2007 ASA “C” – National Tournament:
FDC Faces the Nation

    August 28, 2007
    Flor de Caña (FDC) Softball will travel on August 29, 2007 to Killeen, TX to participate in the 2007 ASA “C” National Championship.  The field of teams currently stands at 31, with 5 teams representing the Golden State of California.  California Teams include:

    1. Flor de Caña (Orange) – Southern California
    2. Rez Dawgz (Lemoore) – Central California
    3. Santa Rosa Fastpitch (Santa Rosa) – Northern California
    4. Savala Painters (Fresno) – Central California
    5. Silverhawks (Bakersfield) – Central California


Tournament play will commence on August 30, 2007 and continue through Labor Day Weekend.  FDC (29W-16L) is Southern California’s lone chance of bringing home a title in the ASA Tournament.  The team’s recent surge suggests that those odds don’t intimidate this squad.

In the 2007 Southern California Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL), FDC trailed by as many 7 points for the league lead at the midpoint of the season.  Rival So. Cal Hustlers had all but secured the 2007 League Championship winning 3 of the first 4 tournaments of the year.  FDC knew they had yet to play their best ball, but the point deficit and a tough Hustlers’ squad left little room for error. 

Team founder Cecilio Smalling called a meeting at SCIFL Tournament 5 (Ventura, CA) and laid down the gauntlet.  He informed the team that it would have to be near perfect to secure back-to-back Southern California Championships.  FDC responded winning the Ventura and Santa Barbara Tournaments and finishing 2nd place in Santa Fe Springs II, all while posting a 3-0 record against the Hustlers and outscoring them 17-7 in the teams’ final head-to-head match-ups.  FDC finally caught and passed the Hustlers in the final 2 weeks of the season en-route to their 2nd Southern California Crown in as many years.

While retaining the top position in their division was one of FDC’s pre-season goals, it pales in comparison to the primary objective…A National Championship!  A last minute drop-out has the team heading to Texas one man short, but the team remains poised.  FDC has battled unfavorable obstacles all year.  Time and time again, the team has proved better than the conditions and rallied to find success.  FDC is prepared for the opportunity at hand and looks to prove again that the team is Above All Odds

Log on soon for more FDC news!!!


2007 NAFA – Artesia I
Early Exit for FDC

August 04, 2007
The Artesia I tournament was an awkward tournament in format and result.  As a result of poor tournament participation from Southern California fast-pitch teams, the SCIFL powers elected to combine the “A” and “A-Major” divisions.  The move was a welcomed one because it gave the A teams headed for Nationals an opportunity to face higher level pitching and teams. 

The tournament bracket design; however, was another story.  After playing the entire season using the Saturday round-robin and Sunday single-elimination play-off format, the final tournament of the year was run in the NAFA bracket format.  Flor de Caña (FDC) Softball was tied with So. Cal Hustlers in the 2007 Season Point Standings.  The foreign bracket format all but eliminated any possibility of FDC and So. Cal Hustlers squaring off to decide the League Champions.  It is disappointing to have the Championship decided by the results of periphery games rather than a head-to-head match-up between the two top teams.

FDC played against Long Beach Black Sox to start the day.  FDC jumped out to an 8-3 lead and appeared poised to take down the top team in the “A-Major” division.  Strong hitting by the Black Sox and some untimely defensive mistakes allowed the down and out Sox back in the game.  Ronnie Rupp entered the game in relief and had a strong outing.  Rupp’s entrance seemed to spark the Sox as they came back to win the game 9-8.

The loss to the Black Sox was a deflating one.  FDC came out flat the second game of the day against So. Cal Rebels.  The Rebels jumped on FDC pitching with 3 quick runs.  FDC responded with 3 of their own, but the Rebels continued applying pressure.  In the final inning FDC was trailing 5-3 going into the home half of the inning.  The FDC offense went to work and knotted the score 5-5 before winning the game 6-5 on a 2-out base hit.

FDC’s tournament life was put to an end by Panteras II, who played a solid game and came out with the victory.  The tournament was far from a highlight in the FDC season.  The team was eliminated from Sunday competition and the much anticipated match against the Hustlers never occurred.  Nonetheless, the experience to face great pitchers made the event worthwhile.  FDC finished the tournament 1-2, while the So. Cal Hustlers were winless in the tournament 0-3.  When the dust settled, FDC had done just enough to overtake the Hustlers, who were in the first place seat for the entire season, to take their 2nd League Championship in as many seasons.  FDC now sets its sights on the 2007 ASA “C” Nationals.  Log on soon for more FDC News!!!


2007 NAFA – Artesia I (SCIFL):
FDC’s Final Preparation before the Big Test


August 03, 2007
Tomorrow, August 04, 2007, Flor de Caña (FDC) Softball will compete in Artesia, CA for the final leg of the 2007 SCIFL season.  This tournament will serve as the last formal opportunity to prepare for the 2007 ASA “C” Nationals in Killeen, TX. 

The August 04-05, 2007 weekend is especially exciting because it will also decide the 2007 SCIFL League Champion.  As it stands, FDC and So. Cal Hustlers are knotted up after 7 tournaments.  Each team has won 3 tournaments and their head-to-head matches have resulted in a 5-5 draw.  

Regarding the upcoming weekend in Artesia, Hustlers’ manager Bobby Cole accurately pointed out on their team website (http://eteamz.active.com/hustlers), “Hopefully the last tournament will be the starting point for [the] team to get on a roll towards the ultimate goal for any team, a world championship.”  Both teams have their eyes set on the larger, national goal and it starts with generating momentum in this final tournament.  Any true athlete would hope to have this battle determined in a final head-to-head confrontation. 

The SCIFL has opted to combine the “B” and “C” divisions affording FDC the opportunity to face upper level talent and superior pitching.  In addition, the game format has been changed to the NAFA bracket, which alters teams’ schedules depending on the outcome of games.  Any way you swing it, FDC will get a challenge to start the day as they will face the winner of Game 1: So. Cal Hustlers vs. Long Beach Blacksox.

Saturday, August 04, 2007
9:45 am      FDC vs. Winner (So.Cal Hustlers/Long Beach Blacksox)   - Field 1

HEAT 3 Pick – Players to Watch Out For:
Chosen this week by (C) #12 – Joe Herrera

-  #7 – Reyes Herrera:         Ever since Santa Barbara, he’s been getting on and hitting the ball real well.  He’s been a clutch hitter.
-  #12 – Joe Herrera:             I’ll say me because it’s time for me to come out of my slump and show what I have.
-  #11 – Mario Ramirez:       Mario’s been handling the clean-up role real well.  He’s not hitting home runs, but he’s hitting the gaps and hitting the ball real well overall.



2007 NAFA – Santa Fe Springs II
Express edge FDC in Championship

July 22, 2007
Similar to the last SCIFL tournament in Santa Barbara, Flor de Caña (FDC) Softball competed in the championship game against Palm Springs Express for the Santa Fe Springs II title.  This time the Express got the better of FDC in an 8-5 contest, but the weekend allowed FDC the opportunity to try some new line-ups versus a competitive field. 
FDC offense put up some crooked numbers over the weekend outscoring the opposition 46-31.  That type of offensive firepower is normally accompanied by a tournament victory.  Unfortunately, some costly defensive mistakes allowed opponents an uncharacteristically high number of runs scored as well.

   Saturday, July 21, 2007:

              1. FDC (22)     -  Panteras II (10)
              2. FDC (6)      -  Amigos II (7)
              3. FDC (4)    -  Those Guys (2)   


    Notes from Saturday’s games: 

    1. Game 1: Panteras II

    -     #17 – Cecilio Smalling earned the complete game victory
    -     #11 – Mario Ramirez slammed a 3-run HR to left-center field in the top of the 1st inning.  #16 – Martin Joiner made it back-to-back with a solo shot of his own.  
    -     Panteras II showed plenty of heart tying the game 7-7 in the bottom half of the 6th inning right as time expired.  Realizing Panteras had no quit to them, FDC then came alive in the top half of the final frame for 15 runs.

    1. Game 2: Amigos II

    -     Harold Retutal earned his 2nd victory of the year against FDC, while Johnny Rodriguez closed the game in the bottom of the 6th inning. 
    -     FDC jumped to an early 4-0 lead after 3 innings.  Amigos II then cut the score to 5-2 after 5 innings and with the help of a couple costly errors plated 5 unearned runs in 6th inning.
    -     FDC almost made a valiant rebound in the bottom of the 6th inning. Trailing by 2 runs, FDC was able to plate a run and move the tying and winning runs into scoring position with 2-outs.  The team’s defensive let-up put the offense in too deep a hole and FDC came up 1 run short.

      1. Game 3: Those Guys

    -     The game was scoreless until the 5th inning when the FDC offense finally woke up to plate 4 runs.
    -     #32 – Mario Ramsey hit a double and scored when #9 Cecilio Smalling Jr. hit a long triple.  FDC kept it in the family when #27 – Eric Smalling knocked in his older brother.  Additional hits from #7 – Reyes Herrera and #28 – Ned Waters made way for 2 more FDC runs.
    -     #16 – Martin Joiner promised to cut his hair if teammates Smalling, Herrera, and Waters all recorded hits.  His teammates came through, but Joiner is still sporting a “Bartolo Colon” haircut.  What’s up with that?!?!
    -     FDC’s productive 5th inning gave pitcher #8 – Jeremy Rogers all the cushion he would need as he forged ahead to get the Complete Game win with 3Ks.

