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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Tonight it's Lehr's turn to smash 3 HRs...


By Patrick Haas--Calgary Vipers

The Calgary Vipers gave up five home runs in a 10-7 loss to the Long Beach Armada at Foothills Stadium in Calgary, Alberta. The Snakes led the game 7-5 after seven innings but two solo home runs in the eighth inning tied the game and one more big fly in the ninth gave the Armada the victory. The loss was Calgary's fourth in a row and in the four contests they have given up 44 runs. Now at 19-11 the Vipers have surrendered nine home runs against in the first two games of this series. Calgary did manage to out hit the Armada 14-9 but left 11 runners on base.

Jorge Mejia led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk and after stealing second base he scored on a Drew Miller RBI double. Miller came around to score to make it 2-0 for Calgary on a Darryl Brinkley RBI triple.

Long Beach responded in the top of the next half inning with a leadoff home run from Norm Hutchins. Octavio Martinez followed by walking, David Ramirez doubled, and Stephen Yoo picked up a run batted in with a groundout. Following a walk to Petie Montero and his steal of second base Dan Trumble hit a double for two more runs and the 4-2 lead.

A run was added by the Armada in the top of the third inning with a leadoff long ball off the bat of Ryan Lehr for the 5-2 advantage.

After Vipers starter Joe Sergent was able to shutdown the Long Beach offence the Snakes were able to give him some run support in the bottom of the fifth inning. Mejia led off with a bunt single, Drader knocked in a run with a double, and Felix Jose scored Drader with a RBI single. Following a Brinkley base hit, Colin Moro cashed two runs with a double to giv
e the Vipers back the lead. Jose Morban increased the lead to 7-5 with a double to score Moro.

Back-to-back solo home runs in the top of the eighth inning by Lehr and Hutchins tied the game at seven. It was both players second home runs of the game.

Long Beach took their second lead of the game in the top of the ninth when with two outs Trumble doubled and Andy Wilson delivered him to the plate with a base hit. Lehr hit his third home run of the night to add insurance with the 10-7 advantage.

Calgary loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth but was unable
to score any runs.

Sean Buller (2-0) recorded the victory with a scoreless inning of work while P.J. Bevis (1-1) received the loss after giving up three runs in the ninth. For the second straight night Nick Cavanaugh (5) secured the game with the save. Sergent went 6.2 innings for the Snakes striking out six and at one point retiring 13 batters in a row.

Mejia and Miller both reached base for the 30th game consecutively to start the season while Miller extended his hitting streak to 19 games. Brinkley extended his hitting streak to 15 contests.

This three game set concludes Sunday, June 29th at 1:35 PM (MDT) with Evan Greusel (5-0) taking the ball for the Vipers against Rik Currier (2-3).

Photos by: Mark Mauno


Listen to the game on Sunday...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Armada win 9-6 behind a 3 HR night by Norm"Home Run" Hutchins!


What a night it was for 1B/CF Norm Hutchins. He started off the night with a 2-run bomb, then followed it up with a 3-run shot and later added a solo blast, pacing the Armada with 6 RBIs...


Big hitting by 1B/CF Norm Hutchins was the difference in this game. His three HR’s and six RBIs paced the Armada to a 9-6 victory over the first place Calgary Vipers. The win snapped a five game losing streak for the Crew.

Long Beach took advantage of a two-run home run by Hutchins, his sixth of the year, in the first inning and the Armada jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead after the first half of the first frame. Early in the season the Armada often jumped out quickly on the road, but playing away from Blair Field has not been easy on the Armada of late. Not tonight.

Ryan Claypool (2-3, 10.24 ERA) made the start for Long Beach. In a switch of positions, Ryan Lehr, who injured a groin earlier in the week, moved over from third base to first and Octavio Martinez, who is the starting catcher and has also seen some time at first, got the nod at third. Claypool walked the first two batters of the game on eight straight outside pitches—not the way he wanted to start, especially with the high ERA. Buthe held on for the win, improving his record to 3-3.

Calgary picked up a run in the second inning to slither within two runs of the Armada, but the Crew found a way to come back and once again it was Hutchins.

The CF rocked a three-run shot his next time up, in the top of the third, giving the Crew a 6-1 lead. The round-tripper was his seventh of the season and this one cleared the wall by a good 70 feet.

Viper Ryan Sherman struck out the side in the top of the fourth to keep the game at 6-1. Claypool gave up a solo HR to Travis Drader to lead off the bottom of the fourth, cutting the lead to 6-2. Three batters later, with two outs, Claypool gave up a three-run shot to Drew Miller. That narrowed the gap to just one run and the Armada led by a score of 6-5.

Not to be outdone, Lehr blasted a solo shot over the left field wall to lead off the fifth, extending the Armada lead to two runs. The Crew added another run in the inning to make it a three-run lead through the middle of five.

Lehr did not take the field in the sixth inning, instead it was left handed pitcher Nick Bierbrodt who trotted out to play first base. Catcher David Ramirez took a foul ball off the mask later in the inning, which should have concerned Yeager quite a bit, considering the fact that his starting catcher was playing third base and one of his starting pitchers was playing first base. Lehr was 3-4 with three RBIs.

Hutchins wasn’t done with the long ball yet. He stepped to the plate in the top of the seventh and blasted a solo shot to extend the Armada lead to four runs, giving them a 9-5 lead.

Reliever Garrett Murdy gave up a leadoff HR in the bottom of the eighth to C Patrick Arlis, cutting the lead to 9-6. Murdy looked strong though, striking out three batters in his two innings of work.

Closer Nick Cavanaugh closed out the game, going 1-2-3 in the final inning.

Photos By Mark Mauno

Steve Yeager On Active Roster




The Armada are a bit short handed on this trip so we’re not using a DH--this is National League ball which means that the pitcher is hitting. We only have eight position players active so Manager Steve Yeager is on the active roster and if there is another injury he will play first base. Yeager has not been an active player since retiring in 1986 (that's 22 seasons ago) when he played for the Seattle Mariners. To listen to the games this weekend go to www.calgaryvipers.com


Photo by Mark Mauno

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The New Guy Is Now Bye-Bye


After spending less than a week with the Armada, James Guerrero has had his contract purchased by the Colorado Rockies. He is the third member of the 2008 Armada to be acquired by a major league club in June, following C David Parrish (Rockies) and RHP Jerome Williams (Dodgers).

