2001 PLAYER / PITCHER OF THE WEEK #01

Luis_Gonzalez-2001Chuck_FinleyJeff_CirilloChan-Ho_Park

NAME TEAM AVG SLG G AB H 2B 3B HR R RBI K W IW SB CS HBP
GONZALEZ,Luis CRH  AL .435 1.000 5 23 10 1 0 4 10 12 1 0 0 0 0 1
                                   
NAME CLUB G W L S ERA IP R ER H K BB IBB WP BK HB HR
FINLEY,Chuck SSS  AL 1 1 0 0 0.00 9 0 0 4 11 2 0 0 0 0 0
                                   
NAME TEAM AVG SLG G AB H 2B 3B HR R RBI K W IW SB CS HBP
CIRILLO,Jeff LBT  NL .636 1.409 5 22 14 2 3 3 8 13 1 1 0 1 0 0
                                   
NAME CLUB G W L S ERA IP R ER H K BB IBB WP BK HB HR
PARK,Chan Ho GLG  NL 1 1 0 0 0.00 9 0 0 2 9 3 0 0 0 0 0

Dondero Oaks @ Castle Rock Hounds

Series Preview: A hearty welcome to the MWWL for the Dondero Oaks as they begin their inaugural season on the road against the Castle Rock Hounds. The Hounds are sporting a monster lineup in 2021, with Barry Bonds and Luis Gonzalez comprising one of the most feared duos in the league’s history. Can the Hounds keep the Oaks at bay to take the first series? Let’s find out.
Game #1: John Burkett takes the hill for Castle Rock while Dondero counters with Steve Sparks. The first RBI of the season comes from an unlikely source for Castle Rock, as Royce Clayton singles in Mike Sweeney to give Castle Rock a 1-0 lead in the second. Michael Barrett, JT Snow and Bonds add further RBI singles and it is 4-0, Colorado. Vander Wal gets one back with an RBI double in the 3rd for Dondero, scoring Ibanez for the first run in franchise history! They add another on a Clayton error to make it 4-2.

Snow and Gonzalez hit solo homers in the 5th for Castle Rock to extend the lead to 6-2. They add a run in the 6th and 7th and then Gonzalez hits a grand slam in the bottom of the 8th to make it a 13-2 game. Dondero adds two in the top of the 9th and the final is 13-4, Castle Rock. A rude welcome from the Hounds.

WP: Burkett (1-0)
LP: Sparks (0-1)
S: Rogers (1)(went three innings in relief)

Luis Gonzalez goes 3-5 with two HRs a double and 5 RBI.

Game #2: Wise-Carpenter in this one. There’s probably a good religious joke there somewhere. Cesar Izturis gets Dondero on the board in the 2nd with the franchise’s first home run! Surprising source, as he hit only two on the season in 2001. The 2-0 lead is short-lived, as Michael Barrett ties it up in the 4th with a 2-run shot of his own. But, Dondero gets one back with a Galarraga RBI single in the top of the 5th. Bichette adds another RBI in the 7th and Dondero has a 4-2 lead.

Dondero brings in Mariano Rivera to start the 8th, and Sweeney touches him up for a solo HR. In the bottom of the 9th, Wilton Guerrero delivers a pinch-hit single and Rivera is facing Bonds with two outs and a runner on 1st, up 4-3. Barry delivers a clutch double, scoring Guerrero and we are tied at 4-4. Jermaine Dye follows it up with an RBI single and Castle Rock gets the come from behind win, 5-4. A tough loss for Dondero, who got a good start from Wise, and had the right pitcher on the mound with Rivera.

WP: Pineiro (1-0)
LP: Rivera (0-1)

Game #3: Jarvis vs. Pettitte in this one. Bonds gets his first homer of the season in the bottom of the 1st to stake Castle Rock out to a 1-0 lead. The Hounds add three more, cobbling together singles to make it 4-0. But, Dondero comes storming back with four runs of their own in the top of the 2nd, highlighted by a two-out two-RBI double from Vander Wal. These Hounds will not be satisfied though, as they plate five runs in the bottom of the 2nd, including a bases loaded 3-RBI double from Clayton.

Jarvis is out of the game and Castle Rock keeps piling on. Gonzalez adds a homer of his own to make it 14-4 after just three innings. It’s just a hit parade after that, as both teams are hitting at will, even after Castle Rock puts in its subs. Unfortunately, Bichette and Izturis both suffer long-term injuries in the bottom of the 6th for Dondero. Even Sal Fasano gets in on the action for Castle Rock, delivering a 3-run homer for the Hounds to make the score 25-8! That is how the game would end, as Castle Rock scores 25 runs on 24 hits, 7 walks and 4 errors from Dondero. Luis Gonzalez goes 5-6 with 4 RBI and Mike Sweeney goes 3-4 with 2 RBI and 2 walks.

