Tag Archives: baseball

A look at the Richmond RiverRats 2013 Season

Greetings readers,

A few days fresh of my last home broadcast in Richmond, Indiana, I like to tell you what I saw for the 2013 season.

It was the fifth season of existence for the RiverRats, a summer collegiate team that calls Don McBride Stadium home. The organization had something fun planned out for every home game this season, just like the previous four years. After thirty games, the ‘Rats welcomed in nearly 26,000 for the season.

Opening Day 2013 took place in Northern Ohio, with the Lorain County Ironmen hosting Richmond. After a season-opening series split, Richmond came home to welcome in another Ohio team, the Chillicothe Paints. While the first game required extras, the ‘Rats were able to sweep their first opponent at home. Richmond went 4-2 in their first six home games, splitting with the Butler BlueSox and the West Virginia Miners.

The RiverRats would close out June with a 13-17 record, coming home for six straight home contests. To start July, the RiverRats went 2-8 in their first ten games, including a 1-5 homestand. The ‘Rats would bounce back after that homestand, going 10-14 in their last twenty-six games with some very close games.

After the final out in West Virginia, the RiverRats finished 24-36. Seventeen of those wins happened at McBride Stadium, while the ‘Rats were only 7-23 away from Richmond.

As a team, the ‘Rats batted .257 and had an ERA of 4.40. Leading the offense was DePauw Tiger Robbie Stein, batting .303 in 231 at-bats (with eight doubles, two triples, and one home run.) Berea College Mountaineer Ryan Akins had five home runs to lead the team, with Ohio State Buckeye Jacob Bosiokovic leading the team with 31 RBIs. On the pitching spectrum, it would be Ole Miss Rebel Scott Ashford leading the team in appearances with twenty-four on the season (all in relief.) Indiana Wesleyan Wildcat Shane Bryant had the most wins with five (finished 5-4 after ten starts and three relief appearances.) Trey Garrett (Rend Lake College) lead the team with five saves.

Numbers and wins aren’t everything, folks. The team improved from the slumps and worked around the injury bug. While it was a team of about eight everyday players, it was a talented bunch of ball players.  These players will head back to their college baseball teams, with improved skills and a collection of memories of their experiences in Richmond, Indiana, Wayne County, U.S. of A. I wish every RiverRat the best in the future!

Debuting for the first time in 2013 were gold jerseys for the ‘Rats. These were wore about 4/5ths of the home games, with the white and navy sets used sparingly.  The gold tops were combined with navy letters/numbers with a white trim. Personally, I liked the gold jerseys. I believe gold hats were also introduced for the first time, too.

In this 2013 season, I have seen two reviews on McBride Stadium. One is from The Sports Traveler, who made the trip for the June 15th match vs. West Virginia. The other is from Stadium Journey, which the review doesn’t specify when the visit was (but I believe this was the first portion of the season.) Both of these are positive reviews but very good reads on the old ballpark.

As a second-year broadcaster with the Richmond RiverRats, I feel like I improved greatly in terms of baseball commentary. I learned that not every second must be filled with my voice. I learned to relax and flow with the pace of the game. I improved my game during those thirty games.

I worked with amazing folks and I met some great people as they made their way up into the small press box. I had a lot of help from the Media Relations Intern, who would join me for two games on-air. He helped out with game notes and was the guy who done a lot of jobs in the press box during game time.Hopefully, I’ll be back for the 2014 season enjoying another season in Richmond, Indiana. I also spent some time talking with Josh and Jesus from the Pal-Item about various sports in Eastern Indiana; great guys.

With the books shut on the 2013 season in Richmond, time to focus on what’s next in my career. Next stop: Back to the University of Dayton as the Public Address Announcer for the soccer teams. This career never stops, but why would I want it to?

Until next time,

-Lee

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Summer Ball

Greetings readers,

Summer is a great time of the year. It’s when most people venture outside and have some fun in the sun. In the sporting world, baseball will be in full bloom. But did you know it’s not the only sport in the sun? In Southwest Ohio, there’s also outdoor football.

If you’re a fan of tackling football, there’s a couple of leagues to check out around the Miami Valley. One is the Heartland Football League (which I wrote about March of 2011.)