Guerrero, 23, was a sixth round draft pick by the Florida Marlins in the 2005 amateur draft after an outstanding collegiate career at San Diego State University. Starting in the New York - Penn League he moved up a rung each of his first three years and began this season in the High-A Florida State League for the Marlins. Off to a slow start, he was released in May and joined the Long Beach Armada in mid-June. With only a week of play for the Armada, he attracted the attention of Colorado scouts who recommended that the Rockies purchase his contract. He is on his way to the Rockies' High-A team in the California League, the Modesto Nuts, where he will join GBL Alum Chris Malone who the Rockies acquired from the Chico Outlaws in late May.

Guerrero is the 14th GBL player to be purchased by a major league organization in 2008.

Photo By Mark Mauno

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Jerome Wiliams movin' on up...


Jerome Williams, the one time San Francisco Giant, Chicago Cub and Washington National is back in organized baseball. He pitched four innings in tonight's contest and was then signed by the L.A. Dodgers and will report to the Inland Empire 66'ers, the Dodgers' A+ club. The plan is to have him get 4-5 starts in San Bernardino, then move up to AAA Las Vegas. Octavio Martinez, the Armada starting catcher, played for the 51's last season. We will keep you updated on the progression of Jerome and of David Parrish, who was signed by the Colorado Rockies organization two weeks ago. You can find out all the Armada at www.longbeacharmada.com

Armada 3 Flyers 6

The offense stayed silent for most of the game at Blair Field. Long Beach couldn't get runners on base or score them in key situations. The Flyers bats were still crushing the ball in a 6-3 victory over the Armada to win the series and improve their record to 18-6. The Armada fall to an even .500 record at 12-12.

Flyer starter Jeremy Zick (3-2) pitched 7 innings giving up 3 runs on 3 hits while walking 2 and striking out 1 to get his third win of the season. Relievers Ezequiel Ruvalcaba and Eric Sheridan combined for 2 innings giving up no hits walking 2 and striking out 1. Sheridan was credited with his second save of the season.

Jerome Williams (4-2) pitched 4 innings giving up 3 runs on 5 hits while striking out 3. The reason why he only pitched four innings is because he had his contract bought by the Los Angeles Dodgers and will be sent to Single A San Bernardino. 3B Ryan Lehr hit a 2 run HR in the fourth inning and RF Chris Klemm drove in a run in the sixth.

Flyers DH Fernando Pacheco went 3 for 5 driving in a run in the fifth and a 2 run HR in the sixth. 3B Brian Rios and CF Patrick Breen each drove in a run to propel the Flyers to the series win over Long Beach.

Long Beach now takes a plane trip to Edmonton to take on the Cracker Cats and the Calgary Vipers June 24-29. You can listen to the road broadcasts on the Edmonton and Calgary affiliates. The links will be on longbeacharmada.com at the radio/on-air link. The next broadcast will be July 1 at Orange County on the Long Beach Armada Radio Network.

GAME 3 ARMADA VS. FLYERS LINEUP

FLYERS

1. 21 LF MARK OKANO
2. 1 SS DAVID BACANI
3. 7 2B JERMY ACEY
4. 5 3B BRIAN RIOS
5. 10 CF PATRICK BREEN
6. 16 1B JEFF LARUE
7. 3 DH FERNANDO PACHECO
8. 33 C JOSH ARHART
9. 22 RF TRAVON JACKSON
14 JEREMY ZICK (2-2)


ARMADA

1. 2 2B CLEATUS DAVIDSON
2. 23 RF CHRIS KLEMM
3. 14 3B RYAN LEHR
4. 20 DH TONY TORCATO
5. 34 LF DAN TRUMBLE
6. 19 1B NORM HUTCHINS
7. 15 C OCTAVIO MARTINEZ
8. 11 CF JULIAN WILLIAMS
9. 10 SS JAMES GUERRERO
18 P JEROME WILLIAMS (4-1)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The blown call by Chuck Becker


First off, let's call a spade a spade. Chuck Becker blew the call. What call am I talking about? I'll get to that in a moment. I knew that he blew the call. Wes knew he blew the call. Everyone at Blair Field--including some affiliated with the Flyers--knew he blew the call. Steve Yeager and David Ramirez absolutely knew that he blew the call. O.C. left fielder Mark Okano knew firsthand that he blew the call.

So what call am I talking about? Here's what happened...David Ramirez stepped to the plate for the Armada with the Crew trailing 5-4 and he smashed a ball to the Lucille's BBQ sign on the left field wall. One Armada runner scored and Ramirez ended up on second base. The crowd was going crazy. Then, umpire Chuck Becker ruled that the ball had been caught.

How could it have been caught when Okano bent down and picked it up off the ground? How could it have been caught when shortstop David Bacani ran out to shallow left waving his arms for the cutoff throw? Manager Steve Yeager went ballistic and Ramirez was none too happy either. Everyone at Blair Field knew that Becker botched the call and later in the game, Becker admitted to someone in an Armada uniform that he did in fact blow the call.

A lot of good that does the Armada now. That would have tied the game at 5 apiece and left Ramirez on second base with two outs. Instead, the Armada had to take the field knowing that they had just been hosed.

While I appreciate that Becker later realized that he made a mistake, it doesn't help a whole lot when Long Beach lost by one run. The one run that GBL Umpire Chuck Becker took away from us. Bear in mind that not only did he take that run away from us, he also didn't allow the Armada to continue with the rally, which could have brought at least one more run (which should be noted, could have been the WINNING RUN) across the plate.

Nice job, Chuck. See 'ya next time...

Armada 6 Flyers 7

Instead of a pitcher's duel like game one, game two was a hitter's clinic. Both teams combined for 5 home runs. Three players had a chance at the cycle and the Flyers would win game 2 by a score of 7-6.

