Game Three: Crush topple Has-Beens, 10-4

Posted in Uncategorized on October 7, 2009 by pittsburghkid

Week Four: Orange Crush vs. Royal Has-Beens

images (1-1)…….VS……..images-2(0-2)

The Orange Crush scored runs in only three innings, but that was enough to propel the team to a 10-4 rout of  the Royal Has-Beens last Saturday at Pie Traynor.

The win puts the 2-1 Crush a half-game behind the first-place Red Tide on the season and tied for second place in the fall-campaign with the Columbia Blue Jackets.


The Has-Beens opened scoring in the game, collecting on un-earned run on two Crush throwing errors in the first inning. The guilty fielder wished to remain anonymous but trusted sources disclosed that he wears the number one on his jersey.

The Crush response came in the bottom-of-the-second inning when the middle of the Crush line-up kicked off a six-run frame. Brian Strom led off the inning with a hit-by-pitch and stole second base before a single by Mark Guthrie plated the tying run. Number seven hitter Tim Maul began his amazing day at the plate in the following at-bat with a double to plate Guthrie. Two-straight walks to Scott Kramer and Brendan Hanley loaded the bases for Schuyler Sheaffer who picked up an RBI with a hit-by-pitch. Crush veteran Harry Yeakel followed with a two-run double. Strom plated the final run of the inning on a sac-fly to left.

The Has-Beens tallied three more runs over the next four innings while the Crush offense remained silenced.

Until the sixth anyways.

Sheaffer led off the four-run sixth-inning for the Crush with a walk before a single by Johnston, a fielder’s choice by Strom and a walk to Guthrie loaded the bases for Maul. Maul came through again, knocking in two more runs on the afternoon before an RBI single from Kramer notched the final run of the frame.

Sheaffer started a final Crush rally with a two-out walk in the seventh. Johnston knocked him in two hitters later to close the scoring for the afternoon.


- Maul earned “Offensive Player of the Week” with his 3-for-3 effort at the plate. He finished with two doubles, three RBI’s and two runs scored.

- Yeakel had a strong showing at the plate as well with two RBI’s, a double, a stolen base and a walk in his 2-for-4 day with the bat.

- A new face to the Crush squad, Johnston didn’t disappoint. He finished 2-for-4 at the plate with a walk and an RBI. He also earns “Defensive Player of the Week” honors for his great plays in the field last week.

- Hanley looked very comfortable at the plate this week. The starting right fielder for the Crush finished hitless but did pound two very hard hit balls into play that took above average defensive plays to stop. He also finished with a run scored on the day.

- Guthrie must have had a bulls-eye on his back in this one. The Crush slinger ended up 1-for-1 with two HBP, a walk and a run scored.

- Sheaffer and Maul each worked two very encouraging innings of relief for the Crush. The pitching depth of this team will be much needed when the double-headers begin next week.


The Crush will travel to Avonworth High School next week for a 9 am double-header against the Gold Nuggets. Directions can be found at

Please contact me if you can’t make it this week.

Week Two: Crush hold off Has-Beens, pick up first win

Posted in Uncategorized on September 23, 2009 by pittsburghkid


images……..VS………….corey merch circle 1

The Orange Crush etched out a  9-to-4 victory over the Royal Has-Beens on Saturday, September 19, gaining a very important first-win for the improving squad.

WIth three new faces joining the group in just the second weekend of action, the personality of the Crush team had yet to fully emerge on the field.

A closely contested match-up against the Has-Beens, however,  shed some light on how this loose yet goal-oriented Orange squad conducts business between the foul-lines.


The Royalty struck first in the morning affair, plating a first-inning run after a few early Crush miscues.

The Crush responded in the top of the second, as a lead-off walk to Mark Guthrie ended up costing the Has-Beens the lead after a few passed balls.

The Orange plated three more runs to take the lead in the third-inning. TJ Morgan propelled the rally with a one-out single that moved Brian Strom to third. Strom reached base on a rare base-on-balls and scored the go-ahead run on a passed-ball.

Crush debuting catcher, Harry Yeakel, continued the attack by lining a shot to left-center, scoring Morgan. Last week’s Offensive Player of the Game, Tim Rastetter, followed with a bouncer to third which plated Yeakel for the third Crush run of the inning.