WP: Pettitte (1-0)
LP: Jarvis (0-1)
S: Rogers (2) (again goes 3.2 IP in relief)

Game #4: Two 5 starters face off in this one, as pre-Cy Young Johan Santana faces off against Doug Davis. Could be a lot of runs scored again in this one. Luis Gonzalez continues his monstrous start to the season by delivering a 3-run homer in the bottom of the 1st to give Castle Rock the early lead. Sweeney follows that up with a bases loaded triple in the bottom of the 3rd and before you know it the Hounds are out to a 6-0 lead. Ron Gant provides a grand slam in the bottom of the 4th and the Hounds have reached double digits again, as it is 10-0. The teams exchange runs after that, but it is never in doubt as it finishes 12-2. Ron Gant is a double short of the cycle for Castle Rock. Davis goes the whole game for Castle Rock, allowing only one earned run.

WP: Davis (1-0)
LP: Santana (0-1)

Game #5: Castle Rock going for the sweep of the opening series, showing no leniency to the newest member of the league. We have Paul Wilson (5) for Dondero facing off against Chad Durbin (4) for Castle Rock.

Reggie Sanders gets Dondero out to the early lead with a 2-run homer in the top of the first. Dondero adds another in the 6th. Meanwhile, Paul Wilson is looking like Clemens out there, holding the Hounds to 0 runs on 5 hits through seven innings. He has been upgraded to a 20 to start the 8th. Valentin adds an insurance home run in the top of the 8th to make it 4-0 and Dondero will add three more to make it 7-0. That’s how it ends, as Paul Wilson magically goes the full 9 innings and shuts out Castle Rock! The final is 7-0, Dondero as they avoid the series sweep and get their first franchise victory.

WP: Wilson (1-0)
LP: Durbin (0-1)

Series Summary: Castle Rock starts off the season strong with a 4-1 series victory, a rude welcome to the league for Dondero. Luis Gonzalez is looking for hitter of the week votes as he goes 10 for 23 with 4 homers and 12 RBI. Barry Bonds walks 8 times and also goes 7 for 15 (.467 batting average and .652 OBP) on the week, but just delivers one homer (plenty more to come I’m sure).

Winnipeg Goldeyes @ Long Beach Titans

Series Summary: Long Beach scored38 runs in sweeping Winnipeg.

Hampton Huskies @ Manhattan Gas Hornets

Series Preview: Opening Day – again in a revamped NL East. And the Hampton Huskies are beginning to take shape (what shape TBD) but they will give teams fits. Gas Hornets – pitching staff is, once again, weak as the season opens. How far will the offense carry them – will they be asked to do too much.
Game #1: After all the anthems were played the game begins Jeter opens the bottom of the 1st with a single and Durham doubles him home. By the end of 6, the Gas Hornets had stretched the lead to 7-0 as Morris was cruising. But in the 8th, the Huskies finally found an offensive as they plate 3 including a 2 run Lee double (two doubles in the game). But Gas Hornets get 2 in the bottom half to run the final to 9-3. Jeter starts with 4 straight hits and gets an rbi on the lone time he’s retired. Dennis Martinez goes 3 for 3, 3 runs, 2 rbis.
HAM 3- 8-0 LP Armas (0-1)
MGH 9-16-1 WP Morris (1-0)
Game #2: Barry Zito starts for Hampton in this one and he goes 8 innings, 7 hits, 2 runs! And that was enough to ensure a victory after the Huskies start the game quickly with 3 in the 1st – Daubach a 2 run homer (1) and Cox an rbi single. Lee (1) adds a solo shot in the 5th before Manhattan gets on the board. Ricky Henderson (1) homers for 1 of the 2 home team runs.
HAM 4-7-1 WP Zito (1-0) S Gordon (1)
MGH 2-7-1 LP Reed (0-1)
Game #3: Manhattan gets back in the win column when Tim Wakefield tosses a 4 hit shutout for 8 innings before turning it over to Jeff Shaw in the 9th for the save. Jeter goes 3 for 3, run rbi and Ricky Henderson has another stellar game with 2 hits including his 2nd homer of the season.
HAM 0-4-1 LP Hermanson (0-1)
MGH 3-8-1 WP Wakefield (1-0) S Shaw (1)
Game #4: 21 Gas Hornets hits make this a one sided game although a 2 run 5th by Hampton got them within 2 at 4-2, then 5-3 after the top of the 6th – but then they no longer stayed close as Manhattan hammers their way to a 9-4 win. Kendall (4), Stairs (3), Rivas (3) and Alicea (3) were the big hitters, while 3 others had 2 hits each including Jeter (1) and Henderson (3) as home run sluggers. Fick (1) smacks one out for Hampton scoring 2 and Ichuro goes 4 for 5!
HAM 4- 9-1 LP Chen (0-1_
MGH 10-21-0 WP Maduro (1-0)
Game #5: Another 4-2 game, this time going to Manhattan who never trailed after a 2 run 1st. Tino Martinez slugs his 1st of the year in the 1st (2 run shot). Redmond (1) homer for Hampton to draw within 1 in the 4th but it was matched in the 5th – then the tame traded runs in the 8th and that was it. Toughest part for Hampton were the two injuries: Hillenbrand will miss 5 days after being shaken-up when Halama bounces one off him. Then Adam Eaton will miss 21 days when his arm stiffens and he leaves in the 6th.
HAM 2-8-1 LP Eaton (0-1)
MGH 4-8-0 WP Halama (1-0)
Series Summary: Surprising opening week, but we’ll take it with a 4-1 series win. Stars line up well in Manhattan……

