Wood Bat Classic Shutout
Wood Bat Classic Shutout
Although it’s no longer a matter of wins and losses for the 2006 TCL Plano baseball team, the Blue Sox were able to pick up an impressive 6-0 victory over the Duncanville Deputies at the first ever Wood Bat Classic held this past weekend.
Despite sitting on a 16-26 record prior to Saturday’s win, the Blue Sox bats came out blazing for the Classic, as the Plano pitching staff put together a perfect performance during the team’s six-run shutout rout over Duncanville.
The Blue Sox, playing as the home team for the tourney, plated three runs in the second inning and tacked on two more in the third to take an early 5-0 lead over the Deputies.
After Mitchell Putman began the second inning with a base on balls, he was awarded second base on a called balk.
And Plano’s Jeff Boes made the next pitch count, smoking a two-run homerun to give the Blue Sox a 2-0 lead with nobody out.
Drew Bias followed Boes’ lead, stepping to the plate and drilling a double. Two straight strikeout victims in Austin Reilly and Brett Manning left Plano with a runner in scoring position with two outs and Trey Presswood at the plate.
And Presswood made the Deputies pay, picking up an RBI single to plate Bias for a 3-0 Blue Sox lead.
The Blue Sox tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the following inning as the Deputies opted for a pitching change to begin the bottom of the third inning.
After Maurice Cole grounded out to the first baseman, Plano’s Ben Maitland doubled, followed by a second consecutive double bagger as Cole crossed home plate for a 4-0 Blue Sox lead.
Boes then stepped to the plate and smoked a single, taking second base on the relay throw as Maitland crossed home for another Blue Sox run and a 5-0 lead through three innings of play.
The Blue Sox picked up their final run of the game in the fifth inning. After the Deputies once again opted for a pitching change, the Blue Sox once again proved they could hit against anyone Duncanville threw at them.
Cole began the frame with a double, advancing to third base on a balk call. Maitland followed with an RBI single and Maitland successfully took second base on a wild pitch to Putman.
However, the Blue Sox were unable to score another run in the frame as Putman flied out to second base, Boes fouled out to the catcher and Bias flied out to left field.
Plano’s Paul Schneider pitched a complete game (seven innings), allowing no runs on a mere four hits while striking out five and walking just two batters.
Boes led the Blue Sox in RBI, driving in three on the night while going 2-for-3 with a homerun.
Maitland, Putman and Presswood also picked up RBI at-bats for the Blue Sox in their 6-0 shutout over the Deputies.
For the Blue Sox, the win just proves that these guys can hang with any team in the TCL, although tough luck, errors and untimely offensive hibernation have led to a poor overall record for the local Plano boys.
Currently, the Blue Sox are 17-26, 11 games behind the McKinney Marshals and Coppell Copperheads.
The Plano pitching staff has had a fantastic season, although starting pitchers records might say otherwise.
Three of Plano’s pitchers are among the top-10 in the league when it comes to ERA.
Jake Wortham holds a 2-0 record with a 1.08 ERA, Paul Schneider holds a 1-2 record with a 1.16 ERA, and Mark Doll holds a 5-2 record with a 1.58 ERA.
Not far behind them are teammates Eric Evans (2-3, 3.25 ERA), Bill Purdy (2-5, 3.50) and Mark Wyner (1-3, 3.59 ERA).
Another key to look at during the Blue Sox’ tough 2006 season is the fact that our pitching staff included two, and later three, all-stars.
In addition to our trio of pitcher-perfect all-stars, we also have some bright spots in the offensive part of our lineup.
Ben Maitland is among the top-20 in the TCL when it comes to batting average, batting .301 so far this season.
In addition, Skyler Stromsmoe is second individually in steals with 22 while Doll is first individually in complete games with four on the season.
Although, once again, our record might speak otherwise, this team is good.
The Blue Sox play as a team, game-in and game-out.
We win as a team, we lose as a team.
Unfortunately for the Blue Sox and company, we lost a lot more than we won.
And a lot of those “losses” were heart-breakers.
How many games did the Blue Sox lose by merely two runs or less this season? 11.
That’s right; and of those 11 games, six were one-run losses.
Let’s say we won seven of those 11 games… instead of looking at a 17-26 record as we are right now, we’d be staring at a 24-19 record (a record currently held by the second-place Euless Lonestars).
With only four games remaining in the regular season, the Blue Sox season is all but over.
But for the players on the team, for these guys practicing and perfecting their baseball skills in the off-season, the TCL isn’t just about a won-loss record.
It’s about continuing to play the game these guys have fallen in love with.
It’s about perfecting offensive and defensive skills during the off-season.
It’s about working with wood bats instead of aluminum, an opportunity to improve on offensive batting skills at the pro level while continuing to workout with fellow college athletes.
It’s about making the most of the moment n something the Blue Sox have done on a daily basis, all year long, despite their 17-26 record.
For the Blue Sox, the season may be over and may be deemed unsuccessful by the average fan.
But for the guys on the team and the coaching staff, the season has been a true success.
Because these guys come out to play the game of baseball, giving 110 percent day-in and day-out.
And for that alone, they deserve a round of applause.