Scott Kramer, the second debuting catcher for the Crush on the day, regained the Crush momentum in the fourth-inning. Kramer stood in for the HBP to lead off the fourth before swiping second-base and scoring on a Strom single down the third-base line. A TJ Morgan walk moved Strom into scoring position before a pair of passed-balls brought home the second Crush run of the inning.

The Royalty responded with one run in the bottom half of the fourth and two more in the fifth but couldn’t quite string together hits off the strong pitching of Mark Guthrie and Dan Morgan.

The Crush tallied up three more runs over the last three innings. TJ Morgan manufactured one in the seventh with a single and two stolen bases before a Schuyler Sheaffer sac-fly brought him home.

A double and a stolen base from Rastetter plated one in the eighth. Smart base-running from Dan Morgan plated the final Crush run in the ninth.


- TJ Morgan earns this week’s “Offensive Player of the Game” honors with an incredible 3-for-4 performance at the plate. He finished with four stolen bases, two runs scored, a walk and an RBI on the day.

- Pitcher’s Dan Morgan and Mark Guthrie earn this week’s “Co-Defensive Player of the Game” honors. The pair kept the Has-Beens rally at a minimum despite a few Crush errors on the day. All-said, the duo struck out 12 on the day.

- Strom finished 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored.

- Guthrie ended up 1-for-3 at the plate with a single, a walk and a run scored.

NEXT GAME: Double-Header

The Crush head to Pie Traynor field in North Park next Saturday, September 26, to take on the Red Tide in a double header at 9:30 am and 12:30 pm.

We have a few people missing once again so please notify Head Coach Brian Strom if you can’t make it this week.

Time to roll-over the Red Tide!

Game One: Crush fall to Green Machine in Fall opener

Posted in Uncategorized on September 15, 2009 by pittsburghkid





The 2009 Orange Crush Baseball Team opened the fall campaign with a 7-3 loss to Jesse Smith’s Green Machine team in an early-morning affair last weekend at John Herb Field.

In fact, the “early-morning affair” was the only negative of the whole day, as the Crush bats didn’t quite awaken until the fifth-inning.

Minus staff-ace Dan Morgan and starting catcher Harry Yeakel, the Crush fell behind by four runs going into the fifth before back-to-back two-out walks to Schuyler Sheaffer and Mark Guthrie led to the team’s first run.

Sheaffer stole third base before trotting home on an RBI-single off the bat of Crush fill-in Eric Singer to get the team on the scoreboard.

The Crush struck again in the seventh, as a single and a stolen-base from Singer set the table for a strong-bouncing double down the left-field line from Tim Rastetter.

Crush Head Coach Brian Strom followed with a RBI single up the middle to plate Rastetter before unfortunate timing on a hit-and-run play set the Green Machine up for a tailor-made double-play ball off the bat of Dave Alviso to end the threat and the scoring for the Orange on the day.

Despite the loss, however, several positives from the 2009 Crush squad evolved that morning…..


- Crush 3B Tim Rastetter earned “Offensive Player of the Game” honors, going 2-for-5 with a RBI and a stolen base in the game.

- Leadoff man TJ Morgan had a solid showing at the shortstop position earning him “Defensive Player of the Game” honors. Morgan also added two walks and three stolen bases from his trips to the plate.

- LF/P Timothy Maul capped off his 1-for-4 afternoon at the plate by fanning two and earning some confidence in his three-innings of relief.

- Sheaffer anchored the center-field position effectively and added two walks on the day.

- Guthrie started the game and struck out three through five-innings in a strong showing. He also added two walks in his trips to the plate.

- RF Brendan Hanley looked solid in right field, making every play that came his way. Hanley also added a walk to the scorebook.

- The Crush drew eight walks as a team in the affair.

- Special thanks to Alviso and Singer for filling in for the Crush last weekend. Both are great ballplayers and outstanding teammates.

NEXT WEEK: Crush vs. Royal Has-Beens

The Crush look to get on track next Saturday, Sept. 19 in a 8:30am match-up against the Royal Has-Beens at John Herb Field in the North Hills. (same field….directions on previous post) Be there by 8 for warm-ups.

Dan Morgan will get the nod on the mound with Guthrie, Strom, Sheaffer, Maul and Rastetter ready to step in when needed.

Yeakel will make his 2009 fall-debut in a Crush uniform at the catcher position.

Please let me know if you can’t make it this week. Everyone who shows will play.

Lets get a win!

Orange Crush 2009

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on September 8, 2009 by pittsburghkid


Okay… I took a bit of a break from blogging after a devastating late-inning loss to the Gray Bats in the Championship last year. Who wouldn’t?

