed it into center field for a double. Romagnoli then doubled to drive in Powell and tie the game at 7. Dennis Aldridge was intentionally walked but Kymani Sinclair and Robert Day were unable to push another run across.

Glendale put two men on base in the 8th but couldn’t score.

In the bottom of the 8th, Ian Fraser doubled with one out and Bill Howard walked to put men on first and second with two away. Matt Bracken once again stepped up to the plate with a chance to be a hero. He got ahead in the count 3-1 and then lined a single over the shortstop to put the Spiders ahead 8-7. That would be the only run they could muster before the final out of the inning.

Glendale came to bat in the 9th needing a run to keep their season alive. Romagnoli and Aldridge struck out to start the inning but Sinclair gave the Redbirds hope with a single. Danny Morla was called on to pinch hit and quickly fell behind 0-2. He was able to hold off on a couple of tough pitches and bring the count to 2-2 before punching a liner into right, putting Sinclair in scoring position. The next batter was another pinch hitter, Seth Tomlin, who swung at the first pitch and hit the ball sharply right at Fraser, the Mesa shortstop. Fraser flipped the ball to second for the final out and the Spiders ran to the mound to celebrate. Mesa would represent the Western Conference in the first ever Arizona Series after winning game 5 by a score of 8-7.

Ian Fraser was 4-5 with 1 double, 1 home run, 3 runs scored, and 3 RBI.

Matt Bracken was 2-4 with 2 RBI including the one that put them over the top in the 8th. Bracken was also named series MVP, hitting .421, with 1 home run, 6 RBI, and the two biggest hits in the series. Those hits being the tie breaking single in the 8th inning of game 5 and the momentum shifting three run home run in the 6th inning of game 2.
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Old 03-22-2019, 01:43 PM   #39
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EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP: GAME 6

Fans of the Douglas Jackrabbits filed into the stadium expecting to see their team close out the series. Sure, the Turtles had won game five, but that was in Tucson. Now they had to come back to Douglas and try to find a way to win again. The fans were certain they would be celebrating for hours. The Tucson players seemed loose as the warmed up, confident even. But the Jackrabbits fans weren’t worried. This was their series to win.

Ben McDaniel led off with a single for Douglas against Tucson starter Eric Peterson. He moved to second on a ground out and scored when Elijah Leggett singled to right. Peterson avoided further damage but the Turtles had momentum in a game they had to win.

Josh Simpson was on the hill for Tucson. He gave up a leadoff double to Scott Klein but quickly retired the next three batters.

Tucson put two men on base in the 2nd, and Douglas had a runner in the inning as well. Neither team was able to score.

Scott Hughes doubled to lead off the bottom of the 3rd for the Jackrabbits. He moved to third on a wild pitch with only one out but was stranded there.

Tucson added a run to their lead in the 4th, with a leadoff double by Steve Stoddard and an RBI single by Roy Lewis.

In the bottom of the 4th, the Jackrabbits got the crowd back into the game. Chris Kelly drew a leadoff walk. Then, with two out, Danny Sosa singled and Steve Duffy walked to load the bases. The fans loudly showed their support as Scott Hughes walked up to the plate. He took a strike, then a ball. Simpson dug deep and threw a hard challenge fastball. Hughes took a big swing but just missed it, sending it too high into the air in right. Jaylen Lucas settled under it to end the threat. After 4, Tucson led 2-0.

Lucas added an RBI single in the top of 5th to stretch the Tucson lead to 3.

The Jackrabbits were unable to get anyone on base in the 5th or 6th innings.

Then, in the top of the 7th inning, the Turtles loaded the bases with one out against reliever Joe Patterson. The right hander walked Roy Lewis, Andy Lepore, and Ben McDaniel to drive in three runs. Tucson didn’t get a hit with men in scoring position in the inning but they had doubled their lead.

Down 6-0 in the bottom of the 9th, Douglas got a one out single from Danny Sosa filled by a double by Steve Duffy. Sosa scored on a sacrifice fly by Scott Hughes but that was all they were able to do.

Tucson won game 6 by a score of 6-1 and evened the series at 3 games apiece. Game 7 would be back in Tucson.

Josh Simpson pitched 5.1 shutout innings, allowing 4 hits and 2 walks, striking out 2.

Steve Stoddard went 3-5 with 1 double and 2 runs scored.

