Miami Hurricanes baseball team defeats Georgia Tech

This past Tuesday, two highly regarded college baseball programs took the field in Louisville, Kentucky to compete for the ACC Championship.  The Hurricanes of Miami and the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech played 13 innings of nail-biting baseball.

The drama all started in the first inning when Miami outfielder Michael Burns hit a solo home run to left field to give the Canes an early 1-0 lead.  The Yellow Jackets had some sugar in their back pockets.  Answering right back in the top of the third inning, the Jackets scored two runs of their own.

That all changed though when junior Hunter Tackett stepped to the plate. With the bases loaded, Tackett hammered the ball to left center field for a grand slam, putting the Canes up 5-4. The fifth inning rolled around, and Georgia Tech added another run to tie the game up at five apiece. Andrew Cabezas came on in relief in the seventh inning.

The game went back and forth with neither team scoring throughout extra innings. That was until the bottom of the thirteenth inning came around. Senior third baseman Edgar Michelangeli walked, and senior first baseman Chris Barr singled up the middle, which brought catcher Joe Gomez to the plate.  With one out and runners on first and second, Gomez laced a single through the right side of the field to give Miami the 6-5 victory. Andrew Cabezas struck out 10 Georgia Tech hitters while earning the victory to move him to a record of 5-3.

The University of Miami baseball program has made the NCAA Tournament 44 consecutive years. They need two wins, and most likely three, to receive a berth into the tournament, but the Canes aren’t giving up. With the big win Tuesday afternoon, the Canes must carry their energy over into Friday morning, where they will face off against 16th-ranked Wake Forest at Slugger Field in Louisville, Kentucky.

2017 MLB season set to begin

At last the sights, sounds and smells of baseball are back in the atmosphere.  The boys of summer are back at it in Arizona and Florida to prove that they are the ones who deserve to be on the Opening Day big league roster.

The Chicago Cubs, reigning World Series champions, are still looking sharp with most of their players returning for the 2017 season.  The runner-up American League champions, the Cleveland Indians, are also looking quite sharp, as they added a new hot stick to their lineup, Edwin Encarnacion. As for the rest of the league, it’s anybody’s year.  The majority of the team’s added some key components that may help lead their clubs to a postseason berth in the 2017 Fall Classic.

On the American League side, The New York Yankees are expected to do big things this year. With the young talent of Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres, returning rookie Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, and others, the Yankees will definitely be fun to watch this season.

Besides the Cubs, the National League is looking very solid for this season. Don’t sleep on the Miami Marlins this year. The Marlins have many returning members, and with the death of teammate Jose Fernandez, winning it all for him would be baseball immortality. The club finished off very strong last season, which is only bound to carry over into 2017.

Overall, this upcoming baseball season will definitely be an exciting one. With many young promising players making their way up to the big leagues, the sky is the limit for all of them. Not only will this be an exciting season for the fans, but for the players as well.

Baseball world mourns the deaths of Ventura, Marte

This past Sunday, the Major League’s and the world of baseball lost two more stars. Kansas City Royals right-handed pitcher, Yordano Ventura, and former third baseman for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Andy Marte, both passed away in separate car accidents.

According to sources, there was no alcohol or drugs involved. Ventura was ejected from his car, as he was not secured by a seat belt. After being ejected from the car, Ventura was allegedly robbed by a man in his hometown Dominican Republic and then left to die in the street. Ventura, over the course of four seasons in the majors, pitched a record of 38-31, held a 3.89 ERA, pitched over 500 innings, and struck out 470 batters.

Andy Marte was driving in his hometown in the Dominican Republic as well. His car had veered off of the road and crashed into the side of a home. Marte was currently playing in the Dominican Winter League. Ranked in Baseball America’s top ten prospects prior to the 2005 season, many knew Marte had potential as a big leaguer. Although he didn’t reach his full potential in the big league’s, Marte hit .218 in 308 career games.

On Tuesday, a funeral was held for Ventura. Family, friends, fans, and the world of baseball are mourning the loss of both of these stars. Ventura was laid to rest in the beautiful Dominican Republic early Tuesday morning. Royals fans in Kansas City, Missouri also gathered at Kauffman Stadium to remember their young star who had given such a promising future to the franchise.

Andy Marte has not had his funeral yet, but the world of baseball still mourns his loss. He played for three different professional organizations including the Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves, and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Both of these young stars will forever be remembered.

