[Fantasy Baseball] Naperville Open
Ford Fricks Asterisk : February 21, 2008 02:56 PM

The first round of the 16-team tournament in Naperville was played today, and Barnstorming beat writer Ovaltine Jenkins was there to cover it for us...

After a stirring rendition of the National Anthem from the Naperville Men's Glee Club, action got underway for the opening day of the tourney at 10 a.m. this morning. Beginning with one of the hottest teams in the league, the Whiskytown Loserings (on a current 19-4 streak), taking on the slumbering Durham Bulldogs. Johnny Bench set the early standard for tournament MVP with two home runs and five rbi. Whiskeytown teammate Myron Allen drove in another four with two triples, and the Loserings won 13-5. Home runs from the Bulldogs' Evil I's, Ira Flagstead and Irv Noren, were too little, too late, as starter Ernie Shore allowed 20 base runners in the game.

Russ Ford had his emery ball working in Game #2, as he completed a 4-hit shutout, and the Grunge Rockers sent the Mighty Minnows down stream, 4-0. Frank Howard provided all the offense the Rockers would need, with an rbi single and 2-run homer.

The Yellow Hammers of Yoknapatawpha and the Killer Rabbits provided the game of the day, as they battled through extra innings before Mark Lewis hit a 2-out, bases loaded single in the bottom of the 12th for a 2-1 Rabbits victory. Hammers manager Flem Snopes asked if they could call it a draw then, but the Killer Rabbits walked away victorious. Carlos Hernandez allowed one run on 10 hits and struck out 10 in picking up the victory.

Ann Arbor and the Warren Cheswick Experience provided another nail-biter, but the Experience's veteran lineup put the only run on the board when Big Pappy singled home The Man of Steal in the 3rd. Warren's manager Dr. Mike Burton wisely stuck with starter Bobby Schantz, who walked a batter with two out in the 9th, but Ann Arbor did nothing but hug the lumber all day, and Schantz finished out the shutout.

The Pennsauken Pill Poppers are on suicide watch after scoring just two 1st inning runs in a 3-2 defeat to the Minneapolis Thunder Bitches. The Poppers had 11 hits in the game, including four singles from leadoff man Woody Williams, but Yogi Berra single-handedly outscored them, crossing the plate all three times for the Bitches. Jeffrey Hammonds doubled Berra home in the 8th for the game winner.

The Columbus Rippers ripped the San Jose Sonic Reducers a new one, sending them home from the tournament with a 6-4 victory. Len Barker was anything but perfect in the 6th, as the Rippers touched him for a five run rally. Harry Bright hit a bases-clearing double. Grinning George Bradley wasn't happy when the Reducers reduced the lead to two in the 8th, but he held on for the victory.

The Woxy Wimbats wode the bat of Art Nichols to victory against the Kennard Killers, 5-3. Nichols drove in all five for the Wimbats, with a 2nd inning triple and a 4th inning grand slam.

The tournament wrapped up Day #1 with a wild 9-5 win for the Ridge Raiders over Thru the 55 Hole. The two teams combined for 30 hits, including a game best four for the Raiders Hardy Richardson. Bob Klinger clung on for dear life, but his Holes couldn't recover from the 5-run lead he handed to the Raiders.

Round #2 probables:

Whiskeytown Loserings (Ed Poole)
vs. Grunge Rockers (Don Newcombe)

Killer Rabbits (Wilson Alvarez)
vs. Warren Cheswick Experience (Mike "The Dickie Killer" Torrez)

Minneapolis Thunder Bitches (Lefty George)
vs. Columbus Rippers (Dontrelle Willis)

The Woxy Wimbats (Joe Bowman)
vs. Ridge Raiders (Rip Collins)

- Ovaltine Jenkins

# of edits: 1
Last edited: February 21, 2008 03:01 PM

franco : February 21, 2008 03:26 PM

Excellent report, Mr. Jenkins.

Bring on the Killer Rabbits.