Some things have changed since 2011, including the Kings Comets taking a break this season. Most of the teams on my 2011 article no longer exist. The area is a little further spread out into the Pittsburgh area. In fact, some of the teams listed on the league’s website have called it quits before playing any downs. One team has stayed the course for a long time, and that would be the Lima Warriors.

There’s also another league around the Miami Valley, in the Northern Frontier Football League. Compared to the HFL, there are more teams around the Dayton area. The season starts May 18th, with sixteen teams stemming all the way up north to Lima and all the way east to Lancaster. The last week of the regular season (Week Ten) is August 3rd.

Baseball’s not the only summer sporting fun, there’s also some football in the air. It’s a great time to catch some outdoor sports!

Sources of information from the Heartland Football League and the Northern Frontier Football League. Picture from the Heartland Football League front page.

Until next time,

-Lee

Streaming Flyers

Greetings readers,

I will be broadcasting three Dayton Flyers games this weekend! Today I have the call of a softball doubleheader against Saint Bonaventure, starting at 12:00 EST. It’s Senior Day for the Flyers, as they currently sit in 7th place in the Atlantic 10 Conference and look to squeeze in for a playoff spot. The Bonnies look to play spoiler today at UD Softball Stadium.

Tomorrow (May 5th, 2013), I will broadcast the Senior Day game for the Flyers baseball team, as they host George Washington. The Flyers are looking to split the series today, and possibly take the three-game set with the Colonials. I will have the call for my first Flyers baseball game without the other team being Wright State Sunday at 12:00.

Here’s the link for Saturday’s contests: http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/allaccess/?media=387509

Here’s the link for Sunday’s contest: http://daytonflyers.cstv.com/allaccess/?media=387516

Hope you can tune in!

Until next time,

-Lee

The Flying Voice

Greetings readers,

Wow, how one month flies. Sorry for the silence once again, but it’s been a good month for sports. I’ve called two playoff series, a conference championship, and a couple of arena football games. There’s also a new job for me this Spring.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. I am a Public Address Announcer for the Dayton Flyers baseball team.

Now why on earth would I think this would be interesting to talk about? There’s a few reasons.

1) I like talking about new opportunities for myself. That sounds so much like a vague statement, but I feel blessed for everything new chance to prove myself.

2) I often think how cool it is for a graduate of a rival college to have this job. Does it mean anything? No, not really. It doesn’t matter where you graduated from if you work your hardest. I just get a kick out of it (and so do some of the Flyer staff, even having one telling me that I’m on waivers.)

3) This is a great job to have. It’s a great, laid-back environment, and I feel accepted into the group. I get to work with great people each game. I also have talked with a few Flyer fans at the baseball games, and they have compliment me on my work.

In case you’re not familiar with the Dayton Flyers, they are a NCAA Division I school that call the Atlantic 10 their conference. This is the same conference where Virginia Commonwealth and Butler jumped to last year, and the same where Butler and Xavier are departing for the new Big East. (In case you didn’t hear, George Mason is coming to the A10 now.)

The Flyers call Time Warner Cable Stadium their home, right at the corner of Interstate 75 and Edwin C. Moses Boulevard. It’s a nice stadium, with a good size press box and also a luxury suite next door. The seating is concentrated behind home plate, between the dugouts. There is a nice grass patch between the home dugout and the indoor batting cages.

As of March 26th, I have done nine games so far.

I am incredibly blessed to have this job and grateful for the connection that I have for this job. One thing I didn’t mention is how I got the job. One of my friends that I work with at the Dragons, Scott, also works at UD. He heard that the Flyers needed a PA Announcer, and the rest was history.

I’m incredibly lucky to have this job. I wanted to share with the world (again) about my new job. What will this lead to? Only time will tell.

Picture from the Dayton Flyers website.

Until next time,

-Lee

The Home Plate (Extra Innings in the Miami Valley)

Greetings readers,

It’s probably no secret that I love broadcasting baseball. From Wright State of the NCAA to the Richmond RiverRats of the Prospect League, and bits and pieces of the Cincinnati Reds and Dayton Dragons, I’ve seen a share of baseball. While this cold weather is nice to have for a limited time, I find myself getting anxious for warmer weather and hearing a bat crack when a ball is laced high in the air towards left field.