This past year alone has been tough for the baseball world.  The league has lost four promising young men. Oscar Taveras of the St. Louis Cardinals, Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins, Yordano Ventura of the Kansas City Royals, and Andy Marte of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Bagwell, Raines, Rodríguez named to Hall of Fame

On Wednesday, the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017 was announced. This year the induction will feature three highly regarded stars of Major League Baseball: Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriquez. The trio will be walking down the sidewalks of Cooperstown this coming July.

Bagwell, former first baseman of the Houston Astros, holds a career .292 batting average, 449 home runs, and 1,529 RBI. Along with Bagwell’s towering numbers as a slugger, he was fifth to reach 300 home runs, 1,000 RBI and 1,000 runs scored in his first ten seasons in the Major Leagues. Bagwell was voted the National League Rookie of the Year in 1991. He then won the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1994. Bagwell was a four-time MLB All-Star, claimed a Silver Slugger three times, and holds a Gold Glove.

Tim Raines, who is known for the 13 seasons he spent with the Montreal Expos, was a left fielder. Raines had a success-filled career, as his biggest number known was the amount of bases Raines stole. Raines carries 808 career stolen bases with him entering Cooperstown, putting him fifth on the list of all-time stolen base leaders. Not only did Raines steal bases, but he squared the ball up well, with a lifetime .294 average, 170 home runs, and 980 RBI.

Ivan Rodríguez won 13 Gold Gloves as a catcher. He played 21 Major League seasons for the Texas Rangers, Florida Marlins, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Houston Astros, and Washington Nationals.  Along with 13 Gold Gloves in his trophy case, Rodríguez also won the 2003 World Series when he was with the Florida Marlins. Rodríguez was also awarded the American League MVP award in 1999. One of the best defensive catchers in the history of the game, Ivan Rodríguez is going to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Theses three players had outstanding careers that cannot be taken away. Three well-known former stars of the Major Leagues, Bagwell, Raines, and Rodríguez will be inducted into the best group of players ever known in the game of baseball. The induction takes place on July 28-31, 2017.

Chicago Cubs win first World Series since 1908

Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs was filled with huge crowds of fans this year. Could it be because the Cubs were the best team in all of baseball this year, or is it because fans were hopeful that the curse would finally end?

Back in 2003, the Cubs were facing off against the Florida Marlins. During Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series, a fan by the name of Steve Bartman reached over the wall in the foul ground territory of left-field and interfered with the ball that Cubs left-fielder Moisés Alou had a chance to make a play on. Wrigley Field erupted and began to harass Bartman and boo him.

The fans got so bad and out of control with Bartman that he had to be escorted out for his own safety, and he was even put on police protection due to the exposure of his name and address all across the country. Cubs fans were hysterical about this whole situation. The Cubs were eliminated by the Marlins the next day in Game 7, thus furthering “The Curse.”

That curse did end after 108 years on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. Indians fans believed that the series was over after Game 3 in Chicago, but Cubs fans stayed loyal and hopeful that their Cubbies would bring a championship back to Wrigley. This past Wednesday, the Cubs defeated the Indians in a winner-take-all Game 7 as they won the game 8-7 in 10 innings. Kyle Hendricks pitched the most important games of his career as he went 4 and 2/3 innings, giving up four hits, two runs, and only one of the runs scored was earned. But why was this World Series so significant to the Cub’s franchise?

The fact that the Chicago Cubs hadn’t won a World Series since the year 1908 made fans happy that their team finally earned another championship. It had been so long since the Cubs had won that women didn’t even have voting rights and there wasn’t even a National Football League. This year’s champions of baseball brings not only joy and relief to the fans, but so much significance to the city of Chicago. Everybody has waited so long for the Cubs to break their streak, and they have finally done exactly that!

Congrats to the Chicago Cubs on claiming the trophy and being the best team in Major League Baseball.

Colin Williams: Future Crimson Hawk?

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, Cathedral Prep senior Colin Williams released a tweet stating that he had verbally committed to play baseball at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. IUP Baseball is a Division II program that held a record of 22-21-1 in their 2015 season.

IUP as a baseball program has been on a slight downward swing since 2011, as they have not made it into playoffs since that year. IUP also has only made appearances in the NCAA Tournament twice, in 1988 and 1990.

