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Countdown to Christmas (Dec 25/07)
Welcome to the Burlington Township Major Explorers baseball web page. Points of emphasis for the year are:
BE A GOOD TEAM MATE
BE A GOOD SPORTSMEN AND FOLLOW THE CODE OF CONDUCT
PLAY HARD TO GIVE YOUR TEAM A CHANCE TO WIN
Remember all of these points are within your control. The Coaches are here to help you just ask us if you have any specific questions.
Make it a great year.
The Explorers began the season with a big win against a stacked Burlington City team 2-0. Great pitching performances were turned in by Danny Jackson, Bobby Palentchar and Bradley Sindorf to hold the City squad to a total of three hits, while striking out 14. The game began with a tense top of the first inning as Jackson got into a one out bases loaded jam with two walks and one error and then pitched out of it with consecutive strikeouts.
Hitting stars of the game were Luke Sowa, Nick Cappetti and Kevin Hoffman with base hits, and Bradley Sindorf who doubled in the fourth inning before scoring when Jackson sent him home with an inside the park home run. Great job guys!
The Explorers suffered a tough defeat at the hands of the Hawks on Monday night 16-7. After giving up three runs in the first inning, the Explorers fell apart in a poorly played fourth and fifth innings by giving up the maximum five runs in each inning.
Despite being discouraged and upset, the boys came back to plate six runs in the fifth and sixth innings to finish strong and showed the coaches and parents their character on a tough night.
Despite the deceivingly lopsided score, several encouraging performances were turned in. Danny Jackson hit his second inside the parker in the first and followed with his third home run, (and first that cleared the fence) in the sixth. Palentchar notched a multiple hit game with a double and single, Kevin Hoffman also had two singles, Pat Kinsley, Nick Cappetti and Johnathan Sanchez all doubled for their first hits of the season and Jiggar Dharji made solid contact twice. Keep your heads up,stay aggressive and chalk this one up was the post game motto.
The Explorers faced a tough Wildcat team and came out on the short end of a disappointing 3-1 game. Nick Cappetti began the Wildcats game with an outstanding two inning pitching performance facing six batters with no hits or walks and striking out three. The Wildcats broke through with two in the third and one in the fourth on two hits and multiple walks. Danny Jackson came on the fifth to strike out four while not allowing a base runner.
Unfortunately, the Eplorers bats were a bit quite in this one, and some tough breaks led to a close defeat. Hits were turned in by Jackson (double), Sowa (single) and a sharp single and first hit of the year for B.J. Worthy. Jiggar Dharji plated the only run of the game by walking, stealing second and third and advancing to home on an overthrow. The boys showed great determination and played extremely hard in coming back from a tough game the previous night against another good squad. With this kind of effort, good things are on the horizon.
The Explorers took it to the Cougars on Tuesday night by a final of 8-7 in a hard fought game. The game seemed to be well in hand when walks hurt the Explorers in the top of the 6th leading to the Cougars scoring five runs to make for an extremely thrilling finish. Danny Jackson's tag of the tying run several feet in front of home plate finished the season for the Cougars and sent the Explorers to the Championship game against the Owls at 6:34PM at Skimmer Park.
Several outstanding plays were turned in by the Explorers. First off, Danny Jackson's scoreless first inning should be filed under the category of "clutch performance" after runners had advanced to second and third in the first inning with only one out. His strikeout of the Cougars leading hitter on four pitches was perfectly executed. In the bottom of the frame, Bobby Palentchar's one out double led to the first run of the game, after Jackson fought off a jammed inside fastball to bloop a base hit to right. Palentchar and Jackson both executed coaching advice to the hilt in their pitching and hitting performances. Trust and confidence have been built over the course of the season, this coupled with loose and confident play led the Explorers to run away to a 8-2 lead.
Several other plays were also pivotal in this game. Bobby Palentchar's run scoring effort advancing from second base on a ground out going from shortstop to first base was a testament to his heads up baserunning and Coach Bob's astute observation of the Cougar's first baseman's tendency to relax after a putout at first with a runner advancing from second. Advantage Explorers.
Next Jackson's legs provided another scratch out run when he spun a weak pop up short of the Cougar's second baseman and beat out a hit. Stolen bases of second and third allowed the Explorers to perfectly execute a bunt by Pat Kinsley that plated Jackson after some indecision by the Cougars' pitcher. Again, players executing a coaching strategy perfectly with great hustle allowed the Explorers to score a scratch out run.
Nick Cappetti's ability to regain his composure after a controversial tag play along the third base line allowing the Cougars to score a run, was also a major point of emphasis in this game. As the coaches stressed before the game, bad things may happen but you need to shake them off. Nick was able to achieve this with some encouragement from his coaches and teammates. Good players do not give up when things go badly, they find a way to fight through it. GREAT JOB NICK!
Bobby Palentchar pitched an excellent fifth inning despite struggling wtih control and some questionable balls and strikes calls. However, in the sixth it was almost too much too overcome. However, again with the coaches and players encouraging him every step, he came through with just enough to secure the victory.
Lastly, one play might have gone unnoticed if not for a phone conversation between the Cougars manager and the Explorers manager. The Explorers player that made the play was pointed out to both of us by the opponents manager's son. Before reading further can anyone coaches included figure out the answer to this? Hint, think back to what transpired on the final out of the game... and no even though Jackson made a great play it wasn't him.
We talked before the game about our less experienced outfielders remaining calm and chasing down balls that went to the fence. Correct? We also encouraged them to chase it down as quickly as possible and throw it as quickly as possible. We wanted them to throw it to whom? The guy standing out there jumping up and down with his hands in the air, in other words the cutoff man.
B.J. Worthy ran his little butt off, and although he fumbled the ball when he first got to the left field fence, he quickly threw a perfect strike to Danny Jackson, who then made the perfect decision to run the runner down after seeing him stop dead in his tracks. Without this perfectly executed throw by B.J. this might be an entirely different story. I told you guys before the game, the strength of any organization is in the team dynamics. Isn't this the perfect example of what I was talking about? Didn't I also tell you to get it to the cutoff man so he can make a good decision on what to do with it? Didn't this work to perfection? CONGRATULATIONS B.J., withou you we may not be playing on Friday.
Lastly, some of you may have questioned the coaching staff's knowledge and ability early in the year. I asked you to understand that we know the game and we're hear in your best interests. We've been tough on you at times and at other times we've tried to use gentle encouragement. Tuesday's game showed the three of us that our teaching has not been in vain. Try to remember, with all the humility that this coach can muster, that you have the talent and you have the coaching to win the game on Friday. What you must do is remain calm, have fun, execute the routine plays that you know you can make, make a couple of great plays like we did on Tuesday and forget about any mistakes that may have been made immediately after they occur. Players play and coaches coach! We stick together and we come out satisfied no matter the outcome.
Let's go feast on some OWLS!!!!!!!!!!!!
P.S. No matter what, you're all champions in my book. You should be very proud of yourselves