LATROBE DERRY AREA TEENER LEAGUE
The Heat Siphon 2023 season is officially underway and we wish to welcome all our new and returning players to Team Heat Siphon Baseball. This year as in previous years the continued success of our team comes from the players, parents, coaches and volunteers of our team. Through these efforts it is our 2023 goal to continue our winning tradition. With a focus on skill development, teamwork and sportsmanship we are excited to begin yet another year of baseball. Thanks to All… and GO HEAT.
2023 Season Record 0-0-0
Special Recognition to all the parents, fans, sponsors, supporters and volunteers who have contributed so much to the success of Team Heat Siphon throughout the years we express our gratitude and sincere appreciation. A special Thank You to Heat Siphon’s Team Katie Moser and others who help throughout the year. With your help Team Heat Siphon will continue to be a enjoyable and successful baseball team.
Team Heat Siphon was developed to provide a place where players, coaches and their families can get up to date information, share photos, and view team related information. Articles, Game Updates and Commentary's are also posted when available in Coaches Corner
Terry Stephenson, Brandon Fridley, Matt Dixon, Gib Stemmler, Pat Flynn, John Cecchini (Statistician) Forever Remembered Jeff Ferlin
Heat Siphon 2023 Team Mom
Your 2023 Heat Siphon Pumpers
HEAT SIPHON BASEBALL 2018 LDATL Champions
Letter to our 2018 Heat Siphon Latrobe Derry Area Teener League Champions,
A huge thank you to all of our coaches, managers, scorekeeper and parents who have stepped up to the plate this year. This successful season could not have been achieved without your continued support. Although we have said it before "this team truly was something special".
We have had many great young players and teams here at Heat Siphon in the past and this year’s group has continued that tradition. It has been an honor and a privilege to coach this talented group of young men and we wish them well in their future endeavors and in life. The lessons in baseball are not only about the skills taught and learned on the field but the sense of teamwork , family , integrity and drive to complete a common goal will be valuable off the field as well.
To our retiring players we want to congratulate you on an extremely successful year. You leadership and dedication to excellence really did help guide us to the first ever Heat Siphon back to back championship years. You will be truly missed and we wish you all the best. Regardless of which path you take you next either on or off the field you will always be HEAT.
To our current players you will have the opportunity to build upon and continue what has become a Heat Siphon Baseball tradition. Your commitment and skills allowed this team to possess depth and quality of play rarely seen throughout the year. Our team next year will have an entirely new look and will be faced with new challenges and we believe you will all build upon what has now become a somewhat storied Heat Siphon tradition and continue winning.
With this year’s Championships and last year’s league championship this may well be the best team this league has seen in quite some time. We look forward to seeing you continue playing baseball and be successful in all that you do. Congratulations on a great year and thank you for memories and moments we can look back on for a lifetime. GO HEAT! Congratulations Once Again To The 2018 Latrobe-Derry Area Teener League Champion Heat Siphon Pumpers
Heat Siphon Secures 2017 Teener League Championship With Determination and Team Effort
Congratulations to the entire Heat Siphon team for a successful year and a win over a very good and skilled St. Anthony’s team. With many see-saw moments during this year’s best of 3 series the Heat were able to earn leads and hold off hard fighting determined club to secure the wins and the title.
At the very beginning of the season all of your coaches and manager believed that this team was talented enough and determined enough to have a shot at the top. This season has been a “true team effort" from every player to do their part to make that a reality. The team spirit and dedication this team processes from players on the field to parents, alumni, and coaches runs deep. You have made all of those both past and present very proud of your dedication, performance and recent success.
Enjoy the win and remember both on and off the field you will always be able to say that you played baseball for the Heat Siphon pumpers and were part winning this year’s 2017 title.
Many Heat players before your time could not say they were champions while they played, but they will always say it was great to be part of this team. It is special and rare to earn the title Champion in this league but you have now earned that right. Although previous team members may not have all been part of a championship title they are all champions in our books.
There were many failures and triumphs throughout this season as in life but we went on adjusted and met the challenges. Baseball is a game of the many not the few. No one individual performance can decide a win or a loss. But the efforts of an entire team working together can.
It was a nerve racking exciting, fun year that has sadly now come to a close. But what better way to spend an off-season than at the top. You all have earned that right this year. Great Team Effort!!!
Before you know it we will back at it looking for another successful year so until then GO HEAT!
Photos Below Can Be Downloaded To Save.
Photos Throughout The Years
This is just a collection of some of the photos from past years in particular order.
Heat Siphon Coaches Corner
Welcome Heat Siphon Pumpers...
The Heat welcomes many new players to the team this year. After our first practice as a team the coaches are optimistic that the Pumpers will once again be a successful team with championship possibilities. Newly drafted talent combined with our current skilled players should indeed make the "Heat" very competitive. We covered a few basics in our first full team practice and will continue that along with more advanced focused skills as we progress. It is early in the baseball season and we have a lot to cover before our opening day game so if it any time you have a question as a coach. There is a lot of experienced years in your coaching staff.
Some of things we will be working on at practices to come are of course fielding, hitting and base running, pitching skills for pitchers and catching drills for catchers. You will find though that an important skill we also focus on is learning the game well to help avoid mental errors as well as physical errors.
We will strive for accuracy in throwing and work on knowing the game as well as you can. Although we are limited in what we can cover with inside practice we still will develop good memory skills. It is a long season and we are just starting the 2019 journey as a new team so this season is what you make of it. Your coaches agree that as a team you appear to have the raw talent, the question is do you have the drive?
New players and veterans welcome to the 2019 Heat Siphon "Pumpers"
Coaches Corner Season 2016
"Heat Rising” Heat Siphon Pumpers Off to “HOT” Season Start
With one quarter of the season under their belts the heats has responded with 6 total wins and are off to a good start in the combined games the pumpers have played so far they have offensively scored 96 runs and held opponents to a total of 52. With a 2 to 1 ratio this team has proven it can and will successfully score. Although we have room to grow offensively and defensively this team is beginning to gel as we imagined. We have proven we can sustain a lead and also come from behind when the going gets tough. This will be even more important as the teams we play this year will also improve and wins will be earned. We have made some mental errors along the road but believe that those will be corrected as we forge ahead in the quest for a championship opportunity. As you all know there is no easy win we will practice and stay as ready as we can for our next scheduled opponent. With many good teams in this league you will have “earn and learn” as we go. Many of you do understand that the good of the team comes first so you need to be ready at any time to contribute even if you are not always in the starting roles. Pay attention, be respectful and ask questions if you can. We have noticed a few signs of players moving towards a leader role and that is a great sign that you all are involved and wants to succeed. Some worthy notes about our recent games are the ability to bring strong pitching performances, smart base running, hustle, and clutch hitting at key times to the field. We have had a few innings in which we have not really responded well and that happens in any sport. Baseball is no exception. Pick each other up when you’re down because no-one is expected to win any game single handedly. That is the point! As a team we have room for improvement and we will, but also as a TEAM we have started to put up some impressive stats also. Keep up the good attitude, help each other out any way you can. Believe us when we say that it does not go unnoticed by fans, parents and other teams. They Notice. Although I would like to into all the team highs and lows at this point let’s put it behind us and concentrate on the next one. There is plenty of time to go over what is good and what needs improvement in practices. Celebrate the wins learn from the loss and concentrate on the future. Right now at this point in the season “It is good to be HEAT”. We have a light weak and the weather is not so good so it is a good time to rest those arms and of course do something nice for Mom this weekend. After all I am sure she has done a heck of a lot for you. This team has good character and will get even better so I will leave you with this quote to think about.
“It's not so important who starts the game but who finishes it” Go Heat
The Heat Brings the Bats and Swoops Eagles 18-11
In the first 2016 season outing the Heat Siphon pumpers brought out the bats against a good FOE Eagles team to get their first win. After a bit of a shaky start on both offense and defense the Heat settled into some serious offense scoring 18 runs. With a high offense game the Eagles put up 11 runs of their own which kept them in the game throughout. With the amount of hits we generated we still left a few too many runners on base and made some mistakes which we will work on in practice this week. Some notable plays included our left fielder throwing out a runner at the plate, good base running, pitching, catching and all in all a well played total team game. After the starting nerves settled a bit we played some good ball today. We had a few too many errors which we will correct along with some other things so be ready to practice hard on those also this week. We will be working on a bit more plate discipline with runners in scoring position and better base stealing critiques. Now that the first game is behind us with one in the win column enjoy it and forget it quickly. It was extra special to seal the deal with a win today with the Ferlin family members present. Now we will be focused on our next opponent Nakles which is coming up on Wednesday night. Ice those arms if needed it is a long season and we want to keep everyone as healthy as possible. Good Job and We Will see you all at practice. “Go Heat”
“Spring HEAT is on the Way”
It has been colder as of late but the "Heat" has had a lot of practice so far this season as we prepare for opening day Saturday, April 16th, 2016. Your coaches are pleased with your attentiveness at all the practices. The intensity of our practices will increase as we get better weather and the season progresses. With only a few weeks of practice, we have made sufficient progress in many areas.
We have focused on the basics in skills of bunting, live pitching batting practice, outfield drills, and infield/ outfield drills. We will be more focused on, lead-offs, pick-offs, catching drills and throwing out base runners very soon. With a returning nucleus of players and the edition of all our newest and younger players we believe this team can and will succeed this baseball season. One thing that has been noticed is that this team both younger and older appears to gel very well. This is almost as important as having the skills to win. “We have both”
There are minimal complaints of sore arms and we want to continue the entire year. So please stretch, warm up, and use ice when needed to keep your arms healthy. Always remember to bring a jacket or sweatshirt to wear at practice if needed. We will step it up in the next week, and begin to focus more on game strategies in preparation for our opponents next week. It is a long season so try not to look ahead too much and as they say and focus on the next game. “One at a Time” as they say. Keep up the good work guys and this week you will ALL earn the right to wear a Heat Siphon uniform which should mean a lot to you. It has meant a great deal to the ones who have worn it before you. “Go Heat”
2015 Season over, Eagles swoop on HEAT
After playing 33 games this year, and winning 24 of them, the HEAT didn't have enough fuel, on the final game of the year, as the fire went out, and we were humbled by the F.O.E. Eagles, in a 21 - 3 route on Monday evening. Errors, walks, and abnormal playing brought the season to an end rather quickly. No need to go over the highlights of the game, as it is over and it is time to move on. Congratulations to the F.O.E. Eagles, who won the league playoff championship after ending up in fourth place this year. Check back to the coaches corner later this week to see our last write up as we bid a sad farewell to 7 of our 15 year old players. These guys worked hard for 3 years to do something 7 other teams could not do; play in 2 consecutive league championship series. Not too many teams have played in back to back championship games, and our 14 and 15 year old players can be very proud of this accomplishment.