Sunday, July 22, 2007:

Semi-Final Game: FDC (9) – So. Cal Hustlers (4)

In what has become a routine event, FDC and rival So. Cal Hustlers found their tournament lives on the line against one another.  For the past 2 years, the teams have fought tooth-and-nail to gain an edge, consistently trading seats atop their division in Southern California fastpitch.  Numerous battles have made the teams and the rivalry stronger, but a mutual respect has also developed along the way. 

With FDC heading to Killeen, TX for the 2007 ASA National Championships and So. Cal Hustlers leaving for Des Moines, IA for the NAFA World Series, there is an opportunity for both of these powerhouses to bring home hardware.  The frequency and character of the contests may be the edge that makes it happen. 

FDC held nothing back putting their ace #17 – Cecilio Smalling, Sr. to face off against Hustlers’ new acquisition Jim Flanagan.  FDC struck in the 1st inning plating 2 runs.  Lead-off hitter #3 – Martin Borgen won a hard-fought AB for a single and moved to 2nd base on a beautiful bunt by #28 – Ned Waters.  #19 – David Carrillo hit a laser that was too much to handle for the defending infielder and put runners on 1st and 3rd base.  #11 Mario Ramirez cashed in Borgen with a base-rip to CF that moved Carrillo to 2nd base.  #28 – Ned Waters, as the last out of the inning took over for the Catcher (Ramirez) at 1st base.  The move proved fruitful on the next at-bat.  #16 – Martin Joiner hit a dribbler to Hustlers’ Doug Shaw who registered the out at 1st base and eliminated the force-out at 2nd base on Waters.  Using veteran guile, Waters stayed in the pickle long enough to allow #19 – David Carrillo to score from 2nd base.  FDC led 2-0.

The teams traded 2 runs in the 2nd inning with the Hustlers getting on the board from a 2-run HR off the bat of Doug Shaw.  FDC maintained the lead, 4-2. 

The 3rd inning was all FDC as the offense exploded for 5 runs highlighted by another clutch #11 – Mario Ramirez single and a # 32 – Mario Ramsey 3-run HR to the right-center gap.  FDC led 9-2. 

The Hustlers never go down quietly and their offense rebounded for 2 runs in the 4th inning.  Ultimately, the explosive 3rd inning proved too much and FDC prevailed with the score stuck at 9-4.  #17 – Cecilio Smalling, Sr. was credited with the Complete Game win with 1 K and 3 earned runs.  FDC moved on to the championship game.           

Championship Game: FDC (5) – Palm Springs Express (8)

Palm Springs Express has emerged at the end of the season and is playing some excellent ball.  Led by their best hitter and team captain Daryl Gore, the Express can compete with anybody.  FDC hoped to tap into the same firepower that tallied 11 runs against Express pitching 2 weeks before.  FDC’s #8 – Jeremy Rogers took the hill against his former team and the Express put out Graham Balog.

FDC’s offense is designed to score runs early.  They did just that.  After going deep into the count, #3 – Martin Borgen singled to RF to start the game and moved to 2nd on another well-placed sacrifice bunt by #28 – Ned Waters.  #19 – David Carrillo drove Borgen home with a base-knock to LF and advanced to 2nd base when the Express Left-fielder took his time getting to the ball.  FDC led 1-0.

The Express tied the game in the top of the 2nd inning when Daryl Gore scored on a single up the middle.  In the bottom half of the inning, FDC tallied 2 more runs.  #32 – Mario Ramsey hit a flare to RF for a single and scored on a rope from #9 – Cecil Smalling, Jr.  #7 – Reyes Herrera, who has been swinging a great stick, drove home Smalling, Jr. to make the score 3-1 in favor of FDC.

In the top of the  3rd, Palm Springs plated 3 crucial runs.  Once again, Daryl Gore struck for the Express with a 2-RBI single and scored himself when he was knocked in by teammate Rod Lee.  #8 – Jeremy Rogers induced a ground ball double play handled by #3 – Martin Borgen to register the final out.  Balog quieted the FDC bats and the Express held their first lead of the contest, 4-3.

The 4th inning was relatively quiet as each team crossed a run.  The Express scored on a bases-loaded walk and FDC scored on another big hit from #9 – Cecil Smalling, Jr.  Express led 5-4.

The Express scored a total of 3 more runs, including 1 in the 5th and 2 in the 6th.  The highlight came from an unexpected Mike Sherman 2-run HR with the FDC outfield playing shallow.  Express led 8-4.

FDC had a tall order for the bottom of the 7th as they trailed by 4 runs.  #7 – Reyes Herrera got on base with yet another single.  Pinch hitter #12 – Joe Herrera came into the game and sharply hit the ball back up the box.  The ball was fielded, but an Express error allowed Reyes to advance to 3rd base and no out was recorded.  With 1 out, #3 – Martin Borgen hit a sac-fly to score Reyes.  There would be no famous FDC comeback today as Palm Springs Express recorded the final out of the game on the next batter.  Graham Balog had a solid outing and earned the Complete Game win with 5 K.   

FDC Softball finished 2nd place in Santa Fe Springs II.  The team is now tied for 1st place with So. Cal Hustlers.  Similar to 2006, the Division Crown will come down to the final weekend of the year.  Flor de Caña’s final regular season tournament will be held in Santa Fe Springs, CA on August 03-04, 2007.  Log on soon for more FDC news!!! 


2007 NAFA – Santa Fe Springs II (SCIFL):
“RUM TIME!!!” Bash in Santa Fe Springs, CA


July 19, 2007
Flor de Caña (FDC) Softball is going back to the sizzling temperatures in Santa Fe Springs, CA on July 21-22, 2007.  FDC will compete in Santa Fe Springs II, the 7th tournament of the 2007 SCIFL season.

FDC (40 pts), coming off back-to-back tournament victories in Ventura and Santa Barbara, look to keep their momentum going into Santa Fe Springs.  The team is playing fearless ball and boasts 3 championships of the 6 tournaments held this season.  Rival So. Cal Hustlers (42 pts) are victorious in the other 3 events and hold a small advantage in the 2007 season point totals.  There is a 16 point drop off to 3rd place so there is little doubt what team FDC will be gunning for in Santa Fe Springs.     

With the 2007 National Championships right around the corner, FDC is playing their best ball at just the right time.  The recent string of success is due in large part to overcoming some early season injuries to key players as well as the team’s revitalized confidence.  Winning close games establishes players’ trust in one another and the coaching staff.  Every tournament from here on in is a preparatory building block for the 2007 ASA “C” Nationals.  FDC continues to prove the team is focused and ready for the goal ahead.   

FDC has the following schedule on Saturday, July 21, 2007:

  9:00 am      FDC  vs. Panteras II                           Diamond 2
10:45 am      FDC vs. Amigos II                              Diamond 3
 4:00 pm       FDC vs. Those Guys                           Diamond 1

HEAT 3 Pick – Players to Watch Out For:
Described this week by (1B) #28 – Ned Waters

-  #7 – Reyes Herrera:        
He’s been improving and has had a hot bat recently.  He was hot last tournament and he’ll be there this tournament as well.

-  #16 – Martin Joiner:
Since the practice with the batting machine, Martin has been coming out swinging the bat real well.  I think he’s going to have a hot stick this weekend.

-  #3 – Martin Borgen:
He’s been relaxed and he says he’s ready.  He missed out last weekend when the team did so well so he’s ready to be a part of it.



2007 NAFA – Santa Barbara I
FDC Unveils New Uniforms in Championship Style

July 08, 2007
Flor de Caña (FDC) Softball continued their winning ways with consecutive Championships and secured their 3rd SCIFL Tournament victory of the 2007 season in Santa Barbara, CA on July 07-08, 2007.  The Santa Barbara I victory was especially meaningful as FDC was able to win their opening tournament in the new Flor de Caña uniforms.

FDC played outstanding team ball the entire weekend and used the tournament to showcase its potent offense and steady pitching.  Outscoring the opposition 26-9 in 4 games, FDC exhibited a cohesive unit that may be capable of reaching the lofty expectations the squad set for itself.

   Saturday, July 07, 2007:

            1. FDC (5)     -  So. Cal Hustlers (1)
            2. FDC (5)    -  San Diego Primetime(2)
            3. FDC (5)    -  Palm Springs Express (4)   


    Notes from Saturday’s games: 

    1. Game 1: So. Cal Hustlers

    -     Given “Papa” Joe Salcido’s 2007 success against FDC, it was no surprise to see him take the mound for the Hustlers in the weekend’s first game.  As always, “Papa” Joe turned in a solid performance, but FDC was ultimately able to come out on top thanks to timely hits and a few Hustler miscues.
    -     FDC’s #8 – Jeremy Rogers pitched a Complete Game victory holding the Hustlers to only 1 run.  Rogers struck out 2 in the contest
    -     FDC tallied 2 runs in the 1st inning.  #28 – Ned Waters reached on an error and scored when #15 – Larry Brent promptly made the Hustlers pay with a line drive triple.  Brent scored on an infield ground ball.

    1. Game 2: San Diego Primetime

    -     San Diego Primetime were the Ventura “A – Major” Champions, while FDC won the Ventura “A” Tournament.  The match-up was to serve as a showcase event and an opportunity for FDC to prepare for the 2007 National Championship by competing against a higher-level opponent 
    -     Primetime looked strong early in the game as they plated 2 runs in the 1st inning and held FDC scoreless for 3 innings behind the solid pitching of Mitch Mendenhall.
    -     FDC’s offense then came alive in the 4th inning with 2 outs.  The offense connected for back-to-back-to-back shots.  #19 – David Carrillo singled then scored on a double from #11 – Mario Ramirez.  Ramirez was knocked in by a #16 – Martin Joiner line drive.  The game was knotted at 2 runs apiece.
    -     In the 6th inning, it was more FDC.  #28 – Ned Waters singled and moved into scoring position on a beautiful base-hit bunt from #15 – Larry Brent.  #19 – David Carrillo hit a line drive that knocked in Waters and moved Brent to 3rd base.  Carrillo advanced to 2nd base on the throw from the outfield.  Carrillo and Brent would later cross the plate on a single from #12 Joe Herrera.
    -     After the 2-run 1st inning, FDC ace #17 - Cecilio Smalling, Sr. closed up shop and did not allow another run in the game.  Smalling earned the Complete Game victory and masterfully maneuvered his way through a tough Primetime line-up.