Fort Worth Panthers @ California Quakes

Series Summary: Fort Worth gets off to a strong start, taking the series 4-1. This is going to be a long season.

Monroeville Maulers @ Harper Woods Expos

Series Summary: The Expos win a close series 3-2.

Chicago Demolition @ Southlake Stealers

Series Preview: https://1drv.ms/v/s!Apsoly4dBGkjrCVseI5T6euuN_vY?e=xOZRYi

Click above Link Prior to reading the Write Ups

Hello everyone, Ernie Harwell here with broadcast partner and longtime friend Paul Carey. We are about to open another MWWL season, with Chicago taking on the Southlake Stealers.

It’s a cold blustery day here on the Eastern Coast of South Lake in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. We are warm and toasty inside the newly built Richard M. Nixon Mega Sportsplex where the roof will be closed today. With a cost just north of $3.2B the ownership has spared no expense for the fans of this newly minted franchise. Well except perhaps on payroll.

The Stealers will be led this year by their staff ace, and I use that word cautiously, Darryl Kile. After 3 tough years out in Portland he is excited to return to the AL Central where he saw some success with Detroit and Cincinnati in the past.

The offense will be built around Carlos Beltran and an aging Roberto Alomar. Beltran hopes a change of scenery from the mist of Portland will also help his game. He came out of the gate hot his Rookie season, but the last two have been disappointing to say the least.

This team will need to play a scrappy brand of ball if they want to contend until at least the mid-season break. Pulling the strings from dugout steps will be first time manager Sarge Stauffer. It was a surprise hiring when he was plucked out of the Rockies Organization since most people had no idea who this young man was; including most people inside the Rockies Organization.

His work will be cut out for him as you couldn’t pick a more difficult team to start your career off against. The World Champion Chicago Demolition traversed the lakes to begin the defense of their crown. Bringing with them fireballers Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez and slugger Carlos Delgado. Vegas has them as the odds-on favorite for the AL Central again this year.

The Veteran Skipper for Chicago has named Roger Clemens the Opening Day Starter over Pedro. Of course picking Rocket or Pedro to face is like asking do you want to die by firing squad or hanging. Neither is a fun choice to face.

Game #1: After a scoreless first inning Southlake gets on the board first with a one out Triple by Singleton and a sac bunt by Macias.

The Demolition wasted no time in striking back. In the top of the third a lead off single by Renteria followed by a walk to Justice set the table. After getting Stewart to pop up it looked as if Kile might be ok by coaxing Anderson to ground one to third, however, Russ Johnson decided to throw one way past Conine at first bringing home the tying run. Justice would score one batter later when Kile uncorked a wild pitch. Demolition with a 2-1 lead.

The Stealers would lean into their new star in the third. With Alomar on second and Conine on 1st with two outs, Beltran rips a double down the right field line to plate both guys and re-take the lead. End of 3 its Stealers 3-2.

The score stayed the same with a series of 1-2-3 innings by both pitchers, until with one out in the 7th Justice hit a double, ending Kile’s day. Kile apparently likes being back in the AL Central as he went 6.1 innings, yielding 4 hits, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts and 2 unearned runs.

