News and Announcements
The HOOTS Connie Mack team head to the West Regional Championship in Southern California with a 6-1 win vs the EDH Vipers at the North State Championship. Both teams secured a berth in the West Regionals which will feature the 10 best Connie Mack teams in the Western United States. The HOOTS won the regional tournament last year to advance to the World Series in Farmington, New Mexico for the second time in 3 years. The pitching staff of Conor Neuman, Sam Nathan, Eric Crispell and Tyler Nevins only permitted one run by the Vipers. The HOOTS offense took an early 2-0 lead on key hits by Tanner Pinkston, Shawn Vincent and Daniel Jackson while the young HOOTS defense played errorless baseball. "I am really proud of this group of players. We are young but everyone on this team can play. I have been very fortunate to have good teams and great players come thru the HOOTS program. Our future is bright, but this team is, has and will make its own footprints in our history." Coach Johns.
The HOOTS Connie Mack team defeated Bercovich 12-1 in the Connie Mack North State Championship to advance to the Championship game on Sunday at 12:00 at Chabot College. The victory also secured a berth for the HOOTS at West Regionals next week in Southern California. AJ Puckett took the mound for the HOOTS and was strong thru five innings against a good Bercovich offense, but it was the HOOTS offense led by Tanner Pinkston, Dylan Isquirdo and David Elzig that gave them a commanding lead early in the game with positive at bats and execution. The offense had seven doubles and a solo home run by Elzig to put the game out of reach for Bercovich.
With the win, the HOOTS will advance as do the EDH Vipers to represent Northern California in the West Regional Tournament for the opportunity to go to the Connie Mack World Series in Farminton, New Mexico. The West Regional tournament will feature the top 10 Connie Mack teams from the west region. The HOOTS won the Regional Tournament and a trip to the World Series in 2009 and again in 2011 to become the first team from Northern California in over 20 years to claim that achievement. This will be the seventh straight appearance by the HOOTS at the Connie Mack West Regional dating back to 2007.
Four teams remain in the Connie Mack North State Tournament with 2 teams facing elimination after the game results on Friday. The HOOTS lost a difficult game to the EDH Vipers from Sacramento 3-2 with both teams sending to the mound their top pitchers. James Carter from the HOOTS threw a 3 hitter in the loss as the HOOTS could not execute twice during the game with runners in scoring position, and in the sixth inning could not score with bases loaded and no outs. EJ Sports will play in an elimination game against EDH at 11:00AM and the HOOTS will face off against Bercovich at 2:00PM. All games are held at Chabot College and will conclude on Sunday July 22 with the winner advancing to the Connie Mack West Regional Tournament in Southern California.
The HOOTS Connie Mack team advanced to the 3rd round at the Connie Mack North State Championship with a 3-2 walk off win in the bottom of the eighth inning against NorCal at Chabot College. Catcher Dylan Isquirdo hit a run scoring game winning single with runners on second and third with the HOOTS trailing NorCal 2-1 entering the bottom frame of the extra inning game. Pitcher Domenic Mazza pitched 7 strong innings and was relieved by James Carter in the top half of eight inning with runners in scoring position for NorCal and the game tied 1-1, which later scored the go ahead run on a sacrifice fly. The HOOTS rallied in the bottom frame of the eight inning and was able to secure a win with Isquirdo's 2 run RBI single.
The HOOTS play on Friday July 20 at 5:00PM against the undefeated EDH Vipers from Sacramento.
The Danville HOOTS Connie Mack team scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat EJ Sports 1-0 in the Championship game of the Eighth Annual "Fly With The Owl Tournament" held at San Ramon Valley High School. AJ Puckett of the HOOTS pitched an outstanding 7 strong innings leaving the game with the score tied 0-0 and runners at 1st and 2nd base. Sam Nathan relieved Puckett and was able to retire the Warriors to keep the game in a scoreless tie. Jesse Medrano led off the bottom of the eight inning for the HOOTS with a base hit single, advanced to second, and right fielder Andre Davis had a walk off single to score Medrano for the winning run. "If you missed that game, you missed one of the best amateur games played by two very good teams, with players who know each other, play together in high school, and compete against each other in Connie Mack baseball. This was a great game for the community of Danville to see these two clubs battle it out. Outstanding pitching performance, no errors by either team, no mistakes, just missed opportunities and one team that had a clutch hit to win the game" commented HOOTS Manager Don Johns. Attending the game also was St. Marys Head Baseball Coach Jedd Soto who send an email to summarize the tournament and commented "What a great Championship game."
The HOOTS Connie Mack Team advanced to the Championship game on Sunday July 15 to be played at 4:00PM at San Ramon Valley High School. The HOOTS are the only undefeated team in the tournament with an overall record of 3-0. The Reno Knights took a 1-0 lead against the HOOTS in the Saturday night game, but the HOOTS offense exploded for 7 runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a commanding lead.
