Posted by Don Web on Aug 09 2011 at 05:00PM PDT

Final Days 4 & 5:

The HOOTS 2011 Connie Mack season ended with a loss at the World Series to Puerto Rico 7-5.  Leading at one point in the game 5-0 behind the pitching of James Carter, the HOOTS bull pen could not record the final 3 outs holding a 5-2 lead and stop the scoring of the Lobos Arecibo team who used a different pitcher in each inning.  The strategy kept the HOOTS offense from scoring after the early inning lead and limited the West Region Champion to three hits. 

In the media interview after the game Coach Johns made the following observations.

"You cannot defend walks, our bull pen had to pitch to contact and let our defense, the best part of our team play the game in the final two innings.  You do not want that to happen at this point of your season, and it was out of character of our pitching staff except early on this summer.  But there are a lot factors that the bench jockeys sitting at home have no knowledge as they are not here in Ricketts Park, and the pressure these players have on them.  It is the biggest game of their lives, in the biggest venue they have ever had to play in, and in front of the largest crowd.  They are amateurs, and they fail.  But so do the professional players, it just happens and it is part of the game of baseball"

"I know that getting to Farmington and the Connie Mack World Series may be the greatest thing some of these players may achieve in their baseball lives.  I set my personal goals high, to win a National Championship.  If I accept anything less then my goals were not set high enough.  So I am disappointed, but fully recognize we won a State Championship, a very tough West Regional Championship going 5-0 in Arizona, and we got to the Connie Mack World Series which only our 2009 achieved in over 20 years from Northern California and as an organization we are one of the top 10 teams in the nation both in 2009 and in 2011.  That says a lot coming from a small recruiting area that we select our players.  We will rebuild our roster and evaluate our entire organization structure, and we will find a way to get back here and win"

The 2011 HOOTS season ended with an overall record of 33 wins and 13 losses, and Championships at the Wally Kincaid Wood Bat Championship at Blair Field in Southern California, California North State Connie Mack Championship, and the Western Regional Connie Mack Championship.

To players interested in the HOOTS program for this Fall and 2012 summer season, Ben Hogan said "Every day you don't practice, you're one day further from being good."

"Champions are made when no one is watching."

Day 2:

"Game three of the Connie Mack World Series was a shoving match between the defending back-to-back champions Midland Redskins, and the Danville HOOTS, a team in their second appearance in Farmington"

The Midland team won 4-3 behind the solid pitching performance of lefty Dillon Peters, a 20th round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians and a signee of University of Texas.  Nick Piscotty started for the HOOTS and kept the Midland team scorless through the first two innings.  The HOOTS took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning, but was unable to keep the lead as Midland scored twice in the bottom of the inning to tie the game 2-2.  The HOOTS took the lead once again on a Ryan Howell double to lead 3-2.  Piscotty was relieved by Domenic Mazza in the fifth inning and was able to get a double play with the bases loaded to end the threat by Midland.  The HOOTS were unable to handle two infield plays in the fifth inning, and a pass ball followed by a Midland single for them to take the lead over the Danville team 4-3.  With a runner at 3rd base and the infield playing in and one out, Mazza was relieved by lefty Spenser Linney who retired the next two Midland hitters with strikeouts.

The HOOTS challenged in the top of the seventh, Howard reached second base on an infield hit and error, as the home plate umpire called it a fair ball and the 1st base umpire called a foul ball.  After arguments the play was called foul.  Howard reached first base on a walk but the HOOTS could not advance him to tie the game which ended with Midland 4 and HOOTS 3.

Coach Johns commented to the local news media "...Never happy unless we win.  We had our chances.  Should have played better defense in one inning.  We had the lead a couple of times and a great opportunity to win the game," Johns said.  "We come out of the West Region and we play a tough schedule.  We do not expect being to be in the losers bracket to be a problem...our pitching is fine."

Sunday the traditional home run derby will take place, followed by a 5:00PM game between the HOOTS and Puerto Rico. 


Day 1:

A long trip and arriving at 4:00AM did not take away from the first day at the Connie Mack World Series for the HOOTS.  The team met with their host families, caught a few hours of sleep, and was on their float made by BP America for the traditional Connie Mack parade through the streets of Farmington, New Mexico.  With the streets lined with thousands of people to see the teams who will compete for the 2011 National Championship, this city in the badlands of New Mexico for the past 47 years have made the World Series here a special place for the all the players who have earned their way to Farmington.  This will be an event they will remember forever.

The HOOTS received their clearance and orientation through AABC, visit at the stadium and picture, and later in the day had the opportunity to get some practice time, taking batting practice, short bull pens and a chance to get on a field.  The opening ceremony took place at 7:30PM with the stadium packed to see the teams and traditional opening day remarks by the American Amateur Baseball Congress. 

The players here are the celebrity, the event is the moment, but the HOOTS take the field on Saturday against the returning two time National Champion Midland Redskins to play baseball. 

Day 2:

The HOOTS Connie Mack team will leave from San Francisco on Thursday, August 4 and head to the World Series in Farmington, New Mexico.  Due to airline restrictions the team does not arrive into Farmington until 3:00AM. The traditional Parade of Champions through Farmington will take place on Friday at 11:30AM.  The Connie Mack World Series web site is linked below. 

Support is being received to the web site from friends and are noted below.

John Hughes, Northern California Scouts Association.  Florida Marlins.

  • "On behalf of the Northern California Baesball Scouts Association I want to congratulate you and the Danville HOOTS players on your Western Region Championship and your return to the Connie Mack World Series for the 2nd time in 3 years.  You continue to produce a top notch program year after year and make all of us from Northern California proud.  Best of luck to you in Farmington, New Mexico."

Don Lyle.  Cleveland Indians.

  • "Congratulations and Great job this season Don. Beating them with fundamentals."

Steve Friend. Chabot College.

  • "Easy come-easy go-what else is new. Its what you guys do, WIN!!! Congrats."

Nate Schierholtz, San Francisco Giants.

  • "Great job Donny and the HOOTS going back to the Connie Mack World Series."

James Keller, Baltimore Orioles.

"Great job Don and good luck.  Give 'em hell down on the Bad Lands of NM.

Rich Bordi, Reds.

"Congratulations on getting to the World Series.  Best of luck and givem hell."

David Camarena, HOOTS Connie Mack Player.

"Hey coach don, this is david camarena.  Congratulations on making it back to the connie mack world series! I'm so proud of you, the coaches, and the guys! I miss you all so much and wish you the best of luck."


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