Sarge called on Paul Shuey to get out of the jam, and that he did. Getting the next two batters out stranding Justice at second.

A two-out single by Nunez in the 7th was the end of the day for Clemens as well. Roger with a similar line as Kile going 6.2 with 5 hits, 2 walks, and 6 strikeouts, giving up 3 runs in total.

Zimmerman was brought in to face Johnson, but Stauffer countered with Shawn Wooten. As effectively as Shuey shut down the Demolition, Zimmerman did the same dispatching of Wooten.

Having removed Russ Johnson for Wooten, Sarge went a controversial route moving his DH Nunez into the field to play third. This meant the Stealers would lose their DH and the pitcher would have to bat for himself. A gutsy move in your first game managing; one sure to be questioned. But it proved moot as Baez would come in for a quick 6 out save and never have to come to the plate himself.

After the game when asked about the move Stauffer replied “Ever since I saw the 1996 All-Star game when Finley had to bat due to a lack of players, I stressed to all our guys to be ready to contribute any way possible at any time. That is why we worked on pitchers batting all spring training long. Luckily, we didn’t need to see if that practice was well spent or not.”

Final Score Southlake 3, Demolition 2
WP: Kile 1-0
LP: Clemens 0-1
Hold: Shuey 1
Save: Baez 1
Big Boy Restaurants’ Big Boy of the Game: Carlos Beltran 2/4 with 2 RBIS

Game #2: The Southlake Stealers showed they can hit along with pitching, as they got 12 runs on 19 hits. BUT, The Demolition proved why they are the reigning champs, as they scored 17 times on 18 runs in the victory. The score finished closer than the game actually was.

Southlake starter Schoeneweis didn’t even get an out in the second inning as he surrendered 6 runs on 7 hits in just one inning of work. Relievers Irabu, White and Miceli gave up 11 more runs over the remainder of the game.

Stewart led off with a single and continued to hit all game long, going 4 for 5 with 3 runs. That would normally earn Big Boy Restaurants’ Big Boy of the game, but David Justice decided he wanted that hardware, going 3 for 5 with 5 RBIs.

Pitching was suspect for the Demolition as starter Rapp couldn’t go five innings as he gave up 7 runs through 4 innings allowing Nelson Cruz to swoop in for a vulture win. But when you can score at will like the Demolition can, pitching perfection is rarely needed.

Victory did not come without a cost for the Demolition. A Texas Leaguer in the third inning led to a collision between Anderson scampering out and Higginson barreling in. The result left both players on the ground in pain. Anderson will be unavailable for the next two days while Higginson is gone for the remainder of the series. Ouch, that is a big blow to lose Higgy and his .400 batting average.

WP: Cruz 1-0
LP: Schoeneweis 0-1
Big Boy Restaurants’ Big Boy of the Game: Justice — Chicago

Game #3: The Demolition started the game the same way they ended yesterday, by scoring a run on a Delgado two out hit off starter Castillo.

In the third the Demolition put the first two batters on. Castillo bared down and it looked as if he was going to work out of the jam, unfortunately for him he had to face Delgado in order to do that. Delgado proving why he is a perennial MVP candidate came through again plating a run on a single.

Milwood would struggle in the third as well. After back-to-back singles to start the inning, he walked the next man, loading the bases with no one out. Russ Johnson would follow with a walk of his own to halve the lead. Bases still loaded with no outs. Millwood would get Conine to bounce into a 6-4-3. While this dampened the rally it did plate the tying run. The score tied after 3 innings.

Chicago kept on hitting. Hits by Johnson and Renteria put runners on first and second with no outs in the 4th. Hocking playing in place of the injured Anderson popped up to Alomar. Justice hit a slow roller to Eckstein for out number two, and Stewart lined out to Beltran to escape the jam for Southlake.

Beltran would continue his hot start to the season leading off the 4th with a single. Singleton would follow with a textbook hit and run to put runners at the corner with no outs. An infield pop up from Macias produced the first out. Chicago played defensively for the double play against the slow running Ben Davis. Instead, Davis squared to bunt and was drilled by the pitch, loading the bases.

Staying in DP depth against a slightly faster Eckstein was a risky move but one Coach Stray was willing to make knowing his team’s hitting prowess. Sarge instead called for the squeeze bunt which Eck pulled off with precision. Stealers now lead 3-2.

After a scoreless 5th, Renteria had a one out infield single in the sixth. Hocking came through this time with a hit and run putting runners on the corner with just one away. Sarge stayed with Castillo who struck out Justice and got Stewart to dribble one back to the mound, ending the inning. Stealers were still up 3-2 after 6.