Good Luck to our parting 15 year old players. These 7 players took us to a 5th place finish at age 13, 4th place at age 14 and 2nd place at age 15. They were able to play in 2 consecutive championship series. We coaches wish them all the best in their future endeavors.
We bid a fond farewell to the following HEAT SIPHON players whom we had the privilege of coaching for 3 years....
Isaac "Ike" Butterbaugh; One of the best defensive catchers in Heat history. His intensity on the field was always evident. Ike's arm kept many opponents from attempting a steal. Great arm strength and accuracy.
Damon "Ham" Hammacher; Most versatile Heat player. Can play anywhere and do anything asked of him. A true team player and leader. Reliable 2nd baseman, steady pitcher, and great catcher. One of our better hitters.
Dom Jellison; One of our most improved players from age 13 to 15. Came on strong as a starting pitcher and as a relief pitcher, was put in some predicaments. Played great center field & shortstop. Won some important games with his arm.
Nick Johnson: A real speedster. Could play any outfield position and was our back-up catcher. Nick was always ready to help his teammates. When on the bases, teams knew he would be stealing.
Brennan Klimchock; Played first, third, outfield. A strong player who could show his power at times. Brennan came through in this years league playoff run with his hot bat Reliable extra hitter. Took the mound for us on occasion.
Matt Palombo: One of our smartest players. Matt played solid defense at 2nd, and always knew what to do with the ball. Matt was always ready to play, and rarely missed practice or games. Great personality and team player.
Jordan Rick; One of the best defensive right fielders in the league. Good arm. Threw out a record 7 runners at first base from right field. His speed was an asset and he rarely got caught stealing. Started the 2015 season on fire at the plate.
Remember; once a Heat Siphon team mate....Always a Heat Siphon team member...come back anytime..
Terry, Gib, Terry, Jeff, Den and Tim
Heat rises to challenge. Earns shot at championship
The HEAT ended up in a real pitcher’s duel on Sunday afternoon, as we defeated the Eagles 2-1 to send the series to a 3rd and deciding game on Monday evening. After giving up a hit to the 2nd Eagle batter in the bottom of the 1st, our starter didn't allow another hit until the 5th inning, as he was dead on with his pitching performance. The score was 1-0 until the Eagles collected 3 straight hits in the bottom of the 5th to tie the game at 1-1. We scored our first run in the 2nd, after loading the bases with no outs; it looked like we would take a commanding lead. However a quick 5-2-3 double play erased these ideas and brought up our extra hitter, who came through with 2 outs to drive in our first run.
Our extra hitter was the only player to record 2 hits in the contest, as the Eagles pitcher was just as tough the entire contest. We recorded only 5 hits, and our 2nd run came across in the top of the 6th when our center fielder scored after reaching base on an error, advancing on a ground out, and scoring the winning run, on a quality at-bat for our designated hitter, which put the ball in play on the right side of the infield. Our starting pitcher only walked 2 batters, while striking out 6 in the complete game victory. He struggled a bit in the 7th, with a high pitch count, as the Eagles loaded the bases. We recorded the first out in the inning, on a ground out, only to allow the first walk in the contest. A hit, fielder’s choice for the 2nd out, brought up the last batter for the Eagles. He walked, turning the batting order over, and forcing a show down between one of the best hitters in the league, against one of the best pitchers in the League, our own starter. Nearing 100 pitches and facing being pulled from the game, he showed his toughness, throwing a first pitch strike before the game ending pop up
Our center fielder made a nice running catch, our catcher/pitcher limited their steal attempts, our 2nd baseman was at the perfect place to stop a hit up the middle, our 3rd baseman made perfect throws to first, our shortstop played smart and steady, our outfield played deep and steady. A victory for the Heat... who live to play another day. In both series, we came on strong in the 2nd game, to win, and set up a winner take all final game. We are ready for this final challenge, and, as we have done all year, we will overcome any adversity, and bring the "A GAME" for OUR FINAL HEATBALL GAME.
The road just got a little steeper and harder to climb, but the goal is still in sight as we lost our first round game Saturday afternoon to the Eagles. 3 Home runs by the Eagles combined with a lack of clutch hitting, some defensive errors, detoured the "HEAT" from overcoming the first hurdle in the best of 3 series. However, that is why the series is 3 games, we now need to forget about this loss and come out swinging and playing HEATBALL again tomorrow, as the series enters game 2. We have 1 of our best pitchers on the mound, but we will need the bats to heat up and the spirit to return if we are to win. Forget about this game, and come prepared to play your hearts out. "LEAVE IT ALL ON THE FIELD", is our motto. We had our backs against the wall versus Frontier Club, and you all know what happened. BELIEVE and it will come to be. Relax, enjoy the opportunity to play another game, and we will see you all tomorrow.
"Heat" comes back to take 2 of 3 from Frontier Club to advance to League Championship"
By winning 2 consecutive games, we have advanced to the league championship for the 2nd consecutive year. After a 6-0 shutout loss to a very tough Frontier club on Tuesday evening, we bounced back to take the 2nd game last evening, and set up a "winner take all" game tonight in front of a great crowd at Rosa-Oglietti Park. We scored early, and our pitchers held them to only 2 hits, while our defense was superb; with no errors and some great defensive plays. We won 8-1 in a hard fought contest and move on. In the last 2 nights, we found our "mojo"; quality at-bats, great defense, hustling and SPIRIT by the whole team. Our pitching in this series has been tremendous, with last night’s complete game victory by our senior pitcher, and a great first game performance by our junior leader.
We did what we did best all year in our 21 victories; pitched well, threw strikes, played great defense, backed each other up, hit our cut-offs, hustled in the field and on the bases, and hit the ball hard on the ground and avoided pop flies.. The F.O.E. Eagles, are up next, after upsetting the number 1 seed in the tournament; Derry Ukes. Their 2 game sweep, sets up a best of 3 games, "face-off" starting on Saturday afternoon. The first team to win 2 games in this championship series will be crowned the Latrobe Derry Area Teener League Champion for 2015. This is what we ran many laps for, caught 1000 grounders or flies for, worked on team drills, cut - offs, situational drills, pressure drills, and worked our butts off for. To play in a championship series. Well; it's here and our work is not done.
Our goal is now, within reach, and if we continue to play "Heatball" we will attain what we set out to do 6 months ago. It all started in February, when we had our first indoor winter practices. A truly team effort all year allowed us to be here. We faced a lot of adversity all year, with injuries, incidents and absences, but every one of our team stepped up at different times to contribute to where we are at today. Several of you were called on at various times as we coaches have all the confidence in each one of you. We will need all 15 team members to again contribute if we are to reach our GOAL. We can enjoy the last 2 nights, but remember we are not home yet. Do NOT FORGET last year’s final 2 games against Nakles...to realize how rare it is to win a league championship. A chance like this may not come around again, so come to the field on Saturday, with the same great attitude and desire that we know you all possess, and we will be ready for our next challenge.
Heat re-kindles, burns Frontier Club before downpour
The Heat fell behind early to the 3rd place Wagoneers, but came on strong before the wind and rain, to win 9-3 in a battle for 2nd place. FC led the game off with a double and single, but a headsup relay throw, cut down the runner going to 2nd, and stopped the scoring. After tying the game 1-1 in our half of the first, we fell behind again by a run, heading into the 3rd, when we tied it again. We had some trouble with the FC pitcher, as we struck out 8 times, 4 looking at the 3rd strike. However, with the wind and rain, looming... we scored 6 times in the bottom of the 4th inning, chasing the FC hurler from the mound, just before the downpour. Game over, 20th win of the year, 2nd place assured, fight for 1st place ahead. If we don't win out, this same Frontier club will be our opponent in the 2015 playoffs.
There were some GREAT catches tonight. Center fielder made 2, left fielder 1, third baseman stopped a sure hit, and our 2nd baseman, moved to short made a great sliding/throwing play to rob FC of another hit. Our first baseman, also made a nice running over-the shoulder catch in the 3rd. 2 Heat players had 2 of our 6 hits; our left fielder and first baseman, they were also the only starters to not strike out tonight. Our pinch hitter, turned the game around with a perfect suicide bunt, which led to the tying run, error and 2 more runs in the bottom of the last inning. AS the wind at the field picked up, the wind in the sails of the wagoneers faded, and we jumped out for 4 more runs before the game was called off.
Our goal for a league championship is still in our reach, and we have to keep winning and hope that the Ukes are upset 1 time, to set up a 1 game match, in the last game of the year. Our pitching staff needs to find their control again, as in our last 3 games, our strike to ball ratio has declined. Several of our hitters need to find a way out of their late season slump, our runners need to pay attention better, our at-bats, need to be more successful moving up runners, and our team spirit needs to play like we did tonight after the umpire took one of our best players out of the game for something "petty:" Let's step it up a notch for the rest of the year......
"HEAT" walks away with 11-5 victory over Nakles
Limiting Nakles to only 4 hits, our Heat won Wednesday night over a tough Nakles team by 6 runs. After scoring the first 6 runs of the game, Nakles pecked away to make it close, 6-3 before we finally added more runs to give our starting pitcher his 3rd victory of the year. 8 walks allowed Nakles to keep the game close, while we left the bases loaded 3 times while stranding 12 runners in our victory. 2 relief pitchers, came through, despite several walks, and closed the door, before any more damage was done.
