Western Mass Baseball Benefit Golf Tournament
The Western Mass baseball family lost a leader this summer with the unexpected passing of long-time Tri-County League president Kevin McGurk (above left) in June.
The TCL will be holding a benefit golf tournament in his honor.
The best ball scramble will be held on Saturday, October 5th at Mill Valley Golf Course in Belchertown. Shotgun start is at 10:00.
Cost is $90 per person, which includes 18 holes of golf, prizes and a buffet dinner. Cost for dinner only is $20.
You can register for just yourself or a full foursome. Visit www.tri-countybaseball.com for registration information.
The WMWBL salutes the TCL as it honors a great man who has done so much for baseball in Western Massachusetts.
Unity AC Wildcats capture their third WMWBL Championship
The Unity Athletic Club captured their third consecutive WMWBL Championship title, defeating the Bullies in the three game series. Game one saw the Bullies take an early series lead, thanks to some late inning heroics, taking down the Wildcats 4-3. Games two and three, however, had the Wildcat bats roaring back to life, taking down the Bullies 7-0 in both games.
#1 Wildcats vs. #2 Bullies
#1 Wildcats vs. #6 Phillies
FIRST ROUND PLAYOFF RESULTS
MSBL League Spotlight: Western Mass Wood Bat Baseball League
The MSBL recently showcased the WMWBL in its League Spotlight feature on its national website
By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications
WMWBL Veteran Mike Lord Joins Atlantic League’s New Britain Bees
Tigers pitcher Mike Lord is getting the chance to chase his baseball dreams, joining the roster of the New Britain Bees of the independent Atlantic League, an eight-team league based primarily in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
Mike has been a member of the WMWBL since 2017, playing two seasons with the Bad Hombres before joining the expansion Tigers for the 2019 season. In moving on to the Atlantic League, he is entering the highest level of professional baseball not affiliated with Major League Baseball. More than 40 percent of players in the league have had service time with Major League organizations.
In his three-year WMWBL career, Mike has a 5-2 record with 5 saves over 79.1 innings, a 1.02 ERA, 142 strikeouts, a 16.2 K/9 inning rate and a 0.72 WHIP. His 94 strikeouts in 2017 are an all-time WMWBL single-season record. He says without joining the WMWBL, he never would have gotten back into playing baseball again and wouldn’t have been presented with this new opportunity.
The seeds for that were planted early this spring, when Mike attended one of the Bees’ open tryouts. Since then, he’s been working with the team periodically, throwing bullpens to help test the new electronic umpiring system. He left enough of a mark during those sessions that the team called him on July 3rd to ask him to pitch for them.
Mike is being used out of the bullpen, at least for now. In his first appearance with the Bees on July 5th, he pitched well in allowing two runs on two hits over two innings while picking up a strikeout. He’s hoping his performance with the team so far, as well as the impressions he left over the last several months, will help him earn a roster spot for good.
“The opportunity means more than I could describe,” Mike says. “It’s a life’s worth of work, dreams, failure, pain, sweat and tears all finally being rewarded. It’s an incredible experience.”
The WMWBL wishes Mike all the best as he looks to build a baseball career!
2018 WMWBL Champions
Unity Athletic Club Wildcats of Ludlow
First Round Playoff Results
Good luck to all teams and players this year!
Tigers Win 2017 Fall League Championship
Congratulations to the 2017 Fall League Tigers on winning the league championship. The Tigers defeated the Senators 3-0 in 12 innings in what turned out to be an epic pitching duel. Devin Rhodes took the mound for the Tigers while Mike Lord toed the rubber for the Senators. For the next 11innings the two pitchers would dominate the opposing batters until the Tigers put up a 3 spot in the top of the 12th inning. The Senators would go down quietly in the bottom of the 12th inning handing the Tigers the Fall title.
Lord pitched 11 innings giving up 0 runs, scattering 5 hits walking no one while striking out 18 batters. Rhodes would match Lord pitch for pitch going 12 innings, giving up 5 hits with one walk while whiffing 20 batters. Both pitchers would have minor jams that they pitched out of along the way. The Senators had a chance to walk off with the win in the bottom of the 10th inning when they had a man on 2nd with one out however the Tigers 3rd baseman picked off a screaming one hopper between 3rd base and shortstop and then proceeded to nail the runner at second base for the 2nd out of the inning ending the Senators scoring threat. Gary Cameron and Tom Moore were the hitting stars for the Tigers. Cameron was the only player who was seeing the ball well at the plate with 4 hits including two long doubles. Moore would provide the Tigers with the game winning hit in the 12th inning knocking in the first two runs of the game.