After 6 strong innings scattering 6 hits, 2 freebies, 4 strikeouts and 2 runs Stauffer called to the pen and brought out Paul Shuey. Shuey shined getting the next 6 outs without much trouble at all. With Justice to start followed by the top of the order to lead off the 9th inning, Sarge went to closer Rob Nen.

Nen walked Justice to start the inning, putting the tying run aboard. The Demolition pinch ran Eli Marrero. Sarge countered by inserting Wooten behind the dish. We are unsure if the Chicago Skipper saw that defensive change. If he had, then his next call may have been different. Instead, he put on the hit and run sign. Stewart whiffed at the air and Wooten threw a bullet to nail the runner.

With a chance at redemption Stewart lined a single to right. Tying runner again on base with one away this time. Ducey playing in place of Higginson drew the second walk of the inning. Sarge had seen enough of his Alex Lange wanna-be in Nen and called on Danys Baez to see if he could squash the Demolition comeback.

Baez facing the heart of this dangerous lineup. Phil Nevin stepped to the plate confidently only to walk away 3 pitches later. His 4th strikeout on the day. Things don’t get easier. Carlos Delgado already with both RBIs for Chicago today sends one deep to left. The roof still closed due to weather meant less carry on the ball as it lands harmlessly in Singleton’s glove for the 3rd out of the game and the series lead.

Final Score Demolition 2 – Stealers 3

WP: Castillo 1-0

LP: Millwood 0-1

Hold: Shuey (2), Nen (2)

Save: Baez (2)

Big Boy Restaurants’ Big Boy of the Game: D. Baez – Southlake

Game #4: After going 5 -18 last season Chuck Finley knows just about anything will be an improvement. Then he was told he would be facing Pedro in game 4 of this series and he responded with a moan followed by a 4-letter word.

Those looking for a pitching showcase were not disappointed. Pedro went 6 innings giving up just 3 hits, a walk and 4 strikeouts. But the Showcase came from the other dugout tonight as Chuck Finley placed dibs on the pitcher of the week for Week 1 of the season throwing a complete game 4 hit shutout with 11 strikeouts against the dangerous Demolition lineup.

Southlake took the lead in the first inning on a solo shot by Alomar, who had entered the game batting a robust .093. That was really all the run support Chuck needed and he went to work dazzling the fans.

The only real threat occurred when Delgado led off the 2nd with a double, but Finley stranded him there. Whenever he needed a big strikeout, that slider was moving and there for him all day. Tony Clark was particularly vulnerable to it as he had 3 Ks on the day.

In addition to Alomar’s shot, the Stealers played small ball for a run in the 5th against Pedro. A Renteria error in the 7th followed by a Double by Singleton against Cruz finished out the scoring for the Stealers who ensured a series victory with the 3-0 final.

Final Score Demolition 0 Stealers 3
WP: Finley 1-0
LP: Martinez 0-1
Big Boy Restaurants’ Big Boy of the Game: C. Finley – Southlake

Game #5: Chicago hoping to get a second win on the year turns to David Cone, who is looking for the same magic Finley had the night before. The Stealers counter with John Smoltz instead of Hayes in an attempt to really hurt Chicago early in the year.

Whatever is in the water in Southlake is working wonders. David Cone struck out the side in the first inning. Unfortunately, in between those strikeouts was a Russ Johnson double, a wild pitch and a Conine single to stake Southlake to a 1-0 lead early.

Chicago bats are too good to just lay down. With two outs in the second inning, Justice hit a double and Ducey follows it up with a single to tie the game.

Things started to get heated in the bottom half of the inning. With one man on, Cone drilled catcher Ben Davis who had to leave the game due to a bone contusion. In fact, he is gone for the next five games as well. The wildness didn’t end there as Cone followed that up with another walk. With bases loaded a squeeze bunt scored one run. A Russ Johnson double plated the other two runners. Conine went yard to make it a five-run inning and a 6-1 Southlake lead after two.

Smoltz was having no problems getting the first two outs, but the third out was the albatross around his neck. A two out single by Clark in the third gave Johnson the impetus to go deep himself to cut the lead in half to 6-3.

In the fourth inning the Stealers tried to rally but Chicago’s skipper had seen enough pulling Cone after just 3.2 and bringing in Cruz to kill any hopes of adding more runs. After doing his job in the 4th inning, the Stealers tagged Cruz for a run in the fifth to extend their lead. Cruz settled in for a clean sixth inning. Smoltz had also settled in, yielding no more runs through the 7th inning.