Long Beach starter Ryan Claypool (2-3) settled down after giving up five runs in the first two innings to finish going 6 innings giving up 7 runs, 6 earned on 8 hits while walking 3. Unfortunately getting his third loss of the season. Reliever Andrew Layfield pitched 3 innings giving up no runs on 3 hits walking 2 and striking out 1.

Offensively the bats were crushing the ball for both teams. 2B Cleatus Davidson went 3 for 5 with a HR shy of the cycle. LF Dan "Double" Trumble was 2 for 4 with two solo HR's. CF Norm Hutchins went 2 for 3 with a solo HR.

The Flyers were awaken in game 2. LF Mark Okano went 3 for 4 a triple shy of the cycle. DH Jeff LaRue went 3 for 4 a triple shy of the cycle. Starter Matt Merricks (2-0) left in the second due to a sore shoulder so his older brother Charles Merricks (1-0) got the win for his team going 4 innings giving up 3 runs on 6 hits walking 1 and striking out 1. Former Armada P Dane De La Rosa got his third save striking out all three batters.

Game 3 of this series starts at 5:05 pm. Tune into the pregame show at 4:55pm on the Long Beach Armada radio network.

GAME 2 ARMADA VS. FLYERS LINEUP

FLYERS

1. 21 LF MARK OKANO
2. 1 SS DAVID BACANI
3. 7 2B JERMY ACEY
4. 5 3B BRIAN RIOS
5. 10 RF PATRICK BREEN
6. 16 DH JEFF LARUE
7. 3 1B FERNANDO PACHECO
8. 33 C JOSH ARHART
9. 22 CF TRAVON JACKSON
24 P MATT MERRICKS (2-0)


LONG BEACH

1. 2 2B CLEATUS DAVIDSON
2. 23 RF CHRIS KLEMM
3. 14 3B RYAN LEHR
4. 20 DH TONY TORCATO
5. 34 LF DAN TRUMBLE
6. 19 CF NORM HUTCHINS
7. 15 1B OCTAVIO MARTINEZ
8. 10 SS JAMES GUERRERO
9. 21 C DAVID RAMIREZ
17 P RYAN CLAYPOOL (2-2)

One look inside the rivalry


OC Flyers vs. LB Armada.  For me, this is more than another three-game series in an 88-game season.

The league wants this match up to develop into a bitter rivalry.  I think both teams want that as well.  Let's face it; it's good on both sides if that's the case.  Intensified competition can only help attendance at these games, which is something both teams need help with.  If the communities of Long Beach and Fullert- *cough* Orange County can rally behind their respective teams when they square off, everyone wins.

I'm in a peculiar position of having worked for both organizations, and I think it's a little different than the players that play for the teams.  I realize that not only are ex-Armada players Jeremy Zick, Dane Dela Rosa and Jeff LaRue wearing OC orange this year, but so are former Armada manager Darrel Evans and coach Dan Dipace.  Perhaps I'm wrong, but the players just want the opportunity to play and have the chance to move up.  The uniform they wear is secondary to that opportunity.

In getting to know fans from both organizations, there seems to be a mutual respect that is never spoken of.  Flyers fans don't have any real problems with Armada fans (for the most part) and vice versa (for the most part).  There are always a few exceptions, but I'd say the rowdiest person who came to Blair Field to root for the Flyers in 2007 was myself, and now I'm on-field for LB.  I still have a great relationship with many people within and around the Flyers organization despite having "crossed county lines" for the 2008 season to work with the Armada.


Going around the stadium last night, I heard some very kind words from both Flyers fans who enjoyed having myself and "CoalTrain" running around at Goodwin Field last season and from Armada fans who appreciate the work that "Arby I" and I are putting in at Blair this season (can't reveal who is the mascot, but incas you have been wondering, yes 2007 CoalTrain is 2008 Arby I, and yes, I'm damn happy about that).

Sure there were playful taunts of "traitor" thrown at Arby and myself, but the fans were still for the most part glad to see us doing what we enjoy doing.  The same I'm sure was true for some of the guys on the field.  Jeff LaRue.  Darrell Evans.  Those were big names for the fleet last season.  Just because they are on another team doesn't dismiss that.

Because this is independent league baseball, and because fans and players and people within the organizations become closer than at higher levels of pro ball, I think it's difficult for this rivalry to grow.  Now, it doesn't hurt that last night we put the OC logo and their owner's face on toilet paper and gave it out to all our fans.  Yet it's exactly because of these tight relationship that this rivalry might find itself somewhat stunted.

I'm not saying that these relationships should be dismissed.  In fact, I think they are the very basis of what make independent league baseball so special.  But when fans from both sides are able to develop and maintain a mutual respect to those "across county lines" then this LB/OC rivalry will remain full of unfulfilled potential.

Last season, these teams played some intense games.  There are some in these organizations that don't like people on the other side.  But as someone who has been on both sides of the county line, I can tell you that it's not anything personal (again, for the most part).  It's really more about wanting this rivalry to take off.

If that can happen, more fans come out, both teams make more money, and everyone gets what they want: sustainable professional baseball in both communities.  So if we have to continue to exaggerate our animosity, so be it.  Let's build this rivalry.  Let's make this LB vs. OC "feud" into something that both communities can get behind.

Make that the first step, and let's keep this mutual admiration behind closed doors.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Armada 7 Flyers 1

It was a game of perfection through four innings. Flyer starter Troy Cate (1-0) was perfect til the fifth when it was broken up by a walk to LF Dan Trumble and a RBI double by 1B Norm Hutchins to drive in Trumble. Long Beach would win 7-1 with a six run eighth inning to put themselves ahead and continue their winning streak at five.

In the eighth, it all started with Hutchins reaching on an error by 3B Brian Rios. C Octavio Martinez and CF Julian Williams would be hit by pitches to load the bases. SS James Guerrero drove in Hutchins on a base hit. 2B Cleatus Davidson drove in two on a base hit to left. RF Chris Klemm drove in two more with his double to left. DH Tony Torcato finished it off driving Klemm in on a single up the middle.