Williams has had a long baseball career thus far, starting baseball with MYAA at the age of 6. During his childhood he played MYAA until he was 10. He then played for the Lake Erie Pirates until he was 14 and then moved on to the Erie Elites, the Outlaws and eventually Cathedral Prep baseball at the start of high school. Colin credits his success in baseball to his father and the great coaches he has had over the years, especially at Prep. “I owe everything to my coaches and family,” he said. “I want to make them proud by finishing my senior year season on a positive note and heading into college with a hard-working mentality.”

Colin wants to study sports medicine at IUP and become a physical therapist after college. He is excited for his senior baseball season and looks forward to a long run into the Pennsylvania State Playoffs.

Red Sox legend Ortiz to retire after 2016 postseason

After 20 seasons of professional baseball, David Ortiz, the designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox, is hanging his jersey up for good. Ortiz, also known as Big Papi, is one of the most beloved Red Sox players in the history of the franchise. Ortiz and the Red Sox began the postseason last night, losing 5-4 to the Cleveland Indians in Game 1 of the American League Divisional Series, the beginning of Big Papi’s final postseason run.

Ortiz was first signed by the Minnesota Twins at age 22, and he was later traded to Boston. He played his first six seasons with the Twins and the remaining 14 with the Red Sox. Over the course of his career, Ortiz finished with numbers of the regular season that look like this: 541 home runs, 1,768 RBIs, a .286 batting average, a .380 on-base percentage, and a .552 slugging percentage. Many baseball analysts say that David Ortiz will be inducted into the Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible.

The Boston Marathon bombing happened on April 15, 2013. The Boston bombing was a terrorist attack during the world famous Boston Marathon. After this catastrophic event occurred, David Ortiz gave a speech to the Red Sox fans during the first game of the next home stand. Big Papi gave a mighty, energetic, and electric speech at Fenway. He made clear to the terrorists that they weren’t going to mess with Boston, and Boston became stronger than ever that day.

Ortiz has had some significant events occur during his professional career. A 10-time MLB All-Star, Ortiz won World Series championships with the Red Sox in 2004, 2007, and 2013. Big Papi is also a record holder for the single season home run record by a Red Sox player with 54 homers. With various other accomplishments, Ortiz has done it all.

Over the course of the 2016 season, opponents at each ballpark have been honoring Ortiz when he makes his final appearance at their stadium. One of the most memorable stadium farewells occurred this past weekend in the Bronx, New York. The New York Yankees put the rivalry aside and honored Ortiz by bringing out former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera to honor Ortiz. Two legends of the game, always playing opposite each other, made that farewell one to remember. With the Red Sox seeing postseason action, the icing on Big Papi’s retirement would be one more final World Series ring.

Marlins honor José Fernández after tragic boating accident

At age fifteen, a young boy from Santa Clara, Cuba attempted to defect from Cuba to the United States on a small boat. José Fernández was denied and was imprisoned three times, and on the fourth try, he and his mother made it to the United States. Prior to arrival in the United States, Fernández’s mother was washed off of the boat into the sea. Without even considering his own life, Fernández jumped in and saved his mother. He was always described as a good, courageous person who had a tremendous love for life.

Adding to his love for life, he had an unbreakable bond with his grandma, Olga Fernández, who taught him the game of baseball while he grew up in Cuba. His grandmother, who was not on the raft when he and his mother defected, was left behind in Cuba. In 2013, Fernández was on his way to the Rookie of the Year award when Miami Marlins owner, Jeffrey Loria, reunited the Fernández family as he brought Olga to the United States to see her all-star grandson. Fernández was speechless when he laid eyes on his grandma for the first time in six years.

This past Sunday morning, on the gorgeous Miami Beach, José Fernández laid dead due to a boating accident that happened earlier that morning. He and his two friends, Eddy Rivero and Emilio Macias, went out to boat on Miami Beach on Saturday night. The boat is predicted to have crashed a little bit before three o’clock that morning.

USA Today reported earlier today that prior to the accident, Fernández and his pregnant girlfriend had an argument that night. After the argument, Fernández left along with his two friends to go boating at Miami Beach. The 32-foot fishing boat slammed into a jetty tossing Fernández, Rivero, and Macias all outside of the boat, leaving the boat on the jetty.

The next morning, the Miami Marlins released a statement saying that their game against the Atlanta Braves would be cancelled due to Fernández’s death. This past Sunday, all of south Florida was mourning the loss of their star ace pitcher. Both the Marlins and the Braves spent some time at the field that day to remember José Fernández. Dee Gordon, the second baseman for the Miami Marlins lay out on the mound, the mound that belongs to José Fernández forever and always.