    1. Game 3: Palm Springs Express

    -     FDC jumped to an early 4-0 lead and appeared to be gliding to a 1st seed position for single-elimination play.  Palm Springs Express had other ideas and put together a monster of a 4th inning to tie the game at 4-4.
    -     #16 – Martin Joiner, 3-3 in the game, hit a blast to right-center field in the 5th inning that cleared the outfielders’ heads.  Joiner then got on his horse and tore around the bases to slide in ahead of the throw at home plate.  Joiner’s HR put FDC up by 1 run heading into the final inning.
    -     The scrappy Express fought to put runners on 2nd and 3rd base with no outs in the bottom half of the final frame.  It looked bad for FDC until the Express hit a hard ground ball at SS #15 – Larry Brent.  Brent froze the runner on 3rd base and gunned the ball to 1B #22 – Eddie Gonzalez.  The Express runner took a chance and elected to try to take home on the throw.  Gonzalez quickly turned and fired a strike to C #11 – Mario Ramirez who blocked the plate and laid down a beautiful tag completing the 6-3-2 double play.  P #17 – Cecilio Smalling, Sr. registered the last out and secured FDC’s perfect record on Saturday.
    -     FDC’s #8 – Jeremy Rogers pitched 3.0 innings with 3K and was relieved by #17 – Cecilio Smalling, Sr., who pitched 2.0 innings with 2K and was credited with the Win.
    Sunday, July 08, 2007:

Championship Game: FDC (11) – Palm Springs Express (2)

FDC’s terrific Saturday performance gave them a bye directly to the Sunday Championship game.  Palm Springs Express fought their way through the So. Cal Hustlers and demonstrated again that they are not a team to be taken lightly.

It would appear that FDC learned from the previous day’s battle because the team unleashed an unwavering offensive assault.  Owner Cecilio Smalling, Sr. announced to the team that he wanted to see the bats go to work early.  The FDC offense responded. 

In the 1st inning, #28 – Ned Waters made his way aboard after being hit by a pitch.  #19 – David Carrillo hit a double down the left field line that scored Waters.  Later in the same inning, #16 – Martin Joiner dropped in a 2-out single that scored Carrillo.  The next batter #32 – Mario Ramsey walked and both runners advanced one base on a wild pitch.  #3 – Martin Borgen closed out the 1st inning scoring with a 2-run single that plated Joiner and Ramsey.  FDC led Palm Springs Express 4-0.

After light action in the 2nd inning, the 3rd inning saw more FDC firepower.  #15 – Larry Brent led off the inning with a hard single.  #19 – David Carrillo then hit a shot to the left-center power alley that cleared the fence for 2 more runs.  #11 – Mario Ramirez kept the heat on the Express with a blistering double and after advancing to 3rd base, scored on a #32 – Mario Ramsey sacrifice fly.  #3 – Martin Borgen hit a single to CF and was plated off of a crisp single from #9 – Cecilio Smalling, Jr.  FDC pushed to an 8-0 lead.

FDC scored 3 more insurance runs in the 4th inning after Palm Springs crossed 2 runs of their own.  The game was called in the 5th inning by “run rule”.  #17 – Cecilio Smalling, Sr. produced the Complete Game win on 2K and 0 earned runs.  FDC won the Championship game 11-2.

FDC Softball aims to continue the team development for the 2007 ASA “C” Nationals in Killeen, Texas.  Flor de Caña will again be in action at the Santa Fe Springs tournament on July 21-22, 2007.  Log on soon for more FDC news!!! 


2007 NAFA – Santa Barbara I (SCIFL):
FDC Softball Back to the Beach in Santa Barbara, CA


July 06, 2007
Flor de Caña (FDC) Softball continues the sunshine tour in Santa Barbara, CA on July 07-08, 2007.  Playing fast-pitch softball in Southern California has its perks as evidenced by the gorgeous cities, fields, and weather.

FDC will play for the 1st time in the highly anticipated Flor de Caña uniforms and the timing couldn’t be better.  The team aims to continue improving for the National Championship coming up at the end of August.  Santa Barbara should prove an excellent challenge as FDC will have the opportunity to play against three of Southern California’s elite teams, including San Diego Primetime from the A Major division.  Equipped with new uniforms and constant determination, FDC adds another building block to the ultimate goal.

FDC has the following schedule on Saturday, July 07, 2007:

12:30 pm      FDC  vs. So. Cal Hustlers                   Diamond 1
 2:15 pm       FDC vs. San Diego Primetime           Diamond 1
5:45 pm        FDC vs. Palm Springs Express           Diamond 3

HEAT 3 Pick – Players to Watch Out For:
Described this week by (CF) #16 – Martin Joiner

-  #11 – Mario Ramirez.:      He’s starting to hit ball pretty well so I believe we’ll see consistent                                           production from him.
-  #12 – Joe Herrera:           Joe’s got a lot to prove to get behind the plate.  I see him stepping                                          it up.
- #22 – Eddie Gonzalez:      In order to be a contender for play time, Eddie is going to have to                                          step it up.  That way we know he’ll be there for us in tight situations.


2007 USSSA – Ventura I
FDC Defense Clamps Down for Ventura Crown

June 24, 2007
Flor de Caña (FDC) Softball won its 2nd SCIFL Tournament of the 2007 Season over the June 23-24 weekend in Ventura, CA.  The SCIFL has hosted 5 tournaments in 2007, including 2 Amateur Softball Association (ASA) events, 2 North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) events, and 1 United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) event.  The Ventura Championship gives FDC victories in 2 of the 5 events, but FDC still trails rival So. Cal Hustlers, who have taken the other 3 tournaments.

The FDC offense demonstrated this weekend that production can come from a number of spots in the line-up.  When the top of the order is struggling, you can count on the bottom to pick up the slack.  The team maintained poise while chasing deficits, the pitching was solid, and FDC batters took turns being the lead horse.

   Saturday, June 23, 2007:

            1. FDC (8)     -  Beernuts (3)
            2. FDC (9)    -  Amigos II (5)
            3. FDC (3)    -  So. Cal Hustlers (5)   


    Notes from Saturday’s games: 

    Game 1: Beernuts

    -     Beernuts put early pressure on FDC with 2 runs in the top of the 1st inning.  FDC responded in the bottom half with a 3-run HR from #19 – David Carrillo that plated #3 – Martin Borgen and #28 – Ned Waters.
    -     #8 – Jeremy Rogers struck out an impressive 12 hitters in the game, including registering the first 7 outs of the game by way of strikeout, en route to a complete game Win.
    -     #32 – Mario Ramsey capped off an outstanding 3-4 day with a HR to right-center field.
    -     The top of the FDC order was on base all day.  Lead-off man #3 – Martin Borgen was on base 4-4 trips to the plate, including 3 singles and 1 BB.  Number 2 hitter #28 – Ned Waters went 2-3 on the day with 2 singles.

    Game 2: Amigos II

    -     FDC kept high offensive pressure on Amigos II scoring 3 runs in the 1st inning off of an infield error, 2 more runs in the 2nd inning off a big triple from #7 – Reyes Herrera, 3 runs in the 3rd inning highlighted by a #32 – Mario Ramsey HR, and the final run in the 4th off a #11 – Mario Ramirez ground ball. 
    -     Guest player Gilbert Joiner registered his first win as a member of FDC.  Joiner struck out 8 batters in the contest.
    -     Hot bats:
    #32 - Mario Ramsey: 2-3 (HR, 2R, 3RBI)
    # 7 -  Reyes Herrera: 2-3 (3B, R, 2RBI)
    # 9 -  Cecilio Smalling, Jr.: 2-3 (R, 2RBI)

    Game 3: So. Cal Hustlers

    -     The Hustlers jumped to a torrid start scoring 5 runs in the 1st inning, while FDC managed only 1 run on a wild pitch despite the fact that lead-off men #3 – Martin Borgen and #28 – Ned Waters made their way to 2nd and 3rd base for the meat of the FDC order.
    -     The Hustlers failed to plate another run in the game, but held on behind pitching from Jim Flanagan and excellent protection of home plate.  On 3 separate instances, aggressive FDC runners were thrown out at home plate.
    Sunday, May 20, 2007:

Semi-Final Game: FDC (6) – Amigos II (1)

FDC faced off against Amigos II at 8:00 AM on Sunday, June 24, 2007.  FDC put guest player Gilbert Joiner on the mound again hoping for repeat success against Amigos II.  Amigos II crafty veteran Harold Reutel was looking to avenge Saturday’s loss.

After trading scoreless innings, the FDC offense went to work plating 2 runs in the 2nd.  #32 – Mario Ramsey started with a single and was later driven in by #27 – Eric Smalling.  #7 – Reyes Herrera continued his productive weekend when he later drove in Smalling.

That would be all the cushion FDC would require as the tandem of Gilbert Joiner and #17 – Cecilio Smalling shut down the Amigos’ offense.  FDC added 4 more runs for good measure before the game was called due to time limit in the bottom of the 4th inning.

Championship Game: FDC (3) – So. Cal Hustlers (2)

No need to hype this game.  FDC looks forward to playing the Hustlers every weekend.  Like any good rivalry, the most bitter losses and sweetest victories are felt against each other. 

