Results - Fall 2013 (18AAA)


Thunder Forfeit Again, Team Folds 

1/12/2014 – Today’s forfeit against the Beach Bums, the third this season, puts an end to what was probably the worst season in Thunder history.

Last season the Thunder finished with a 14-4-1 record and lost by a run on a controversial call in the AA Championship game. My, my – how things can quickly change. Some would say the move to AAA was too much for the team, and although they weren’t going to be the offensive juggernaut they were in AA – the team had enough talent on the roster to be competitive. But things happen during a course of the season that can’t be helped. Injuries, family relocations and changing work schedules are such things - and each factored into the fate of the Thunder this season.

The Thunder will lick their wounds, regroup during the off season and make the necessary adjustments to return to the field in the spring.


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Thunder Mauled at Little Fenway  

1/5/2014 – The Los Tigres scored 9 runs in the first and never looked back as they scored an easy 16-0 win against a struggling Thunder squad.

With multiple pitchers unavailable to throw for the Thunder, RHP Brandyn Rojas was thrown into action Sunday afternoon at Little Fenway. Unfortunately for the Thunder, Rojas’ return to the mound was short lived as the Tigres scored 7 quick runs, including a three run homerun by L. Mejia – which helped fuel Rojas’ departure after only 1/3 of an inning. Guy Bitchatcho (4 2/3 IP, 11 H, 2 BB, 4 K) tried to stop the bleeding but gave up six runs (5 earned) while Jason Moore (1 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB) pitched 2/3 of an inning before the game was called in favor of the leagues mercy rule.

The Thunder offense registered four hits, but a lot of players swung the bat well and hit the ball hard, just at sure handed Tigres players. The only real threat was in the second inning when Louie Napoleon, Guy Bitchatcho and Rudy Plasencia singled consecutively to load the bases. Chris Snyder smashed a line drive which was caught by the shortstop, who doubled off Bitchatcho at second then Jason Moore grounded into a fielders choice to end the inning – the typical luck of the offense this season.

The Thunder take on the second place Beach Bums next Sunday at Dyer Park at 1:30 PM.





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Senators Rally in 9th, Top Thunder  

12/22/2013 – The Senators scored twice in the bottom of the 9th to steal one from the Thunder Sunday morning at Little Fenway in Delray Beach, FL.
Jimmy Efre led off the game with a single, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Louie Napoleon giving the Thunder a quick 1-0 lead. In the third – BJ Smith singled and eventually scored off a single by newcomer Naz Rosario but the 2-0 Thunder lead was quickly erased in the 4th inning as the Senators tied the game with two runs of their own, fueled by a throwing error. Rosario (three singles, RBI) led off the top of the 8th with single, stole second and eventually advanced to third on a hard groundout by Eddy Ball. Jimmy Efre came up big as he singled home Rosario in what was expected to be the game winning run, as RHP Brant Spring had been on cruise control since the 4th inning. However, the baseball gods did not favor the Thunder on this day as things went awry for the team in the bottom of the 9th.
Winning pitcher Ronald Diaz pinch hit for Angel Garcia to lead off the bottom of the inning and reached on an infield single. Phil Downey laid a bunt down to move Diaz over and was clearly out at first base but the call went against the Thunder and Downey was called safe. Carlos Jimenez singled home Diaz to tie the game and the Thunder intentionally walked Christian Cancio to load the bases. With the infield in, Carlos Espinosa hit a flare to right field that fell between second baseman Rudy Plasencia and outfielder Eddy Ball, but Ball fired a laser to home plate to stop the winning run from scoring. With bases still loaded, Spring got the ground ball the Thunder needed out of Eduardo Deltoro, but the ball was hit slowly and the winning run scored when the Thunder were unable to turn the much needed double play.
With the loss, the Thunder fell to 2-8 with three games remaining. The Thunder would most likely have to win all of their remaining games and receive a lot of help in order to reach the playoffs – but anything is possible.  
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all players and their families – the team is on “holiday break” with the season set to resume on January 5th at Little Fenway against the Los Tigres.





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Thunder Forfeit 

12/15/2013 – With multiple players out of town and back-up players unavailable, the Thunder had to forfeit for the second time this season.



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Americans top Nationals in Fall 2013 AAA All Star Game 

12/11/2013 – What a great game baseball is. Something you may never have seen before ALWAYS seems to happen. It did on December 11 at Dyer Park in Riviera Beach.


The 18AAA division All Star game, rained out on Dec. 5, was rescheduled for Dec. 11, but had to overcome some problems to play the game. Due to a scheduling miscommunication, no umpires were assigned to the game. While the field, apparently, had been dragged, there was a huge puddle behind home plate, making it difficult for catchers. Thirdly, both teams had problems getting pitchers to participate, and some rule changes involving innings limitations had to be invoked. One by one, the problems were worked out. Veteran umpire Hector Cruz was contacted and after he tried, unsuccessfully, to get other umpires to the game, he decided to make the trip from his home in Boynton Beach to suburban Riviera Beach.