On Monday night, the Marlins faced off against the New York Mets. The Marlins decided to have each one of their players wear Fernández’s jersey to honor him. During pregame, the Marlins honored Fernández with a playing of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on the trumpet.  In the first inning, one of Fernández’s best friends, Dee Gordon, wore Fernández’s helmet as he started off his at-bat in the right handed hitter’s batting box. Gordon is a left-handed batter, and after he took the first pitch for Fernández, he stepped into the left-handed box and blasted a solo home run into right field.

Emotions arose and as Gordon was rounding the bases, he began to cry. When he got to home plate, he pointed up to the sky for in remembrance of Fernández. The Marlins ended up winning the game by a final score of 7-3. After the game, members of the Marlins placed their hats on the mound in remembrance of their fallen teammate.

Baseball is still mourning this tragic loss of one of the best pitchers in the league. During Fernández’s four years in the Majors, he pitched with an outstanding record of 38 wins and 17 losses. Adding to the wins and losses, he also held a 2.58 ERA. He pitched 471.1 innings, had 589 strikeouts, and had a WHIP of 1.05. With the rate that Fernández was going, he could be potentially have been a future Hall of Fame inductee. The Marlins retired Fernández’s number, stating that nobody will ever wear 16 again. Heaven has gained another ace, and that ace’s name is José Fernández.

MLB playoff races tight as season nears finish

With the smell of the crisp fall leaves falling, pies baking in the oven, and the sound of football games playing, we must never forget the Major League Baseball playoffs. It’s September again, and the Fall Classic is right around the corner.

Four American League and four National League teams have their division leads while the others compete for the two wild cards. So, who’s in the hunt?

On the American League side, the Baltimore Orioles currently leads the first wild card spot by a half game. The second wild card is in the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays, and closely chasing behind are the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, and Seattle Mariners. As for the National League, the San Francisco Giants currently have the first wild card in their hands by a half game as well. The New York Mets have the second wild card spot, and the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins trail closely behind.

This year has been a very interesting year for professional baseball. With a lot of new talent coming through the minors and rising to the majors, these teams who were considered mediocre for the past few years are now starting to make a name for themselves.

Katie Robison, a local Detroit Tigers fan, said she believes that the Tigers will take the first wild card with the Blue Jays keeping the second one, knocking Baltimore right out of the picture. She also believes that the Giants and Mets will hold their ground and take the two wild cards in the National League.

The playoffs in baseball are unpredictable. Teams that may have a mediocre regular season may really spark it up in the playoffs, whereas teams that may have dominated the regular season fall apart in the postseason.  This year’s prediction on the World Series is being called a rematch of the 2012 World Series between the Tigers and Giants.

2015 MLB Playoff Preview

The Major League Baseball regular season is over and all of the spots are taken. With a very exciting regular season over the hype is becoming more real for the postseason. It was an exciting September for baseball with teams all across the league clinching playoff spots in dominating ways.

This evening will start off the postseason with the American League Wild Card game between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. The winner of tonight’s game will go on to play the Kansas City Royals, the most dominant team in the American League. The Royals boast great pitchers and a great defense.

Tomorrow night, the Pittsburgh Pirates take on the Chicago Cubs in the National League Wild Card game. The game will takes place at PNC Park at 8 p.m. Jake Arrieta will get the start for the Cubs, while Gerrit Cole will be on the mound for the Pirates. The Cubs are a good team with many young players and the Pirates have the most successful bullpen of the season. The winner of this game will travel to St. Louis to battle with the toughest team in the
whole league, the St. Louis Cardinals. Having an outstanding regular season and achieving 100 wins the Cardinals are looking to continue their dominance in the postseason.

The other matchup in the American League is between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Texas Rangers. The Blue Jays are led by David Price, one of the best pitchers in the American League. The Rangers hope their great batting averages can take them far into the postseason.

The other matchup in the National League will be fought between the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Mets are in the postseason for the first time since 2006, and they are hoping to show everyone they deserve that spot. The Mets, with power house Yoenis Céspedes and a great supporting cast hope to continue their great year in the postseason. Beating the Dodgers will be no easy task for the Mets. After all, the Dodgers have two all-star pitchers in Zach Greinke and Clayton Kershaw.

With all these teams in the postseason, it’s going to be a great October. Tune in tonight at 8 p.m. on ESPN for all the fun of the start of postseason baseball.