FDC Softball is the reigning 2006 ASA “C” Southern California Alliance Champion.  Meanwhile, the Hustlers, no doubt sour about last year’s 2nd place finish, have taken the SCIFL by storm and hold a big lead for the 2007 championship.  FDC must continue finding head-to-head match ups with the Hustlers if they’re to have a chance at retaining their crown. 

So. Cal Hustlers and FDC hit a collision course to the finals again.  No surprise as to who the pitchers would be.  FDC Ace #17 – Cecilio Smalling, Sr. faced off against the So. Cal Hustlers’ Papa Joe Salcido.  Salcido had been perfect in 2007 against FDC.  FDC looked to put an end to that string of success.

Hustlers’ Matt Shaw opened the show with a deep solo-HR in the bottom of the 1st inning putting FDC behind 1-0.  Smalling and Salcido, both veteran pitchers, carefully maneuvered their way through the other’s offense.

In the 4th inning, FDC struck back.  Lead-off hitter #3 – Martin Borgen singled to CF and #28 – Ned Waters, ever the epitome of a “team player” sacrificed himself to move the tying run into scoring position.  FDC cashed in when #19 – David Carrillo hit a hard line drive to left field that skipped past the Hustlers’ outfielder, who tried to make a diving play.  FDC moved ahead 2-1.

FDC applied more pressure in the 5th inning.  #27 – Eric Smalling made his way aboard with a hard single and speedy #15 – Larry Brent reached base on a bunt single.  The Hustlers received a fortunate turn of events when FDC fell victim to aggressive base running as Smalling was thrown out attempting to steal 3rd base.  #7 – Reyes Herrera came through yet again; however, as he plated Brent with a clutch RBI single making the score 3-1 FDC.

Hustlers’ veteran 2b Kenny Shaw started the 6th inning with a lead-off triple and promptly scored on a Dave Hess single.  FDC’s defense settled in behind #17 – Cecilio Smalling, Sr. and closed out the 6th inning before the Hustlers could do any more damage.

In the top of the 7th, Papa Joe Salcido retired the FDC side in order and the stage was set for a Hustlers’ comeback.  It looked bad for FDC when Doug Shaw led off the bottom of the 7th with a double down the RF line.  Hustlers’ Bobby Cole moved the runner to 3rd base with a ground ball.  FDC Coach Leo Lambert then brought Gilbert Joiner in relief with the Hustlers tying run on 3rd base.  Joiner struck-out the next batter and induced a fly ball to RF to secure the save and the Ventura I Championship.

FDC Softball wore the “Latin Heat” uniform for the final time on Sunday, June 24, 2007 in Ventura, CA.  It is a great homage to the tireless effort and work by team founder Cecilio Smalling, Sr. to retire the Heat uniform a champion.  FDC Softball will sport its new Flor de Caña uniforms and team name at the Santa Barbara tournament on July 7-8, 2007.  Log on soon for more FDC news!!! 


2007 USSSA – Ventura I (SCIFL):
FDC Softball in Ventura, CA


June 19, 2007
Flor de Caña (FDC) Softball, and the SCIFL for that matter, will play for the 1st time in sunny Ventura, CA on June 23-24, 2007.  The beautiful backdrop should make way for some exciting fast-pitch action.

FDC was to unveil its new Flor de Caña uniforms this weekend, but the SCIFL and its fans will have to wait a while longer to see the new threads.  A minor manufacturing mishap resulted in the team’s pants having to be remade.  With great anticipation, FDC hopes to don the new team name at a SCIFL tournament this July 2007.  In the meantime, FDC will wear their former Latin Heat uniforms.

FDC has the following schedule on Saturday, June 23, 2007:

 8:00 am       FDC  vs. Beernuts                Diamond 2
9:45 am        FDC vs. Amigos II               Diamond 1
1:15 pm        FDC vs. So. Cal Hustlers     Diamond 1

HEAT 3 Pick – Players to Watch Out For:
Chosen this week by (CF) #19 – David Carrillo

-  #9 – Cecil Smalling, Jr.:    He’s been improving with every tournament and his numbers have been productive.  Now that he’s making solid contact consistently, you’re going to start seeing some big numbers.
-  #28 – Ned Waters:            Ned is probably our hardest out when he’s locked in.  I’ve yet to see a pitch or pitcher he can’t find an answer for.  It’s only a matter of time before he’s the one starting all the commotion.
- #11 – Mario Ramirez:        Mario unloaded a blast in Tulare and was hands-down our best hitter.  He’s back to swinging with confidence and I see big production from him this weekend.


Flor de Caña (FDC) Softball:
A Partnership of the Finest Ingredients

June 07, 2007
Flor de Caña Rum, manufacturers of the highest quality rums, has partnered with the 2006 ASA “C” Southern California Champions, Latin Heat Softball.  Flor de Caña rums use only the finest natural ingredients slow-aged to perfection to create world-class products.  Defined by their same unwavering commitment to excellence, Latin Heat Softball proudly announces the change of our team name to Flor de Caña (FDC) Softball in honor of our primary sponsor.       

Flor de Caña and our players share proud, common roots in Latin America.  Since 1890, Flor de Caña has been produced by Compañia Licorera de Nicaragua in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua.  With perhaps the world’s finest rum, Flor de Caña confidently pursues significant share of the vibrant and global markets for premium aged rums.  FDC Softball, whose players’ Latin heritage includes the countries of Nicaragua, Cuba, Mexico, and Panama, is honored by Flor de Caña’s support and aims to promote Flor de Caña Rum brands in fastpitch softball venues.

Flor de Caña rum, especially the 7 Year Old Grand Reserve, has long been the team’s drink of choice.  It is our pleasure and privilege to serve as Flor de Caña ambassadors to Fastpitch Softball, domestically and with anticipation, internationally.  


2007 ASA – Tulare I
Memorial Challenge brings in the HEAT

May 27, 2007
LATIN HEAT traveled to Central, CA for the 2nd time in the 2007 season.  The tournament was to serve as an excellent opportunity to play against some new teams and prepare for the 2007 National Championship.

HEAT players were disappointed when their 1st game of the tournament was cancelled as opposing Bloodline was a last-minute no-show.  Tournament directors quickly reacted to restructure the brackets and ensure each team would compete in 3 games.

Saturday, May 26, 2007 proved to be an emotional roller coaster ride for the HEAT that included a tremendous comeback, a player ejection, and finally a hard-fought win to secure a spot in Sunday’s play-off round.

    Saturday, May 26, 2007:

            1. Latin Heat (7)     -  Bloodline (0) DQ
            2. Latin Heat (7)    -  PTR Knights (10)
            3. Latin Heat (2)   -  Savala Painting (1)


    Notes from Saturday’s games: 

      • Game 1: Bloodline (DQ)
      • Game 2: PTR Knights

      -     PTR Knights jumped to an early 5-0 lead.  LATIN HEAT plated 2 runs in the 3rd and had their rally stymied by a questionable call on a RF line drive that would have further closed the gap.  In a suspect moment, the 2nd Base Field Umpire ran to RF (making the call in place of the 1st Base Umpire responsible for RF) to make the outcall on a ball that most saw hit the ground.   
      -     In the 6th inning, the HEAT dug to deep to close the 3-run gap.  #10 Joe Herrera and #28 Ned Waters battled their way aboard to set the stage for a big inning.  The middle of the HEAT order didn’t disappoint.  #19 David Carrillo hit a deep 3-run HR to Left Center to knot the score at 5-5.  #11 Mario Ramirez followed up with a HR blast of his own to put the HEAT up 6-5.
      -     PTR Knights tied the game with a solo shot in the top half of the 7th inning leading to the International Tie-Breaker extra innings.
      -     The International Tie Breaker brought on more excitement as the HEAT converted a double play with bases loaded to kill the PTR threat. 
      -     In the home half of the 8th inning, #16 Martin Joiner darted for home plate attempting to steal home with 2-outs.  The move caught everybody, including the PTR pitcher, off-guard.  The surprise move resulted in a weak throw to the plate where Joiner beat the throw and the Catcher to the plate.  The HEAT dug-out emptied in excitement, but the Home Plate Umpire called Joiner out and later ejected him.  A series of demoralizing and controversial calls ultimately were too much as PTR Knights used the momentum to plate 3 in their next at-bat. 

      • Game 3: Savala Painting

      -     #8 Jeremy Rogers pitched a complete game gem, allowing only 1-run in the contest.
      -     Stellar HEAT defense was enough to pull out a close game despite a lax offensive performance.

Sunday, May 20, 2007:

        1. Quarter-Final: Latin Heat (7) – Silverhawks(11)


Sunday, May 27, 2007 had an ominous look when the HEAT drew the same umpiring crew responsible for so many dubious calls the previous day.  In addition, Central Cailfornia’s Silverhawks were 2-0 against the HEAT in 2007. 
While the hometown officials made room for some more dubious calls, the Silverhawks made it clear early that the umpires were the least of the HEAT’s worries. The Silverhawk lead-off man opened the game with a HR to Centerfield and Silverhawks’ offense shifted into high gear.  The HEAT found themselves in a 7-run hole before they even had an opportunity to swing a bat. 

LATIN HEAT continued clawing their way back into the game, but the Silverhawks offense continued to score enough runs to maintain a secure lead.  The Silverhawks improved their record to 3-0 vs the HEAT and sent them home early from Central, CA.

Log on soon for more HEAT news.  Rumor has it an exciting turn of events may soon lead to an IMPORTANT announcement for the future of the orgranization.  


