We're back again at BGP (and Field 2!) for the 4th Annual Father's Day Classic. The FDC has shot up the charts as a favorite event and is usually one of the best attended events of the year. This time around, we hit the "max" of 10 teams, so we're split into two pools followed by single elim. Let's take a look at these pools:
POOL A: Fire Frogs, PED's, Crazed Loons, Pavlov's Dawgs, The Rec Room
This pool has 4 teams that are looking for their first OCWA win of the year. Yes, the Loons played last time around, but went home winless. They're subbing out Nick "Repete" "Gruden" Ciolek and replacing him with Dave Erb, who is known for his knuckleball and his bombs. Given the potentially windy conditions on Saturday, expect to see him a lot on the bump.
The other team that played in the ODT is the Dawgs, who came away with a 4th place finish. They could use another arm besides Ari, but he's enough to keep them in any game. The don't have crazy field splits like some other teams do, but on Field 2 they have the ability to insert the Chainzz Moonball into play, and they have their toughest games on that field. Expect them to make a run.
The Rec Room was a bit of a surprise entry, but the second NEPA team is always a welcome sight. JJ Neely is a capable arm, but their other two guys are unknown rookies. Rookies tend to struggle, especially in the field, so expect this team to lean more on Neely. They'll go as far as he takes them.
The Fire Frogs made a splash last year in their "first" tournament, going 6-0 and winning under the lights. They didn't fare as well in playoffs, but you can never count out Regis and Mike. Expect Regis to do most if not all of the pitching, and expect this team to mash. The PED-Frogs matchup will be the one to watch from pool play, and luckily, it'll be our tip off on Field 1.
Speaking of the PED's, the Roeder-Coyk combo come into this year as three-time champs. They have a sweet new acronym (Pimping Every Dinger) that exemplifies what their team is looking to do. It seems as if they get stronger as the day goes on, and they can easily outslug any team in this field. I'm pitting them as the heavy favorites in this one, although they may have to fight to win their pool.
Pool Prediction: PED's, Frogs, Dawgs, Rec Room, Loons
POOL B: Papa Jack's, Freaky Franchise, Blue Kamikazes, Wings and Thangs, Has Been Field
This pool is the traveler's pool, as 3.5 of the teams have a 3+ hour drive to get here. The one complete team that's staying home for this one is Papa Jack's, who had a tough ODT. Historically, they warm up as it gets hotter. They won't be a pushover for any team in this pool, and have the capability to get in a scoring race. If they get a little more consistent on the bump, they'll be heavy contenders.
This will be the second straight OCWA tourney where an entire team is comprised of OCWA rookies, and that team is Has Been Field. Not much is known about these guys, except they have a good amount of experience in their own league, as well as AWAA. They're jazzed up to be coming, and were excited to have them. There will be an adjustment period though, and if it lasts all day, they'll be in trouble.
The Wings and Thangs group has been to many an OCWA tourney, and they're making their 2019 debut in the FDC. Tom Hannon and Brett Rooney highlight this team, bringing a rookie with them. They can hit, especially with Hannon's lefty swing, but the question is if they'll do enough on the bump to contend. They've had an up and down existence in OCWA, only time will tell which one we get.
The Blue Kamikazes came close to winning last time, and some blame lies at the feet of (former) team captain Jimmy Cole. Well, he's out again this week with an injury, but they are bringing a talented third in Anthony Gadani. DJ Lava and All Day Delano can both get it done on the bump, and they can all hit. They're a dangerous matchup, and with three fielders, they'll be sticking around late.
The final team is the Freaky Franchise, who can't hit on Field 1. The splits are astounding. Luckily for them, their toughest pool play matchup comes on Field 2, so they might get a reprieve. They pitch well enough to beat anyone, but the BATS have to get really hot in order for things to go right for them. I'm not sure what to expect out of them.
Pool Prediction: Kamikazes, Franchise, Jack's, Wings, Has Been