HOOTS pitchers Sam Nathan, Domenic Mazza and James Carter have given up a total of 3 runs in the entire tournament. Nathan threw a first game shut out, Mazza pitched against the very talented Desert Prospects team coached by former SRV player and HOOTS coach Pat Evans which the HOOTS won 3-1. That game started with a Max Dutto lead off home run in the first inning, and James Carter threw the game against the Reno Knights only giving up 2 runs.
The competition through out the tournament has been outstanding and has been well attended by many Division 1 coach's from the entire western states. The 2012 field of teams have very talented rosters of committed and non committed college bound players. The bracket for the final games today, Sunday are below.
10:00AM @ SRVHS Desert Prospects vs ZOOTS-HOOTS
10:00AM @ Monte Vista Sonoma Rebels vs Colorado Batters Box
1:00PM @ SRVHS Reno Knights vs Santa Clara Red Sox
4:00PM Championship HOOTS Connie Mack vs EJ Sports
The HOOTS Connie Mack Baseball Team will host the Eighth Annual "Fly With The Owl" Tournament July 12 thru July 15 at San Ramon Valley High Schol and Monte Vista High School in Danville, California. The tournament features eight of the top amateur baseball teams in the west. The field of teams this year include the Reno Knights from Nevada, Desert Prospects from Palm Desert, Batters Box from Colorado. The teams from Northern California include Santa Clara Red Sox, Sonoma Rebels, Zoots-HOOTS, EJ Sports and the Danville HOOTS Connie Mack Team.
Each of these teams has an outstanding history and accomplishments in national competition. The rosters include many MLB drafted players as well as many of the top recruited players in California and the west.
Each day the first game will be played at both SRVHS and Monte Vista at 10:00AM. All games following will be played at SRVHS starting at 1:00PM and the final game at 4:00PM.
Saturday, July 14 at 4:00PM the popular Team Competition and Home Run Derby is held awarding prizes to the winning teams and players. Immediately following the final game on Saturday will begin at 5:30PM and will feature two long time coaching friends, Pete Savage leading the defending Champion, Reno Knights and the Danville HOOTS Connie Mack team led by Don Johns and his coaching staff of Johnny Rodrigues, Bryce Mendonca, Grant Johnson and pitching coach Dan Ward.
The HOOTS Connie Mack team will be playing in the final game each day. The full schedule is available from the Handout section of this website.
The HOOTS Connie Mack team defeated the Playa Vista Orioles USA team 2-1 to win the Championship of the Wally Kincaid Wood Bat Invitational at Pepperdine University located in Malibu, California on Sunday July 8 and completed the tournament with an overall record of 6-0.
Earlier in the day in the championship series the HOOTS defeated Club All Star 5-3 to advance to the Championship game. Both the HOOTS and the Playa Vista USA team entered the game with identical 5-0 tournament records and the HOOTS were awarded the #1 seed based on least runs allowed. Both teams competed in a very close game that showed the strength of both clubs in all aspects. The HOOTS received solid pitching performances from Domenic Mazza, Tyler Nevins and David Elzig in the championship game. Dylan Isquirdo delivered the winning hit for the go ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
All Tournament HOOTS Players were pitchers Domenic Mazza, Sam Nathan, Catcher DJ Jackson, Infielders Max Dutto,Jesse Medrano, and offensive selection was Tanner Pinkston. Congratulation to all the HOOTS players for a great performance during the entire Wally Kincaid Wood Bat Invitational.
The HOOTS limited their competition to only 4 runs thru the six games due to effective pitching and excellent team defense. The team finished second to Playa Vista with Runs Scored.
Tournament games were held at Blair Field-Home to Long Beach State University and Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. The HOOTS family appreciates the relationship with the Playa Vista Baseball Program and Head Coach Tim Oliveraz.
The HOOTS Connie Mack team advanced to the Championship game on Sunday July 8 at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California with the #1 seed and an overall record of 4-0 in the Wally Kincaid Wood Bat Invitational in Southern California. The HOOTS have been a dominate factor in the tournament giving up only 2 runs in four games with strong pitching performances from Sam Nathan, Domenic Mazza, James Carter and Conor Neuman. The HOOTS offense has been led by Max Dutto, Daniel Jackson and Tanner Pinkston. The defense has been outstanding throughout the tournament and the pitching solid for combined good team results. The HOOTS won the tournament in 2011.
You can view game results and statistics at www.wallysbirds.com
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."
"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.
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.
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."
Day 3 at Connie Mack West Regional:
THE HOOTS ARE BACK!
Back to the Connie Mack World Series in Farminton, New Mexico with a 2-0 win over the Orange County Renegades in the Championship game at the Connie Mack West Regional Tournament at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Arizona. The HOOTS finish the West Regional Tournament undefeated with a record of 5-0.
The 2009 HOOTS became the first team in 20 years from Northern California to reach the Connie Mack World Series.
Robert Martinez, Dublin, took the mound for the HOOTS vs the Renegades who have taken two games from the HOOTS earlier this season. Martinez was very effective and efficient as he kept the offensive Renegades team off balance. David Elzig had a RBI single to score the first run, and later a Ryan Lacy bunt single for the second run to put the HOOTS ahead 2-0. Martinez was relieved in the seventh inning by Nick Piscotty with the tying run at first base. Piscotty recorded a strike out and fly ball for the HOOTS to secure the trip to the World Series and a dog pound on the field by the entire HOOTS team as they celebrate a return trip to the Connie Mack World Series.