Zimmerman replaced Cruz in the bottom of the 7th. Johnson greeted him with his 4th hit of the day. Making a big turn at first it appeared Zimmerman took exception to the aggressive baserunning, To send a message he drilled Conine with the next pitch. Angel Hernandez immediately ejected Zimmerman to the boos of the fans in attendance.

Zim was replaced by Billy Wagner who got Alomar to pop up for an infield fly rule out. More words were exchanged between Roberto and Wagner. Wagner sent the bird flying toward the Stealers with emphatic delivery, as he drilled Beltran with the next pitch. This led to benches clearing and Wagner joining Zimmerman for an early shower. A post-game MRI showed no major damage, but it looks as if Beltran will be unavailable for a few days at least.

The Stealers added a run in that inning to bring the lead up to 8-3. Not wanting to risk his own starter being ejected Sarge went to the pen bringing in newly acquired Danny Graves. Graves pitched effectively resulting in two clean innings to cap the victory.

Final Score Demolition 0 Stealers 3

WP: Smoltz 1-0

LP: Cone 0-1

Big Boy Restaurants’ Big Boy of the Game: Russ Johnson – Southlake

Series Summary: Southlake starts out hot taking 4 of 5 from Chicago. A rough start to the World Champion Demolition quest for a repeat. Thankfully they get to travel home to lick their wounds and try to rebound with some home cooking. Southlake will see if they can ride this wave as they head to Monroeville for a series.

Flora-Bama Mullets @ Baltimore Blue Crabs

Series Preview: Flora-Bama makes their inaugural visit to Baltimore for a divisional matchup to start the 2001 season.
Game #1: Lance Berkman’s (2) 2-run homeruns, and 6 strong innings pitched by Carlos Hernandez, propel the Mullets to victory on Opening Day. Chipper Jones had a homerun and 2 RBIs for the Crabs.

MULLETS 5 / 7 / 0
CRABS 4 / 5 / 1
WP – Hernandez (1-0)
LP – Hudson (0-1)
S – Sasaki (1)

Game #2: Lance Berkman hits homerun #3, and Robert Person pitches a complete game, allowing 2 runs, 1 earned, on 7 hits, as the Mullets take game 2, 6-2. Dmitry Young hits his 2nd homerun of the season for Baltimore.

MULLETS 6 / 9 / 1
CRABS 2 / 7 / 0
WP – Person (1-0)
LP – Appier (0-1)

Game #3: Mullets hit 3 long balls: Lance Berkman #4, Juan Gonzalez (1), and Tori Hunter (1) and pound out 12 hits to route the Crabs. Al Leiter went 8 innings to earn his first victory of the year.

MULLETS 9 / 12 / 1
CRABS 2 / 5 / 0
WP – Leiter (1-0)
LP – Williams (0-1)

Game #4: Baltimore takes its first lead of the series, thanks to Chipper Jones’ 2-run, 1st inning homerun, but it lasted all of a half inning, as the Mullets score 2 in the second and don’t look back. Lance Berkman homers for the 4th straight game, #5.

MULLETS 8 / 11 / 0
CRABS 2 / 6 / 1
WP – Adams (1-0)
LP – J. Johnson (0-1)

Game #5: Jeff Suppan finally quiets Berkman and the Mullet bats. Suppan pitches a complete game, 5-hit shutout, and Chipper Jones hits his 3rd homerun of the season leading Baltimore to its first win of the season.

MULLETS 0 / 5 / 0
CRABS 7 / 13 / 1
WP – Suppan (1-0)
LP – Burnett (0-1)

Series Summary: It might be another long season for Baltimore, as the Crabs drop 4 of 5 to start the 2001 season.

Danbury  Mad Hatters @ Michigan  Marauders

Series Preview: Danbury and Michigan get their season underway.
Game #1: Danbury 7 Michigan 5

Tough opening day for Brad Penny as he gives up 3 homers in 6.2 innings. Biggio hits 2 homers for the Mad Hatters. Also, Alou and Griffey tack on homers. Aaron Boone has a homer and 3 RBIs for Michigan.

w,Tapani
s, Nelson
l, Penny

Game #2: Michigan 5 Danbury 4

Vinny Castilla has a 3 hit day. Plesac earns the win and Wickman gets the save. Casanova hits a homer for Danbury.