Swampudlian : February 21, 2008 04:05 PM

You missed where the Pill Poppers had the bases loaded and nobody out in the bottom of the 9th, down 3-2.... And couldn't even squeeze one run across. Gotta get us some more pills, I guess.

jcarwash31 : February 21, 2008 09:49 PM

The Minneapolis manager made a bold move in sticking with his talented 25 year old hurler in that situation. Karger re-focused and brought the thunder, bitches.

Ford Fricks Asterisk : February 23, 2008 11:57 AM

White Sox reliever and native Napervillian Ryan Buckvich started off the second day of the tournament by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. The pitch was high and outside, and somehow managed to walk in a run.

The Killer Rabbits and Warren Cheswick Experience played what would turn out to be the only close game of the day. A bustling crowd of 8 showed up on a 27F cloudy February afternoon because of discounted tickets, but no one handed out more free passes than Mike Torrez, who walked 11 in the game. The wild righty blew a 3-1 lead when he walked the bases full in the 6th inning, and then walked in a run between rbi singles from Dom DiMaggio and Johnny Briggs. The Rabbits gained some breathing room with a Ron Karkovice 2-run homer in the 9th, and won 6-3.

Whiskeytown continued to roll, with another lopsided victory and another individual 2-homer performance. This time it was Randy Velarde, who since joining Whiskeytown has added the gin to the juice with good results. He drove in five and his teammates chipped in with another four as Rockers starter Don Newcombe continued his personal playoff curse, losing 9-2.

After a break in the action to truck in the temporary light standards, Lefty George opened the twi-night doubleheader by shutting out the Columbus Rippers in a 7-0 Minneapolis victory. The only time the Rippers threatened to score was when they loaded the bases with two out in the 8th, but George relaxed with his comfortable lead and completed the task. Mickey Klutts provided the thunder for the Thunder Bitches, with a 3-run homer in the 4th inning.

All 8 fans had gone home before the end of the Game #4, as the Ridge Raiders wiped the Woxy Wimbats off the field in a 12-2 laugher. The Raiders racked up 12 earned runs on 16 hits and a walk against Wimbats losing pitcher Joe Bowman. Henry Blanco was the only Raiders batter who didn't collect both a hit and a run. Dewey "Stat Padder" Evans topped off the victory with solo home runs in the 6th and 8th innings.

Semifinal matchups/probables:

Whiskeytown Loserings (Bill Lee)
vs. Killer Rabbits (Hugh Casey)

Minneapolis Thunder Bitches (Jeremy Bonderman)
vs. Ridge Raiders (Randy Lerch)

- Ovaltine Jenkins

# of edits: 3
Last edited: February 23, 2008 12:02 PM

Ford Fricks Asterisk : February 23, 2008 02:11 PM

Top hitters on remaining teams:

Randy Velarde, wl, 2b: .444, 3 r, 5 rbi, double, 2 hr.
Johnny Bench, wl, c: .333, 3 r, 5 rbi, 2 hr.
King Kelly, wl, of: .556, 4 r, 3 rbi, double, hr.
Matt Stairs, wl, dh: .444, 4 r, 2 rbi, 2 doubles, hr.

Dom DiMaggio, kr, of: .545, 1 r, 1 rbi, 2 doubles.
Johnny Briggs, kr, of: .400, 2 r, 1 rbi, double.
Jeff Conine, kr, 1b: .333, 1 r, 5 bb.

Dummy Hoy, mtb, of: .444, 1 r, 2 rbi.
Yogi Berra, mtb, c: .429, 3 r, bb, hbp.
Marty McManus, mtb, 1b: .444, 2 r, 2 doubles.
Jeffrey Hammonds, of: .500, 2 rbi, 2 doubles.

Dwight Evans, rr, dh: .333, 4 r, 4 rbi, 3 hr.
Hardy Richardson, rr, of: .500, 2 r, 4 rbi, double, hr.
Dick Sisler, rr, of: .364, 2 r, 6 rbi, double, triple, hr.
Maury Wills, rr, ss: .571, 3 r, 2 rbi, 2 bb, double.

- Ovaltine Jenkins

Ford Fricks Asterisk : February 25, 2008 11:39 AM

Fans arrived all the way from Eola to Lisle for the semifinals of the Napervile Open, as the Whiskeytown Loserings, Killer Rabbits, Minneapolis Thunder Bitches and the Ridge Raiders battle for the championship.