If you remember my last post, I talked about a new baseball team moving into Springfield. This post is about baseball that’s been in the area for some time now. I am talking about Southwest Ohio Roy Hobbs Baseball and the Miami Valley Adult Baseball League. I mentioned the Angels a tad in the last post about the new Springfield team.

The Miami Valley Adult Baseball League has been around since 1995. The league has teams ranging from Camden to Springfield. Currently (as of 1/21/13), there are thirteen teams listed. The newest team for the 2013 season will be the Wright Knights, who have not picked a home field as of 1/21/13. As of this post, there are three teams with the Miami Valley location tag (the Bats, Marlins, and Thunder) and one called the Ohio Mariners. There’s also teams in Fairborn, Beavercreek, Huber Heights, Kettering, Dayton, South Dayton, Springfield, and Camden (right by my hometown, actually.) You have Sox, Redlegs, Braves, Rangers, Athletics, Slammers, Royals, and Indians, along with the other four I mentioned earlier.

The thing I remember about the MVABL is the fact that the Dayton Daily News actually had the standings listed in the paper. I also remember a couple of teams in Dayton and a few in Kettering (I remember the Royals and Outlaws a few years back.) I don’t know if these standings are still ran in the paper, but I remember seeing the Beavercreek Sox name a lot.

Some of the locations on the website include high schools including Preble Shawnee (where Camden plays, maybe 5 minutes from that town and 5 from Gratis), Valley View, Bellbrook, New Lebanon Dixie, Fairborn, Greeneview, Northmont, Oakwood, and a couple of others. Along with Wittenberg’s field, there’s a couple of city parks listen (like Beavercreek’s Rotary Park.)

Back to the SWOHRH, there are six teams in the league. Two are in Clark County (Springfield and Enon), while the other four call Dayton home. The Southwest Ohio Roy Hobbs League has been around since 1989. The league has an age rule, where teams can only carry five players that are between 25 and 28. The rest of the team has to be older than 28 years old. The SWOHRH league is affiliated with the top level, in Roy Hobbs Baseball. There’s Cardinals, Braves, Diamondbacks, and Wolves in Dayton, as well as Angels in Springfield and Reds in Enon.

Locations for Roy Hobbs Baseball in the Miami Valley include Miamisburg High School, Crosley Field in Cincinnati, Kings and Lebanon High Schools, McBride Stadium in Richmond, and both the University of Dayton and Wright State University’s fields, along with more.  The overall organization has over 600 teams in the United States, Canada, Europe, and in the Caribbean. The name Roy Hobbs is the 1952 book and 1984 film “The Natural.”

For the MVABL, the season is slated to start April 7th. The season for the SWOHRH league starts in Mid-to-Late May. Both leagues have yet to release the 2013 schedules.

If you’re looking for baseball in the Miami Valley, you will have tons of choices to go see. From the pros to amateur, you have a lot of teams to root for and watch. It’s another reason that it’s good to live in Southwest Ohio.

Picture from the Camden Redlegs Facebook page. Sources of information from Roy Hobbs Dayton, Roy Hobbs Baseball, and the Miami Valley Adult Baseball League.

Until next time,

Lee

The Field of Spring in Summer

Greetings readers,

Springfield, Ohio will have a baseball team starting this June. Playing in the Independent Baseball League, the franchise will take on three other teams in league (two from Northern Ohio.) The plan is to have teams in Marion and Tiffin, Ohio, as well as one in Oakland County in Michigan. The Tiffin team was actually relocated from Bowling Green.

The last team in Springfield, according to Baseball-Reference, was in 1951 when the Springfield Giants played in the Ohio-Indiana League (yes, when Richmond had a team in the Tigers, who were affiliated with the Detroit Tigers.) Before then, Springfield was a land of Cardinals, Indians, Ponies, Chicks, Reapers, and Governors.

Currently there are the Springfield Angels, who are part of the Southwest Ohio Roy Hobbs Baseball league. The Angels play with four teams from Dayton and one team from Enon (who are called the Reds, by the way) and all six are for adults 28 or older who just love the sport of baseball. The Springfield Angels called Springfield/Clark Shawnee home in 2012 and won the SWOHRH Championship by going 5-1 in tourney play.

