It was abnormally hot in Oakland Saturday as the Summer 2015 Oakland Division Tournament was played at Mosswood Park. In the past 9 weeks, 10 teams were vying for the Swenson Cup. There were definitely some surprises in this action packed day where teams brought out the BBQ’s, cornhole, frisbee, and other items to keep entertained. With the hot weather also brought, the kickball flying all throughout Mosswood.
Last place AfterDarc Forfeits against seventh seeded Throwback Thursdaze
The first play in game of the day was over before it started as newcomers AfterDarc failed to field a team and lost their chance at an upset before the day began. Throwback Thursdaze automatically moved on to play second seeded Captain Morgan’s Revenge in the quarterfinals, while AfterDarc finishes their season at 0-10.
#8 Almost Classy wins in walk off fashion over ninth seeded Rolling Clones
Almost Cla$$y and Rolling Clones locked up in an entertaining roller coaster of a game in which the kicking team failed to score only 3 times for the entire game. Rolling Clones was playing two players down, and it cost them in the first as Cla$$y got rolling with a 3 run home run past the undermanned outfield for an early lead. However, the Clone Army wouldn’t fold, chipping away at the lead and eventually tying the score at 4-4 entering the 4th inning. AC pulled ahead again with a perfect bases loaded, 2-out suicide squeeze, but RC struck back in the 5th to take a surprising lead at 6-5. The veterans of Cla$$y weren’t done though, staging a tying rally in the bottom of the 5th, then dramatically sealing the game in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the 6th. Almost Classy moves onto the QuarterFinals to face top seeded Highland Hitman, while The Rolling Clones finishes their season at 1-9.
Eigth seeded Almost Classy lucks their way into Semifinals as #1 Highland Hitman Forfeit
Another forfeit, this time by the undefeated Highland Hitmen, sent the unlikely number 8 seed directly into the semifinals. Winning only 2 games during regular season Almost Classy, after a thrilling win in their first round play in game, found themselves in the semifinals where they would meet the winner of the quarterfinal between Whistle Kicks and East Bay Ballers. Highland Hitman finishes their season at 8-1-1.
Fourth Seed East Bay Ballers shuts out #5 Whistle Kicks 4-0
This quarterfinal felt a lot like the first matchup between these two clubs during the regular season with pitching and defense shining for both sides early, and a big blast by East Bay Ballers making the difference. Whistle Kicks, coming off of an unexpected 5 win season, looked prime to play spoilers as they kept East Bay Ballers quiet through 3 innings allowing only 1 baserunner past first base with solid defense and great pitching. Matching that feat, the defense and pitching of East Bay Ballers was equally exceptional allowing only a few baserunners and recording multiple strikeouts. The score was tied at 0-0 entering the bottom of fourth when East Bay Ballers finally broke the scoring open. With 2 outs and a runner on second, Ballers blasted a 2 run home run off the right field tree. That homer proved to be all the Ballers needed as a demoralized Whistle Kicks could not match those runs as they failed inning after inning to get runners into scoring position. Ballers would add a pair of insurance runs in the fifth and let their pitching and defense finish the shutout for a 4-0 and the right to move on to face #8 Almost Classy in the semifinals. Whistle Kicks finishes their season at 5-5.
Second seed Captain Morgan’s Revenge Upset by Throwback Thursdaze 5-4
Throwback Thursdays looked to overturn the results of their Week 1 loss to Captain Morgan’s Revenge. Both teams sputtered early with neither team able to score in the first inning. That wouldn’t last long however. In the top of the second TT coupled some well-placed bunts with some timely booming outfield blasts. When the dust had settled, Throwback Thursdaze had posted a 4-spot and taken a commanding lead. CMR were able to steal back 2 runs in the fourth, but only after TT had scored again at the top of the frame. Taking their 5-2 lead into the final inning, TT looked to close out the game and get their CMR revenge. The Pirates were able to get the runners on base, and thanks to a bunt down the first-base line and some base-running shenanigans, both runners were able to score. Down to their final out, CMR needed a base-runner to have a chance at victory. The next pitch was popped up to the first-base side of the infield. The ball was caught and the upset complete. While Throwback Thursdaze advances to the Semifinals, Captain Morgan’s Revenge completes their season at 7-3.