Our hitting was sporadic, and we had some non - quality at-bats this game. Our left fielder/relief pitcher was the only player with 2 hits and 2 runs, while getting on base 3 times this evening. Our starting pitcher/3rd baseman had our only double of the game. Our catcher and 2nd baseman/relief pitcher also had 2 runs each. Our middle reliever walked 2 and gave up 2 runs, while our last reliever, struggled at first walking 2 consecutive batters before striking out the next 3 batters. He also came on strong in the 7th inning, allowing 2 fly balls and a weak grounder to end the game. We will have to play better baseball on Friday evening against the 3rd place Frontier Club, if we want to come away with a victory. We played unemotional at times tonight. All 3 of our pitchers struggled with their control, as none could throw 60% strikes in the game.
On a positive note, our bench came on strong, with our youngest player getting into his first game, walking and scoring a run. Pinch hitters came through, as did our pinch runners. We turned a nice double play at short and 2nd, with a nice stretch by the first baseman, to stop an early threat. We left 3 men on base in the first, 4th and 5th innings. We need to capitalize on these opportunities, if they arise in the future. We were given 8 walks, and couldn't take full advantage. We had 1 error tonight... a good thing. We are heading into the last leg of our schedule, and if we want to reach our goal, of a league championship, we will need to step it up a notch in the final 2 weeks of our season. We need one or two more pitchers to come forward and take charge. We need certain hitters, who are striking out too often, or having bad at bats, to improve. We cannot continue to see the same players hit weakly, or continually miss pitches. Our best hitters will get the opportunity to get more at bats, while our best defensive players will be in the game when the game is on the line. Don't be content with our progress to date, and we must continue to BE HUNGRY and PLAY WITH MORE SPIRIT.
The "HEAT" crashes and burns.....
In a battle for first place Friday evening the Derry Ukes shutout our HEAT by a 6-0 score. 3 of our first 6 batters reached base via hits, but that would be all the hitting, as a very good Ukes pitcher stifled our bats after the 2nd inning. No Heat batter reached 2nd base after we left 2 men in scoring position in the top of the first inning. In the bottom of the first, 3 balls that should have been caught, led to 4 runs for the Ukes. We never mounted a threat afterwards. We had 3 singles before the first out in the 2nd inning, but 13 consecutive outs, 8 by strikeouts, cooled off the HEAT. Our starting pitcher threw very well, only allowing 4 hits all game. He should have fared better. Our first relief pitcher, struggled again, but we only allowed 2 runs after the first inning. This game is over, and although it dropped us out of first place for the first time in 5 weeks, we must forget about this loss, as we have another tough opponent tomorrow afternoon. The Frontier Club Wagoneers will be looking for revenge; as we knocked them out of 2nd place the last time we played them. This is the 2nd of 5 important games for the HEAT. We play them one at a time. So shake off this loss, and come out tomorrow to prepare for our playoff run ...... play a game at a time.
OWLS SUCCUMB TO HEAT BLAST
The Heat blasted out 15 runs, on 12 hits, in a barn burner Saturday afternoon to record their 17th victory of the year. After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the first, we pulled out the hot bats, and we sent every batter to the plate in the bottom of the inning, to take a 10-1 lead heading into the top of the 2nd. 5 more runs in the 2nd, again, sending every batter to the plate, gave us a 15 to 1 lead, and we never looked back. The game was called on the mercy rule, after 5 innings.
4 pitchers limited the Owls to only 3 runs, as our starter was very strong for 3 innings. With a commanding lead, we pulled him from the mound to give some of our other pitchers some experience. We sent in 2 younger pitchers for an inning each, and finally sent in our 14 yr. old closer to limit the Owls from scoring any more runs, after they loaded the bases in the 5th, and threatened to make a comeback and eliminate the 12 run mercy rule. With all the baseball games that we played this past week, plus another game tomorrow evening, the 5 inning game is just what we needed. The entire baseball team (all 14 players) got to play defense and get some at-bats this game. After jumping on the fast ball from the Owls first 2 pitchers, they sent in rookie pitchers to also give them experience. Scoring was limited after the first 2 innings.
Our catcher again was able to throw out some important runners early in the game. Our starting pitcher held them close to the bag, and his strong arm did the rest. He threw strikes all day, and kept his pitch count low. We stole some important bases in the first inning, on a good Owl catcher. We hit the ball extremely hard early in the game, as everyone contributed in their first 2 at-bats. Fly balls were not on the menu today.
HEAT rises....while Vets cooled down.
Hitting, good pitching, and a great effort by the top and middle of our batting order led the way to a victory over a good Cooperstown Vets on Thursday evening. The top of our batting order accounted for 8 hits, 10 runs and 7 RBI's while our middle hitters contributed another 5 hits, 1 run and 2 RBI's to help the cause. Starting pitching was again strong, as our senior ace, held Cooperstown to only 3 hits and 3 runs, until the last inning, when he was pulled. Relief pitching struggled a bit, but kept the Vets from mounting any comeback. Our leadoff hitter had a double to start the game and scored 3 runs. Our 3rd batter scored 3 times with a double and 2 hard singles, while our clean up hitter contributed 4 RBI's tonight and 3 sharp singles. Our 5th, 6th and 7th batters contributed another 5 hits in our barrage of power and strength. We seemed to find our rhythm tonight at the plate, with quite a few quality at-bats.
We stole bases, moved runners up, stayed away from fly outs, and we put the ball on the ground, to pave the way for a quality win over a team fighting for a playoff spot. We can't enjoy this win too long, as we have 2 more games over the weekend. Our pitching staff is getting some nice outings, while we also are getting our younger pitchers some much needed experience. Tonight our starter tried to get his first complete game of the year, and he came close. He lasted 6 and 1/3 innings with 5 strikeouts, 3 walks and 2 hit batters, before tiring. He threw over 90 pitches, 52 of them strikes, and relied on his curve ball to keep the Vets off balance. His strategy worked well tonight. Our 14 yr. old reliever ended the game facing only 5 Vet batters , walking 2 and allowing 1 hit and a run, to preserve our 15th victory. The Vets didn't get their first hit until a leadoff double in the 4th inning. A nice double play, some good defense and great pitching performance ended the game in less than 2 hours, before the rains returned. We scored at least 2 runs on each of the 3 Vet pitchers. We have Friday off before we face 2 teams on Sat. and Sun. See you on Saturday at 11:30, and let's keep the bats in the oven so that they stay hot.
"Heat" grills Nakles, 9-4 for 15th win...
The Heat overcame a tough Nakle's team on Tuesday evening, for a lackadaisical (look it up) victory. Despite several players having cold bats, the team battled and pitched our way to our 15th win. Pop ups and fly outs were the main course this evening Nakle’s pitchers handcuffed many of our batters. 14 outs were recorded with the baseball not touching the ground. The same players seemed to be trying to loft the ball in the air, rather than strive for hard line drives or grounders. This must change, before it becomes a habit. Our shortstop, catcher and first baseman were the only players hitting the ball hard this evening. Our shortstop came through with 3 RBI's, 2 hits including a double, to maintain his hot hitting streak. Our Catcher contributed 2 singles, while our left fielder also contributed a double and single. 6 of our 11 hits were hit in the air and seemed to fall in between Nakles players, not a good showing. 14 fly outs is a problem. We will address this in the cage, before our next game. Batters must learn how to adjust to the pitches, especially after facing the same pitcher for 4 times in a game. We should be getting better at the plate, and with a few exceptions, our batting has cooled off, while our pitching has gotten hotter.
Our pitcher, starting for the first time this year, threw over 100 pitches, 55% strikes, and lasted 5 innings. He won for the first time, walking 6 and striking out 3. Our reliever, another new pitcher, threw 2 very good innings, striking out 3 batters in his 2 innings of work. Congratulations to them both. Defensively, we had a few non typical errors again, on plays that we know you can make: routine fly balls popping out of the glove, pop ups falling in between players, not calling "I got it" or "take it". Again, we hope this will not continue.
We have only 8 more games, to get these "kinks" out of our system, before the playoffs. You all need to continue to work on your "weaker" areas. By now, you all should know what those areas are. If not, ask any coach. We have quite a few games before we can practice again, so you must work at home or on a field with your buddies. We only have about 40 more days of HEATBALL, until 7 of you graduate and move on, so let's play our best baseball in these next 5 weeks. We would like our senior players to carry the team into the playoffs, and not be the players carried into the playoffs by the younger guys. Some of you are not making any progress, and this can be contributed to a few things;
1) only touching the baseball and bat when you come to our games 2) lack of concentration during practice and games 3) not listening to your coaches 4) and finally, being satisfied with allowing your team mates to take the lead.
We want you all to play at 100%, every game, every inning, until the final out. Everyone has been playing in games, and when we get to the tough part of our schedule and into the "stretch" for the playoffs, playing time may diminish for those of you that continue to struggle
Cooperstown Vets burnt again by HEAT...
Out hit by the Vets, we turned our 5 hits into 8 runs to defeat them 8-1 on Friday evening. 5 of our first 6 batters contributed our only hits, all singles with the exception of our lead-off hitter, who contributed a double in our 14th win. Our starting pitcher lasted over 80 pitches, to record the win. The Vets had 7 hits, 5 walks, and left runners stranded in scoring position, to help our cause. Our relief pitcher again, stepped on the mound and did his job, as he's done all year, despite not having his best control.
Base running was one of our highlights, as we took an extra 90 feet when given the opportunity. A nice 7-4 double play in the 2nd inning was one of the game highlights. Our right fielder, again threw out a runner at first, for the 3rd time this year. Our bench contributed nicely again. We struck out too many times (8) on outside pitches, and the Vets pitcher threw good enough to win, but Vet errors and luck was not on his side this evening. We didn't play our best defensive game, nor did we hit as well as we usually do, but we won the way HEAT wins by taking advantage of our opportunities, and doing enough of the right things to win.
Frontier club circled the wagons in the HEAT of the battle....
In a battle of first place teams, our Heat, came out on top with a hard fought 7-3 victory Wednesday evening. Pitching again was at its best, as our starter, battled with a tough Wagoneer pitcher for 4 and a half innings, before our relief pitcher came in to close the game.