Whiskeytown took yet another first inning lead on a 2-run double off the bat of Jason Thompson in game #1. Ron Karkovice cut the lead in half when he went deep for the Killer Rabbits in the 4th -- what the Rabbit faithful have taken to calling their "holy hand grenades" -- but they would never get closer. Tim Raines and Johnny Bench doubled home runs in the 5th and 8th respectively, and the Loserings won 4-1. Whiskeytown starter Bill Lee scattered 10 hits on his way to the complete game victory.

Jeremy Bonderman's 1st inning struggles continued for the Thunder Bitches, as he gave up a run on three singles before retiring the first Ridge Raider of the game. The Raiders added two more in the 4th on a Henry Blanco home run, and cruised to a 6-3 win. Randy Lerch was effectively wild, walking six, but allowing just three 8th inning runs on a bases loaded walk to Alex McKinnon and a 2-run double to Lou Whitaker.

The Loserings and Raiders both carry quite a bit of momentum into the championship game. Neither team has trailed at any point during the tournament. Whiskeytown has held a lead in all 27 of its innings, having scored in the 1st of all three games. While the Loserings have the second best winning percentage and top pitching staff in the regular season, the Ridge Raiders have played Cinderella, overcoming an 8-17 regular season mark.

The probables for the championship game are the Loserings' Bill Swift and the Raiders' Bret Saberhagen.

- Ovaltine Jenkins

# of edits: 3
Last edited: February 25, 2008 11:44 AM

Flem Snopes : February 25, 2008 02:07 PM

The Ridge Raiders took home the trophy this afternoon in what turned out to be the wildest game of the Naperville Open.

The Raiders got on the board first with a Tom Satriano double in the bottom of the 2nd inning, and as in all of their games throughout the tournament, they never lost the lead. However, that didn't mean it wasn't contested, as they nearly lost a 7-run lead.

Whiskeytown loaded the bases with no one out in the top of the 3rd, but that's when the tide turned the Raiders' way. After the Loserings failed to score a single run, the Raiders took command on a Ryan McGuire bases-loaded double in the bottom of the frame, making it 4-0, and a Henry Blanco double two at-bats later made it 6-0 at the end of three.

The Loserings answered with a 3-run 4th when Tony Oliva hit a bases-clearing double, but the Raiders lineup answered right back with four runs in their next at-bat. McGuire again did most of the damage with a 2-run double, and then he scored as well on a Satriano single, seemingly putting the game away at 10-3.

Whiskeytown wasn't going down without a fight though, and answered with four runs of their own in the 5th. Raiders starting pitcher Bret Saberhagen gave up a leadoff double to Matt Stairs and a single to Jason Thompson, before plunking Tim Raines in the ribs to load the bases. Fingers were wagged and the umps had to restore order, but no punches were thrown. Randy Velarde delivered what could have been the knockout punch instead, when his drive cleared the Moxie sign in left field for a grand slam. A shaken Saberhagen then gave up a walk and single before getting a mound visit from the Ridge Raiders manager. The animated meeting ended with Saberhagen staying on the mound to a shower of boos from the Raiders boisterous fans, but Sabs settled down and retired the next three batters to preserve the 10-7 lead.

Saberhagen had more trouble in the 6th inning, when the previously plunked Raines saught revenge with a solo home run and Tony Mullane added an rbi double, cutting the lead to a nerve-racking 10-9, but Saberhagen defiantly refused to hit the showers.

Whiskeytown then got its leadoff man aboard in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings, but Saberhagen responded each time by retiring the next three batters, preserving the victory and winning the championship for the upstart Raiders, who entered the tournament as serious underdogs.

Outfielder Ryan McGuire took home the tournament MVP trophy, by batting .444 with 2 doubles, 6 runs and 7 rbi -- including 5 in the pivotal two innings of the championship game -- during the four game tournament.

By the end of the day, the Raiders had won over the 31,405 Napervillians in attendance, and will now add their own classic Barnstorming team.

- Ovaltine Jenkins

# of edits: 1
Last edited: February 25, 2008 02:17 PM

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