2017 WMWBL CHAMPIONS
Unity Athletic Club Wildcats of Ludlow
Phillies vs Wild Cats
8/1 Wild Cats 13 Phillies 4
8/3 Wild Cats 7 Phillies 6
(Wildcats win series 2-0)
Blizzard vs Bullies
8/1 Bullies 4 Blizzard 0
8/3 Bullies 4 Blizzard 3
( Bullies win series 2-0)
Bullies vs Senators
8/6 Senators 12 Bullies 2
8/8 Bullies 8 Senators 2
8/13 Bullies 4 Senators 1
Wild Cats vs Bad Hombres
Bad Hombres 3 Wild Cats 1
8/10 Wild Cats 4 Bad Hombres 0
8/13 Wild Cats 10 Bad Hombres 0
8/16 Bullies 4 Wild Cats 15
8/20 Wild Cats 5 Bullies 0
WILD CATS WIN CHAMPIONSHIP 2-0
WMWBL Celebrities in The News
Introducing a new feature series to highlight WMWBL Celebrities who have appeared in the news because of their keen insight and thought-provoking ways.
This week, we acknowledge Mr. Brandon Seymour, who was interviewed because he wisely mowed his lawn early in the day, before it became too hot outside.
(As you can see, the bar is set awfully low in this series.)
A full video of the report can be seen here:
2017 Opening Day Ceremony with Miss Western Massachusetts, Miss Olivia Clark
Miss Western Massachusetts, Miss Olivia Clark, singing Our National Anthem.
Miss Western Massachusetts, Miss Olivia Clark, Makes a Special Guest Appearance
The 2017 Home Opener celebration featured Miss Western Massachusetts, Miss Olivia Clark, who made a special guest appearance for the fans, and later performed Our National Anthem.
Olivia will be competing next in The Miss Massachusetts Pageant in June, and is going to do Great.
Best of Luck, Olivia !
Hit a Homer !!
2016 PLAYOFF RESULTS
PHILLIES vs BLIZZARD
Best 2 of 3
8/2 Phillies 3 @ Blizzard 6
8/4 Blizzard 3 @ Phillies 10
8/7 Phillies 5 @ Blizzard 6 Blizzard win series 2-1
SEMI-FINALS - Best 2 of 3
8/11 Blizzard 0 @. Senators 15
8/14 Bullies 10 @ Wild Cats 8
8/15 Senators 1 @ Blizzard 0(forfeit) Senators win series 2-0
8/16 Wildcats 4 @ Bullies 9 Bullies win series 2-0
FINALS Best of 3
8/21 Bullies 0 @ Senators 15
8/24 Senators 2 @ Bullies 7
8/28 Bullies 0. @ Senators 7 Senators win series 2-1
Hope Springs Eternal: A New Baseball Season Is Underway
Hope Springs Eternal: A New Baseball Season Is Underway
By Jim Wallis
On Opening Day, every team starts with a clean slate, all the win/loss records are 0-0, and, as they say, “hope springs eternal.” There is talk in every baseball town and among all baseball fans of how we really could win this year if only this or that goes right, if our players could live up to their real potential, if we could finally “gel” as a team, and if all the things we can’t control could go well for us and not so well for the other teams. “Have you seen that new rookie?” And “that trade we just made could make all the difference now!” Everybody is a believer on Opening Day.
The beauty and simplicity of baseball reminds us that at the heart of our lives is a need for joy and hope.
Amen. Play Ball !
Senators Win 2016 WMWBL Title
The Springfield Senators won their 2nd championship in 3 years by defeating the Brownstone Bullies on Sunday 7-0 to take the best 2 out of 3 series two games to one.
The Senators took the opening game of the series by breaking open a closely contested game with an 8 run 7th inning turning the game into a runaway win 15-0. Anthony Gorneault, Jack Ryan, Mike Chiarizio and Matt Sullivan led the 18 hit attack with three hits each and a pair of rbi's. Paul Texiera drove in 3 runs with a couple of hits. Pete Varley led the way on the mound going 7 shutout innings giving up 4 hits while walking 3 batters and striking out 5. Danny Dones was the Bullies hit leader going 2 for 3 with a single and a double.
