Another Father's Day Classic has come and gone, and much like last year, the sun was out in full force. The mid-80's temperatures with little-to-no wind turned the FDC into a hitter's paradise. ERA's inflated, home runs were flying all day, and the Freaky Franchise won their first tournament since 2016. Below is a team-by-team breakdown of the second OCWA event of the season.
5. Bud Brothers (0-6)
One of the most surprising teams from the ODT made the trip back up from PA in hopes of improving on their 4-4 start. J.J. Neely was a last-minute scratch, so the Bros filled his spot with BWBL vet David Brigido. The loss of Neely proved to be too much, as the Bros were outscored 54-13 over their six games on the day. These guys had a couple of close games, but just didn't have quite the same magic that they did on Opening Day. The Bud Brothers are now qualified for the OCWA Playoffs, so I'm not sure if we'll be seeing them again until then, but any points earned the rest of the season could prove to be valuable come playoff seeding time.
4. Pavlov's Dawgs (2-5)
The Dawgs came into this one fresh off an impressive ODT performance in which they pushed the championship to the two-game max after coming out of the losers bracket. The key to the Dawgs success in the first tournament could easily be attributed to Ari Knill's shutdown day on the mound. This tournament was a bit different, as Knillmunn went just 1-3 on the bump on a day that was clearly much more favorable to the bats. On the bright side, the whole team hit much better than they did in the ODT. If the Dawgs can somehow manage to pair this hitting with the ODT pitching, they are very capable of being a championship contender. Even though they went just 2-5 in the FDC, they are still tied for first in points at the midpoint of the season.
3. B.E.E.R.S. (5-2)
The B.E.E.R.S. ODT performance was one of the most shocking things these eyes have seen. After the early ODT exit, the perennial powerhouse was determined to make a deeper run back to where they belong. The B.E.E.R.S. did just that in pool play, going 4-0 with a +44 run differential. Unfortunately, these guys ran into some hot teams in the playoffs, and ended up getting eliminated in the semifinals. B.E.E.R.S. fans need not be concerned, as these guys have started off each of the last two seasons somewhat slow as well. They should start gaining some more momentum in the third and fourth tournaments and will definitely be primed for another championship run.
2. Caledonia Crush (5-3)
The Caledonia Crush have become a household name in the OCWA with their extremely consistent winning ways. However, for the first time in their team's history, they played as a two-man squad. Cody Hammond (DNP - Birth of Child (Congratulations Cody!! Wishing all the best to you and your family!!)) missed his first tournament maybe ever, but it clearly didn't matter too much to the Pollard/Anderson duo. The Crush cruised through the winners bracket, and were one inning away from taking down back-to-back FDC titles. I'm not sure we'll see Cody on the field this season, but the Crush will always find a way to contend.
1. Freaky Franchise (7-3)
For the first time in the 10-year history of the OCWA, the father/son/cousin (#FamTeam) trio of Papa Bush, Ryan Bush, and Justin Tomkins took the field as members of the same team. The Franchise looked awful to start the day - losing 16-1 to the Crush and later losing 12-0 to the B.E.E.R.S. in pool play. After losing to the B.E.E.R.S. in the second round of the DE bracket, the Franchise rattled off two losers bracket wins before a 6-run fourth inning comeback in game one and a tough 7-6 win in game two of the finals gave them their first tournament win since 2016.
Craving some more OCWA wiffle? You're in luck! The NWLA Warmup Tournament is right around the corner. Registration for the July 7th event will be open next week. Be sure to check out our Twitter page (@OCWA) for updates!