Flyers RF Patrick Breen tripled in the only run for Orange County driving in 3B Brian Rios in the sixth inning. Starter Troy Cate (1-0) pitched a gem of a no decision going 6 and 2/3 innings giving up 1 run on 1 hit, walking 1 and striking out 5. Eric Sheridan (0-1) got the loss giving up 6 runs, 5 earned on 4 hits and striking out 2.

Armada starter Nick Bierbrodt (1-3) pitched 7 innings giving up 1 run on 3 hits, walking 8 and striking out 6. Reliever Justin Segal (1-0) got his first win of the season going 2 innings giving up only 1 hit and striking out 2. Probable starters for tomorrow's game for Long Beach Dusty Gober (2-2) and the Flyers Matt Merricks (2-0). Pregame starts at 6:55pm at LONGBEACHARMADA.COM

GAME 1 ARMADA VS. FLYERS LINEUP

FLYERS

1. 21 LF MARK OKANO
2. 1 SS DAVID BACANI
3. 7 2B JERMY ACEY
4. 5 3B BRIAN RIOS
5. 10 RF PATRICK BREEN
6. 16 DH JEFF LARUE
7. 3 1B FERNANDO PACHECO
8. 15 C BUDDY MORALES
9. 20 CF JEFF VAN HOUTEN
36 P TROY CATE (1-0)


LONG BEACH

1. 2 2B CLEATUS DAVIDSON
2. 23 RF CHRIS KLEMM
3. 14 3B RYAN LEHR
4. 20 DH TONY TORCATO
5. 34 LF DAN TRUMBLE
6. 19 1B NORM HUTCHINS
7. 15 C OCTAVIO MARTINEZ
8. 11 CF JULIAN WILLIAMS
9. 10 SS JAMES GUERRERO
31 P NICK BIERBRODT (1-3)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Armada 2 Roadrunners 1

The winning streak now stands at four for the Armada. Since coming to Blair Field on June 13, the Armada are now 5-2 at home and now are 11-10 overall. They get the day off tomorrow as they await the rival Flyers for a weekend series at Blair.

Armada starter Jerome Williams (3-1) was ready to bounce back after his first loss June 14 to the Yuma Scorpions. Just didn't expect him to go 11 innings though. The crazy thing is he didn't get the win. The game ended in 13 innings with the Armada coming out on top 2-1. Jerome had a perfect game going into the fourth until it was broken up by 2B Liu Rodriguez. Long Beach would score a run thanks to SS James Guerrero getting the sac fly to drive in 1B Norm Hutchins. The bats would stay silent until the thirteenth as they stranded 18 runners for the game.

St. George still struggled to score runs in the third game of this series. They too scored on a sac fly in the fifth by LF Greg Lemon to score DH Wiki Gonzalez. The Roadrunners stranded 10 runners on the game. Starter Devin Collis (2-1) pitched a gem going 8 innings giving up 1 run on 5 hits while walking 4 and striking out 3. Relievers Billy Simon and Jason Norderum would combine for 4 strikeouts, 4 walks, giving up 2 hits. Chris Hunter (0-2) was charged with the loss going an inning and 2/3 giving up the winning run on 3 hits striking out 3 and walking 2.

Bottom of the thirteenth saw RF Chris Klemm double and later be driven in on a base hit by DH Tony Torcato to score Klemm from second. Sean Buller (1-0) received the win going 2 innings giving up 2 hits while walking 3 and fanning one Roadrunner. Friday's game will be televised live at IBNSPORTS.COM. The pregame show will start at 6:55pm. Starting for Long Beach is Nick Bierbrodt (1-3) and for Orange County Matt Merricks (2-0).

GAME 3 ARMADA VS. RODRUNNERS LINEUPS

ST. GEORGE

1. 22 CF RYAN STEVENSON
2. 11 2B LIU RODRIGUEZ
3. 18 SS BRANDON TAYLOR
4. 23 1B CODY NOWLIN
5. 20 DH WIKI GONZALEZ
6. 25 C DUSTIN HICKS
7. 29 RF CLAUDIO ARIAS
8. 16 LF GREG LEMON
9. 3 3B MIKE DONE
15 P DEVIN COLLIS (2-1)

LONG BEACH

1. 2 2B CLEATUS DAVIDSON
2. 23 RF CHRIS KLEMM
3. 14 3B RYAN LEHR
4. 20 DH TONY TORCATO
5. 34 LF DAN TRUMBLE
6. 19 1B NORM HUTCHINS
7. 15 C OCTAVIO MARTINEZ
8. 11 CF JULIAN WILLIAMS
9. 10 SS JAMES GUERRERO
18 P JEROME WILLIAMS (3-1)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Game 1 Armada 5 Roadrunners 3, Game 2 Armada 4 Roadrunners 1

The Armada are now riding a three game winning streak at Blair Field. Thanks in part to great pitching and timely hitting. The day night double header today was proof of that. The Armada gave up only four runs to the second best hitting team in the GBL. While scoring nine runs on the Roadrunner pitching staff.

Dusty Gober (2-2) pitched the day game going 6 1/3 innings almost getting the complete game (both games were scheduled to end in seven innings). Gober gave up 3 runs 2 earned on 5 hits, walking 3 and striking out 4. Newly acquired SS/2B James Guerrero made his GBL debut going 1 for 2 with a double driving in two runs in the fourth. The Armada scored all their runs in that inning. 1B Norm Hutchins, 3B Ryan Lehr, and CF Julian Williams each drove in a run.

Roadrunner SS Brandon Taylor hit a solo shot to right center. Adding to his tremendous offensive season. CF Ryan Stevenson and 1B Cody Nowlin each drove in a run for St. George. Starting pitcher Justin Abbott (2-2) pitched his third complete game going 6 innings giving up 5 runs on 6 hits while walking one and striking out 4.

Game 2 was no different. Strong pitching and defense followed by timely hitting gave Long Beach the win 4-1. All four runs for the Armada were scored in the third inning. Thanks again in part to newly acquired SS/2B James Guerrero. The only difference was that it was a base hit and not a double that drove in two. C David Ramirez and RF Chris Klemm would drive in a run each in the third.