In game two the Bullies smelled blood early and jumped on the Senators right away with three runs in the first inning. Tony Consiglio started the game with a line drive double into the left field gap which the Bullies followed up with three more hits by Andre Conde,Jon Jordan, and Timmy Trembley. Gunner Genovese would also add a sacrifice fly to give the Bullies a crooked number in the first inning. The Bullies would continue to hit the ball hard and take advantage of some Senator miscues in the outfield by adding a pair of runs in the 2nd and 3rd innings for a healthy 7-0 lead. Senator starting pitcher Paul Texiera would settle down to shut out the Bullies the rest of way. The deficit however would be way too much to overcome against Bullies starting pitcher Andre Conde. Conde had the Senators confused at the plate all night. The crafty lefty scattered 6 hits while walking 4 and striking out 11. The Senators did not present a serious scoring threat until the 8th inning when Pete Varley lined a two run single into right centerfield to ruin the shutout. Conde would however retire the next 4 batters for the complete game victory. Conde would also lead the hitting attack going 3 for 5. Jon Jordan and Gunner Genovese chipped in with a pair of rbi's.
Game 3 was expected to be a battle between two of the leagues premier pitchers. Jack Ryan would take the mound for the Senators and Andre Conde would toe the rubber once again for the Bullies. Both teams showed up with a boisterous group of fans and they would not be disappointed with the performance of either pitcher early in the game as both Ryan and Conde put up nothing but zeros for the first three innings. The Bullies managed to put single runners on base in innings two through four but any thoughts they had of scoring were wiped out by Ryan. Meanwhile other than a two out single by Ryan in the first inning the Senators went down quietly in the first three innings. That would all change in the 4th inning. After a lead off fly out to right field Jack Ryan would be the Senators catalyst for the inning. Ryan led off with a ringing single to get things going. Before Ryan could catch his breath Anthony Gorneault would drive a long triple to right center field scoring Ryan with the games first run. The Senators however were far from done. Pete Varley followed up Gorneaults triple with a scorching double to right center that would put the Senators up 2-0. After a Ben Burnett single and stolen base gave the Senators runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out, Mike Whatley would break the game open with the Senators fifth hit in a row, a two out line drive single to centerfield giving them a 4-0 lead. After a fielders choice gave the gave the Senators their 2nd out of the inning the hitting would continue when Brandon Seymour spanked a single to left field and Matt Sullivan followed that up with an rbi single of his own. The Senators owned a 5-0 lead after four innings. Conde would regain his composure and and hold the Senators to single runs in the 7th and 8th innings. The damage however was way too much for the Bullies to overcome as Ryan was in cruise control the rest of the way. The Bullies posed a minor threat in the 8th inning after a couple of walks put runners on 2nd and 3rd with two outs but a ground ball to first base would end the threat. Ryan got the complete game shutout victory scattering 4 hits while walking 3 and striking out 4. Ryan, Anthony Gorneault, Pete Varley and Mike Whatley had two hits a piece for the Senators. Varley(double anda triple)and Gorneault(triple)had extra base hits. Varley and Whatley had two rbi's each. Gunner Genovese stroked a long double for the Bullies.
Congratulations are in order to the Bullies on an excellent season and to Bullies head coach Ted Davis for another outstanding job running the league.
Another Successful Red Sox / Yankees Ticket Raffle
Congratulations to Mr. Harrison Lee Grant on being selected the winner of the 2016 Red Sox / Yankee ticket raffle.
Enjoy the game !!
"Opening Day" by Unknown Author
Let me show you a land
the greatest of all
with borders that stretch
from the spring to the fall
Emerald fields plush with diamonds
and pearls gleaming white
with meatballs becoming taters
soaring into the night
A land of hot corners
where hoses throw heat
into your kitchen
where there's plenty to eat.
There's pickles, there's pepper
there's peas, and there's cheese
And shoestrings making catches
with the greatest of ease
Many eye-pleasing sights
also found on display
An ace that throws dueces,
a tailor-made double play
Ducks on a pond
wait for springing line drives
to hitch a ride home
on pop-ups and slides
This land welcomes all
to dream and to play
This land is Baseball,
It's Opening Day.
US Presidents & the First Pitch of Baseball Season By David Murphy
President Taft doesn’t show up too often on the list of presidential firsts, but he brought one tradition to the office that exists to this day: The ceremonial first pitch on Major League baseball’s opening day.
In April 1910, President Taft tossed a ball from the stands to Washington Senators ace Walter Johnson at the request of Senators owner Clark Griffith, who wanted the presidential seal of approval on baseball to cement its position as the national pastime. Not only did Taft toss out the first pitch, he stayed for the whole game—which the Senators won.
Taft showed up again in 1911 to throw out the first pitch and had his vice president do it in 1912. The Senators won all three games.
Woodrow Wilson carried on the tradition the following year, as did the next 10 presidents in a row.
A highlight? Truman throwing out two balls in 1950—one right-handed, one left-handed. A lowlight? FDR hitting a Washington Post camera with his pitch in 1940.