Currently, this Springfield franchise does not have a name. However, if you go on the IBL Facebook page, there is a poster asking if the name will be the “Clark County Clovers”. The name is reference to the birth of 4-H in 1902 and the name of the county Springfield lies in.

Currently, there is no information I could find about where this Springfield team will play. It could be Wittenberg’s baseball field, shown in the top picture. There’s also Springfield High School, Shawnee High School, Northwestern High School (just a couple minutes away from the Upper Valley Mall), and a couple of schools nearby the city.

As for the league, there isn’t a lot of information right now. There’s a list of the four planned teams and a news article about how Bowling Green’s team was moved to Tiffin.

As the info rolls along until spring, one thing is clear: It will be nice for Springfield to have a baseball team this June.

Picture from the Wittenberg Tigers athletic site. Sources of information from Our Sports Central, Baseball-Reference, 4-H, the SWOHRH, and the Independent Baseball League.

Until next time,

-Lee

The Press Stops Here

Greetings readers,

The website known as daytonprosports.com will soon be no more. The author Jeff Kuntz is moving to the sunny side of Florida for his business.

If you never been to the site, it was a cornucopia of things about pro sports in Dayton. From basketball, to hockey, baseball, and all sports in between, it was mentioned on the website. The Air Strikers, the Gems, the Dutch Lions, the Dragons, and the Silverbacks were the stars of the webpage. Even the Gem City Hall O’ Famers were on the site despite nobody knowing a thing on the team (turns out they played a couple of games in Lima and then folded.)

I first talked to Jeff back before the 2012 Air Strikers season began on Twitter, and right away I liked the site. Nobody else gave complete coverage of the teams that called the Dayton area home. Sure, Channel 7 might have had one or two clips of the first Air Strikers game, but not much else. The Dayton Daily News had a few articles, but coverage dropped as the season went by. Who kept the coverage going? Yep, daytonprosports.com.

It was around the time the Air Strikers moved out of Trent Arena and looking for a new home when I was first put into an article. I received word that the game would be played at the Dayton Boys Prep Academy. Although the plan was to not play the whole season there and just go back to Trent Arena, that didn’t happen and we played half of the games at The Prep.

The second time Jeff mentioned me was about the February 22nd game, where I believe the Air Strikers were supposed to play that day, then I tweeted about how that wasn’t going to be the case. He backed up the tweet saying that I was associated with the organization. Jeff then wrote an article later that day, stating that I said that game was now off (he then went on and put in a good word and asked people to follow me on Twitter.)

Then on March 8th, I send a slightly-edited copy of the press release to Jeff, and he publishes it on the website. That was the first game in Moraine (and my first game as the PA Announcer for the Air Strikers, as well.) Another press release was published, as well as a paragraph update in the General section for March 13th.

The last article was published June 1st, mentioning that the Dayton Gems have folded, as well as the Dayton Air Strikers (which I honestly didn’t know happened.) He also mentions the Silverbacks making the CIFL Championship game (which Dayton lost to Saginaw, by the way.) He also mentions the new hockey team arriving in Dayton, as well.

Jeff got my name out in a lot of Dayton Air Strikers articles, as well as Twitter too. He told me I got a shout-out on WONE when I wasn’t able to listen (I think I had work that day, I don’t remember at this point.) He also wished me luck finding a broadcasting job and told me to never give up in his previous tweets.

Since the website will be shut off in a couple of weeks, I’d like to post a snippet of the last article, with the people that Jeff thanks.

Last article (5/31/2012): …I’d like to thank Mister Askew, Anthony Byrd, Clint Davis, David DiCenzo, Brij Desai, Rob Garfield, Brian Gratz, Joe Greene, Sev Hrywnak, Michael Lause, Duane Lewis, Mike Mossel, Lee W. Mowen, Paul Nitz, Kathy Rupp, James Scott, April Shellenberger, JT Szabo, Ivar van Dinteren, Cor van Hoeven and various anonymous sources for all they’ve done for me and/or this website…

Good luck in everything you do Jeff, thanks for the coverage of Dayton sports and thank you for publishing my press releases when I was with the Strikers!

Folks, take a visit to daytonprosports.com before it’s too late.

Source of information from Dayton Pro Sports and writer Jeff Kuntz.

Until next time,

-Lee