St. George would counter with a run in the fourth thanks to a RBI base hit by 2B Liu Rodriguez to drive in CF Ryan Stevenson. One run was saved thanks to the gun LF Dan "Double" Trumble has in left field as he threw out DH Cody Nowlin at the plate to end the inning. Roadrunner starter Harold Williams (2-1) pitched 3 innings giving up 4 runs on 5 hits while walking 3 and striking out 3. Reliever Chris Hunter pitched 3 innings giving up only a hit while walking 1 and striking out 4.

Pitcher Rik Currier (2-2) had another strong outing at Blair Field. Going 5 innings giving up 1 run on 8 hits while walking 2 and striking out 8. Garrett "Dirty" Murdy pitched 1 inning walking 1 and striking out 1. Justin Segal got the save striking out two Roadrunners.

The third game and final game of the series starts at 6:55pm with the "Vitamin Water Pregame Show." Jerome Williams (3-1) takes the mound for the Armada and Devin Collis (2-1) for the Roadrunners.

GAME 2 ARMADA VS. ROADRUNNERS LINEUP

ST. GEORGE

1. 22 CF RYAN STEVENSON
2. 11 2B LIU RODRIGUEZ
3. 18 SS BRANDON TAYLOR
4. 23 DH CODY NOWLIN
5. 31 1B WIL HENDERSON
6. 20 C WIKI GONZALEZ
7. 7 RF JASON BRYAN
8. 16 LF GREG LEMON
9. 14 3B TREVOR DIMICK
32 P HAROLD WILLIAMS (2-0)


LONG BEACH

1. 11 CF JULIAN WILLIAMS
2. 23 RF CHRIS KLEMM
3. 14 DH RYAN LEHR
4. 15 1B OCTAVIO MARTINEZ
5. 34 LF DAN TRUMBLE
6. 21 C DAVID RAMIREZ
7. 10 2B JAMES GUERRERO
8. 3 3B STEPHEN YOO
9. 4 SS PETIE MONTERO
12 P RIK CURRIER (1-2)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Armada 6 Scorpions 3

The Armada bats stayed silent for the last two games of this four game series, but in the fourth game they came back to where they've been for most of this season. Also the Armada pitched an outstanding game on June 16th at Blair Field on Reverse the Curse Night to help reverse the luck of the Chicago Cubs.

The game got off to a strange start in the first. After a lead off double from DH Rich Janeway, who later scored on a base hit by 3B Henry Calderon, the inning at first ended on a 5-4-3 double play off LF Jeremy Cleveland, but it was overturned on an appeal by Yuma manager Mike Marshall to be a foul ball. Long Beach manager Steve Yeager followed with his own appeal, but it was turned down with the call being a foul ball. It would continue later with an ejection of 1B Norm Hutchins in the eighth arguing balls and strikes with the home plate umpire.

The Armada would tie the game in the third thanks to a base hit single by DH Tony Torcato to drive in RF Chris Klemm. They would add three more in the fourth off Yuma starter Evan White (2-1). C David Ramirez, 2B Cleatus Davidson and 3B Ryan Lehr drove in the three in the fourth to give Long Beach a 4-1 lead. RF Chris Klemm's night was not over. He would add a two run shot to right center in the sixth to add insult to injury.

Yuma starter Evan White was given the loss going 5 2/3 innings giving up 6 runs on 13 hits waking 2 and striking out 5. Armada starter Ryan Claypool (2-2) pitched a gem going 6 strong innings giving up 3 runs on 7 hits walking 5 and striking out 6. Nick Cavanaugh got the save (2) for the Armada. They end their two game skid and await the arrival of St. George for a double header June 17 at 1:05 and 7:05pm and June 18 at 7:05. Dusty Gober (1-2) goes in the day game and Rik Currier (1-2) in the night cap. Jerome Williams (3-1) will start on June 18.

GAME 4 ARMADA VS. SCORPIONS LINEUP

YUMA

12 DH RICH JANEWAY
14 3B HENRY CALDERON
10 CF YOSVANY ALMARIO
11 RF MAIKEL JOVA
20 LF JEREMY CLEVELAND
33 1B AJ VALENTINE
3 2B HECTOR BERNAL
21 C PETER FARINA
6 SS RYAN BARBA
17 P EVAN WHITE


LONG BEACH

2 2B CLEATUS DAVIDSON
23 RF CHRIS KLEMM
14 3B RYAN LEHR
20 DH TONY TORCATO
34 LF DAN TRUMBLE
19 1B NORM HUTCHINS
11 CF JULIAN WILLIAMS
21 C DAVID RAMIREZ
4 SS PETIE MONTERO
17 P RYAN CLAYPOOL

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fleet sailing into strong headwind

Kudos to a team that opened the season 6-8 when you consider that their first 14 games were away from home.  And when you consider some of the travel woes the Armada has faced, it makes that record even a little more significant (as someone who was one of those literally death-defying bus rides, trust me).

After tonight's 6-4 loss to Yuma in the Armada's third home game of the season, the team now stands at 7-10, last in the South Division of the GBL.

Quick aside about the standings as of right now.  If this team is going to lock down a playoff spot, it's definitely better to do it now rather than wait until the 2nd half.  It will not only give the team a better opportunity to market up the playoff games, but also it takes the pressure off down the stretch.  The GBL 2008 playoff format says the division winners of the North and South divisions of each half of the season will make the playoffs (if the same team wins both halves, then the two teams with the best overall records make the playoffs).  So it's not panic time.  Yet.

Yeager's club is a great group.  Not just off the field, as I've gotten to know some of these guys, but on the field as well.  Everyone has really had a chance to come together thanks to 14 road games to open the season.  Lots of time on the road together = stronger team chemistry, or at least as has been the case so far.

The talent is all around.  Yes, I know losing David Parrish is bittersweet (always great to see a guy move up despite losing him from your line up), but Octavio Martinez is no slouch.  The guy can play.  And there's a good chance even he'll be moving up at some point this season.  And I know D-Ramirez is ready and waiting to get back behind the dish on a regular basis like last season.