2007 NAFA – Santa Fe Springs I
Hustlers best Heat in Final At-Bat

May 21, 2007
LATIN HEAT participated in Santa Fe Springs I (May 19-20, 2007) of the Southern California Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL).  As promised the HEAT offense put up some big numbers, but rival So. Cal Hustlers had solid final innings to give the HEAT their 2 losses of the weekend. 

The HEAT offense kept plugging away all weekend.  No opposing teams came away unscathed and even the 2 losses were hard fought.  When Southern California teams get their offense going, Sunday single-elimination play ultimately favors the team with the fewest mistakes.  The HEAT experienced both sides of that coin in Santa Fe Springs I. 

    Saturday, May 19, 2007:

            1. Latin Heat (7)     -  So. Cal Hustlers (10)
            2. Latin Heat (14)    -  So. Cal Rebels (8)
            3. Latin Heat (11)   -  Palm Springs Express (9)


      Notes from Saturday’s games: 

      • Game 1: So. Cal Hustlers

    -     In usual fashion, the rival teams took turns beating up on each other.  The HEAT offense pounded away to a 4-1 lead, then 7-2, but the Hustlers came back with some shots of their own plating 4 in the 5th and 7th respectively.
    -     HEAT Ace #17 Cecilio Smalling took a line drive off his shin in the 1st inning.  Despite immense swelling and pain, Smalling finished his outing and positioned the team with an opportunity to pull out the game.  Hustlers Pitcher Bobby Cole held on for the victory.

      • Game 2: So. Cal Rebels

      -     The Rebels plated a few runs early, but it was all HEAT after that.
      -     There were no single stand-outs as the entire HEAT offense put a punishing on Rebel pitching.
      -     #42 Sonny Draughan earned the 1st HEAT victory of the weekend.

      • Game 3: Palm Springs Express

      -     The 3rd game of the afternoon was another exciting affair as the Express proved they were also willing to test offensive strength with the HEAT.
      -     #17 Cecilio Smalling returned to the mound for the final game and earned his 1st victory of the day.
      -     The score changed hands back and forth a couple of times, but the HEAT ultimately made the final push ahead and stayed there to complete the day with a 2-1 record.


Quarter-Final Game: HEAT (14) Palm Springs Express (7)

The HEAT were back in action at 9:00 AM on Sunday, May 20, 2007.  They would be tested against the same Palm Springs Express, who just the day before had duked it out in a back-and-forth struggle. 

HEAT hitters had apparently eaten their Wheaties as the offense picked up where it left off the day before and unloaded some towering shots.  #3 Martin Borgen started the day with a HR in his 1st AB.  The rest of the offense followed with shot after shot en route to a 14 - 7 victory.  #17 C.Smalling earned his 2nd win of the tournament and the HEAT moved on to the Semi-Final game against rival So. Cal Hustlers.

Semi-Final Game: HEAT (6) So. Cal Hustlers (7)

No strangers to each other, the HEAT and the Hustlers have made it common practice to find each other at some point in the play-off tree seemingly every tournament.  To date the winner of this match-up has gone on to win the championship in all of the SCIFL tournament events in 2007.  The edge in 2007 so far has gone to the Hustlers, who had won 2 of the 3 tournaments.

Make way for yet another battle.  The Hustlers jumped ahead early plating 3 runs by the 3rd inning.  LATIN HEAT came back and tied the score with 2 outs in the 5th inning as the offense operated to its design with lead-off #3 Martin Borgen fighting his way on, #28 Ned Waters bunting him over, and #19 David Carrillo knocking in the tying run. 

The top of the 6th inning was more HEAT as #32 Mario Ramsey hit a 2-Run HR to put the HEAT up 5-3.  In the bottom of the 6th, Hustlers 1B Steve Proffit hit a blast to LF to put the Hustlers within 1 and PH Bobby Cole knotted the score at 5-5 with a timely hit later in the same inning.

Tied 5-5 in the 7th inning and HEAT nemesis Joe Salcido on the mound for the Hustlers, the HEAT plated a go-ahead run and were within 3-outs of taking the game.  The Hustler offense went back to work with small-ball and tied the game before Matt Shaw, who recently returned to the Hustlers after a long hiatus, secured the win with a sac-fly to LF.  With the final At-Bat, the Hustler offense left the HEAT on the field before moving on to win Santa Fe Springs I against Panteras II.

Sunday, May 20, 2007:

        1. Quarter-Final: Latin Heat (14) – Palm Springs Express (7)
        2. Semi-Final: Latin Heat (6)So. Cal Hustlers(7)


The HEAT play again in Tulare, CA for the Memorial Weekend Challenge on May 26 -27, 2007.  Memorial weekend should pit the HEAT against higher caliber pitching and give the team an opportunity to prepare for Nationals coming up in September.


2007 NAFA – Santa Fe Springs I (SCIFL):
The Heat Turning It Up on Local Park


March 21, 2007
Little Lake Park in Santa Fe Springs, CA will play host to the 4th tournament of the 2007 Southern California Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL).  LATIN HEAT will play on home turf and has a point to prove after their bats took a nap in Palm Springs II.  When HEAT bats get fired up, it spells a long day for opposing pitchers.  Needless to say, the team is more than a little eager to unleash the offense.

The HEAT record currently stands at cumulative 13W – 8L, but no one is happy despite a decent Win %, especially not when you look at the depth of talent on the team.  Southern California is represented by 6 Teams for Santa Fe Springs I:

Latin Heat (#2)
Amigos (#7)
Palm Springs Express (#4)
Panteras II/Demens (#3)
So. Cal Hustlers (#1)
So.Cal Rebels (#8)

*Note: Current SCIFL rank in parenthesis

LATIN HEAT (22 pts) are currently ranked 2nd in the SCIFL and trailing 1st place by 3 pts.  The 3rd and 4th place teams are 5 and 7 pts respectively behind the HEAT.  A telling sign is that the HEAT are within striking distance of 1st place and the team hasn’t played its best ball.  The HEAT look to make a run at the #1 spot this weekend in Santa Fe Springs.    

Saturday, May 19, 2007 will have the HEAT facing the following opponents:

 9:00 am       Latin Heat vs. So. Cal Hustlers
10:45 am      Latin Heat vs. So. Cal Rebels
4:00 pm     Latin Heat vs. Palm springs Express


Opponent Backgrounds:

So. Cal Hustlers:
Team Notes:  
The Hustlers and the HEAT have traded victories back and forth for 2 seasons.  New addition Papa Joe Salcido has been the highlight of the Hustlers pitching staff and to date has been the only answer for the HEAT offense, holding a 2-0 record in 2007 against them.    
Player(s) to Watch:   (P) Joe Salcido, (C) Dan Roth
2007 SCIFL Record vs HEAT:       2-2-0

So. Cal Rebels:
Team Notes:  
The Rebels are made up of experienced ball players known for having fun at the field.  Teams are cautioned not to look past them as they have enough tools to pull out any game.
Player(s) to Watch:
2007 SCIFL Record vs HEAT:       0-0-0

Palm Springs Express:
Team Notes:  
The Express have strong bats in the middle of the line-up and decent speed at the top.  Daryl Gore is the core of the unit.  This animated squad always plays the HEAT tough. 
Player(s) to Watch: Daryl Gore
2007 SCIFL Record vs HEAT:       0-1-0


HEAT 3 Pick – Players to Watch Out For:
Chosen this week by (C) Mario Ramirez

-  #27 – Eric Smalling:       After he got robbed of his HR against Palm Springs Express (perhaps the most questionable call of the year), the kid is coming back with a vengeance!
-  #7 – Reyes Herrera:       He’s just due.  Reyes has got a point to prove to the team and everybody else…if he’s there on time.
- #32 – Mario Ramsey:      The guy’s been due since last year.  When he decides he’s ready to play, he’s dynamic.  It’s boiling to the surface in Santa Fe Springs I.


2007 ASA – Palm Springs II
Heat Offense Struggles to Plate Runs in PSII

April 22, 2007
LATIN HEAT were back in tournament action in Palm Springs II (April 21-22, 2007) of the Southern California Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL).  After a strong start to the weekend, the HEAT offense faded and eventually a lack of run production resulted in an early tournament exit.

The HEAT offense was coming off of an explosive outing in Palm Springs I (March 24-25, 2007) where the team hit an impressive .446 batting average and plated 66 runs in 6 games.  Saturday, April 21, 2007 HEAT bats appeared to pick up right where they left off as the HEAT quickly put 2 wins under their belt against Panteras II and the hosting Palm Springs Express.  The bats eventually cooled on Saturday afternoon and did not reemerge in Sunday single-elimination play.

    Saturday, April 21, 2007:

            1. Latin Heat (9)     -  Panetras II (1)
            2. Latin Heat (7)    -  Palm Springs Express (5)
            3. Latin Heat (2)   -  Amigos II (5)


    Notes from Saturday’s games: 
    Game 1: Panteras II

    -     #42 Sonny Draughan earned his 1st victory of the season.
    -     LATIN HEAT scored 5 of the 1st 6 batters of the game.
    -     Hot bats:

    1. #27  - Eric Smalling 2-4 (3B, HR, 2R, RBI)
    2. #15  - Larrie Brent 2-3 (SB)
    3. #32  - Mario Ramsey 1-2 (3B, 2R, RBI)
    Game 2: Palm Springs Express

      -     # 8 Jeremy Rogers earned a hard fought victory against his former team.
      -     HEAT trailed 3-2 entering the top half of the 6th inning.  The HEAT plated 3 runs in the 6th only to have PS Express tie the score with 2 runs of their own.  LATIN HEAT eventually took the lead and the game on a 2-RBI single from #19 David Carrillo that knocked in #22 Eddie Gonzalez and #3 Martin Borgen in the final inning of play.
      -     Hot Bats:

      1. #3    - Martin Borgen 2-2 (2B, 2BB, 2R)
      2. #19  - David Carrillo 2-2 (2B, 2BB, SB, R, 2RBI)
      3. #9    - Cecil Smalling Jr. 2-3 (3B, HR, SB, 2R, RBI)
    Game 3: Amigos II

      -     A lackluster hitting performance saw the HEAT plating only 2 runs.
      -     Amigos II starting pitcher Harold Retuel took a comebacker off his hand in the 4th inning and left the game after doing an excellent job of holding back the HEAT offense. 