After the Wagoneers put the first two men on base to start the game, we were able to prevent them from scoring and head into the bottom of the first on a high note. 4 runs on 5 hits opened the scoring and we never looked back. Frontier Club left 9 men on base during the game, which proved that our "tough players got going when the going got tough". Great defensive plays at first, short, second, and catch, kept our opponent at bay when things looked tough. Our leadoff hitter again had 2 hits, 2 of our players walked 3 times each, scoring 2 runs. Our left fielder had a multi RBI game again. Our designated hitter had another clutch hit and RBI. Our extra hitter had several hits. We had 2 nice sac bunts to move runners up, and they both scored. Our bench came on strong, stealing a base and scoring 2 runs as a pinch runner. 11 players showed up to play, and all contributed in this win.
Relief pitching was excellent. Both pitchers threw over 66% strikes and kept FC batters in the hole all evening; despite allowing a homer, triple and double. This is a very good hitting Frontier Club team. Their leadoff hitter was 4-4, with their top 3 players having multi hits. We played great defense and great offense. We only had 1 strike out all evening. This was a great win, but we cannot dwell on it, as we have another tough opponent waiting for us on Friday. Our jogging base runners must learn how to sprint between bases or they will have to run more at our next practice, You know who you are.....Enjoy the win, but come out Friday ready to keep playing HEATBALL.
Eagles stuffed by Heat, in 12 - 3 Victory
In a battle between 2 of the top teams in our league, the Heat came out swinging tonight to push the Eagles 1 game back in the standings. This important win against a very good F.O.E, team, is a good lead-in for Wednesday night's game against another top team in our league. .
Pitching kept the hot Eagles batters off balance all evening, as our starter threw first ball strikes and kept his control all evening. Our relief pitchers came in after the 5th inning, and did their job. We jumped out to an early lead and scored at least 1 run in the first 5 innings. The game was never in jeopardy as our offense had some quality at bats while our defensive turned in some gems, which helped our cause.
Early in the game, our first pinch hitter had a clutch single to drive in 2 important runs. Our right fielder stole several important bases, made a great catch when he turned the wrong way on a hard fly, and laid down 2 nice bunts for base hits. Our lead-off hitter again had a great game at the plate. 7 players contributed at least one hit. We had great discipline at the plate all evening. We moved runners up, hit to the opposite field, and had some nice clutch hits. Our base running was a little suspect this evening, as our center fielder and left fielder loafed on running the bases, while we had a runner thrown out in home on a bad decision.
We lost our first encounter with the Wagoneer's, and we must play a better game, if we want to remain in first place. Tonight’s win was a big step in the right direction.
Heat explodes for 15-4 victory over LHHC
The Heat bats came alive in an 11 run victory Saturday afternoon over the Laurel Highlands Health Center. After jumping out to an early lead, the Heat kept scoring until the game was called after 6 innings due to the mercy rule. Our 14 yrs old pitcher won his first start in the Teener-league and was able to throw strikes and limit our opponents from getting many hits. He left with the bases loaded in the 4th, and our senior relief pitcher came in to finish the inning and prevent any big comeback. Two other Heat pitchers finally got an opportunity to showcase their abilities, and did very well.
We got our first "dinger" of the year in the 4th inning by our shortstop, with a "blast" to left center field, clearing the wall by several feet. Our short stop also had a double with his home run. Along with that our catcher had a 3 hit day and appears to have overcome some of his early season slumping in a big way. Not only that, he also got to pitch in his first game on this season. The first 7 hitters all had at least 1 hit. Some of our older players and the bottom third of our batting order is still struggling a bit at the plate. With some adjustments we look forward to them contributing more to the Heats “Hot Bats” and we will need that going down the stretch. Keep focused on playing solid team ball and lets keep the fires burning...
Eagles soar over "Heat"
The Eagles got revenge over the Heat on Wed. night, by winning 7-2. With our 2nd loss in our last 3 games, the Eagles are now only 1 game behind us. This loss dropped us into a tie for first place. 6 Heat errors in the contest did us in. The Heat infielders had a rough night fielding ground balls while the Heat base runners and ice cold bats didn't help. We left the bases loaded several innings, didn't take advantage of our opportunities, and ran ourselves out of 2 innings by inefficient base-running. Combined with 6 infield errors, you can see how we lost this very important game. With another game against these same, Eagles, looming on the horizon this Sunday, plus another game against Laurel Highlands on Saturday afternoon... our hold on first place in the Teener league is in jeopardy. We did not do enough to win this game, and we are not correcting our mistakes from one game to another.
3 errors and 3 walks in the first inning put us behind 4-0 before we sent our first batter to the plate. The runs were all unearned. Our starter settled in after this rough first inning, and held the Eagles scoreless until loading the bases in the 4th, when he was pulled after tiring. All 3 Eagle runners scored after hitting our relief pitcher, to end the scoring for the Eagles. Our 2 relief pitchers threw strikes and did not allow another run to score. But the damage was done. Our physical and mental errors continued to haunt us, which is not typical of how we have played in May. June has been a tough month for us so far. We will have to play a lot better if we want to break out of this slump.
We did lose a manager and coach tonight, to the anger of the home plate umpire. But umpiring was not the reason for this loss. We hit into 3 double plays, had 2 important runners thrown out and couldn't come up with any clutch hits, which led to our defeat. We were glad, all players got into the game and make a contribution, but we will have to start playing our best players if we want to keep winning, so make sure you all come to our practice tomorrow, so we can eliminate these problems and find the players that will carry us into the playoffs. The best players will be starting, and if you can show off your talent in practice, it will carry over to the games.
The 'Heat" Walks all over Nakles
13 base on balls, combined with 6 hits, and another good starting pitching performance, led the way for the Heat to get back on the winning track. The 5th game in the last 8 days was played Sunday afternoon. We won our 10th game in a 5 inning game. Falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, we were able to plate the next 12 runs, while stopping our opponent from scoring any more runs, to send Nakles packing.
Our starter threw less than 80 pitches, 70% strikes. He didn't walk a batter, striking out three, and only allowed 6 scattered hits. 5 players scored 2 runs each, with our shortstop gathering 2 singles. Our right fielder had two assists in the game throwing runners out at first base. Our catcher didn't allow any stolen bases. We rebounded from 15 strike outs last evening, to only having 1 today. The game was close for 3 innings, with the score tied 1-1. 7 runs in the 4th and 4 more in the 5th ended the game. Our 2 injured players from last evening were at today's game to support the team. It was good to see them in the dugout. We put our loss behind us, and are ready to start another winning streak.
Ukes cool off "Heat" with superb pitching performance...
18 outs, 15 strike outs, and only 3 hits offensively, will not win any ball games, and the Ukes proved it to us Saturday afternoon. In a great pitching duel between 2 of the best pitchers in our league, the score was 2-0 heading into the bottom of the 5th. Our 10th win was within reach, and we needed a few players to step up with hits, when the fire went out of our bats. We let the flood gates open in the 6th to lose only our 3rd game this year, but what a loss. The Ukes sent 14 men to the plate in the top of the 6th inning to score 10 unanswered runs, ALL WITH 2 OUTS. The game ended because of the mercy rule, 12-0. Game over. It was our worst inning so far this year.
We hope our 2 starters are not seriously injured, and if you get a chance to call or text them, and let them know we are thinking about them, please do so. Our catcher was hit on his throat, and had to leave the game, and go to the hospital, where he was checked out. While our first baseman, who was beaned in the first inning, went for x-rays of his arm. We hope they both are well. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers, as these 2 players are very tough and we all wish them the best.
There wasn't too much "Pretty” to talk about in this "Ugly” loss. But, our lead-off hitter had 2 of our 3 hits, and if he was not thrown out at the plate in the first inning, we may have had the lead heading into the late innings. Our starter only allowed 4 hits, before being pulled and only 1 of them was a solid hit. 2 others were infield singles, and the 3rd hit, was a pop up between 3 of our infielders. We played 5 very tough innings of baseball; HOWEVER, the UKE'S exploded in the 6th inning.
We pulled our starter after a high pitch count, and sent in one of our senior players to relieve him. He was able to record 2 quick ground outs, and he seemed to be in control.... but...The Ukes then sent 12 consecutive batters to the plate in the 6th, all receiving walks or hits, until we were able to get that 3rd out. Our 2nd reliever also came in and he threw strikes, but by then, the UKES bats were HOT. The first batter he faced, the Ukes starting pitcher and one of the best hitters in our league, slammed the ball over the center field fence, and took the remaining air out of our "sails". 6 hits later, we were behind 12 runs and the game was officially over. See you all tomorrow afternoon, and let’s get the bats heated up. We have to put this loss behind us and focus on tomorrow's important game against another tough foe. It is a make up game from an earlier rain-out this year.
Owls overcome by HEAT strokes....
In another close contest with the St. Joe's Owls, the 'HEAT' batters roasted the Owl's pitching staff with 11 hits, in a tough 6-2 victory, Wednesday night. The win gives us a league leading 9-2 record with the UKES waiting in the wings to cool the Pumpers. We will again have to play our best Heatball if we want to continue our winning streak. This game was close throughout, and until the final out, could have gone either way. A great throw from right field, gunning down a runner for a 9-2 double play, with the bases loaded, prevented the Owl's from mounting any comeback in the 5th inning. Another great running catch, in center field, kept the Owls at bay in another inning. A great pickoff throw from our catcher, and tag by our 3rd baseman, early in the game, also helped.
Heat pitching again led the way, with our starter hurling 80 pitches before tiring. He allowed 4 singles, and only walked 3 while striking out 4 in his 1st victory as a Pumper. Our senior reliever again came in to shut the door for his 2nd consecutive save. He didn't allow a hit, walked 2, while striking out 3 in his 2 1/3 innings of work. Both of our hurlers did well, despite neither throwing a lot of first pitch strikes.
8 of our 10 batters contributed at least one hit. Our first 7 batters all had a hit, as did our #10 hitter. Our lead-off, and 2nd batter, each recording 2 hits, including a double each. Our left fielder also knocked his first double of the year. Rookies made a contribution to this win; the pitcher won his first game as a Pumper, our 2nd baseman had 2 RBI's and our extra hitter scored 2 runs tonight. We had a few easy errors that can easily corrected by more concentration. Batters again struck out too often, with runners in scoring position. It is the same batters who are not putting the ball into play. We may need to make some batting changes in order to boost our offensive power. Those of you, who continue to struggle at the plate, need to take some extra batting practice and focus on hitting ground balls and making contact with 2 strikes.