Roy Lewis has 2 hits, 2 walks, and 2 RBI.
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Old 03-22-2019, 05:42 PM   #40
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EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP: GAME 7

Ah, game seven. Everyone loves a game seven. Everything is on the line for both teams. Every fan is living and dying by every pitch, every play. Even a bad game seven is fun because the buildup to it, and the moments before it falls apart are filled with excitement and tension. And this one, this was one of the good ones.

The Turtles were down three games to one and had battled back to force this deciding game. Both teams came in confident. Both teams knew they were capable of beating the other. The winner knew they would go on to face the Mesa Spiders in the Arizona Series in the coming days. The loser...neither team would let themselves think about that.

Matt Bastow was on the hill for Tucson. He struggled in game two but was determined to give his team, and the fans, a better performance this time around. He retired Scott Klein on a groundout but walked Rich Tidwell after going to a full count. Mike Campion singled to right, advancing Tidwell to third and Bastow was in trouble. Chris Kelly lifted a ball into right field that was deep enough for Tidwell to tag up and score. Bastow walked Phil Thooft on another full count but got through the inning with only one run on the board for the Jackrabbits.

Josh Sheppard has been given a lead to work with and he planned on keeping it. He walked Ben McDaniel but then induced ground balls from the next two batters, resulting in a fielder’s choice and a double play.

With 1 inning in the books, Douglas led game 7, 1-0.

The 2nd went much more smoothly for Bastow. He retired the side on 13 pitches, with two groundouts and a pop out.

Sheppard started off strong in the 2nd, striking out Justin Blohm. After Steve Stoddard put together a good at bat and ended up with a single, Sheppard walked Jaylen Lucas. Andy Sausser worked a full count but ended up striking out before Sheppard worked out of the jam by retiring Roy Lewis on a groundout.

After 2, It was Douglas 1-Tucson 0.

The top of the 3rd meant the Bastow would have to face the top of the order again. He got Klein to pop up to second but his 0-2 pitch to Tidwell got away from him and hit the batter in the back. Campion singled to bring Chris Kelly to the plate. Kelly fouled off the first three pitches he saw, then took two pitches out of the zone. Kelly and Bastow both stepped away to regroup and then settled back in. Two more foul balls. Then ball three. The count was full. Bastow shook off his catcher and came set. Kelly stared right at him, waiting.
The pitch...
The swing...
Contact...Good contact
The ball sailed high and deep to left center field.
Guilfoyle ran back toward the wall, looked up, and watched ball sail out of reach.
Bastow put his head in his hands. He regrouped and set down the next two batters.

Sheppard now had a four run lead. He seemed to be working faster in the bottom of the 3rd, but he got himself into a little trouble. After getting Lepore to ground out, he walked McDaniel and gave up a single to Guilfoyle. Elijah Leggett stepped up to the plate. Sheppard missed outside with the first pitch and then threw a slider down and in. Leggett took a hack at it and hit it on the ground. Hughes scooped it up at short, tossed it to second for one and on to first for an inning ending double play. Sheppard lumped his first in the air and ran back to the dugout.

At the end of 3, the Jackrabbits were ahead 4-0.

Bastow was back on the mound to start the 4th. He retired Sosa and Duffy but fell behind Hughes 2-1. The Doulas shortstop lined the next pitch into the left field bleachers and the Tucson fans booed loudly as Bastow was removed from the game and replaced by Xavier Blackwell. The crowd was not happy when Blackwell walked the first man he faced, but cheered half-heartedly when got Tidwell to pop up to short ending the inning.

Bastow paces and cursed in the dugout. He was upset with himself for putting his team in such a huge hole.

Justin Blohm led off the bottom of the 4th. He fouled off a few pitches on his way to drawing a leadoff walk. Stoddard and Lucas both worked deep counts but each flied out easily for the first two outs of the inning. Sausser singled and Lewis walked to load the bases for Lepore. The crowd itself to hope. Lepore took ball one and then drove the next pitch to deep left center where Chris Kelly tracked it down to end the inning.

With 4 innings complete, Douglas had a 5-0 lead.

The top of the 5th looked like it could get out of hand when Blackwell gave up a single to Campion and walked Kelly with no outs, but neither of them made it past third base and the score remained the same.

