We are all set for another Friday Night Lights tonight at Highlands North.
Last week we had Derek Jeter and the ghost of Babe Ruth stop by for the Yankees pre-game introductions.
We also had an iPhone problem, and were scrambling to find someone that had the National Anthem on their phone.
Long time FNL veteran Tim Carruthers stepped to the plate and volunteered to sing the anthem.
The crowd rose in anticipation, fearful of another Rosanne Barr, Carl Lewis, or Michael Bolton anthem butchering.
But Carruthers, a -500 favorite in Vegas to forget some or more likely all of the song, nailed it!!!
Not only did he not forget the words, he even hit the high notes.
It just proves if you come out to Friday Night Lights, anything can happen!
On to the matchups….
We kick off with a AAA game at 5:00 p.m. between the Durham Bulls and the Toledo Mud Hens.
The Mud Hens are off to an 8-0 start behind Manager Doug Karmin.
And while some have attributed their excellent hitting, pitching and defense to their perfect start, there may be another explanation.
Mud Hens player Tate Cohen has had an interesting SCLL career so far.
He was on the AA Champion Arkansas Razorbacks in 2015 as the Razorbacks only lost twice all year.
Last year he played for the AAA Champion Timber Rattlers who only lost once all year.
And now he is on the AAA Mud Hens who are undefeated.
If the Mud Hens can pull off a AAA Championship, Tate will have won 3 championships in a row.
Most kids would be extremely fortunate to be on one championship team their entire SCLL career, but Tate is going for a 3 peat.
If you are looking for an early 2018 Majors Champion, keep a close eye on where Tate lands next year.
The Durham Bulls have started off slow, but they won their last game 13-1.
Things are starting to come together for this historic minor league franchise with the best looking uniforms in SCLL.
Tonight the Bulls hope to awaken the memories of Crash Davis and Nuke LaLoosh with an upset win.
Bulls Manager Kevin Maher has his “I believe” speech ready to roll tonight.
The Majors game at 7:00 p.m. features the Oakland Athletics at the first place Houston Astros.
The Athletics under Manager Eric Hove, feature Bash Brothers Carter Friday and Connor Chan.
Friday and Chan are tied for 2nd in the Majors with 5 home runs, one behind league leaguer Evan Elwood of the Giants.
The Athletics have also had a quirky 4 ties this year.
But there are no ties allowed on FNL, so if this game winds up in a tie, we might have to have a home run hitting contest to decide the winner.
The Astros are responsible for domes, multi-purpose football/baseball stadiums, AstroTurf, and the most hideous uniforms ever displayed.
They set baseball back decades with these horrible inventions.
But don’t blame Astros Manager Anthony Pedrotti for any of that.
Well I guess you can if you want, because there is a rumor that the Astros may be wearing their 70’s/80’s throwback uniforms tonight.
So make sure to wear your shades!
So come out to Friday Night Lights and check out the fun!
Who will sing the National Anthem tonight?
Will the ghost of Rollie Fingers, Reggie Jackson or Nolan Ryan make an appearance?
The Snack Shack will be open and kids will be running around all over the place!
We hope to see you out there tonight!
If it weren’t for Michael Jordan taking a 2 year hiatus from basketball in his prime, Houston would be the most tortured sports city in America.
The list of painful sports defeats and near misses has haunted this city.
The Houston Oilers 1980 AFC Championship game loss against Pittsburgh, where a game tying TD by WR Mike Renfro was incorrectly ruled as incomplete. The Steelers would win their 4th Super Bowl a few weeks later.
Nine months later, the city would get crushed again, this time by the Houston Astros. The Astros had their best team in franchise history with Joe Morgan and Nolan Ryan leading the way. That team also had a young backup catcher named Bruce Bochy who would later go on to win 3 World Series titles managing the Giants. The Astros lost that 1980 NLCS 3-2 to the Phillies. It was the first baseball series I ever watched and even as a 9 year old, I knew it would be one of the greatest series ever. The Phillies would go on to win the World Series 2 weeks later.
The list of painful defeats for Houston goes on and on, but here are a few more….
The 1986 Houston Astros lost perhaps the greatest game ever, a Game 6 NLCS 16 inning loss to the New York Mets at home. They were up 3-0 in the 9th. They had a rested Mike Scott, the 1986 NL Cy Young Award Winner, ready to start a Game 7 he would have never lost - but they couldn’t get him the ball. The Mets would go on to win the World Series against the Red Sox a few weeks later.
The 1993 Houston Oilers 32 point collapse against the Buffalo Bills in the AFC playoffs.
The Joe Montana Notre Dame comeback game against the Houston Cougars in the 1979 Cotton Bowl. Montana was down 34-12 with 8 minutes left and won 35-34 on the final play of the game.
And the 1983 NCAA championship game when the Houston Cougars, potentially the greatest college basketball team of all time with Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, lost to Jim Valvano and the NC State Wolfpack at the buzzer.
The Houston Rockets provided the city their only championships ever in their 3 Majors sports, winning the 1994 and 1995 NBA titles.
Those were the two years that Michael Jordan took a break from basketball in between winning 3 titles before and 3 titles after his break.
Some might say that there is an asterisk with these Houston championships.