Manager Don Johns received the ceremonial water bath after the game by the HOOTS players as they celebrated an amazing run through the North State Connie Mack Tournament and the Western Regional. "We have great players, that have refused to let anything take away from our team goal to return to the Connie Mack World Series. One day they will look back and realize what they have achieved is amazing, and it will be a memory that will stay with them forever. My coaching staff of Johnny Rodrigues and Grant Johnson deserve a lot of credit for taking our offense to a higher level. When you go to a World Series, you wonder if you will ever go back. THE HOOTS ARE BACK! I look forward to seeing some of the people we met during our first trip there in 2009. The Connie Mack World Series in Farmington may be one of the great experiences a player or coach ever has in amateur baseball."
The double header day started with the HOOTS as the only undefeated team in the West Regional Tournament with a 3-0 record. The Colton Nighthawks from Southern California took an early lead 1-0, and later led 6-3 in the middle of the game. The HOOTS answered back to score 4 runs to take the lead in the fifth inning behind a solid pitching performance by Jack Veronin. The HOOTS offense continued to add runs, as starting pitcher was relieved by Kyle Slinger and Domenic Mazza. The Nighthawks had the tying run at third base and the winning run at second but an outstanding defensive play by Chris Keck at 3rd base for the third out secured the victory.
Day 2 at Connie Mack West Regional:
The HOOTS Connie Mack team went into the double header on Friday at the Connie Mack West Regional Tournament with one win. They left Tempe Diablo Stadium late on Friday night as the only undefeated team in the tournament with a record of 3-0.
Earlier in the day they defeated the Arizona Diamond Backs team 11-1 on a outstanding complete game pitching performance of Duke bound Nick Piscotty. Scoring early, pitching to contact and playing great team defense kept the Arizona team off balance the entire game.
The winner bracket final was played at 7:30PM under the lights at Tempe Diablo Stadium. The game started with the Arizona Athletics scoring early to take a 1-0 lead. The HOOTS pitcher, James Carter, San Ramon Valley, kept the game close as they trailed until the fifth inning 1-0. Carter was dominate against a very strong offensive line up for the Arizona champion. Junior David Elzig, Alameda and Ryan Lacy, Monte Vista HS got the HOOTS on the scoreboard with back to back singles in the fifth inning for the HOOTS to take the lead 4-1. The Athletics challenged in the seventh inning and Carter was able to get the final three outs on outstanding defensive plays by Chris Keck and David Elzig.
Only four teams remain in the Connie Mack West Regional and games resume on Saturday at 5:00PM. The HOOTS will face the Colton Nighthawks who are 2-1. The double elimination tournament puts the HOOTS in a situation where they cannot play a team that they have already played according to AABC rules. After the first game on Saturday, only 3 teams will still be in the tournament and 2 games from advancing to the Connie Mack World Series.
Coach Johns, "the struggle has only begun, this last day is the day you have to rise up and overcome all the obstacles to get to Farmington and the World Series. Nothing is easy, and no one is going to give this away without a battle. Our guys fought back all night against a very good team and found a way to win the game. I am very proud of these guys and they are truly the type of players that make up the HOOTS teams."
You can now follow the HOOTS live on twitter.com
Day 1 at Connie Mack West Regional:
The HOOTS defeated the Hitman from Los Angeles 3-2 in the opening round of the Connie Mack Western Regional tournament at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Arizona.
Junior left hand pitcher Domenic Mazza, Clayton Valley, threw five strong innings and was relieved by Jack Veronin for the final six outs. After giving up one run in the first inning, Mazza was very effective allowing only three hits through five innings in the 105 degree weather. Leaving the game with runners in scoring position, Manager Don Johns went to his bull pen and replaced Mazza with reliever Jack Veronin who was able to retire the side without giving up a run.
The HOOTS had runners in scoring position early in the game and was unable to add to their lead and take the pressure off their pitching staff, which has been outstanding throughout their run through the Connie Mack State tournament. The HOOTS offense scored their runs on a Chris Keck double to tie the game in the 3rd inning. Ryan Howell scored on Scott Mitchell and Tyler Davis back to back singles for the go ahead run.
Coach Johns commented after the game, "We play a very difficult schedule, and we were here in June at the Connie Mack World Series Qualifier, so we know what this level of competition is about. Some of our guys had to travel today, and it is hot so we started a little flat. I told our guys in the third inning that we have worked hard to get where we are in terms of the Connie Mack season, and the opportunity to go to the World Series that everyone who plays wants to achieve. We needed to find the energy to fight through this. They found a way to get the win."
The HOOTS play Friday at 5:00PM and at 7:30PM. The eight team tournament continues today and four teams will remain after the Friday games. The winner of the Connie Mack West Regional will advance to the World Series in Farmington, New Mexico on August 4. The HOOTS made their first visit to the Connie Mack World Series in 2009 to be the only Northern California team to achieve that in over 20 years.