Metro Minute

St. Louis Bandits earn trip to the NABF College World Series after winning the St. Louis Metro Collegiate Baseball League playoffs vs. the Kats

Team Manager Rick Fiala, Coaches Scott Brown and Rob Simpson and the Metro Bandits head to Toledo to defend the NATIONAL TITLE won by the St. Louis Metro Dodgers in 2015.

The Bandits won the 2016 Metro Collegiate Championship best of 5 series 3 games to 2 vs the Metro Kats.    Game 5 was everything a 5th game should be.   Solid pitching, great defense and timely hitting.   The score was 4-3 Bandits heading into the bottom of the 9th inning.   The “Baseball Gods” were certainly doing their thing as it took some outstanding defense for the Bandits to pull off the victory.  With one out in the bottom of the 9th, the Kats’ batter hit a hard line shot that took Bandits shortstop, Michael Wielansky deep into the hole.  He made a terrific back handed play, righted himself and threw a strike to Neil Fischer playing first base.   The excitement wasn’t over; with 2 away and no one on base, League MVP, Cody Klotz came to the plate.   Everyone in the park knew what was on Cody’s mind.  As it played out, Cody just missed his pitch but still drove the ball to the wall for the final out of the Series.

Read more: St. Louis Bandits earn trip to the NABF College World Series

They say, ‘Chicks dig the long ball.’

If so, that must make Derrick Freeman a ladies man.

Only 12 games into the season, the Trojans outfielder has already hit six home runs.

Along with the six home runs, Freeman leads the league in batting average at .435 and tied for fifth in RBIs with 12. Teammate Wesley Brooks is second with three home runs.

It is safe to say the power numbers this season are a surprise to everyone, including Freeman.

Read more: They say, ‘Chicks dig the long ball.’

6 Metro Collegiate Alumni chosen in 2016 MLB Amateur Draft

Since 1979… “The Tradition Continues”

6 Metro Collegiate players were chosen last week in the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.   When asked about this year’s draft, League President Marty Stein said:  “over all we’re very pleased, but honestly we thought more of our guys would be drafted.  Chances are very good other Metro players will be signed as free agents in the coming weeks.”

Read more: 6 Metro Collegiate Alumni chosen in 2016 MLB Amateur Draft

Metro Collegiate Baseball attends 2016 PGA Reach Fund Raiser Dinner

On Sunday, June 5th, a group from the St. Louis Metro Collegiate Baseball League attended the 7th Annual Ozzie Smith Gala for the Gateway Section of PGA Reach.   PGA Reach is a wonderful organization and one of Mr. Smith’s favorites.

When asked why Metro Collegiate Baseball attends, League President Marty Stein replied:  “Ozzie is a long time personal friend not to mention a huge supporter of our baseball organization.   #1 has been a great friend to our league and it’s an honor to be personally invited to attend his event.   The evening was just terrific and we totally enjoyed visiting with “Doc Gooden, Cal Ripken, Jr. and Ozzie’s high school buddy, Eddie Murray.    A few of us were even lucky enough to be the winning bidders on some of the fantastic items offered in the charity auction.”

Read more: Metro Collegiate Baseball attends 2016PGA Reach Fund Raiser Dinner

Toledo Day 4

By Bob Totterer
Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

Holy Toledo - we did it again !
2015 NABF Championship Game: Dodgers - 8, Monarchs - 1

You've heard the clichés: 'a team of destiny'; 'a team that never quit;'  'a team that would not be denied'.  You can apply them all, if you wish, to the 2015 St. Louis Dodgers.  No one would object and no one would argue to the contrary.  Any who watched the six Dodgers games of this NABF World Series, even the one that got away, would tell you that tenacity was this team's stock in trade.

This championship game was scoreless through three innings, but there was a distinct feeling in the air that it belonged to the Dodgers.  Josh Rye, the 6'3", 220 pound lefty from Austin Peay State University, took the hill in the bottom of the first and would never relinquish it.  Number 28 was clearly in command all afternoon.  Though he was facing a tough Monarchs team which had averaged ten runs per game throughout the tournament, Josh surrendered only one run while scattering ten hits and one walk in his nine innings of work.  The Dodgers defense answered the bell as well, turning four double plays, one of which was a catch and throw by centerfielder Sean Ullrich, who gunned down a Monarchs runner at the plate in the fifth.