I still feel like beaning BJ Rankin in batting practice.

And although it took a few months to manifest, I think Larry Zalewski received a bit of karma as well.


Take that old man!

But enough with the “a forty-five-year-old man kicked my ass” tirade.

The Orange Crush are back!

New faces to the 2009 squad include:

IF- #21- Matt Johnston

OF/C-#2- TJ Morgan

3B/2B-#5- Mark Kasimirsky

OF/3B/1B-#24- Brendan Hanley

SS/P-#3- Trevor Martinek

P/3B-#7- Tim Rastetter

P/OF/1B-#10- Timothy Maul

OF/P-#9- Schuyler Shaeffer

P/1B-#15- Dan Morgan

This year’s returning Crush include:

2B/P/OF-#1- Brian Strom

C/1B-#19- Harry Yeakel

P/IF/OF-#18- Mark Guthrie

The 2009 Crush squad appears to have a lot of depth at pitching and a solid infield core with five former Collegiate-level players gracing the roster.

All-that-said, that is just on paper.

The reality of this Crush campaign will become evident this Saturday, September 12, in a visiting match-up against the new-coming Green Machine team at 8:30 a.m at John Herb Field in the North Hills. (Directions to field at

While little is known about either team in the early part of this season, Green Machine Head Coach Jesse Smith has apparently used his eye-for-talent to import a competitive group for the fall.

Starting Line-up;

Like I said, little is known at this point, however, using a set of dice, a tube of super-glue and a Ouija board I slapped an opening-day batting line-up together……

1- TJ Morgan (CF)

2- Schuyler Sheaffer (LF)

3- Mark Guthrie (P)

4- Matt Johnston (2B)

5- Tim Rastetter (3B)

6- Brian Strom (C)

7- Mark Kasimirsky (EH)

8- Timothy Maul (1B)

9- Trevor Martinek (SS)

10- Brendan Hanley (RF)

We have only 10 players this week so everyone will get plenty of playing time. Positions will be jockeyed around a bit as the game goes on so I can determine our most competitive defensive look for this fall.

Also, pitching duties will be conducted in platoon-fashion. We have plenty of arms and I will make sure and get Shaeffer, Rastetter, Maul and Martinek at least one-inning of work each.

To Crush Players:

Please contact me at (412) 576-8877 or email me at if you can’t make it this week. A partial schedule has been released on the Pittsburgh NABA website if you need to check future game times.

Crush ready for championship blind-date

Posted in Uncategorized on October 27, 2008 by pittsburghkid





The Pittsburgh Orange Crush will be heading to the 2008 NABA Fall Championship Game this Saturday at 11:30 a.m. after a successful 6-2 campaign. Who the join the Orange, however, has yet to be determined. 

It will be decided this Saturday at 9:30a.m when the Ghostbusters and Gray Bats battle for a trip to the Championship round. It will be a close match-up but I have some ideas as to the outcome.

Feel free to voice your opinion……..

Strom’s pick………

First, let me outline the facts.

GHOSTBUSTERS- A 4-4 fall campaign was far below what the Ghostbusters expected and were capable of in my mind. The outstanding recruiting eye of Head Coach Ben Gwin landed a surplus of talent on the team. He may have missed his calling in life as either an army recruiter or a very persuasive religious cult leader.

The Busters definitely have pitching options in relief. Dr. “Venkman” Morgan anchors a staff that proved it could survive with the early-season loss of Bulldogs MVP BJ Rankin. The Kuhn Father/Son combo provides strong middle-inning relief. 

Defense is another area where the Ghostbusters excel, specifically infield. The up-the-middle combo of Tony Casale and Mike Watson proved to be excellent drafts. Also spotlighting the infield is Vinny Gala. Earlier this season Gwin mentioned that Gala, his first-baseman, was the best at his position in the league and I couldn’t agree more. Finally, some credible information on the Busters/Ducks blog. 

Offensively, the Ghostbusters have several big-bats in the arsenal and the ability to drive in runs. The team has plated 52-runs this fall, second-most in the league. Manufacturing multiple runs off the ‘Bats strong starting pitching might be another story. Gwin may have to steal home again. 


As I just said, I’d give the edge in starting pitching to the Gray Bats. Aces BJ Rankin and Alex Warren held strong during the season and new addition Ben Sorosky provides another great option. In terms of depth, I’d say that the Bats are more suited for a two-game day then the Ghostbusters.