The Armada outfield is stacked, and even with Steve Moss still missing games because of his shoulder injury, Julian Williams has filled in fine (hitting .273).  When Moss, the team's leading hitter (.415, 5 HR, 13 RBI) returns, it will add some added punch to the line up for sure.  However, don't expect this group to just sit and wait for Mossy to return to CF until they try to start racking up Ws.

So yes, tonight was another tough loss.  Made tougher by the 9th inning rally that fell short.  Made tougher still by the Armada now dropping to 1-2 at home early in this 2008 campaign.  Monday they have a chance to settle the score with the Scorpions.  Fourth and final game of the series first pitch at 7:05pm.

See yall there!

Armada 4 Scorpions 6

WP Jorge Perez (1-2) seven innings, two runs, one earned on six hits with seven strikeouts
LP Nick Bierbrodt (1-3) seven innings, four runs on eight hits, four walks, and three strikeouts
S Jean-Carlos Guillen (1) 2/3 inning

Notable batters
Yuma
CF Yosvany Almario 3 for 5 2RBI's

Long Beach
RF Chris Klemm 1 for 3 2Runs, RBI


Players of the Game
SP Jorge Perez of Yuma
RF Chris Klemm of Long Beach

GAME 3 ARMADA VS. SCORPIONS LINEUP

YUMA

0 LF RICHARD JANEWAY
14 DH HENRY CALDERON
10 CF YOSVANY ALMARIO
11 RF MAIKEL JOVA
20 3B JEREMY CLEVELAND
33 1B AJ VALENTINE
3 2B HECTOR BERNAL
30 C JOSE RODRIGUEZ
6 SS RYAN BARBA
24 P JORGE PEREZ


LONG BEACH

2 2B CLEATUS DAVIDSON
11 CF JULIAN WILLIAMS
14 3B RYAN LEHR
20 DH TONY TORCATO
23 RF CHRIS KLEMM
34 LF DAN TRUMBLE
19 1B NORM HUTCHINS
15 C OCTAVIO MARTINEZ
4 SS PETIE MONTERO
31 P NICK BIERBRODT

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Armada 6 Scorpions 14

Well, it was a complete opposite outcome from last night. Yuma jumped out of the gate in first inning and scored five runs off starter Jerome Williams. Jerome would go 6 innings giving 13 runs, 10 earned on 14 hits, walking 2 and striking out 2 Scorpions. The Scorpions in the first got RBI's from 3B Henry Calderon, RF Maikel Jova, LF Jeremy Cleveland, DH AJ Valentine, and 2B Hector Bernal. They would add five runs in the third off Jerome thanks in part to a solo HR by CF Yosvany Almario and RBI's from Valentine, Bernal, and SS Ryan Barba.


The Armada would answer with three runs in the second inning. Dan "Double" Trumble doubled in DH Tony Torcato. Trumble would later be sac flied in by 1B Norm Hutchins. Petie Montero would drive in C Octavio Martinez later in the inning. Long Beach would add two in the seventh and one in the ninth. Martinez went 3 for 4 with 2 doubles and one RBI. Hutchins went 2 for 3 driving in one.


Two birthday boys had a great night. For Long Beach P Justin Segal celebrated by striking out three in two innings of work and giving up no runs. 2B Hector Bernal of Yuma went 2 for 5 driving in 5 runs including a three run shot in the sixth inning over the right field wall. The win goes to Yuma starter Roger Luque (1-2) going 7 innings giving up five earned runs on eight hits walking one and striking out 4.


Tomorrow's game starts at 5:05pm with scheduled starters Nick Bierbrodt (1-2) on the mound for Long Beach. Yuma will put out Jorge Perez (0-2). Pregame will start ten minutes before game time at the long beach armada radio network and at ibnsports.com. See ya at the ballpark.

GAME 2 ARMADA VS. SCORPIONS LINEUP

YUMA

12 DH RICHARD JANEWAY
14 3B HENRY CALDERON
10 CF YOSVANY ALMARIO
11 RF MAIKEL JOVA
20 LF JEREMY CLEVELAND
33 DH AJ VALENTINE
0 2B HECTOR BERNAL
21 C PETER FARINA
6 SS RYAN BARBA
22 P ROGER LUQUE


LONG BEACH

2 2B CLEATUS DAVIDSON
11 CF JULIAN WILLIAMS
14 3B RYAN LEHR
20 DH TONY TORCATO
34 LF DAN TRUMBLE
23 RF CHRIS KLEMM
19 1B NORM HUTCHINS
15 C OCTAVIO MARTINEZ
4 SS PETIE MONTERO
18 P JEROME WILLIAMS

Wild n Crazy night

Oh what a night.

Despite the fact I admittedly did not watch a good chunk of the game (organizing the mascot race is not as easy as it looks), I have to say that the home opener for the Armada proved to be a great success.  The Fleet dominated behind a strong outing from Currier, and a 9-run inning never hurt anyone.

As for the non-baseball part of the evening: despite the game starting closer to 7pm than the planned 6:35pm, the game ended in time for fans to enjoy the fireworks display (thank you, city of Long Beach) without any hiccups.  The Eliminators filled the concourse with great tunes during the pregame festivities on the concourse.  How awesome was that prize wheel!  And the kid zone, geez, I lost count of how many different inflatable bounce-houses were set up.

Arby I and myself "got into it" out on the field, and I did get my behind whooped by the Feathered Friend of the Fleet while I was wearing a goofy sumo suit.  I don't know how "real" the fighting looked, but I hope that all yall who came out to the game enjoyed the skit.

Kudos to the fans who helped fill Blair Field last night and make opening night 2008 the great success it was.

One down.  43 to go.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Armada 11 Scorpions 1

There was fireworks after the game and in the fourth inning for the Armada. Thanks in part to a brilliant pitching performance by Rik Currier and timely hitting. All this after a sixteen hour bus ride. Yes a sixteen hour bus ride. The fleet came out strong in the home opener.

The game was a scoreless tie until the fourth inning when GBL Player of the Week Maikel Jova blasted a solo shot to left center to give the Scorpions a brief 1-0 lead. In the bottom half of the fourth is when the Armada came out firing. Thanks in part to a 3RBI triple by C Octavio Martinez and subsequent RBI's from LF Dan "Double" Trumble, DH Tony Torcato, 3B Ryan Lehr, 2B Cleatus Davidson and CF Julian Williams. The Armada scored 9 runs in the fourth inning off Yuma starter Ryan McGrath(0-2) who went 3IP giving up 6 earned on 9 hits walking one and striking out 2.