      Semi-Final Game: HEAT (5) So. Cal Hustlers (8)

    LATIN HEAT’s 2-1 Saturday record was sufficient to earn the #2 seed in the Sunday Single-Elimination Round.  This afforded the HEAT an opportunity to get a little extra rest and a BYE through the opening round of elimination. 

    Familiar opponent So. Cal Hustlers promptly dispensed with the Beernuts in Round 1 of play to become the HEAT’s semi-final opponent.  The HEAT tallied 1 run in the 1st inning off of some hard base running and clutch hitting.  #19 David Carrillo ripped a single to LF, stole 2nd Base, and advanced to 3rd Base on an errant throw from the Catcher.  The always dangerous Martin Joiner then lined a single to RF to put the HEAT up 1-0.  There were few other bright spots on the day; however, as Hustler starting pitcher “Papa” Joe Salcido settled in to pitch a great game.  Salcido carefully worked his way through the HEAT line-up, getting the important outs when he needed them and avoiding the “big” inning.  It seemed as though the HEAT were consistently an elusive hit away from generating momentum. 

    Behind excellent pitching and offense, So. Cal Hustlers got the best of the HEAT in an 8-5 contest.  So. Cal Hustlers later breezed by the Palm Springs Express (9-1) to take the championship.

        Sunday, April 22,, 2007:
      1. Semi-Final: Latin Heat (5) – So. Cal Hustlers (8)
      2. Championship: So. Cal Hustlers (9)Palm Springs Express (1)


    The HEAT will be back on the field in Santa Fe Springs, CA on the weekend of May 19-20, 2007.  Despite a lackluster offensive performance, the HEAT were still very much in the running for a tournament victory in Palm Springs II.  HEAT bats look to respond by putting a hurt on opposing pitching in Santa Fe Springs.  Log on soon for more HEAT news.


2007 ASA – Palm Springs I
Heat Bats on Fire in Palm Springs

March 25, 2007
LATIN HEAT returned to form in Palm Springs I of the Southern California Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL).  After a disappointing start to the season, the HEAT wanted to get back on track in the Palm Springs Tournament (March 24-25, 2007).

The mantra of the tournament was “Hit Early and Often!”  HEAT bats didn’t hesitate to attack opposing pitchers as the team sported a .446 batting average on the weekend, plating 66 runs in only 6 games.  The inspired HEAT had one of the best offensive tournaments in the history of the team.

    Saturday, March 24, 2007:

        1. Latin Heat (14)     -  So. Cal Hustlers (7)
        2. Latin Heat (10)    -  Extreme/BAC Knights (6)
        3. Latin Heat (13)   -  Beernuts (1)


    Notes from Saturday’s games: 

      1. Game 1: So. Cal Hustlers

    -     Cecilio Smalling earned the first win of the day against a strong Hustlers line-up that mounted a late charge.
    -     HEAT bats were firing on all cylinders as the team batted .473 (9-19) in the game.   

      1. Game 2: Extreme/BAC Knights

    -     The Extreme jumped to an early 5-0 lead, but winning pitcher Jeremy Rogers composed himself and proceeded to quiet the opposing offense for the remainder of the game en-route to the 2nd Heat victory of the day
    -     LATIN HEAT orchestrated a strong comeback in the bottom half of the 2nd to last inning. The HEAT offense exploded for 8 runs and never looked back.
    -     Despite being credited for the loss, Armando Smalling (former HEAT player) had a solid outing before being pulled in the comeback frame at a point when the game was tied 5-5.

      1. Game 3: Beernuts

    -     Jeremy Rogers earned his 2nd victory of the day.
    -     Hot bats included:

      1. #3    - Martin Borgen 3-4 (2R)
      2. #16  - Martin Joiner 2-2 (1R, 1RBI)
      3. #9    - Cecil Smalling Jr. 2-3 (3B, 2R, 2RBI)
      4. #27  - Eric Smalling 2-3 (1R, 3RBI)
      5. #28  - Ned Waters 2-4 (2R)
      6. #19  - David Carrillo 1-2 (HR, 1R, 1RBI)

Quarter-Final Game: HEAT (2) – Cedar Ridge (1)

LATIN HEAT’s 3-0 record allowed them to play the lowest seed of Pool B for the first game on Sunday, March 25, 2007.  It is an understatement to say the HEAT were surprised by the competition Cedar Ridge, hailing from the state of Utah, would throw their way.

Cedar Ridge tallied promptly in the 1st inning and the HEAT found themselves with their backs against the wall.  The Cedar Ridge pitcher opened the game with back-to-back strikeouts and proceeded to retire the HEAT order 1-2-3.  The HEAT came back in the 2nd inning led by Tri-Captain Martin Joiner who ripped a single and later put himself in scoring position by stealing 2nd base.  Young RF Eric Smalling hit a line-drive single to plate Joiner and scored himself on a Mario Ramsey single.

With the lead in hand, HEAT Ace Cecilio Smalling (5IP, 5K, 1ER) closed down the shop and held on to beat Cedar Ridge 2-1.    

Semi-Final Game: HEAT (17) – Panteras II/Demens (5)

A tight strike zone prompted heavy hitting by both teams.  The HEAT ultimately got the better of Panteras II in a game that was stopped after 4 innings. 

LATIN HEAT jumped out of the gates to an 11 run 1st inning and continued pounding away at the ball.  Panteras II are known for having a great hitting team and took some good hacks, but fortunately for the HEAT, their line-drives were hit right at fielders.  The win gave Cecilio Smalling his 3rd victory of the tournament.

Championship Game: HEAT (10) – So. Cal Hustlers (9)

The final game lived up to everything you would expect in a championship.  Beginning in 2006, LATIN HEAT and So. Cal Hustlers have developed an exciting rivalry.  The teams always battle each other hard and the game almost always comes down to the wire.  This game would be more of the same.

So. Cal Hustlers are currently in 1st Place in the 2007 SCIFL, while the HEAT are the defending 2006 Southern California ASA “C” Champions.  Needless to say, the stage was set for an exciting finish to Palm Springs I.

The Hustlers plated 3 runs in the home half of the 1st inning.  They seemed intent on revenge for the previous day’s loss at the hands of LATIN HEAT. 

The score was stuck at HEAT 0 – Hustlers 3 until the 4th when HEAT bats reignited.  The 4th started with a Mario Ramsey double and the hitting bug became contagious as the next 6 hitters safely reached base and eventually scored.    When the dust settled, the HEAT were well in the lead with a score of HEAT 8 – Hustlers 3.

The “safe” lead didn’t last very long as the Hustlers tacked on 2 runs in the bottom of the 4th and 3 runs in the 6th.  It all came down to the bottom half of the 7th and final inning with the HEAT holding on to a 2-run lead.  The scrappy Hustlers fought to cut the lead to 1 run and moved the tying run onto 2nd base.  HEAT great Cecilio Smalling, pitching on fumes in his 3rd game of the afternoon, reached deep into the tank to register the final out and claim his 4th Win of the tournament.

LATIN HEAT finished the weekend a perfect 6-0 and held off a hungry Hustlers team to win their 1st SCIFL Tournament of the 2007 season.

Sunday, March 25, 2007:

        1. Quarter Final:   Latin Heat (2) – Cedar Ridge(1)
        2. Semi-Final: Latin Heat (17) – Panteras II/Demens (5)
        3. Championship: Latin Heat (10) – So. Cal Hustlers (9)


The HEAT return to action for Palm Springs II on the weekend of April 21-22, 2007.  Log on soon for more HEAT news.


2007 ASA – Palm Springs I (SCIFL):
The official start of spring brings in the HEAT

 March 21, 2007
LATIN HEAT will be back on the field in Palm Springs, CA on March 24-25, 2007 participating in their 2nd ASA event of the year.  Teams have been split into 2 pools:

POOL A*                                                       POOL B*
Latin Heat (#4)                                           Panteras II/Demens (#2)
So. Cal Hustlers (#1)                                  Palm Springs Express (#5)
Extreme/BAC Knights (#5)                        Corona Rebels (Not Ranked)
Amigos (Not Ranked)                                  Cedar Ridge (Not Ranked)
Beernuts (Not Ranked)                                  

*Note: Current SCIFL rank in parenthesis

LATIN HEAT (5 pts) is currently ranked 4th in the Southern California Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL) after a slow start in their 1st tournament (Norwalk I).  The HEAT look to improve upon their opening tournament, where the team failed to perform to potential. 