Meanwhile, Dave Salley of the winning American Division and the South Florida Beach Bums, agreed to work as a lone umpire behind the pitching mound and did a fine job for almost three complete innings until Cruz arrived and took the standard position behind the plate. One of the fans brought a rake along and by the third inning, catchers Ryan Togher (Beach Bums) and Jose Chinea (Manatees, Nationals) smoothened things out behind the plate to make it playable. Umpire Cruz also picked up the rake to help out.


As for pitching, Manatees' ace Danny LaPerna, the only regular pitcher assigned to either team, pitched the first three innings and held the Americans to one unearned run and finished his tour with the game tied ast 1-1. On the other side, John Dolan (Thunder) pitched three hitless innings for the Americans, but allowed a run on two walks, a stolen base and a double play grounder that brought Justin Irby (Bandits) across the plate.


The Americans posted two runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth as Nationals manager Brian Fitzsimmons was forced to the mound due a pitcher shortage was touched for the five runs on seven hits. The Americans brought in Christian Cancio, who doesn't pitch regularly with his league team, the Senators. He did a nice job for five innings, limiting the Nationals to three runs on five hits. Coupled with an RBI double and a fielder's choice RBI, Cancio was chosen as the game's Most Valuable Player.


With a 6-4 lead, the Americans scored a run in the 7th on three walks, a hit batter and a wild pitch, all by the Tigres' Martin Suarez, then exploded for five in the 8th inning and three walks, and four hits. Suarez gave up three more walks, and a two run single to Dolan. Tigres' teammate, Nick Adames, gave up a run scoring double to Eric Morales (Thunder), an RBI hit by BJ Smith (Thunder), a single to Charlie Pacheco (Beach Bums) and Cancio's run scoring grounder.


The game had to be halted by a local 10PM curfew, resulting in the field lights having to be turned off before the 9th inning could start.  That's another thing, lights are turned on and off on Palm Beach County fields by a national lighting company in IOWA.





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Thunder Win, Playoffs Still Within Reach 

12/8/2013 – Solid defense, timely hitting and quality pitching all came together at West Boynton Park Sunday morning as the Thunder kept their playoff hopes alive with a win against a solid Senators team.
The Thunder sent twelve men to the plate in the bottom of the first inning as they took advantage of four walks by banging out four hits in what would be a fateful inning for the Senators. Jimmy Efre singled to lead off the inning then JP Dolan and BJ Smith walked to load the bases. Eric Morales singled home Efre then Louie Napoleon earned an RBI with a walk then Rudy Plasencia (2 RBI) smashed a double down the left field line. Chris Snyder (2 RBI) followed with a single knocking in two more runs which gave the Thunder a 6-0 lead.  The offense scored another run in the 7th inning which was fueled by the legs of Efre, who walked, stole 2nd and 3rd base and scored on a ground out by Eric Morales (2 RBI).
RHP Dan Fimiani (29 BF, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) scattered seven hits over 5 2/3 innings to earn the win while Guy Bitchatcho (2 H, 0 R, 0 BB) earned a save by tossing a scoreless 3 1/3 innings. Both pitchers were backed by solid defensive play.
The Thunder hope to win back-to-back games for the first time this season when they take on the Bandits this Sunday at Little Fenway in Delray Beach.





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Thunder Drop Second Game of Doubleheader 

12/1/2013 – The Thunder offense was held to three hits as the Bandits took the second game of the doubleheader at Little Fenway.
A blown call and a mental error on the Thunder defense allowed the Bandits to score two runs in the top of the 1st inning. The Thunder scored a run in the 6th inning, but the comeback attempt was short lived as the Bandits scored a run in the bottom of the 6th inning and the Thunder offense went quietly in the 7th.
BJ Smith (double), Korie G. (single) and Louie Napoleon (single) tallied the only hits for the Thunder. Despite a light hitting day, the Thunder did have chances to score during the game but the team left three men in scoring position.
The Thunder battle the Senators (3-4) next Sunday in the morning game at West Boynton Park.





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Thunder Squeak By Bandits For First Win  

12/1/2013 – Adam Coughlin pitched a complete game 5-hitter to lead the Thunder to their first win of the season Sunday morning at Little Fenway in Delray Beach.
With two outs in the 2nd inning, Guy Bitchatcho singled and Chris Snyder and Jimmy Efre walked to load the bases. BJ Smith followed with an RBI walk and the Thunder took an early 1-0 lead. In the 3rd, Korie G. smashed a double, advanced to third on a wild pitch then took home on another wild pitch to score what inevitably turned out to be the winning run as Coughlin pitched a gem, allowing only one earned run. Offensively, Eric Morales added two singles and BJ Smith singled.





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Thunder Shut Out Second Week In a Row 

11/24/2013 – The Thunder offense was missing in action again as the Beach Bums rolled to an easy 12-0 victory Sunday morning at Dyer Park.
With no pitchers available for the game the Thunder utilized a “pitching by committee” approach with field players and the results showed as the Bums knocked out 13 hits and scored 12 runs as they cruised to an easy win. For the Bums, veteran Rick Shnur (5 IP, 5 H, 4 K, 1 BB) and former big leaguer Hunter Jones (4 IP, 2 H, 9 K, 1 BB) combined for an easy shut out as the Thunder offense scattered only seven hits.
Jimmy Efre singled three times and Eric Morales singled twice to lead the Thunder offense, while John Dolan and Rudy Plasencia each singled.
Despite the 0-6 start, the Thunder could find themselves in the playoffs if they can turn things around during the last eight games of the season as they are only 3 games behind the 3rd and 4th seeds. The Bandits are one of the teams the Thunder would have to leap frog to make the playoffs, which they play next Sunday in a doubleheader at Little Fenway in Delray Beach, FL.