McDaniel strode confidently to the batters box and single on the first pitch to begin the bottom of the 5th. Guilfoyle walked on four pitches and Leggett came up with two on and nobody out. He fouled off a few pitches on his way to a full count and then hit a sharp groundball to short. McDaniel moves to third, but the defense turned a double play. Blohm slapped a single into right bringing home McDaniel and the Turtles were on the board. Stoddard fouled off four straight pitches before singling past the second baseman to keep the inning going. That was it for Sheppard. Jim Hintze came in from the bullpen to face Jaylen Lucas. Lucas watched his warmup pitches intently and stepped into the box. After getting ahead in the count 2-1, Lucas drove the next pitch into left center field for a two run double. Hintze retired Sausser to end the inning, but Tucson had made it a game again and the fans felt like they had a chance.

After 5, the score was 5-3 Jackrabbits.

Blackwell retired the first two batters in the top of the 6th but Klein reaches base on a throwing error by Tucson third baseman McDaniel. Tidwell followed that with a walk and that was the end of the line for Blackwell. Gregg Sheridan came in and retired Campion to end the inning.

It only took Hintze six pitches to retire the side in order in the bottom of the 6th.

With 6 innings in the books, Douglas still led 5-3.

Sheridan gave up a two out double to Kelvin Martin in the 7th but retired Danny Sosa with the next pitch to end the frame.

Hintze mowed through the first two batters of the 7th inning on four pitches before Blohm shot a line drive into right center for a single. Stoddard sent the next pitch to the wall in right for a double, and Blohm came around to score with Stoddard advancing. Lucas walked to put runners at the corners for Sausser who singled to drive in the tying run. Lewis flied out to end the inning while the crowd was still cheering from the game-tying hit.

7 innings down, the score was tied 5-5.

Chris Lawrence came in to pitch the 8th. He gave up a leadoff single to Steve Duffy and struck out Hughes. Klein hit a ground ball between first and second that Sausser blocked with a diving stop but he wasn’t able to make a play and Douglas had two men on. Tidwell followed that up with a single but Duffy had to hold at third. Jeremy Schmidt came in to pitch to Campion, who hit a deep enough fly ball to allow Duffy to tag and score. Tucson went back to the pen and called on Matt Teter who finished the inning without any further damage.

After 7 1/2, Douglas led the game 6-5.

Douglas called on Todd Shaffer to pitch the 8th. He threw his first four pitches out of the zone and the Turtles had a man on in Andy Lepore. McDaniel singled and the crowd started roaring out their support. Guilfoyle hit a long fly ball to right that was caught for the first out. Leggett then lined out to center and the crowd’s energy became more nervous. Justin Blohm walked calmly to the plate. The 38-year-old catcher was ready.

Ball one...outside.

Strike one...inside corner at the knees.

Blohm stepped out, spit on his hands, rubbed them together, and stepped back in.

The pitch.

Blohm drove the ball to right. It dropped in.

Lepore raced around to score the tying run.

McDaniel saw the third base coach waving him in and took the turn toward the plate.

The throw was cut off and sent to third, trying to cut down Blohm but it wasn’t in time. The Tucson catcher stood on third base basking in the cheers of his fans. He had just put his team on top for the first time today.

Stoddard hit a sharp groundball to short but Hughes couldn’t get a hold of it and another run scored on the error. Lucas flied out on the next pitch but the Turtles were now in the lead.

Heading to the 9th inning, Tucson now led 8-6.

Phil Thooft stepped up to face Teter leading off the 9th. He crushed a double into the left field corner to give the Jackrabbits hope. Martin was next. He grounded out to third for the first out. Danny Sosa took strike one. He took a huge cut at the next pitch and missed. Then he hit a ground ball to short for the second out.

Steve Duffy was their last chance.

Ball one...too low.

Ball two...low and outside.

A good cut, fouled back.

Another good swing...another foul ball. 2-2.

Teter three from the stretch.

Duffy hit a hard ground ball down the first base line.

Stoddard moved to his right and dove for it.

He got it!

He came to one knee and tossed the ball to Teter who was running to the bag.

Stoddard was running at full speed.

Teter got there first.

The Turtles came back in the game and the series to advance to the Arizona Seties against the Mesa Spiders.

The final score was 8-6 Tucson.

Justin Blohm was 3-4 with 1 double, 3 runs scored, and 3 RBI.

Steve Stoddard was named series MVP, going 3-5 with 1 double, 2 runs scored, and 1 RBI in game 7 and .452 with 1 home run, 9 runs scored, and 7 RBI in the series. Stoddard’s home run was amazingly the only home run hit by any Tucson player in the seven game series.
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