The Defensive strength of the Bats is definitely the outfield. Speedy gold-glover Mike Martin solidifies the center-field or left-field spots depending on the day. Scott Kramer, Rich Ament, Alex Warren and Matt Crouch all share spots out there as well.

Offensively the Bats can survive a low-scoring affair if needed because of great starting pitching. Plating runs has been an issue for the team though. The Bats finished at the bottom of the runs-scored category this fall with 27 in eight games. 





So, with that decision in place, lets take a look at the starting line-up for this weekend’s championship game.


1. Graff, Joe- C  Key Stats: .999 OBP with 42 SB, best landscaper award, 144 walks this fall
2. Talotta, Anthony-2B  Key Stats: 14 doubles in 12 at-bats with 7 sacrifice hits
3. Yeakel, Harry-1B  Key Stats: Married, Nicest House on Team with Great Fridge o’ Beer.
4. Minford, Jaron-3B  Key Stats: 3 Balls de-covered, 7 pissed on, 1 donated to John Kruk
5. Strom, Brian-LF  Key Stats:  Best Mullet, US Air “On Time” team award winner
6. Necheff, Christian-P  Key Stats: 7 Complete Games, 82 strikeouts and he’s really left-handed
7. Yokitis, David-CF  Key Stats: Most appearances on a milk carton, 21 doubles, best car on team
8. Logan, Rob-DH  Key Stats: 31 broken bats, 1 broken wrist, countless broken hearts
9. Wittmer, Greg-SS  Key Stats:  11 hits, Underage drinking award (not his), most pussy-whipped
10. Guthrie, Mark-RF  Key Stats: Nice Guys bat last award, 4 ER in 30 IP, best goatee

Bench- Schlegel, Pisciuneri

No more talk, its time to win.

Crush deflate Bats & more 6-2

Posted in Uncategorized on October 20, 2008 by pittsburghkid

The Crush held open tryouts this weekend, as over 200 persons with Special Needs, 10 Firefighters, 4 county police, and other random park patrons participated.

No players were picked up in the process, but Crush resident ladies man, Greg Wittmer was seen signing autographs near the fence line.  To date, no lawsuits have been filed with the Allegheny County Courts.

The Pittsburgh Crush faced the Gray Bats this weekend, and defeated them 6-2 at Pie Traynor Field.  On the final weekend of the regular season, the Bats even hired Ben Sorosky to take the hill.  Ben Sorosky was in contention for Pitcher of the Year in the NABA pitching for the Rakers, and tossed a complete game for the Blues at the Blue Gray Tournament.  Unfortunately for the Bats, they played shorthanded and outnumbered, as they rounded out their roster with a Ghostbuster and a inflatable doll (known affectionately as iDoll) from Condom Nation.

Joe Graff led off the game with a ground ball to short, that was prompty booted on the smooth playing surface of the Pie.  Seeking to avoid a early run of errors that could derail the Bats,  manger Larry Zalewski moved iDoll in to play shortshop.

After a single by Anthony Talotta, Mike Martin make a diving catch of a Christian Necheff drive to the gap to keep runners at 1st and second.  The next play backfired on the Bats’ strategy, as Jarod Minford hit a ball hard at iDoll.  While iDoll fielded the ball cleanly (in the mouth), it was unable to make a play to a base, and left the bases loaded for Brian Strom.

A sacrifice fly from Strom and a RBI groundout from Rob Logan would give the Crush a 2-0 lead in the top frame.  The inning would end on a rather odd play.  Rob Logan tried to beat a Wittmer ground ball to the hole, in this case, iDoll’s mouth.  The ball reached iDoll first, and on a bang-bang play, Logan was tagged out by iDoll.

Mark Guthrie took the mound for the Crush in the bottom of the first and promptly began setting down 12 of the next 14 batters he faced.  Zalewski offered a hit and a walk as the only baserunner for the bats in the first four frames.

The Crush added a deciding four runs in the top of the second inning, and would coast offensively from there, with hits from Graff and Logan to keep the Bats honest.

Strom entered to pitch in the sixth, and after a one out walk to Rich Ament, Ament stole second and third.  With the shutout on the line, Strom struck out a Bat and got iDoll with a stiff fastball to end the threat.

Joe Graff closed the game by walking two men and allowing a single after a groundout.  With one run in, and runners on second and third, Graff struck out iDoll on a 3-2 fastball before getting a groundout to end the game.