Scoring for the Dodgers began in the fourth with a leadoff bunt single by Designated Hitter, Matt Brown.  Two hit batsmen then loaded the bases for third baseman Matt Spradlin, who lined an RBI single deep to right.  Series MVP Dashawn Lindsay promptly drove in two more with a single to left.  The Dodgers added two in the sixth off the bat of Lindsay and the rout appeared to be on.

Read more: Toledo Day 4

Toledo Day 3

By Bob Totterer
Saturday, August 1st, 2015

Quarterfinal Game: Dodgers - 9, Astros - 8

Saturday, August 1st, 12:00 PM - What was that I said yesterday? Oh, yeah - "Even when they're down, they're rarely down and out." That was certainly the case in this quarterfinal matchup. The Dodgers drew first blood with a run in the first inning. The game stayed 1-0 until the Astros batted in the top of the fifth. 7 runs would cross the plate before the third out was registered. With one out, starter Tyler Greene was lifted in favor of Josh Rye, who also exited after struggling with a handful of 'Stros batters. Enter Wesley Pyles. The lefthander came in with one out, two runners on base and a peck 'o trouble happening on the field. He promptly retired the first two batters he faced to put out the fire, and would go on to pitch scoreless baseball through the eighth. His performance on the mound was the key to what the Dodgers would pull off in this do-or-die matchup.

Read more: Toledo Day 3

Toledo Day 2

By Bob Totterer
Friday, July 31st, 2015

Pool Play, Game Three:  Dodgers - 10, Hawks - 0

I went to bed last night thinking about that stinker of a game the Dodgers played against the Crocodiles on Thursday.  The scoreboard read like the national debt - one crooked number after another.  But in spite of all the bitter memories, the team was in a cheery mood when they boarded the bus bound for Bowman Park and a 9:00 AM game with the Toledo Hawks.  After only one inning was completed it became apparent that the Dodgers players had left their evil twins back at the hotel.  Thank the baseball gods.  This was the Dodgers team that had earned a trip to Toledo.

Jake Patzner started for the men in blue and pitched a complete game shutout, striking out eight.  He worked out of trouble in about half of those innings, stranding three in the sixth.  Meanwhile, his teammates muscled up on offense.  Leftfielder Dashawn Lindsay had a four-hit day and started the game-ending rally.  Both second baseman Keith Grieshaber and D.H. Matt Brown went 3 for 4.  Together, this trio stymied the Hawks' pitching staff.  Grieshaber also made two, very fine plays on defense.  One was a full extension dive into short centerfield to snag a looping fly ball and the other was a diving catch on a sinking infield liner, which he turned into an unassisted double play at second base.

The Dodgers were running on all cylinders in a must-win game to decide who stays in Toledo and who goes home.  As it turns out, we will be staying .. at least for one more day.  Next up is the quarterfinal round, wherein the Dodgers are paired against the Long Island Astros.  The first pitch will be thrown at noon on Saturday.

Read more: Toledo Day 2

Toledo Day 1

By Bob Totterer
Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Pool Play, Game One: Dodgers 3, Gamecocks 1


Game one of pool play was the type of game one would expect in World Series Competition. The Dodgers' leadoff hitter, Keith Grieshaber, led off the game with a single to left, stole second, went to third on an errant throw and subsequently score the game's first run. The Dodgers added two more in the third and would make those runs hold up against a stingy Gamecocks defense.

Meanwhile, Michael Lyndon-Lorson manhandled the Gamecocks hitters, allowing only one run on a broken-back liner to center in his six and one third innings of work. He would give way to Jake Haberer, who pitched very effectively until he ran into a trouble in the bottom of the ninth. Manager Gus Lombardo then summoned Louis Garza to the mound with one out and the tying runs on base. He didn't disappoint, dispatching the two men he faced to give the Dodgers their first win of the World Series.

Read more: Toledo Day 1