#3 Welcome to Death Row easily reaches semifinals with a 5-0 win over #6 Purple Rain
The inmates of Death Row began their run to the GSK Oakland Division title with a dominant and convincing shutout of the sixth seeded and well overmatched Purple Rain. From the opening frame, Welcome to Death Row looked the part of a champion. Purple Rain had a difficult time getting anything going offensively throughout this contest against the excellent pitching and smart defense of Death Row. The top of the first provided a brief moment of hope for the Prince fan club, but after the first kicker reached base, Death Row shut the door collecting the next three outs. As good as they were defensively, they looked equally as good on offense in the first inning. The top of their lineup got things rolling quickly, wiith three excellent bunts which loaded the bases for their power kickers. With sharp line drives to the outfield and a sacrifice fly, Death Row jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead. They added to their lead in the bottom of the second plating two more. The scoring ended as Purple Rain clamped down defensively, aided by the fact that the boys and girls in black slowed down their ground attack and began kicking away sensing that a 5 run lead would be all they would need. The game ended unceremoniously on a foul out and Welcome to Death Row completed the 5-0 shutout and moving on to play #7 Throwback Thursdaze, while Purple Rain completes their season at 4-5-1.
East Bay Ballers Walk-Off Almost Classy, Move into Finals
The 4 vs 8 matchup between East Bay Ballers and Almost Classy was a classic low scoring kickball tournament affair. Classy threatened early in the top of the first, but East Bay Ballers got out of the two on, one out jam with some stellar defense. That defense propelled the Ballers to a pair of runs in the bottom half using small ball and sacrifice flies. After that, Almost Classy’s defense stepped it up and allowed zeros for the next 4 innings, while their offense chipped away and picked up a run on a single and a two out double in the third and then picked up the tying run in the fifth with an outfield single. In the bottom of the 6th, Ballers had a chance to walk off. With one out, two runners reached via singles. After a force out at third base, Classy was determined to send the game to extras, but Ballers had other plans. The kicker, lined a shot down the right field line that stayed just fair and Ballers walked their way into the Finals. Almost Classy finishes their season with a 5-7 record.
Welcome to Death Row ends Throwback Thursdaze Cinderella run
After coming off a huge upset to Captain Morgan’s Revenge, Throwback Thursday was looking to use their momentum to send Welcome To Death Row to the chair. Early in the game, it looked like that was going to happen with six straight outs without a hit in the 1st and 2nd inning. With some small ball and timely hitting, Throwback took the lead 1-0 in the top of the 3rd. Death Row would come back with some small ball of their own to tie the game at 1-1. Thursdaze title chances would slowly fade in the 4th allowing an additional run to score for Death Row due to an errant throw by the pitcher. Death Row would shut the door in the 5th with some controversial base running and adding an insurance run with the final score Welcome To Death Row: 3, Throwback Thursday: 1 With the win Welcome to Death Row advances into the Oakland Division Championship game, while Throwback Thursdaze completes their season at 5-7.
Welcome to Death Row Claim Swenson Cup in Thriller against East Bay Ballers
In the top of the first, East Bay Ballers quickly jumped on the board with a run via small ball and a sacrifice fly. The next three offensive innings for Welcome to Death Row proved to be very frustrating ones as each inning ended in a double play. Not to be deterred however, Death Row’s offense kept the pressure on and East Bay Ballers finally cracked. With runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs, a kick to shallow right-center managed to drop between two defenders. The base-runners needed to wait to make sure the ball wasn’t caught and broke late to the bases. A quick throw to second base narrowly got the runner for the first out, but the lead runner continued to advance. The throw home was behind the runner and allowed the kicker to advance to second base with an RKI. With the game now tied 1-1, EBB looked to retake the lead, but couldn’t get a runner into scoring position. In the bottom of the fifth inning, WDR looked to take control of the game. With a runner on second base, an infield single coupled with some aggressive baserunning allowed the go-ahead run to score. East Bay Ballers had one last chance in the top of the sixth, but the inmates of GSK played solid defense and walked back to Death Row with the Summer 2015 – Oakland Division Title. Welcome to Death Row finishes their season at 9-2-1, while East Bay Ballers finishes their runner-up season at 8-4.
With the conclusion of the Summer 2015 – Oakland Division Season, Fall begins in two weeks on August 27th. Sign ups are currently open at http://goldenstatekickball.com/Account/Login . Golden State Kickball is also holding a free pick-up game open to everyone 21 and over at Mosswood Park on Saturday, August 22 at Noon.
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