Mission accomplished for two local summer college baseball teams.
On July 25, the Ohio Monarchs Blue and Gold teams were picked to represent the Toledo Amateur Baseball Federation at the National Amateur Baseball Federation (NABF) College World Series in Toledo August 7-10.
“One of our goals at the beginning of the year was to make the post season (NABF CWS),” said Monarchs General Manager Steve Timofeev. “It was not important which team finished first or second, but to make post season. I am proud of both our teams for achieving this goal.
“Another goal was to give our players a great opportunity to play competitive summer baseball. Our players are the one and only reason we established the teams.”
Presently, Monarchs Gold is 17-3 in the Toledo league and Monarchs Blue is 14-6, which Timofeev says shows the strength of both of these teams.
The Monarchs Blue has beaten the Gold two out of times when they have played each other, even though the Gold has the better record.
The Monarchs organization includes the two Ohio teams, the Michigan Monarchs of the Livonia Collegiate League, and the Lake Erie Monarchs of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League. The Michigan team has also qualified for the NABF CWS, making Monarchs’ teams three of 16 participating this weekend, and the Lake Erie Monarchs on the bubble of reaching the GLSCL playoffs, says Lake Erie GM Jim DeSana.
In all, Timofeev notes that the four teams have given over 100 collegiate baseball players, most of them local to their home playing sites, a chance to participate in wood bat summer ball.
At the NABF CWS, the Monarchs Gold team was awarded the position of being the host team, but coaches say both teams have played hard all summer and have certainly earned this opportunity to represent our area and play against the best summer college summer teams from around the country.
The Monarchs Blue team has played in a total of 36 games with four left to go heading into the weekend and have a record of 24-12.
“The core of this team has played summer baseball during their high school years and to bring this talent back together is a thrill,” said Timofeev.
“At one point or another, I was involved at some level of these players’ baseball careers and to bring the high quality of talent of Northwest Ohio on one field is a great accomplishment for our organization and our coaches and I commend them for their accomplishments,” Timofeev added.
Standouts include Alex Timofeev (Clay/Defiance), who according to his GM father “started the season slow with an injury and now he has earned the number two spot in the lineup. Alex’s average is higher than his older brother (Brad Timofeev).”
Brother Brad Timofeev (Clay/Defiance) leads the team in total runs scored. Also, Phil Reed (Perrysburg/Evangel) leads the team in RBI, total hits, and walks.
Charlie Wooten (Woodmore/Bowling Green) leads the pitching staff with the lowest ERA followed by Brad Timofeev and Shane Pfouts (Lake/Urbana). Pfouts has also won the most games with five, and three others on the team have won four.
Earlier in the season, Cody McPherson (Lake/Bluffton) said chances were good the Monarchs would make it to the World Series.
“Well we have high expectations for this year because we won the CABA World Series last year; therefore I expect nothing but another championship,” McPherson said.
The Monarchs Gold have played 41 games with a 30-11 record and three remain in their regular season headed into the weekend. Some of the leaders are Cory Hornyak (Genoa/Youngstown State) with the most home runs, and Brett Howard (St. Francis DeSales/Bluffton) has the most RBI. Casey Winckowski (Clay/Owens) and Brian Bilius (St. John’s Jesuit/Adrian) have each collected the most hits by anybody on the team.
Kevin Dunn (Genoa/Owens) leads the team in Earned Run Average and total wins with five. Tim Henneman (Bowsher/Defiance) also has five wins on the season. Ben Kauder (St. John’s/Oberlin) has pitched in the most games this season and has recorded three wins, one loss and one save.
The Blue team will be playing in Pool D and will have their first game at 9 a.m. at the University of Toledo’s Scott Park on Thursday, August 7 against the Lower Buck Indians of the Harry Startzell League in Philadelphia. The Indians are defending runner-ups, having lost to the Long Island Astros in the 2008 CWS.
The Gold team will be playing in Pool A at 9 a.m. also on Thursday, only at Ned Skeldon Stadium against the Kersey Diamonds from the Continental Collegiate League, Pennsylvania.
The final game of the regular season for both of these teams is against each other at 1 p.m. at Bowman field on Sunday, August 3. Timofeev hopes it will be a good test as both teams prepare.