22 years later and still without a championship since that 95 Rockets team, the city of Houston has embraced the Majors Houston Astros.
The Astros have blasted off to an 8-3-2 record and 1st place in the Majors.
Manager Anthony Pedrotti and Assistant Coach Nate Loskutoff are in their 2nd year with the Astros franchise.
Like just about any baseball team in first place, the Astros have done it with 3 things…pitching, pitching, and pitching.
The Astros lead the Majors in ERA at 4.38.
No other Majors team has an ERA below 5.
They have only given up 4 home runs all season, also leading the Majors.
They have given up more than 5 runs in only 3 of their 13 games.
And the streaking Astros have now won 3 in a row and 7 of their last 9.
The Astros have not had a pitching staff this good in franchise history since that 1980 team.
That team had a starting staff of Nolan Ryan, J.R. Richard, Joe Niekro, and Ken Forsch.
“This team is heavy on 12 year olds, led by 3 year SCLL Majors veteran Gavin Everett”, said Manager Pedrotti.
“It’s his second tour of duty with the Astros after a brief stint last year with the Tampa Bay Rays.”
Everett fronts the pitching staff along with fellow 12 year olds Aaron Melz and Ryan Greene.
And behind that they have a bunch of kids that can come in and get the job done, throw strikes, and get batters out.
With this pitching staff, the Astros don’t need to hit a ton of home runs.
The speedy Ethan Moussa sets the table for the Astros, but they also have a few kids that can go yard.
Everett, with his 5 balls over the fence this season, is the #2 home run hitter in Majors.
Ryan Greene has gone deep twice, while Michael Pedrotti and Hudson Fox have also chipped in with a home run on the year.
With the Majors playoffs 3 weeks away, the Astros are in good positon to make a run.
They have power arms, strike throwers, and veteran 12 year old leadership.
The Houston Astros were awarded an expansion franchise in 1962.
2017 marks their 56th year in Houston, and they have never won a World Series.
That is the 3rd longest active drought behind the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers.
The Majors Astros are looking to change all of that this year.
If the Astros can finally bring a baseball championship to Houston, one thing is for certain.
This time there will be no asterisk.
The 1986 Houston Astros gave everything they had but could not get the job done. Can the 2017 Majors Astros win one for the memory of that 1986 team and other Astros teams that have come so close?
Runs Allowed Per Game
1. Astros 4.38
2. Giants 5.07
3. Reds 5.64
4. Pirates 5.85
5. Cubs 7.07
6. Athletics 8.23
7. Red Sox 8.43
8. Yankees 8.54
9. Padres 9.00
10. Tigers 9.69
Runs Scored Per Game
1. Red Sox 10.50
2. Athletics 8.08
3. Giants 8.00
4. Cubs 7.21
5. Astros 7.15
6. Reds 7.07
7. Tigers 6.54
8. Yankees 5.46
9. Padres 5.31
10. Pirates 5.00
2017 SCLL Hit-A-Thon Schedule
Sunday April 30th at Burton Park
Madsen (West Field) and Flanagan Field (East Field)
TBall and Farm will have Flanagan from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
AA will have Flanagan from 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.
AAA and Majors will have Madsen from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
SHOW UP ANY TIME TO HIT!
We are not breaking it down by team this year, but by division.
So just show up any time during your Division's allotted time, bring a helmet and bat, and swing for the fences!
Standings Into Set 15
Red Sox 10-5
Set 15 Results
Tuesday April 25th: Reds 10 Pirates 3
Wednesday April 26th: Tigers 9 Red Sox 8
Thursday April 27th: Padres 18 Yankees 10
Thursday April 27th: Cubs 4 Giants 1
Friday April 28th:
Set 15 Home Runs: Joey Lorenzini (2) - Reds, Jayden Weber 2 (3) - Tigers, Anthony Figaro (1) - Padres, Owen Reynick (1) - Padres, Richard LaGrill (1) - Athletics
For the entire season results and home runs please see the left hand menu tab "2017 Majors Standings"
Standings Into Sets 9 and 10
River Cats 7-2
Sand Gnats 1-5-1
Mud Hens 9-0
Sea Wolves 3-3
Sea Dogs 4-5
Set 2 Result - Make Up Game
Monday April 24th: Rattlers 9 Marauders 2
Home Run: Nils Nehrenheim (1) - Rattlers
Set 9 Results
Monday April 24th: Sea Wolves 7 Sea Dogs 4
Tuesday April 25th: Mud Hens 6 Thunder 3
Tuesday April 25th: Bulls 13 Hooks 1
Wednesday April 26th: Marauders 12 Grasshoppers 2
Wednesday April 26th: Rattlers 12 Mudcats 6
Thursday April 27th: River Cats 14 Sand Gnats 4
Set 9 Home Runs: Josh Juliano (2) - River Cats, Colton Rekow (2) - River Cats
Set 10 Results
Friday April 28th: Mud Hens 13 Bulls 6
Set 10 Home Runs:
For the entire season results and home runs please see the left hand tab bar "2017 AAA Standings"
See below spreadsheet for AA Scores and Standings
The 2017 San Carlos Summer Tournament will be from July 18th - July 23rd, 2017.
If you have questions please contact Ross Mackie at email@example.com and Toby O'Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The San Carlos Field Hotline is 650-594-2626