"Heat" battles Eagles in a "Memorial" Game
The "Heat: and Eagles battled on Memorial Day as the Heat used "small ball" and a fantastic game ending running catch to secure our 8th win of the season. With the tying run on 3rd, and winning run on 2nd, our center fielder sprinted to deep left center and reached up on a full run to grab a sure double at the warning track. He had it "all the way" to end the game, and send the Eagles home, 2 games behind us in the standings. Our starting pitcher had the Eagles off balance all day with 11 strikeouts, and not allowing a base runner until the 4th inning, when following the only runner to reach base, he threw his only bad pitch of the day. It led to a 2 run homer by a great Eagle hitter, and a tie score. He didn't let it bother him, and struck out 4 of the next 5 batters keeping the score tied until small ball took over. Finally in the 5th, a perfect sacrifice bunt by our extra hitter moved the winning run to 2nd. On a clutch 2 strike single by our pitcher, to right field, scored our youngest player with the 3rd and final run. Our pitchers did the rest. In the 7th, following a leadoff walk we brought in our best relief pitcher. He threw only 10 pitches, 8 of them strikes to allow the defense to take over. After a single put 2 runners on, a weak grounder to the mound got the first out and moved the winning and tying runs up 90 feet. Eagles were threatening again. Throwing all strikes to the next 2 batters, a pop up to short led to the deep fly ball for the final out, game over.
We started out poorly, after 3 of our good hitters struck out in the first inning with the bases loaded. A 2-0 lead at that time could have increased, and may have put the Eagles in their cages early. However, give credit to the Eagles, they stayed tough. They didn't get a hit until the 4th inning, and it was followed by the home run. After a shaky first inning, the 2 Eagles pitcher settled down and only allowed only 1 more run, but that was all we needed.
We started the game again without our full roster due to illnesses and vacations. It was our 10th different lineup, and 4 of our players were playing a position they normally do not. Our shortstop made all 4 infield outs allowed by our starting pitcher. Our center-fielder ran to the deepest part of the field to end the game. Our 2nd baseman scored the winning run, and our extra hitter, laid down a perfect bunt to allow our pitcher to bring in the winning run. A true team effort. Our pitcher recorded 11 strikeouts, limiting balls from getting into play, as we recorded only 6 outs defensively. We sent in our relief pitcher, despite his willingness to finish the game. He threw over 80 pitches, with 75% of them being strikes. A great outing for his 5th win of the year.
We play these Eagles again in 1 week, plus we play 2 more teams this week, right behind us in the standings. We have a tough week, and will need this team work to continue, however, we have to improve our hitting. We never adjusted to the umpire calling strikes on the outside corner, and 10 of us whiffed, mostly looking at a pitch. Learn to adjust and hit to the opposite field. We let the bases loaded 2 innings without scoring, once by whiffing 3 times, and the 2nd by 2 weakly batted grounders.
Come early to practice, and we will take the field and work on these issues this week, as the HEAT will need to rise if we want to put some distance between us and the rest of the field.
"Heat" refuses to be extinguished, hang on to topple Vets, 12-11
"A win is a win is a win". "An ugly win is better than a pretty loss". "You learn more from losing... than you do winning". When the going gets tough, the tough get going". These 4 clichés, all summed up our win last night over a "never give up" Vet team. Most teams would have coasted to an easy win when leading by 7 going into the last inning. The Heat DID NOT. Most teams would have given up when down by 8 runs, The Vets DID NOT. Most teams committing 7 errors, 3 in the last inning, will lose. The Heat DID NOT. Most teams would not intentionally walk the winning run in the last inning with the number 3 hitter on deck and win. The Heat DID. Most teams would not leave in their relief pitcher for 50 pitches in the last inning and win. The Heat DID. AND...Most teams are not the HEAT.
We overcame all the above to narrowly escape with a victory last night, despite not playing one of our better games. We swung at pitches out of the strike zone, we missed cutoffs and relays, we made 7 physical errors and numerous mental errors, and we let a good team come back to threaten us in the last inning by scoring 7 and loading the bases when the game ended. We hung tough. We had a lot of confidence in our last relief pitcher, and he came through.
We also had 14 base hits and 4 doubles. We also had strong starting pitching again, only to falter when we had to pull him from the mound. We also gave the fans something to remember, and caught a very high and tough pop up at 3rd to end the game with 3 Vet runners on the bases and the score 12-11.
We also had a new catcher who played extremely well, while throwing out 2 runners at 2nd and a very critical runner at 3rd base in the last inning for the 2nd out. We had 3 different hitters having 3 RBI's each. Our 2nd batter had 3 hits. We again, had 13 players get in the game and make a contribution; either with the bat, playing errorless, making very nice tag outs, stealing an important base, or having a multi hit game while sharing a position. This was a "true" team win.
Congratulation to our starting pitcher, winning for the 3rd time this year. We pulled when leading by 8 runs. Our first relief pitcher went ahead on the first 3 batter he faced with a 1-2 count, but he ended up walking all 3 batters when his control faltered. Our final relief pitcher came in with bases loaded to strike out the only batter he faced in the 6th inning with the bases loaded. The dam busted in the 7th when the 3 errors, walks, and bad throws allowed CV to come back to within 1 run.
"A win is a win..." The last out, was a high popup behind 3rd base, and our 3rd baseman, staggered and fell as he caught the last out behind him; "The tough got going",
We learned from losing an 8-run lead, a 7-run lead heading into the last inning where all of these occurred: Our first baseman missing an easy toss, our left fielder missing a ground ball, emptying the bases for the Vets, and our pitcher walking 4 batters.
Enjoy these 5 days off. Come to our next practice ready to go over the mental mistakes that we continue to make. And finally, remember An Ugly win is better than a pretty Loss.
"Heat Burnt by Frontier Club”
The Heat got scorched by the Waggoner’s, 6 to 2, Saturday afternoon, on the warmest day of the season. The Heat bats never warmed up as we were limited to only 3 hits, none after the 3rd inning, including 9 strikeouts, and 14 consecutive batters without a hit, to end the game. Fielding errors, lack of leadership, strikeouts and poor batting all contributed to our 2nd defeat of the year. We are now looking up at first place with a very tough Cooperstown Vets waiting to redeem an earlier loss to us, on Monday evening. We need to pick it up a notch, as after leading by 2-0, 4 Frontier club runs, mostly unearned, gave them a 4-2 lead. We seemed to give up after that, and we never really mounted any kind of threat. There was no team spirit, hustle, leadership, or any desire to come back. This attitude must change immediately, if we are to compete for the top spot this year.
Our 2 pitchers threw well enough to win which had only 3 batters on FC limited to 8 hits. Our starter lasted 5 and 1/3 strong innings, and the infield errors led to 4 of his 5 runs. Our relief pitcher came in and was strong. We had 2 consecutive hits in the 2nd inning, one of them a double, to take a 2-0 lead. That was all the run production for the day, with only 1 hit, after that. The FC pitcher kept us off balance the entire game, with his fast ball and curve. We looked like we never saw a fastball before. Batters were taking weak swings, as if to only make contact, rather than taking hard swings or working the pitch count. Base running was also a weak point today. We gave the Waggoner’s 9 bases after they got on base, way too many. A clutch hit, a few less errors, a double play on a hard grounder, and results may have been different. BUT today, we didn't show up as a team, and spirit was lacking.
Heat pitchers burn Ukes, in battle of once beaten teams
The Heat won 6-2 over very good and stubborn Ukes on Thursday evening. Both teams were atop the league standings with 1 loss each. This win is the first step up the ladder in a very tough schedule ahead. We play 2 teams in the next 4 days who are right behind us in the standings. We only can enjoy this win for 1 day, as we have to prepare for another tough opponent on Saturday. Frontier Club is our next opponent, with Cooperstown waiting in the wings. on Monday Starting pitching was again our strong point tonight, as our starter threw strikes and kept ahead in the count all evening. We limited him to 80 pitches, with 50 of his tosses being strikes. Our relief pitcher was also dead on with his control. His pitch count was low and his control was high. He came in with 2 men on, and a 4 run lead, and shut the door allowing only 1 more unearned run.
With only 5 hits against 2 top notch Ukes pitchers, we made the most of our hits. 3 players contributed doubles and 2 other players contributed clutch hits in the early innings. Our 2 experienced pitchers did not allow any earned runs. Both Ukes runs came across as a result of fielding errors in the infield. Our pitchers combined for 10 strikeouts and 2 walks.
Our 5 hits, by 5 different hitters, were the lowest of the season. We struck out 7 times this game. We made a few mental mistakes that will need to be addressed before our next 2 important games; signs from our coach were missed, we swung at too many high fastballs, we didn't run the bases as well as we needed to, we didn't know what to do on steals, and we let too many good pitches go by. On a positive note, we didn't let the strikeouts and errors affect any other part of our game. Team spirit was high the entire game. Everyone contributed again, as all players got into the game and helped us secure our 5th win. Catching and outfield play was very good. We almost turned an important double play and with bases loaded in the 4th and 5th innings, our defense stepped up. This was a very good win against a very good opponent. We will see them 3 more times this year, and we must continue to improve. Some of our outfielders need to get away from the one handed catches, and you know who you are. So practice the areas that we have identified as a weakness and enjoy the off day. See you all Saturday and be ready for another tough opponent....they will be ready for us.
The "Heat" feasts on "roasted" Owls
After another extra inning game; this time against the St. Joe's Owls, the Heat snatched away a hard fought 4-3 victory. It was an 8th inning walk, perfect sacrifice bunt, and a clutch single to right field, that sealed our 4th win of the season. This game was a nail biter for all 8 innings. The Owls stranded 13 base runners putting pressure on our defense throughout the entire game. We fell behind early, 2 to 0 in the top of the first inning as our starter struggled with his control. 40 pitches in the first inning and 5 walks... it seemed like it was going to be a long day. He regained his composure in the 2nd inning, to prevent the Owls from adding to their lead. Our relief pitcher came in to seal the victory with 4 strong innings, allowing only 1 more run, on an overthrow error from the outfield. Despite the Owls getting many men on base, our pitcher and defense did the job when necessary.