w, Plesac
s, Wickman
l, Lopez

Game #3: Michigan 14 Danbury 4

Bobby Witt comes in in the 4th and picks up the win. Palmeiro with 4 RBIs. Michigan hits 3 homers. Alou and Casanova hit homers for Danbury

w, Witt
l, Bere

Game #4: Danbury 12 Michigan 9

Bob Wickman is the goat once again like he is most seasons. He blows a 3 run lead and gives up 6 on 2 homers. Brosius and Surhoff with 3 RBI for Michigan. Casanova hits 2 homers and has 6 RBIs.

w, Seanez
l, Wickman

Game #5: Danbury 12 Michigan 9

Bob Wickman is the goat once again like he is most seasons. He blows a 3 run lead and gives up 6 on 2 homers. Brosius and Surhoff with 3 RBI for Michigan. Casanova hits 2 homers and has 6 RBIs.

w, Seanez
l, Wickman

Series Summary: Danbury takes 3 of 5. Tough game 4 as Wickman implodes.

DeWitt Tigers @ Corktown Bootleggers

Series Preview: Divisional battle to begin the 2001 campaign.
Game #1: Dewitt clubs 7 in the 4th.
Game #2: Dewitt 8-6
Game #3: Dewitt 5-2
Game #4: Corktown 7-3
Game #5: Corktown 11-3
Game #6: Corktown 7-1
Series Summary: The Bootlegger bats were alive all series. Corktown’s quest for their 4th straight division title starts off with a 3-2 series victory over the Tigers.

Iowa Giants @ Houghton Penguins

Series Summary: Houghton loses 4 of 5 games to Iowa. There were 4 1-run games. Alex S. Gonzalez hit a Grand Slam. Rumor is Gonzalez is being traded away this weekend.

Hollywood Vampires @ Blarney Drive Bandits

Series Preview: Blarney welcomes the newly minted NL Vampires who look to geared up in ’02. Both teams can hit so there could be some fireworks.
Game #1: Randy Johnson vs Oswalt has pitcher duel written all over it. Hollywood strikes quickly for 1 in the 1st but the Bandits respond with 2. Blarney adds 1 more in the 2nd. Then the hurlers settle and play corn-hole innings 3 thru 7. Oswalt records one out in the 7th and is relieved by Kline. The Big Unit completes 8 full. 3-1 heading in to the 9th and you could just see the Vampire dugout vibe change as Groom climbs the hill . Groom records one out and then is pulled after allowing a hit. Bandits’ closer Weathers trots in and is promptly skewered for 4 hits. After the dust clears it’s tied up 3-3. Game 1 would tax the bullpens to potentially add a twist later in the series as the game goes 16 innings. Bottom of the 16th, still 3-3, and Matthews tiring, Blarney finally sneaks one across to mercifully end the game 4-3.

HLW 3 BDB 4

W: Rodriguez (1-0)
L: Matthews (0-1)

Game #2: David Wells vs Freddy Garcia has Hollywood favored on paper. After the 1st they would be heavily favored by tallying 4 runs. Wells bounces back with doughnuts in the 2nd and 3rd while Blarney scores 1, Vampires lead 4-1 heading into the 4th. Hollywood adds 1 in the 4th but the Bandits plate 3, 5-4 Vampires. Garcia gets tagged hard in the 5th so Acevedo gets the call. Juan is still looking foe the number of the truck that hit him as he is tuned up for 6, Bandits 10-5. Blarney would add 5 more to the Vampires 2 and the teams bats have spoken with 26 hits and 22 runs.

HLW 7 BDB 15

W: Wells (1-0)
L: Garcia (0-1)

Game #3: Free agent Jason Marquis in his start for the Bandits faces Wade Miller. Jason was dealing as he goes 6 full and allowing just 4 hits. Miller would pitch decent but a surprise 2-run HR from Alex Cora in the 5th would be the game winner. Defending NL West Bandits roll up a 3-0 series lead but feel like the other shoe is waiting to drop.

HLW 0 BDB 4

W: Marquis (1-0)
L: Miller (0-1)

Game #4: Pair of lefties in Hampton vs Mulder. Both teams score in the 1st and Hollywood leads 2-1 early. Vampires would add 1 in the 3rd and bust it open with 5 more in the 4th. Bandits would make it somewhat interesting with 3 in the 7th but never really threatened much all day. Kapler 4-4 with HR and 2 RBI paced Hollywood.

HLW 8 BDB 4

W: Mulder (1-0)
L: Hampton (1-0)

Game #5: Chris Reitsma vs Elmer Dessens in the finale. Both teams score 2 in the 1st and would trade jabs the next several innings with the score 6-5 Hollywood entering the 8th. Mulder tired in the 8th and Acevedo and Foulke couldn’t get the outs with men on as the Bandits ambush for 4 late. Teams combine for 25 hits.