The tradition stayed in Washington, D.C. for more than 60 years, until President Nixon threw out the first pitch at California’s Anaheim Stadium in 1973. President Carter was the first to skip the tradition on Opening Day, although he did toss out the first pitch of Game Seven in the 1979 World Series, just before the Pirates knocked off the Baltimore Orioles.
President George W. Bush brought the tradition back to Washington when the Nationals returned to D.C. in 2005, then did it again at the opening of Nationals Park in 2008.
President Obama threw out the first pitch in 2010—the 100th anniversary of Taft’s toss. It was, in the words of Bob Uecker, just a bit outside. President Obama hasn’t thrown out a first pitch since.
Miss Brittany Decker sings The National Anthem at the WMWBL 2016 Opening Day Festivities.
The WMWBL wishes to thank all the heroic veterans from all the US Armed Forces, who gave the ultimate sacrifice towards protecting our Liberty and Freedom.
Chicopee Tigers Win 2015 WMWBL Championship
The WMWBL Participates in The Wounded Warrior Project
The WMWBL recently made a contribution towards the MSBL National's fundraising campaign for the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team.
We are deeply humbled to participate towards this elite group of Americans, who have fought for the freedoms which allows us to play this game of baseball.
An excerpt regarding the WWAST, and its mission, is provided here:
THE WWAST MISSION
The WWAST is a 501(c)(3) public charity whose mission is to raise awareness, educate and inspire the public about the strength and resiliency of our wounded warriors, showing how a positive attitude, commitment, dedication and perseverance allow them to overcome any obstacles. The Team is comprised of veterans and active duty servicemen who have served our country in the Global War on Terrorism, in Iraq and in Afghanistan. They now travel the country playing able-bodied teams in competitive, celebrity and exhibition softball games, bringing their special brand of softball, courage and inspiration.
The WWAST is comprised of young, competitive, athletic veterans and active duty soldiers who have lost limbs, while serving their country in the military/war. The team includes individuals with a variety of amputations of the arm, above knee, below knee, bilateral below knee, and foot. Some are still in the service, others are attending college thanks to the Post-9/11 GI Bill while others have moved on to new careers.
WWAST athletes are examples of amputees who continue to push the limits of modern prosthetic technology with more and more applications. Of course, their dream would be the return of our soldiers from harm’s way without the resulting loss of life and limb. Until such a time, the vision is to support and honor our soldiers and veterans sacrifices, and to show other amputees and everyone who sees or hears about them that life without a limb is limitless.
To learn more about this worthy cause, and to make a donation directly, please refer to these sites.
Congratulations to Chris Bernacki, for being randomly chosen as winner of the WMWBL's 2015 Charity Raffle.
Chris receives the 2 Red Sox vs. Yankees tickets for the game to be played at Fenway Park, on May 1st.
Thank you all for your participation, as these fundraisers help Our League continue the means to award scholarships to local students.
2015 SEASON IS UNDERWAY
The 2015 Western Mass.Wood Bat League season began on Sunday April,12th. Ludlow, Holyoke and Chicopee were all victorious in their WMWBL debut.
The big story on opening day was the leagues first ever no-hitter and perfect game thrown by the Chicopee Tigers Andre Conde. The Tigers bats backed up Conde's brilliant performance in a 10-0 victory over the Agawam Brown Sox.
The Ludlow Wildcats outslugged the Brownstone Bullies 12-7 and the Paper City Bombers rallied for 4 runs in the top of the 9th to take down the Palmer Phillies.
Four more games are on tap for Sunday 4/19.
Ludlow Wildcats @ Palmer Phillies 12:00 noon
Paper City Bombers @ Western Mass. Blizzard 12:00 noon
Chicopee Tigers @ Brownstone Bullies 12:00 noon
Springfield Senators @ Agawam Brown Sox 4:00pm
Field Locations can be found on the "schedule" page
NEW EMAIL ADDRESS
UNFORTUNATELY OUR EMAIL ACCOUNT WAS COMPROMISED LAST FALL. WE HAVE NOT RECEIVED ANY EMAILS SINCE LAST OCTOBER. IF YOU HAVE BEEN TRYING TO CONTACT THE LEAGUE PLEASE RESEND YOUR EMAIL TO OUR NEW ADDRESS. WE CAN BE REACHED AT WMWBL25@YAHOO.COM
The WMWBL was recently featured on CBS3 Springfield by Tony Consiglio
Congratulations to the 2014 WMWBL College Scholarship Recipient, Aaron Cyr
Congratulations to Minnechaug Regional High School senior, Aaron Cyr.
In the Fall, Aaron will continue his studies at The University of North Dakota, as he pursues his degree in Commercial Aviation.
Best of Luck to you, Aaron, from your friends at The WMWBL.