The Crush ride a wave of momentum into the playoffs having finished with a 3-1 marks against the other two playoff contenders.  They will face the winner of the Bats vs. Busters on November 11th.

Offensive Player of the Game:

iDoll – 0-3 with 3 strikeouts looking, 2 errors, 47 appalled parents of Autistic children, 2 unamused safety officers, 1 aroused clown, 1 deflated BJ (Rankin)

co-Pitcher of the Game:

Mark Guthrie – 4 IP, 1 hit, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K

co-Pitcher of the Game:

Joe Graff – 1 IP, 2 BB, 2 ER, 1 hit, 2 SB allowed, 1 K, 0 HBP (a career best), 0 broken nails.

Game Notes:

-Late arrivers to the game were greated to a closed parking lot, as demand for tickets to the game exceeded expectations, and players had to walk to get to the field.

-The crowd of 237 quickly dwindled after the Crush jumped to a 6-0 lead (that, and the clowns and firemen left)

-4 people and a flock of canadian geese witnessed the final out.

-Guest blogger Joe Graff reached base three times, scoring twice while stealing two bases.

-Joe Graff stole a base while he wasn’t even on base.

-Patrick Piscuini stole two bases: one for him, one for Graff as a courtesy runner

-Thanks Pat!

-iDoll was offered $250,00 per penetration in the next Jenna Jamison feature

-Christian Necheff and MarkGuthrie are disappointed they were denied membership to the Morgan-Gwin Book Club.

-David Yokitis was last seen on the back of a milk carton.

-The Crush will play in the Fall Championship Game, 9am on 11/1

-The Crush play next week at 11:30am in a consolation game

Crush top Gray Bats, 6-1

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 6, 2008 by pittsburghkid







Five weeks into the NABA Fall schedule and one thing is clearly evident.

Pitchers are getting all the honors.

So much recognition, in fact, that I decided to try and find an offensive player of the game this week that would overshadow the effort put forth by the winning pitcher. You know, just to mix it up a bit.

This week, however, we might have to break it up into two categories. 

Christian Necheff’s outing on Saturday made sure of that.

In six-innings of work, the Crush ace held the Gray Bats to just one-hit, a single by Bats’ Coach Larry Zalewski in the fifth-inning, while striking out four.

Behind Necheff, the Crush offense plated six-runs and regained first place in the Fall Standings.

The Crush shaded the score-book three times in the first off Bats’ pitcher BJ Rankin, who pretty much silenced the Orange in the last meeting between the two teams. A Jaron Minford blast to deep left began the scoring for the Crush. Minford’s triple plated Crush lead-off extraordanaire Joe Graff, who led off with a walk (That makes 47 BB this fall for Graff, according to well-maintained Crush statistics).

Necheff followed with a RBI double, and scored the final run of the inning thanks to a Greg a.k.a. “Wino” Wittmer single to left.

Rankin settled into a groove after the first, keeping the Crush at bay until the fourth.

A Graff walk (48) led off the Crush attack once again in the fourth. Graff stole second-base before trotting home on a David Yokitis single that put the Crush ahead, 4-0.

The Crush brought two more runs home in the sixth. Graff led the charge with a line-drive to left and scored on a towering triple by Yokitis that rolled to the fence in left-field. A fielder’s choice brought in the final Crush run in the next at-bat.

The Bats’ brought in one run in the bottom of the seventh off Crush reliever Mark Guthrie, when Rich Ament singled in Scott Kramer. 


So, the two categories this week………….



No brainer here. The Crush lead-off man of legend was at it again this week. He finished 1-for-3 with two walks, three runs scored and a stolen base.



His stats should be above somewhere. Re-read if you missed them.


Game Notes:

– Crush slugger Jaron Minford continues to knock the cover off the ball this fall. He finished 3-for-4 with two RBI’s and a run scored.

– CF David Yokitis performed well in the third-spot in the order as usual. He finished 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBI’s and a run scored.

– Necheff helped out his own cause in the game as well, finishing 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.

– The win puts the 4-2 Crush back in first-place in the fall standings.

– Brian Strom, ego-maniac author of this post, was 2-for-4 with two stolen bases.

– Special thanks to Ghostbusters Coach Ben “Vigo” Gwin for filling in at first base this week. Superb job.  

– The Crush take on the Ghostbusters in the 11:30 time slot next week. 


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