Defensive highlights included; a perfect "strike" from our right fielder to the plate to gun down an important runner, a bases loaded fielder’s choice, third to second, a pick off at 2nd base, and a runner caught stealing. Our infield was steady. The outfielders communicated with our infielders, on 2 tough pop-ups/tweeners. We scored the tying run in the 6th, thanks to our speed going from 1st to 3rd on an overthrow. Offensively, we had 2 batters with 2 hits, and a clutch hit to end the game. We struck out too many times with runners in scoring position. Four times, we failed to move runners up, or put the ball in play with an important runner at 3rd.
Every player today was able to start the game. 3 players missed this game due school mandates, while our only substitute arrived as soon as permitted, and made an immediate contribution with his speed. We played just good enough to win. We need a few full team practices under our belt to focus on areas that your coaches feel need to be addressed if we want to improve and get better. Try to make our next practice, so we can cover the weaknesses that we have identified Remember, in order to get better, you must try to work on your weaker areas, while maintaining your strengths. If you have any areas that need more work, ask any coach to work individually with you at any practice. We have 6 coaches with over 250 YEARS of baseball experience; through playing, coaching or managing.
Soaring Eagles cool off the Heat...
Our “Heat” fell to the F.O.E club Wednesday evening in an exciting extra inning contest by a 10-9 score. We were ahead by 3 heading into the bottom of the 7th, allowing the Eagles to tie, and eventually win in the 9th. We had the lead in each extra inning, only to have the Eagles tie it in the bottom of the eighth, and score 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th, after we took a 9-7 lead, to earn their victory. Errors, walks and many fly balls seemed to be our downfall, this game. We stranded many runners in the later innings, by not moving up runners or by hitting line drives or grounders. This was our first loss of the young season, and hopefully we will learn from this and come back even stronger. We have a very tough opponent this Saturday, just waiting to extend our losing streak to 2. Forget about this game, and let’s learn from our mistakes.
On a positive note, our lead-off and clean-up hitter had 3 hits apiece, with our starting pitcher and extra hitter having 2 hits each. Our catcher also contributed a double as we collected 13 hits. The Eagles also had 13 hits, with their 7 walks. Both teams had untimely errors during the game to give up critical runs. Eagles left the bases loaded in the bottom of the 7th after tying the game, while we left 9 men on base, (7 of them in scoring position), in the late innings. Our starter was pulled from the mound after a high pitch count. We used 3 pitchers in relief, as our last 2 struggled in the 8th and 9th. Ahead by 2 runs, the Eagles led off the bottom of the 9th with a double, single, hit batsman, and 3 base on balls, to walk off with the victory.
There were some exciting plays in the game and close plays at all bases; a slide under the tag at home, a fly ball to the outfield with the tying run scoring on an attempted throw to home, a critical out at 3rd to keep the game tied, a runner being thrown out at home after an overthrow at first, and a critical runner thrown out attempting to steal. There were also some physical and mental errors that were not seen in our previous 3 games. We will be addressing these mental errors at our next practices in order to eliminate or reduce them. Keep your heads up, and remember you can learn more about yourself from a loss than from a win.
Hot bats and hot pitching, burnt the Laurel Highlands Health Center on Saturday afternoon as the Heat won for the 3rd time this season. Laurel Highlands jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, to put the Heat behind for the first time this year. As the temperature rose in the afternoon, so did the Heat, as each batter reached base in the first inning, as all 10 batters consecutively scored on 5 hits and 5 walks. The inning ended with the Heat ahead 11-1 lead. A run in the 3rd gave the Heat a 12-1 lead bringing in Laurel Highlands 3rd relief pitcher. He was effective, as he held the Heat to only 1 more run the rest of the game. The game was completed early as the Heat led by 12 runs after each team batted 5 times.
Our 2nd year, starting pitcher settled down after giving up his only run in the first inning, following a hit batter and 2 singles. However, as the game progressed, so did his control, as he kept a tough LHHC from scoring any more. He was replaced in the 4th inning by our rookie pitcher, who took the mound for the first time. He also was highly effective as he threw only 15 total pitches, (11 strikes) to finish the game and keep the lead at 12, which effectively ended the game due to Teener-league rules.
Our left fielder continued his hot hitting, as he had 3 hits and 2 RBI's. Heat pitchers also contributed with the bat. Each had 2 RBI's. Our starter hit a double, while our relief pitcher hit 2 singles. 3 of our senior players had other commitments and were not able to make today's game. As we have done in each of our games so far, those players in attendance stepped up and made a big contribution. We coaches have taken notice of how we are truly a "TEAM". Some players are asked to play different positions, and do so, sometimes without a lot of practice time. You are showing us a lot of hustle and talent. Keep up the good job.
We had 3 errors today, the most in any game to date, but we were able to overcome them. We pounded out 12 hits, while limiting our opponent to 4 hits. We again ran the bases very well. We had another runner thrown out at 2nd base, attempting to steal. We need to work harder on leads and pivots. Our 1st baseman, made a nice play, pulling off the base to get a wide throw from the infielder, and was able to record the put-out, stopping an error. Catching again was very good. Outfielders played well. Batters were patient, and did not swing at balls out of the strike zone. Strikeouts were minimal. We noticed some of you assisting runners coming to home, by telling them where the throw was coming from and whether they needed to slide or not. Keep up the good work and see you Monday at New Derry.
Temperature drops, Heat rises...
As the cold temperature again arrived, at the Teener-League field, on Tuesday evening, it didn't chill the hot bats of the Heat. 9 hits, good base running, strong pitching, and good defense; all contributed to a 13 -1 victory over a very good Cooperstown Vets team. 7 different batters had hits while 7 different players also had RBI's as this team concept helped us to our second win of this young season. Our lead-off batter again had a multi-hit game, as did one of our first year players. Another Heat player got on base 3 times. Our left fielder and second baseman had 2 RBI's each with 5 other Heat hitters either getting a hit or bringing in a run.
Starting pitching was excellent, as our pitcher threw less than 80 pitches, mostly strikes while walking 4 and striking out 7 in his first outing of the year. He limited a good hitting Vet team to only 3 singles. Our relief pitcher came in and quickly struck out the side in the last inning, ending the game and giving the Heat a 2-0 start. He threw only 14 pitches, 10 of them for strikes.
We played a great defensive game again, and overcame 2 errors in the first inning to settle down and not commit any errors the rest of the way. Our catcher threw out 2 runners attempting to steal 2nd on bullets to 2nd base and stopped CV from putting runners in scoring position. 13 players again, saw some action during this game, and as expected, everyone on the team contributed one way or another. We coaches want this "team attack" to continue throughout the season. Team spirit was high and mental mistakes were kept to a minimum.
Those areas that we addressed Monday evening, at our practice, showed definite improvement in this game. Defensively, everyone hustled and backed each other up. Offensively, the entire batting order (from top to bottom) was productive. Despite the wind and cold, we kept the Heat turned up. We scored often, and early. This will be our theme all year; "Turn the HEAT on early and keep the HEAT on till the last out is made" Enjoy the day off, and see you on Thursday. Our next opponent, Laurel Highlands will be ready for us.
Season opens with 18 "Heat Strokes"...
The "Heat" exploded for 18 hits, including 6 doubles, for an opening day victory, in a 15-5 win over last years Teener League Champion and the team that ended our season, Nakles. 9 Heat players had at least one hit, with our lead-off batter going a perfect 5 for 5 to start the 2015 season. One other player had a 3 hit game, while 3 other players had a multi-hit game. We hit the ball hard to all fields and showed a lot of hustle on the base paths, with numerous advances. It was an overall great team effort with every player on the Heat making some contribution in our first win.
Our starting pitcher threw a good game, and his control was excellent. Our relief pitcher settled down after initially struggling a bit with his control, and was able to adjust, and preserve the victory.. We only committed 1 error and made some nice defensive catches. Our catcher played and called a great game. Outfielders communicated well and backed up their team mates. Infielders were solid. This was a great start to what we coaches hope will be a long and successful season.
On a different note... a few of us coaches would like to see a bit more "team spirit" whenever a team mate gets a nice hit, a clutch RBI, or scores a run. Get off your butt, and go congratulate him on his return to the dugout. Additionally, when any pitcher is removed from the mound, give him some "high fives"fist bumps" and/or some kind words. Overall, your coaches are pleased with this first game, but we also want to make sure that some of our mistakes are corrected. At our next practice, we will go over a few things that we observed. In this way, we will highlight the positives that we see, and also address some issues or areas that we need to improve. Congratulations and please try to make our Monday practice at New Derry, so we can start our preparation for our next opponent; Cooperstown Vets.
April Showers don't dampen Heat Practices...
With 11 days till our 2015 opening game, the Heat continued their intense practice schedule, despite only 1 sunny day this past week. Our practices were adjusted to suit the weather conditions, and we accomplished a lot. Pitchers were able to work on arm conditioning, live throwing from the mound, varying their pick-off attempts at each base, holding runners on, and improving their defense. Our infielders worked on pick-offs from both the catcher and pitcher, techniques on how to hold runners tightly on the base, and team strategies on stolen base attempts when runners are on 1st and 3rd. They fielded lots of ground balls while practicing double plays and preventing lead runners from advancing.
We also got lots of live batting practice. Pitchers are throwing harder at each practice. Several hitters are showing steady improvement and hitting not only hard, but to all fields. Outfielders continued to get lots of practice running down flies, throwing to bases, and do-or-die drills. A few of you really impressed us with your accuracy and arm strength. Our one hop throws have shown much improvement. A few catchers had individual drills on blocking and framing. Team drills worked on infielders getting signs from the catcher, with runners on base, pick-off attempts with various infield positioning, and run-downs/pickles. We had a few of you practice bunting for a base hit. Our base running drills were the last thing we worked on tonight and we spend a lot of time practicing offensive plays with runners on first and third. We have seen a few of you rise up as team leaders; calling out strategic plays, reminding players of defensive situations, and helping your team mates by reminding them what to do on certain plays or helping them with individual skill development. Our next practice is scheduled for Thursday, April 9th. We are now ready for an exhibition game/scrimmage. Coaches have noticed the commitment of many, who show up at every practice, or those that show up at our practice after their other activities. Keep up the spirit and be ready to practice hard every day, it will pay off when we prove that the HEAT IS RISING.