The Armada would add two more runs in the eighth to mark the final score 11-1 in the home opener. As I mentioned at the top, the outstanding pitching performance from starter/pitching coach Rik Currier(1-2). The USC alum pitched a complete game giving up one run on 3 hits, walking 3 and striking out 10 Scorpions. Manager Steve Yeager was quoted after the game saying "this will show our young guys, that you can go out there and play your best after a long bus ride with hardly any warm up."

Game time tomorrow is 7:05pm. Due to pitch for Long Beach is Jerome Williams (3-0) and for Yuma Roger Luque (0-2). You can bet the Scorpions will make it a game tomorrow and avoid going down 2-0 in the four game series. The game will be a simulcast at LONGBEACHARMADA.COM and at IBNSPORTS.COM.

GAME 1 ARMADA VS. SCORPIONS LINEUP

YUMA
1B RICH JANEWAY
3B HENRY CALDERON
CF YOSVANY ALMARIO
RF MAIKEL JOVA
LF JEREMY CLEVELAND
DH AJ VALENTINE
SS RYAN BARBA
C HANSELD DIAZ
2B PATRICK CUMMINS
P RYAN MCGRATH


LONG BEACH
2B CLEATUS DAVIDSON
CF JULIAN WILLIAMS
3B RYAN LEHR
DH TONY TORCATO
RF CHRIS KLEMM
LF DAN TRUMBLE
1B NORM HUTCHINS
C OCTAVIO MARTINEZ
SS PETIE MONTERO
P RICK CURRIER

Monday, June 9, 2008

Rare off day

The Fleet had the evening off, and I hope they enjoyed it.  Starting tomorrow (@ Reno, 7:05pm) the Armada will play 19 games in 20 days.  The team just traveled from Chico back to Reno for a three-game set against the Silver Sox.  After these three games (June 10-12), the team will bus back to Long Beach for the June 13th home opener!

LB 11, CHI 3: Trumble, Klemm each homer twice

After dropping three game road games and drifting to a .500 record, the Armada offense provided the wind that pushed the Fleet to victory. The outfielders combined for a big night, including four home runs (two each by RF Klemm and LF Trumble). Despite losing catcher David Parrish to the Rockies, the Armada refused to get caught at The Nett. Here's the game recap from last night.

CHICO, Calif. -– Former major leaguer Jerome Williams allowed just one earned run over seven innings while Dan Trumble and Chris Klemm each belted a pair of home runs to power the Long Beach Armada to an 11-3 victory over the Chico Outlaws Sunday at Nettleton Stadium to salvage the finale of a three-game weekend series.

Long Beach (6-5) dialed long distance early in the contest – Octavio Martinez singled to lead off the 2nd inning…then Trumble bombed a Jason Roach pitch over the left field wall to give the Armada a 2-0 lead. In the 4th Long Beach took advantage of a pair of Outlaws errors to score three times and up their advantage to 5-0 – Julian Williams delivered an RBI single and Cleatus Davidson knocked in a pair with a two-out double to left. Chico got on the board in the bottom of the 4th – Jose Valdez doubled and came home on a fielder’s choice grounder off the bat of Lino Garcia…later in the inning Casey Garrison singled home Todd Gossage to make the score 5-2.

That would be as close as the Outlaws (3-10) would get – Klemm led off the Long Beach 5th with a solo homer to make it 6-2…then in the 8th the Armada put the game away with two more home runs, one a solo shot by Trumble off reliever Derrick Landavazo…then with two outs and the bases loaded, Klemm blasted a grand slam off Todd Gelatka to push the score to 11-2. Chico strung together three hits to plate a run in the 8th off Long Beach reliever Sean Buller (Steve Boggs scoring on a Julian Benavidez single) to make it 11-3…but Nick Cavanaugh came in from the Armada bullpen to retire the Outlaws in order in the 9th to lock down the Long Beach victory.

Williams got the win to improve to 3-0 on the season…Roach took the loss to slip to 0-3. Julian Williams led a 17-hit Long Beach attack with a 4-for-5 performance; Davidson had three hits and Klemm finished the night with five RBI. The Outlaws had nine hits, with Valdez and Kevin McCarthy each going 2-for-4.

The Fleet is off Monday before a three game series in Reno kicks off on Tuesday (June 10-12). The Armada docks at Blair Field on June 13 for their home opener against the Yuma Scorpions.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Parrish movin' on up

Reports are that Armada catcher David Parrish is having his contract bought out by the Colorado Rockies organization. He'll most likely be designated to AA Tulsa where he'll be the starting catcher, and he's got a solid chance to move up to AAA Colorado Springs.

Parrish is the 16th player from the Armada to have his contract bought out in the team's history. So far this season, he's batting .344 (11-for-32) with 3 HR and 13 RBI in 10 games. Parrish has also scored 11 runs for the Armada in 2008.

Manager Steve Yeager knew he would most likely have a catcher picked up early on, which is why the Armada kept three on the roster when the team broke camp. Octavio Martinez will step into the starting role, and David Ramirez will move up a spot on the depth chart.

Arby I at Los Altos LL

Los Altos Baseball & Softball little league had their closing ceremonies on Saturday, and Arby I, Crazy Josh and others went out to El Dorado Park to join in the festivities. Check out the fun they had with the teams, the parents and the pets...
















video

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Navigator IV is here!

The newest edition of The Navigator - the official newspaper of the Long Beach Armada - is here. Keep your eyes on the look out around town for one. You can swing by the office to pick one up, or grab one on opening night (June 13 at 6:35pm).

2nd game slumps

This is getting a little ridiculous.

Once is chance. Twice is coincidence. Three times, something's up. When Armada ticketing guru Arin pointed out the Fleet had lost it's third second-game-of-the-series this season, I had to stop and think. It happened in St. George, Chico and now in Reno with last night's 11-8 drilling. The final score doesn't reflect the lashing the Silver Sox dished out last night, but it was there.