Saturday, March 24, 2007 will have the HEAT facing the following opponents:

 10:45 am     Latin Heat vs. So. Cal Hustlers
12:30 pm      Latin Heat vs. Extreme/BAC Knights
4:00 pm     Latin Heat vs. Beernuts


Opponent Backgrounds:

So. Cal Hustlers:
Team Notes:  
The Hustlers mounted a late inning comeback to win the previous meeting against the HEAT.  Hustlers are known for their scrappiness and play well as a unit.  Papa Joe Salcido has solidified the pitching staff and Catcher Dan Roth is a solid bat in the middle of the lineup.  
Player(s) to Watch:   (P) Joe Salcido, (C) Dan Roth
2007 SCIFL Record vs HEAT:       1-0-0

Extreme/BAC Knights:
Team Notes:  
Extreme/BAC Knights have continually played tough in the new SCIFL.  Pitcher Francisco Cruz is currently ranked 3rd in the SCIFL in strike-outs (11). 
Player(s) to Watch:   (P) Francisco Cruz
2007 SCIFL Record vs HEAT:       0-2-0

Team Notes:  
Beernuts elected to sit out the 1st tournament of 2007, but this familiar opponent is back in full force to face the HEAT.  Beernuts always has big players that can send the ball a long ways.    
Player(s) to Watch:
2007 SCIFL Record vs HEAT:       0-0-0


HEAT 3 Pick – Players to Watch Out For:
Chosen this week by (P) Cecilio Smalling

-  #16 – Martin Joiner:       Martin’s back to extending his arms and he’s going to get the good part of the                bat on the ball.  Bombs away!
-  #7 –  Reyes Herrera:       Reyes had a great practice last Sunday (03/18/07) and an awesome game last               night (03/20/07) in Whittier Narrows League.
- #9 –  Cecil Smalling, Jr.:  Cecil is gaining quickness in his bat and he’s developing power.  He has               newfound confidence and he’s seeing the ball well.


2007 ASA – Billy’s Bash (Taft, CA):
HEAT get burned in California Tie-Breaker

March 05, 2007
If close games bring a team greater character, LATIN HEAT will walk away from Central California’s Taft Tournament with an abundance of it.  The HEAT forged into extra innings in 3 of 4 games they participated in.  Unfortunately, the HEAT came up on the losing end of all 3 Tie-Breakers. 

Team Founder Ceclio Smalling was quick to put the tournament in perspective saying, “This is the best thing that could have happened to us.  Now we know what we have to work on.  I don’t want to learn these lessons late in the season because then it’s too late!”  LATIN HEAT finished the tournament with 1W – 3L closing their first sub .500 tournament performance since 2005.

    Saturday, March 03, 2007:

            1. Latin Heat (3)  -   Res. Dawgs (5)
            2. Latin Heat (3)    -  Four City Bombers (5)
            3. Latin Heat (11)  -  Tucson Gilas (3)


Notes from Saturday’s games: 
Game 1: Res. Dawgs
-     Cecilio Smalling held the Res. Dawgs to 2 runs (0 earned) until the California Tie-Breaker.
-     David Carrillo (2-3: HR, 2 RBIs) tied the game in the bottom of the 5th with a 2-run HR to CF. 
Game 2: Four City Bombers
-     Jeremy Rogers pitched his best game as a member of the HEAT allowing only 2 earned runs (excluding        California Tie-Breaker) against a very solid-hitting Four City Bombers squad, which included a couple        bats from the old Taylor Farms squad.
-     HEAT bats struggled for most of the game mustering only 6 Hits in 9 innings of play: David Carrillo        (3-3: SB, 1 RBI); Martin Joiner (2-3: 2 RBIs); Jeremy Rogers (1-2: BB)
Game 3: Tucson Gilas
-     HEAT bats exploded for 11 Runs on 15 hits, resulting in 3 pitching changes before the game was        called on account of  “Mercy” rule in the 5th inning.
-     Hot Bats included: Ned Waters (3-3), David Carrillo (3-3), Mario Ramirez (2-2), Cecil Smalling Jr.        (2-3)


Quarter-Final Game: HEAT (9)Silverhawks (10)

LATIN HEAT drew the Billy’s Bash Tournament Host Silverhawks of Bakersfield, CA in Round 1 play on Sunday, March 04, 2007.  In usual fashion, extra innings would be needed to decide the winner of this perennial battle.  This is the 1st time; however, 12 innings would be needed to seal the outcome. 

The HEAT jumped all over Silverhawks pitching in the 1st frame posting 4-runs.  Martin Borgen (2-4: HR) led off the game with an inside the park HR.  Borgen was followed by hits from Ned Waters (1-3), David Carrillo (3-4) and Mario Ramirez (2-4), all of whom eventually scored, and Martin Joiner (1-4).  The Silverhawks responded in the home half of the 1st with a solo HR from their lead-off hitter to right-center.

The Silverhawks kept chipping away until they tied the game in the bottom half of the 7th inning.  The teams continually traded runs in the California Tie-Breaker, which started in the 8th inning.  Each team had multiple chances to win the game.  In 2 situations, the HEAT were within 1-out of winning the game, but a looping flare in the 9th  and a ground ball with eyes in the 10th gave Silverhawks new life.  Silverhawks rallied in the 12th to plate the go ahead run and put an end to the HEAT’s tournament life.  

Sunday, March 04, 2007:

Quarter Final:   Latin Heat (9) – Silverhawks(10)

The HEAT return to action in Palm Springs, CA the weekend of March 24-25, 2007.  Log on soon for more HEAT news.




6th Annual Billy’s Bash - 2007
Heat traveling to Central California

March 01, 2007
Anxious to get back on the field, LATIN HEAT will travel north to Franklin Field Complex (Taft, CA) on the weekend of March 03-04, 2007 to participate in the 6th Annual Billy’s Bash.  The tournament is hosted by Central California’s highest ranked team Silverhawks.

The Silverhawks made the trek to Southern California Fastpitch’s opening weekend (February 17-18, 2007) and iced the HEAT 7-6 in a hard fought battle.  LATIN HEAT had the tying run on 2nd base in the bottom half of the final inning, but Silverhawks held on. 

The HEAT now look to return the favor on the Silverhawks’ home turf.  That is not to suggest the teams harbor bad blood for one another.  As a matter of fact, the squads displayed a united front at the 2006 ASA National Tournament with each team rooting for and supporting their California brethren.

When captain-Billy Pilgrim and Silverhawk teammates extended the HEAT a personal invite to the 2007 Billy’s Bash, HEAT players were excited to support the Silverhawks’ program as well as have another chance to compete against them.  The HEAT aren’t the only ones traveling this weekend as the Tucson Gilas (Arizona) will also be making their way to Central California.  It should be a great opportunity for National Champion hopefuls to get an early look at their competition.           

HEAT Schedule:

          1. 10:45 AM     HEAT       vs.           Res. Dogs
          2. 12:30 PM     HEAT       vs.           4 City Bombers
          3. 04:00 PM     HEAT       vs.           Tucson Gilas

Weekend Notes:

  • Billy’s Bash is independent of the SCIFL and sanctioned under the Amateur Softball Association (ASA).  HEAT participation will count towards eligibility for the 2007 ASA National Championship in Kileen, TX.

  • HEAT 3 Pick – Players to watch out for:

    #16 – Martin Joiner:       The HEAT’s feared #4 hitter is due for a break-out weekend.  When his bat catches fire, he’s capable of
                                              carrying the team.  Joiner’s bat will set the tone for his teammates this weekend.
    #10 – Joe Herrera:          The young catcher was unexpectedly absent in the championship round of the last tournament.  Joe often
                                              plays his best when he has something to prove.  Expect the youngster to get back on track in Taft, CA.
    #8 – Jeremy Rogers:       With the debut jitters out of his system, Jeremy will be flying on auto-pilot this weekend.  His pitches have                                           enough natural movement that he only needs to focus on hitting spots and letting his defense do the work.
                                              The “Super 8” will be lights-out this weekend.   

  • Missing in Action – Possible Scratches:

#11 – Mario Ramirez:    Veteran catcher will miss Saturday games to attend Nursing School.  He will return to the HEAT
                                          line-up for Sunday single-elimination play.
#22 – Eddie Gonzalez:   In his sophomore fastpitch season, Eddie will miss his 2nd tourney of the 2007 season as he puts
                                          the finishing touches on his new home.  His return is scheduled for Palm Springs (March 25,
#6 – Mario Ramsey:        Work commitments suggest Mario will be late to join the team, but he reports he will be there for
                                          Saturday competition.
#12 – Larry Brent:          “The Crab”, as the HEAT’s newest member has come to be called, is a “maybe” for the weekend.  It
                                          remains to be seen if he will be scampering across the SS sand in Taft, CA.  Larry suffered a back
                                          injury in Norwalk (Feb. 17).  HEAT teammates eagerly await his return to the line-up.


2007 NAFA – Norwalk I (SCIFL):
Heat Suffer Uncharacteristic Lapse 

February 19, 2007
The opening tournament of 2007 shows LATIN HEAT still needs some work to return to their 2006 Championship form.  There were moments of brilliance on both offense and defense, but also costly mental lapses that ultimately did the HEAT in.  Norwalk I, held on February 17-18 at Holifield Park, was won by the So. Cal Hustlers, while LATIN HEAT finished the tournament with 3W – 2L.

    Saturday, February 17, 2007:

            1. Latin Heat (4)  -   Demens (0)
            2. Latin Heat (8)    -  Silverhakws (9)
            3. Latin Heat (6)  -  Black Knights (5)


Notes from Saturday’s games: 

    • Cecilio Smalling earned the first victory of the 2007 season with a masterful performance against the Demens en route to a shut-out.  Smalling finished the day with 2 victories.
    • A scary moment ensued when Black Knights lead-off man Craig Parent (former HEAT teammate) appeared to break his ankle on a 1st inning play at 3rd base.  Reports suggest the injury was a dislocation with fortunately no broken bones.  LATIN HEAT concerns and thoughts are with Craig as we wish him a speedy recovery and return to the field.
    • The HEAT lived up to their “never-say-die” reputation plating 2-runs off of a Martin Borgen walk, a David Carrillo triple, and a Martin Joiner single in the bottom half of the second to last inning to secure a comeback win against the Black Knights of Los Angeles, CA. 
    • Martin Borgen and David Carrillo each had 1 HR on the day.
    • Newcomer Larry Brent showed off his glove making several fantastic plays at SS.  Brent suffered back spasms after game 2 and concluded his weekend as a precautionary measure.