HEAT Headlines for April 1, 2015
"Heat loses first exhibition game, 20-0 in frigid weather conditions"
In one of the windiest and coldest days of the year, the HEAT lost their first exhibition game in much the same manner as they did the championship game last year. All 6 Heat pitchers couldn't get the ball across the plate, as they walked 10 batters, allowed 14 hits, while the team committed 7 errors. We managed only 1 hit on a weak grounder to 3rd while the team struck out 15 times in a 6 inning game which was eventually called due to darkness.
Our opponent was able to steal 9 bases off our pitchers, without any runners having been thrown out. 4 Heat pitchers, asked to leave the mound due to sore arms. The opponents had only 1 strike out, which occurred when their last batter swung at strike 3, in the 6th inning, and he reached first on an error by the catcher after missing the 3rd strike. The runner took 2nd, when our catchers throw to 1st, sailed into right field. The base runner went to third on another overthrow by our right fielder, who was attempting to throw the ball to third. They were finally able to score the last run of the game, as the 3rd baseman picked up the errant throw and threw a wild toss to home allowing the 20th run to score without another batter coming to the plate. Two coaches were tossed out of the game in the 4th inning arguing the 4th balk call against our most senior pitcher. The manager was taken to the emergency room in the 5th inning when our 5th pitcher threw a wild pitch, which hit him above the eye, while sitting in the dugout. 8 runs crossed the plate in the first inning after a bases loaded pop up, fell between short, second and the pitcher, as all 4 infielders called "I got it", and the center fielder ran in screaming "take it, take it" while colliding with the infielders, allowing 4 runs to cross the plate. All 4 infielders asked to be taken out of the game, at this point, after complaining of headaches. The high point of this game was in the 8 warm up pitches before the 4th inning. Our catcher was able to catch all 8 pitches and throw each pitch back to the pitcher without him missing any. We have a long way to go before our next game, so be at practice tomorrow afternoon to try to improve. By the way...April Fools.
2015 Coaches Corner April, 1, v2.0, 2015
Heat continues to practice, despite weather not cooperating.
Without any help from the weather for the past 2 weeks, the "Heat" continued to practice outdoors in unfavorable weather conditions. We provided our own heat, as the temperatures were in the 30's for most or our practices at New Derry and the Teener League field. We were able to continue to work on our skill development in many areas: lead offs, secondary leads, sliding techniques, sacrifice and squeeze bunting, defensive drills with pitchers and infielders, pitchers covering first on balls hit to the right side, double plays, short hop drills, long tosses, cut offs, relays, pick-off drills, holding runners, balks, and live pitching. We are close to playing our first exhibition scrimmage this week, and this will allow us to evaluate our progress to date. Several players have committed to attending almost every practice, and these individuals are making strides in securing a starting position and improving each day. While many of our players have other commitments, several of you show up to our practices afterwards this dedication has not gone unnoticed. We still have a long way to go before opening day, but once the weather improves, and we can get the whole team together, we should begin to work more on our team drills. Our catchers and first basemen will need some individual drills to work on some weak areas. Our pitchers need to throw a little more each week until their arm strength improves enough to allow for a 50-60 pitch count without any problems. Our pitchers need to work on their rhythm, control, throwing strikes, and mixing speeds. Curve balls can wait. Outfielders and infielders seem exactly where they need to be at this point in spring training. The next 2 weeks will be intensive and cerebral. Try not to miss practices, and if you can, come to practice immediately after your other commitments are completed. Volleyball, baseball, swimming and track are all good spring sports, but we need to get our team ready for what we hope is the best season ever. Competitions for many positions make each practice critical. We have 15 capable players all wanting to play, and only 9 positions when a game starts. Try not to miss many practices, show up ready to practice hard, hustle on every play, and work on your weaker areas with your coaches.
2015 Coaches Corner Date; March 15. 2015
It is mid March, snow recently melted, fields are wet and muddy, yet, most teams are just thinking about playing baseball. However, the weather has never been an influence on the "Heat", as we got an early start to spring training. We have conducted several outdoor sessions already. With temperatures slightly rising, we got the opportunity to have the squad outside on the field for some drills and skill sessions. Returning players practiced inside at the White Eagles for the past month and were eager to get outside. We were able to get up to the Teener league field last week, throw a bit, and meet our newest rookies. Since then, we were at New Derry field, catching our first fly balls of the season, pitching, bunting, fielding grounders, and throwing some long balls. Pitchers were also able to throw from the practice mounds and work on their form, rhythm, and balance. Fielders practiced; basket catches, over-the-shoulder catches, calling for fly balls, backups, relays, and various defensive drills. Hitters got the chance to practice various bunting skills.
We have a long season ahead of us, and after a great season last year (Playoff runner-ups) we are expecting even more from "the HEAT" this year. We have 12 solid players returning with the addition of three talented first year players. WE coaches will demand your complete attention at practice and want to see a lot of commitment and enthusiasm. Your coaches have already witnessed some great talent. We anticipate spirited and exciting competition for many positions. No team positions are guaranteed. Please try to make as many team practices as possible. Our experience and depth, at many positions, is evident. Our pitching will again be the key to our overall success this year. We lost 2 great pitchers last year in Alex and Ryan, but we have some great pitchers to replace them.
We hope to have 4 starters ready, when April 18th arrives. If you are limited to only 1 position, it may limit your playing time, so take the opportunity to try practicing at various positions. Our team goal this year is to play hard each game, play smart, limit our mistakes, learn from our mistakes, make it to the finals, and win a League Championship. This will take a full team effort. Like a chain..."We are only as strong as our weakest link". In other words, everyone on the team will again be asked to contribute to our team; whether it is; an offensive hitter, a base stealer, a bunter, a defensive specialist, a relief pitcher, a backup player, or whatever...all we ask is that you learn as much as you can this spring from your coaches and do your best. If you ALL do this, it will only make our chain stronger.
Church, school, injuries or important family commitments are the only acceptable excuses to miss practice. Keep up with your homework and school assignments. If you parents discipline you and limit your baseball activities, we will comply. If you must miss a practice, advise Terry. If you are late for a practice, when you arrive...have your shoes on and tied, be ready to take the field immediately when you get out of your vehicle. Take an immediate lap, and then report to a coach. If you have to leave early, let a coach know beforehand. If you have a sore arm or injury that interferes with your ability to practice, come anyway and let a coach know. We usually have brain (skull) sessions in addition to skill sessions at every practice. You can shadow a coach or another player, while still learning strategies in addition to supporting your team mates. See you all Monday evening at the Teener League field and let’s get the Heat rising....
Congratulations "Heat" on a fun RIDE...
Heat Siphon had a roller coaster season and it finally ended last night when we lost 2 consecutive games in the Latrobe Derry Area Teener League Championship series. After making it into the 2014 playoffs on the arms of our pitching staff and into the league championship series on the arms of our only 2 fifteen year old pitchers, the steam ran out and the coaster ride came to an end. Starting out the season, our coaster ride took off and had its ups and downs, with the low coming at a 2 and 8 records, and looking up at all 7 teams in the league and the playoffs looking out of our sights. However, the highs came and we went on a winning streak to get into the playoff race by July, by winning 13 out of the next 17 games. We ended by losing the last game of the season to the team behind us in the playoff hunt, however, luck would put us in the playoffs, as the team we were tied with, lost also on the last day of the season. The high point of the season came as we swept the first place team in 2 straight games in the league opening round of the playoffs. And as all roller coaster rides end, we came down at the end by losing easily to the best team in LDATL.
The 2 players that were in the lead car all season were our 2 senior players, Alex and Ryan. They showed us all how baseball is to be played. Being the only 15 year olds on the team, they both took leadership roles by pitching, hitting, fielding, and rallying the team when necessary. They deserve a lot of credit for our success this year. We will miss these 2 young men. They came to the team, as 13 year old boys, 3 years ago and are leaving better players, and young men. Congratulations to them and to all of our players this year, for an enjoyable ride and fantastic season.
Returning players...learn from them ... and come back next year with the same attitude and determination that they had, and we will again be in a championship game, and the results will be totally different. Congratulations again from all your coaches, we are very proud of your accomplishments.
"Terry G ,Gib, Denny, Jeff, Terry S."
And all those whoe have contributed in one way or another to Team Heat Siphon.. We Thank You and look forward to next Year! Go Heat!