I'm not quite sure the reason for the loss. In each situation, it's been a different pitcher on the mound. In St. George, Bierbrodt (1-1) went five innings. In Chico, pitching coach Rik Currier (0-1) made his first start of 2008. Last night, Ryan Claypool - who struggled in a relief appearance in the last series - took the L. All of these men are fine pitchers, terrific pitchers at this level, but perhaps it has more to do with that second-game-of-a-series than anything.

My theory - albeit probably not a very good one, but it's what I got - is that after winning game one against the Roadrunners, Outlaws and Silver Sox is that the Armada got a little laxed because they already have one win in a road series (which is all they've played to this point). Winning on the road in any sport is tough. It's especially difficult in baseball when the game is designed to favor the home team.

I'm not saying these guys are intentionally letting up. I don't think that's in the make up of this team. If anything, they are the type of guys who want to keep the pressure on. When asked about their double-digit run games this season, many of them told me that they don't want to let up even when they're up big; they want to run the other team out of their own stadium. And they've been able to do that several times.

Just not in the second game of a series.

Each time, the Armada has been able to bounce back to win the third game. This two-game set against the Silver Sox breaks their rhythm a little. LB is 5-3 as they head to Chico for their final trip to The Nett in 2008 (unless we have a '07 title rematch in this postseason). If they escape with another 2-1 series win, that's fine...

...even if they do drop that pesky second game.

Let us know what you think. Post a comment with your theory of why LB is 0-3 (all three losses of the season) in second games.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

LB 7, CHI 6: Yoo drives in 2 in 8th

Chico, Calif -- Armada rookie infielder Stephen Yoo took full advantage of his first professional start, driving in the winning runs for Long Beach in a 7-6 win at Nettleton Stadium in Chico, Calif. You finished 2-for-4 with three RBI.

The Armada trailed the majority of the game, but managed to keep things close enough until Yoo – who started at 2B in place of Cleatus Davidson – came through with the winning RBI.

The Outlaws (1-6) again scored first thanks to a three-run homerun by Chico 3B Jose Valdez in the first inning. Valdez finished the night with five RBI, thanks to his two-run double in the seventh inning.

Armada SP Jerome Williams struck out 10 Outlaws to earn his second win of the season. Williams (2-0) settled down after giving up three runs in the first inning. He finished the evening with six earned runs, eight hits, 10 strike outs and three walks in seven innings pitched.

The Armada (4-2) trailed 3-0 when LF Dan Trumble led off the second inning with a double. Octavio Martinez, who played 1B tonight, drove in Trumble with a single to right field. As Trumble came around to score, Outlaws RF Casey Garrison made a laser throw the plate, but C Bryan Silverman could not hold onto the ball. Yoo drove in Martinez later in the frame, to lessen the deficit, 3-2.

Armada C David Parrish added a solo homerun (1) in the fourth inning, and a Martinez single drove in RF Chris Klemm in the sixth to tie the game 4-4. Martinez finished the night 2-3 with two RBI.

Williams gave up two more runs in the bottom of the seventh, giving the Outlaws a 6-4 lead before the Armada’s three-run eighth inning.

Outlaws reliever Trevor Caughey (0-1) took the loss. Despite giving up three earned runs in the eighth, he struck out five Sailors in three innings of relief work. Outlaws SP Tyler Pearson did not factor into the decision. (6 IP 8 H 4 R 2 SO 2BB)

Nick Bierbrodt and Nick Cavanaugh each pitched a scoreless inning of relief. Cavanaugh earned the save, the first for the Armada this season.

The Armada next play Wednesday in Reno against the Silver Sox.

Today's lineups

Here's today's starting lineups.  If you like us posting these up here on the blog, let us know, and we'll continue to do it before each Armada game.  If not, it might not keep happening.

LONG BEACH
1. Steve Moss - CF
2. Petie Montero - SS
3. Ryan Lehr - 3B
4. Tony Torcato - DH
5. Dan Trumble - LF
6. Chris Klemm - RF
7. Dave Parrish - C
8. Octavio Martinez - 1B
9. Stephen Yoo - 2B
SP - Jerome Williams (1-0)

CHICO
1. Steve Boggs - LF
2. Jesse Kovacs - 2B
3. Jose Valdez - 3B
4. Julian Benavidez - 1B
5. Lino Garcia - CF
6. Todd Gossage - DH
7. Bryan Silverman - C
8. Casey Garrison - RF
9. Eric Pringle - SS
SP - Tyler Pearson (0-0)

Armada reunion

The OC Flyers just pulled up to the hotel here in Oroville, Calif. (where GBL teams stay to play Chico), and into the lobby walked former-Armada-turned-Flyers coaches Darrel Evans and Dan Dipace.

They were greeted with hugs and handshakes by their former players. Members of last year's Armada team Chris Klemm, Dan Trumble, Sean Buller, Dusty Gober and David Ramirez all got to catch up with their former coaches who are now part of Gary Carter's staff in OC.

The Armada and Flyers meet for the first time in 2008 on June 20 at Blair Field.

Early schedule woes

The schedule-makers didn't do the Armada any favors to start off the season.  After a three-game opening series at St. George, Long Beach sat idle for five days before taking the field Friday in Chico.  

After tonight's third game against the Outlaws, the Armada will bus home, arriving early Monday morning only to leave most likely on Tuesday for a trip to Reno.  My question is why not have the team just go to Reno early, get a little rest and be ready to play, instead of an additional 17+ hours of riding a bus?

Originally there was talk that the team would leave for Reno early Wednesday morning to arrive later in the day for a game.  That's more than an 8.5 hour bus ride, not including stops.  That's a good recipe for a tired team.

I will throw this bone to the GBL schedule-makers: it's tough to build a decent schedule for both LB and the OC Flyers because they use stadiums that often host college playoff baseball (Blair and Goodwin Fields).  As a result, neither team can start their home schedule until the season is well underway.  

After the upcoming Reno-to-Chico-to-Reno trip this week, the Armada schedule will settle down the rest of the season.