LATIN HEAT entered Sunday, February 18, 2007 single-elimination play-offs a respectable 2-1.  The single loss; however, meant that the HEAT would be facing the Black Knights for a 2nd time.  There would be no easy victories this weekend

Quarter-Final Game: HEAT (6) – Black Knights (4)

The Black Knights jumped to an early lead as their offense pounced on HEAT pitching.  At one point, the HEAT surrendered back-to-back home runs and the Black Knights appeared well on their way to redeeming the previous day’s loss.  It seemed as though much of the fortune was heading the Knights’ direction as hard HEAT shots were finding fielders. 

The HEAT eventually settled in and the balls started finding gaps in the Knights’ defense.  The exclamation point came off the bat of RF Eric Smalling who blasted a solo HR to deep left-center field.  For the second straight day, the HEAT mounted a comeback win to beat the Knights 6-4.  Cecilio Smalling earned his 3rd victory of the year.

Semi-Final Game: HEAT (5)Hustlers (7)

Shaky defense and poor base-running resulted in the HEAT dropping what looked to be a sure win.  The So. Cal Hustlers blew right threw the open door the HEAT left them and forged ahead to become Norwalk I champions.

The HEAT held a 5-0 lead through 3 innings when over-confidence set in.  HEAT runners became overly aggressive on the bases.  On 3 separate occasions, HEAT base-runners were gunned down with 2 outs and already in scoring position, twice with a lead runner ahead of them.  The mistakes would prove to be costly against a good Hustlers team that doesn’t need many slip-ups to make you pay. 

The Hustlers remained patient scoring 1-run in the 4th inning and with the benefit of a timely 5th inning hit plated 3 more to cut the lead to 1-run.  In the top half of the 6th and final inning, 3 HEAT errors (an errant throw and 2 dropped balls) led to the Hustlers scoring 3 more runs.  The combination of poor base-running and fielding gave away the lead and placed all the momentum in the Hustlers dug-out.  The HEAT had one last opportunity in the bottom half of the final frame as Ned Waters, in usual fashion, battled his way aboard.  The game easily could have been tied (if not won) with a couple of blasts from HEAT hitters, but the lack of fences allowed Hustlers outfielders to play deep enough to turn them into nothing but long outs.   

Much of the Hustlers’ credit goes to “Papa” Joe Salcido, formerly of Level One (Raymar), who entered the game in 3rd inning relief and gave an excellent performance.  By keeping the HEAT bats in check, Salcido brought stability to the Hustlers mound and allowed for a big comeback.  The HEAT take Yogi Berra’s lesson that the game “ain’t over till it’s over” and a team, especially one of the Hustlers caliber, can make you pay if you let them hang around long enough.  Better to learn this lesson early in the season. 

Sunday, February 18, 2007:

        1. Quarter Final:   Latin Heat (6) – Black Knights(4)
        2. Semi-Final:      Latin Heat (5)  -  So. Cal Hustlers(7)
        3. Championship: Demens (10)   -  So. Cal Hustlers (11)

The HEAT will be in action again on the weekend of March 24-25, 2007 in Palm Springs, CA.  Log on soon for more HEAT news.


February 14, 2007

2007 SCIFL Season Opener - Norwalk, CA (Holyfield Park)
Weather Report: Heat will be Fierce in Norwalk, CA

The Southern California Independent Fast-pitch League (SCIFL) will host its 1st tournament as a recognized organization on February 17-18, 2007 at Holyfield Park in Norwalk, CA.  LATIN HEAT enter the 2007 season as defending Champions of the Southern California region for ASA “C”/ NAFA “A Minor” Divisions.  The HEAT aim to defend their 2006 crown and use the regular season to improve upon their 2006 13th place National Finish.

Norwalk I of the SCIFL tournament series promises to open the year with some tough competition.  LATIN HEAT aren’t the only team to improve upon their 2006 rosters and some new foes have emerged.  Below is a list of teams challenging the HEAT in the first weekend of the season:



So. Cal Hustlers
(Anaheim, CA)

So. Cal Hustlers finished 2nd Place in 2006 for the Southern California ASA Alliance Tournament Series, directly behind the HEAT.  The Hustlers went on to place a strong 17th at the ASA National Tournament.  The HEAT and Hustlers always
have hard-fought, exciting games. 

Palm Springs Express
(Palm Springs, CA)

The Express finished 3rd Place in 2006 for the Southern California ASA Alliance Tournament Series.  Led by Daryl Gore, this squad is known for a potent offense and solid pitching.  New HEAT acquisition Jeremy Rogers played with the Express organization in 2006.

(Bakersfield, CA)

The Silverhawks are a well-known opponent from Central California.  Silverhawks finished 25th at the 2006 ASA National Tournament and always field a smart, scrappy team.


Demons are a new team to the Southern California region and it remains to be seen what impact this new squad will have.  The Demons Open-Tournament Team competed in Beaumont, CA against the HEAT and displayed impressive talent.

Black Nights

The Black Knights are managed by former HEAT player, Lenny Molina.  Molina is joined by other former HEAT players Craig Parent, Claudio Basto, and Charlie Stephens.  In 2007, these friends look to challenge for the 2006 Championship Title they helped procure.  

The HEAT will take the field at the following times:

          1. 8:00 AM    HEAT    vs.    Demons           (Diamond 1)
          2. 9:45 AM    HEAT    vs.    Silverhawks      (Diamond 1)
          3. 3:00 PM    HEAT    vs.    Black Knights    (Diamond 1)

2007 LATIN HEAT are anxious to take the field and look to build on the successes of last season.  Join the HEAT at the field for the 1st step of the journey to the 2007 Nationals. 



January 13, 2007
2006 Team Party at Henry’s (Garden Grove, CA)

LATIN HEAT celebrated their 2006 Season Party at Henry’s Restaurant in Garden Grove, CA.
The festivities included 2006 Team Awards, the 2006 Season DVD (contact webmaster Steve Reid for details),
and plenty of Henry’s renown appetizers and drinks.
The night afforded an excellent bonding experience and generated new excitement for the coming 2007 season.

As Voted by the Team 

  1. Most Improved: #10 – Joseph Herrera
  2. Gold Glove: #9 – Martin Borgen
  3. Silver Slugger: #19 – David Carrillo
  4. Unsung Hero: WebmasterSteve Reid
  5. Most Valuable Player (MVP): #17 – Cecilio Smalling


A special tribute was given with the most meaningful award of the night.
LATIN HEAT will herein annually present a leadership award named after its first recipient, HEAT Founder Cecilio Smalling.

Cecilio Smalling Leadership Award:


“Presented yearly to the player who contributes selflessly to the team on and off the field and exhibits a general love of the game.”

The LATIN HEAT team is proud to give tribute to Cecilio Smalling.  Over the years, Cecilio has often dug into his own pockets to make sure there was enough funding to put the team in competitive tournaments.  His leadership and dedication to teammates make his “team first” philosophy contagious.  Each year LATIN HEAT has improved and grown into what is now a family.  This award will now be given annually to a recipient who exhibits Smalling’s leadership. 

The evening’s events were capped off with a stunning DVD commemoration of the 2006 season by LATIN HEAT’s webmaster Steve Reid.  The DVD includes hundreds of action photos from many 2006 tournaments as well as impressive videos capturing memorable moments from the ASA National Tournament.

LATIN HEAT would like to extend our gratitude to family members and friends in attendance.  None of this is possible without your continued support of our team.  The HEAT also give special thanks to Mike and Reesy Ferguson, owners of Henry’s in Garden Grove.  Thank you for making the night so special for our team.  It’s no wonder Henry’s is the “Home Bar” of the HEAT.



January 07, 2007
2006 Toys 4 Tots Tournament:
Heat finish 4th

On January 07, 2007, Toys 4 Tots Tournament action picked up again and LATIN HEAT finished in a disappointing 4th place.  Originally scheduled for December 16, 2006, the tournament was discontinued during previous play due to foul weather that included high winds and cold rain.   

Part 1: December 16, 2006

The HEAT were able to play only their first game of the day against Pala Casino.  Sonny “Grey Eagle” Draughan took the circle against a young Pala team.  Draughan has been most effective in the past using his off-speed pitches and crafty pitch selection to keep opposing hitters off balance.  The approach normally works, especially against teams that are accustomed to high velocity, over powering pitches associated with fast-pitch softball.

A good hitting Pala team brought their best stuff and got the better of the Grey one with several well placed bunts and well timed power shots.  There were few bright spots for the HEAT as the combination of Pala, wind, and rain iced the HEAT.

Part 2: January 07, 2007

The HEAT returned to Beaumont, CA to improve on their previous outing and defend their 2005 Toys 4 Tots crown.  The weather threatened to again put a hamper on the tournament, but fortunately rain stayed out of the equation.  The wind; however, was another story as it showed up with even greater fury and strength than the previous weekend. 

The wind turned even the most routine fly balls into circus plays.  Crushed balls were swallowed up and dropped gently at the edge of the infield grass.  The extreme conditions made it clear that games would be determined by small ball and creative defense.  The HEAT ultimately came up slightly short in a losing effort against Randy Clay and the Demons.

    • Latin Heat (12)  -   40 Ounce (4)
    • Latin Heat (12)  -   Beer-Nuts (5)
    • Latin Heat (2)   -   Demons (3)


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