The "Heat" rose to the occasion... and advanced to the LDATL League championship game by virtue of 2 consecutive wins over the top seeded team in the playoffs on Wednesday evening. We will await the outcome of the 2nd and 3rd place teams, before knowing who we will meet. After falling behind 3-0 in the 3rd inning, on 3 unearned runs, the "Heat" scored 4 runs in the bottom of the inning, and added to their lead on a 2 run homer in the 5th. Strong pitching advanced the "Heat" to the next round, starting this weekend. A great defense, some great plays, and smart baseball propelled the team into the league championship game for the first time in several years. We are very proud of all the players on the team, and the team spirit. Congratulations on this achievement, and let's get ready for our next challenge, beginning on Sat. or Sun. Well done guys. C U at practice on Friday, and lets keep up the hard work
"Heat Simmers On Into Playoffs"
Congratulations "Heat" ...for making the playoffs this year. After starting out with 2 wins in our first 10 games...we won 12 of our next 18 games to make the final playoff spot on the last day of the season. Sure, we needed help from Nakles, to beat Frontier Club for us to make it, but we earned the spot with good "hard nose' baseball in June and July. All the hard work at practices really paid off, even with all the; "yelling", "laps", "pressure drills", "push ups", "sliding drills" and thousands of fungo balls and batting practice, we had fun and learned how to win. It is extremely hard to make the playoffs any year and even harder when you have a young team. For "the Heat" to make it with only 2 senior players (15 yrs), it is a rare achievement. These 2 young men, showed tremendous leadership both on and off the field, and paved the way. They pitched some gems, hit well, and played super defense. They knew how to win. Some of our 2nd year players (14 yrs) really stepped it up this year; both offensively (RBI's, average, power, base running) and defensively (minimal errors, strong throws and smart plays). Our "rookies" came in and practiced hard. A few even"earned" a starting position. We once beat the top team in our league with five 13 year old players in the starting lineup. All year long, ..Our bench came through and helped us win some tough games (bunts, pinch running, defense, pinch hitting). I don't believe we had the same lineup for 2 consecutive games all season. When a starter missed a game, his replacement took over and played well. This is truly a season to be proud of, and a real "team effort". Don't rest on our laurels yet, remember, we only accomplished our first goal, and have our sights set on our 2nd goal, “A league championship". The 2nd season starts Monday. C U all then. Gib
"Heat Still On Despite "Cold Snap"
The "Heat" doesn't worry about anything, especially the weather, when we are on a mission. The mission this week was to work on our "BRAIN" and become smarter players. This past week, the cold and rain, did not deter too many of us from working hard. With almost every player showing up at our practices this past week, we were able to work on some very important drills and even get in an exhibition game against the Frontier Club. Our practices are "heating up" and becoming more complex as we only have 1 week until opening up against the Cooperstown Vets, next Saturday evening. If you missed any practice, you missed some very important strategy sessions...and you will need to speak to your team mates to see what you missed. YOU MUST LEARN THESE strategies before the season starts.
We worked very long on these 10 important team strategies;
1) Defensive strategies on holding the base runners closer to the base and how to prevent unnecessary advances
2) Strategies on defending against the bunt (sacrifice and suicide) and who will charge and who will hold back
3) Throwing strategies/signals when runners are on the corner (1st and 3rd) and a double steal is attempted
4) Strategies for getting our catcher's attention to throw to a specific base when a base-runner takes too big a lead
5) Strategies for pitchers to field a bunt after delivery, on the right/left side of mound with 1B or 3B charging
6) Team signs/signals from a coach on bunts, steals, hit &run, O-Fielders playing in/deep, moving right/left
7) Where to throw our cut-offs/relays on any batted ball the OF on runners advancing to home, 2nd, or 3rd base
8) Batting strategies on a "Hitters count" (2-0, 3-0, 3-1); when to "take a pitch" versus "taking a strike",
9) Communication between our infielders on; steals, balls hit to pitcher, backing up bases, and charging bunts
10) When the catcher should yell "Fire" if a runner attempts to score
We also worked at several practices on these 10 important drills:
(1. Proper bunting (only strikes) when the sacrifice bunt signal is given
(2. 3 different methods for our SS/2B to "turn a double play" and "cheating" a bit towards 2B
(3. short-hop drills for C & 1B, throwing
(4. Calling "I got it" for pop-ups between the IF & OF ... and responding "take it"
(5. Having IF line up cut-off men properly with OF and how to call for a "cut (1, 2, 3, or home)" or say "let it go"
(6, having our catcher learn the proper techniques when throwing behind base runners (footwork & throw to 1b/3b)
(7. Getting pitcher to always breaking towards 1B on all balls hit to the right side
(8. "Crow Hops" for our OF to get the ball in quickly and accurately
(9. Defensive run-downs drills for our IF; and how to hold the ball and chase runner back towards original base
(10. Looking for the lead runner when an out is recorded at any base in the Infield
If you missed practice, you need to learn these 10 strategies and practice these 10 drills before our first game.
We still have a few more drills to work on this week; (2B & SS holding the runner at 2nd) (Hit & Run techniques) (Hitting to the opposite field - in order to score/advance a runner) (stealing 2B on a left handed pitcher) (base running at 3B with less than 2 outs) (advancing to 3B from 2B on grounders to the SS) and finally...(scoring from 3B on ground ball outs.
Heat Formation " (update)
After another week of practices, and a 2nd exhibition game, the "Heat" is closer to opening day. Everybody had a chance to play in the annual Cooperstown pre-season game. We coaches had an opportunity to watch you in a real game scenario, and had mixed reviews. We saw a few good at-bats, some strong hitting, consistent pitching, and a few nice defensive plays. Our 3 pitchers threw strikes and moved the ball around in the strike zone, at 3/4 speed. Nobody threw more than 40 pitches. Every pitcher had the opportunity to throw from the stretch and a full windup. Our catchers got some needed live drills and looked good. We took a lot of pitches in the game (12 walks) as CV threw a lot of pitches.
We also noticed these areas that need to be improved upon before opening day...: We struck out too many times (11), we were weak at base running (primary and secondary leads), sacrifice bunting, cut-offs, relays, covering the base on attempted steals, backing-up plays ( if the ball is not hit to you). Our newer players are putting pressure on some of our returning players for starting positions. Outfield positions are wide open, so continue to work hard.
We will step it up this coming week in practice, and weather permitting; our practices may lengthen in the next 2 weeks. Our infielders are showing improvement and we have a few starters, already. Our catchers and 1st basemen will be getting a lot more individual work. We continue to look for starters in the outfield. We have about 6-8 players, this year, that will need to learn several positions, especially if you want to get more playing time. Don't get discouraged with our practices if we move you around, or point our areas that you need to work on. Our goal is to find a position that you can play that will BEST help our team win. Learn as many positions as possible, and remember, not to many "professional" baseball players are playing the same position in the majors, that they did when they were 13 or 14. See you at our next practice, and keep checking your team web page.
The "Heat" came out in force, the past several practices with at least 15 players showing up to each practice. Your coaches are very pleased with the attendance at both practices this week, and the hustle exhibited by all. With only an hour notice, 15 players showed up with the threat of rain on Wednesday evening, at the New Derry ball field. With only 2 weeks of practices, we have made sufficient progress in many areas. Tonight we focused on our sacrifice bunting technique, live pitching batting practice, outfield drills, and control pitching from the stretch and full windup. Earlier this week, we worked on; base stealing, lead-offs, pick-offs, catching drills and throwing out base runners. We had our first situation drill and it went very well. Our pressure drills are helping players with their concentration and focus. Players are getting a lot of individual attention from certain coaches, which can only help them improve their skills before our opening game. Pitchers are also getting important mound time at each practice. We are almost ready for our first intra-squad game.
There are minimal complaints of sore arms, and we attribute this, to showing up early, warming up with long tosses, and limiting the velocity and number of throws. Always remember to bring a jacket or sweatshirt to wear after practice. We will step it up in the next week, and begin to focus more on; game strategies, hitting, team drills, cutoffs, suicide bunts, signals, double plays, backhands, short hops, over the shoulder catches, proper sliding techniques, .varying pitch speed without varying delivery motion, catcher and first basemen drills. Pitchers will get the opportunity this week to throw live batting practice to their team mates, as our coaches have thrown batting practices ...so far.
We had our first injury tonight, with one of our 13 year old first-basemen. He immediately returned to practice in no time after briefly sitting down. His toughness and desire to return to practice after his father checked him out was commendable. If you see him in school tomorrow, let him know what you all think. Check your texts to see if we will practice Thursday evening, as the weather may worsen. Good Job Heat! Heatball season is heating up.....
"The Heat is Pumping Again"
The "Heat" is pumping again, now that the temperature is rising. With temperatures in the 50’s, the Heat has been able to work outside at New Derry and Teener League fields. The coaches are pleased with the early season attendance by all. We have been getting 14 or 15 players at each of our 4 practices. We still have a lot of practices scheduled this spring, but if everyone continues to show the spirit and hustle that we have witnessed so far...we will be more than ready for opening day.
Our older players are taking a leadership role, as expected, while our younger players have initially shown us that they have both the talent and desire to work hard. If this continues, it will go a long way in helping our team achieve our yearly goals. We started out slowly last year, and came on strong in the middle of the season, missing out on the playoffs by 2 games. Our practices will soon heat up even more, so come early, and be ready to start practice on time, and work hard for 1 and a half hours.
To date; we have seen everyone take batting practice, field fly balls, or take grounders. We are beginning to see your abilities, and those of you that can show us you talent in our practice, will be playing in the field when opening day arrives. We have done some team drills (situation drills/pressure drills/base-running drills) and still have a lot more to work on in the next week. Check you text this week, as we will let you all know when we will be working on sliding drills. You should wear older clothes at this practice, as most likely you will get dirty while practicing sliding and stealing bases. We have to work on cutoffs and relays, so be sure to throw some ball, on off-days, when we have no practice. We don't want any sore arms early in the season. Remember to take your long tosses after your arms have warmed up. Stretching and running is another important part of our conditioning program.
If any coach has worked individually with you on a certain drill ...(short-hops, lead-offs, using 2 hands, reaching back on each throw, accuracy, throwing from a full wind-up, pitching from a stretch, base-running, steals, cut-offs) ...you should try to practice them between team practices, at home, after school. The more you practice individually, the more the coaches will notice your improvement when you come to practice. Keep up with your homework and family responsibilities, first, and then get outside and work on the drills. See you ALL Tuesday evening, weather permitting.
Heat refuels with 7 New Players
With the addition of 7 new players, the "Heat" is finally ready to start the pre-season. Despite no indoor practices over the winter, we were able to finally get outside to practice. With 9 returning players, the team will have 16 players to start the season. Practices will be intense and competitive. No positions are guaranteed, and the returning players will have some healthy competition from the younger players. We have several talented athletes and we should be a highly competitive team. Our first goal is to make as many practices as possible... and to work hard and hustle at every practice. Our preseason drills will work on fundamentals again; Conditioning, fielding, running, throwing, hitting, and thinking. Your coaches will work on your offensive and defensive skills, and if you are able to quickly learn and improve, you will soon be a starter on the 2014 HEAT SIPHON team. Keep checking the coaches corner throughout this season. We will let you know; How our season is progressing?, What your coaches think about our progress? ,What are our strengths? , and most importantly; What areas are our weakest and what our our needs for improvement?
Heat Detoured on road to championship with 6 - 2 loss to Eagles
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