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Thunder Losing Streak Continues  

11/17/2013 – The Thunder lost another two-run game against the defending league champions to remain winless on the season.
RHP Adam Coughlin tossed six strong innings (24 BF, 0 BB, 7 K, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER), Jimmy Efre tossed two scoreless innings and the Tigres pitching staff (3 BB, 5 K) yielded only four hits in a pitcher’s duel Sunday morning at Lake Lytal Park.  Coughlin was on cruise control through the first five but ran out of gas in the 6th, as the Tigres scored twice in the inning. Efre (7 BF, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 H) kept the game within reach throwing a scoreless 7th and 8th inning, but the Thunder offense couldn’t capitalize on the few chances it had.
In the sixth, the team had a chance to take the lead when John Dolan doubled and Jason Moore reached on an error, but timely hitting wasn’t in the cards as the Thunder left Dolan stranded at third base. The Thunder then loaded the bases in the top of the 7th, but relief pitcher Rob Conver entered the game and struck out two Thunder batters. In addition to John Dolan’s double, Chris Snyder singled and newcomer Bernie Rosario singled twice.
The Thunder take on the Beach Bums (3-1-1) in Riviera Beach next Sunday in a morning game at Dyer Park.



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Thunder Fall to 0-4  

11/10/2013 – Timely hitting and costly errors plagued the Thunder as they fell to 0-4 on the season.
The Thunder fell behind quickly in this one trailing 5-0 after two innings. The team battled, scoring runs in the 3rd and 4th innings, but the Manatees knocked in three additional runs in the 5th to put the game out of reach. John Dolan led the Thunder offense with three singles, Steven Romero added a double and BJ Smith, Louie Napoleon, Rudy Plasencia (RBI) each singled. On the day the Thunder stranded eight men in scoring position.
The Thunder battle the defending league champion Los Tigres next Sunday at Lake Lytal Park.



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Thunder Forfeit, Fall to 0-3 

10/27/2013 – The Thunder came up shorthanded as six players couldn’t make the game today, giving the Senators an easy forfeit win.



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Thunder Strand Small Tribe On Bases, Fall To Beach Bums 

10/20/2013 – Ten hits weren’t enough as the Thunder fell to the Beach Bums Sunday afternoon to drop to 0-2 on the fall season.
Despite missing four starters, the Thunder had their chances but couldn’t come up with a big hit as they left the bases loaded twice without scoring. The Bums held a 3-2 lead through the first five innings then exploded for four runs in the 6th to take command of the game. The Thunder tried to scratch back into things scoring a run in the 7th and 8th inning but the comeback effort fell short as the Bums added a run in the 7th then retired the Thunder in order in the 9th inning.
Offensively, Jason Moore, Eric Morales and Guy Bitchatcho (RBI) singled twice, John Dolan singled, smacked a double and Louie Napoleon and Jerry Nava added singles.  
The Thunder hope to turn things around next Sunday in a morning game at Santaluces Complex against the Senators.





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Thunder Lose Opener to League Champion Los Tigres 

10/13/2013 – The Thunder battled but lost their season opener against the Los Tigres Sunday afternoon at Santaluces Sports Complex in Lantana, FL.

With both teams missing a couple of key players, the Los Tigres and Thunder battled in what was a seesaw contest. The Thunder jumped out early as they scored two in the 1st inning, one in the 3rd inning and four in the 4th inning to take a 7-2 lead. The Tigres clawed their way back scoring two in the 4th, four in the 5th and two in the 6th to tie the game 8-8. Tigres pitchers Wilson Ciprian (2 IP) and Gustavo Lopez (2 IP) locked down the Thunder offense over the last four innings, allowing no runs while the Tigres added a run in both the 7th and 8th innings to secure the win.

The Thunder offense had 10 hits on the day. Jason Moore (two singles, double, 2 RBI’s) and Eric Morales (two singles, double, 2 RBI’s) led the way with three hits apiece while Eddy Ball (two singles) and BJ Smith (single, triple) added two each.

RHP Dan Fimiani hadn’t pitched in some time but threw well as he gave up two unearned runs through the first four innings. Unfortunately he probably pitched one inning too many as the Tigres banged out five hits and scored four runs in the 5th inning. Jeremy Badovick (10 BF, 2 K, 1 H) followed Fimiani and was also rusty as he walked five and yielded three runs over two innings. Adam Coughlin (5 BF, 2 H, 1 R, 1 K) tossed the 8th and John Dolan threw a perfect 9th.

The Thunder take on the Beach Bums (0-0-1) next Sunday at another afternoon game at Santaluces Sports Complex.