HLW 6 BDB 9

W: Groom (1-0)
L: Acevedo (0-1)

Series Summary: Bandits are lucky to take the season opener 4-1 against a tough opponent.

Valdosta Bombers @ Gladstone Gladiators

Series Preview: First series of the season! Gladstone is looking to get off to a hot start in their inaugural season, with a solid pitching staff and a potent offense. Valdosta comes visiting, hoping to spoil the Gladiators’ optimism.
Game #1: Chan Ho Park takes the mound for the Gladiators against Jaime Moyer for the Bombers. The first inning starts with a walk to Abreu and an infield single by Chavez, but Park settles down and gets the next 3 batters. Gladstone strikes in the bottom of the 2nd, when Bagwell walks and Hidalgo singles, and they are driven in by a Michael Tucker double, while Tucker is thrown out trying for 3rd. This turns out to be all the Glads need, as Park cruises to a complete game shutout. Hidalgo was injured in the bottom of the 4th when Moyer hit him in the leg and turned out to be lost for the series.

FINAL SCORE: GLA 2 – VAL 0
W – Park, L – Moyer

Game #2: Valdosta struck first when Bobby Abreu hit Russ Ortiz’ first pitch out of the park. Gladstone quickly answered back when Chuck Knoblauch doubled and Jeff Bagwell homered to give the Glads the lead. The game continued quietly into the 6th, when the Bombers got 2 thanks to a blast off the bat of Richie Sexton. Gladstone quickly answered back with a run in the bottom of the 6th when Corey Koskie doubled in Michael Tucker (but was thrown out trying for 3rd). The game went into extra innings, and Eric Chavez gave the Bombers a 4-3 lead in the top of the 11th. But Corey Koskie made up for his baserunning blunder earlier and tied the score with his own tater. Alex Ochoa led off with a walk in the top of the 12th, moved to 2nd on a sacrifice bunt, then scored when Orlando Merced tripled him in. Again, Gladstone answered back and the game continued to the 13th. The Gladiators came up with the score still tied, and loaded the bases. Mike DiFilice singled and won the game.

FINAL SCORE: GLA 6 – VAL 5
W – F. Rodriguez, L – D. Patterson

Game #3: Javier Vasquez faced off against Josh Towers. Valdosta drew first blood in the top of the 3rd with a double by Manny Ramirez, followed by another double by Ochoa. Abreu capped it with a homer in the top of the 8th, while Gladstone was unable to solve Towers until the bottom of the 9th, when David Dellucci singled and Troy O’Leary homered to tie the game and send it to extra frames. In the top of the 10th, Abreu singled and stole 2nd, then went to 3rd on an error. Chavez walked to put runners on 1st and 3rd. A wild pitch from Pedro Borbon scored Abreu. Gladstone got out of the inning without further incident, but was unable to come up with any heroics and the game ended.

FINAL SCORE: GLA 2 – VAL 3
W – Towers, S – Meacham, L – Borbon

Game #4: Gladstone opened the scoring in the bottom of the 4th, when Dellucci tripled and O’Leary doubled him in. O’Leary moved to 3rd after a walk and a force at 2nd, then scored on a wild pitch. With Rey Ordonez on 2nd, Dave Berg homered to make it 4-0. The score held until the 6th, when the Dave Berg show continued and he hit a 3-run shot to make it 7-0. Dave Williams had a no-hitter going into the top of the 7th, but gave up a walk and then Alex Ochoa singled. But they were unable to score, and the 7-0 lead held into the bottom of the 8th, when Dave Berg singled and scored on a double by Desi Relaford. Dave Williams shut the Bombers down in the 9th, ending up with a 2-hit shutout and the win.

FINAL SCORE: GLA 8 – VAL 0
W – Williams, L -Yoshii

Game #5: Tanyon Sturtze faced James Baldwin in the final game of the series. Chuck Knoblauch opened the scoring with a homer in the bottom of the 1st. Mark Loretta added a pair with an RBI double in the bottom of the 5th. Manny Ramirez pulled the Bombers within one with a 2-run shot in the top of the 8th, but that was all the scoring as the Gladiators held on for the win.

FINAL SCORE: GLA 3 – VAL 2
W – Sturtze, S – Rodriguez, L – Baldwin

Series Summary: Gladstone takes the opening series from Valdosta, 4 games to 1.

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