Sunday, July 27, 2014 - 10:39pm Woodbridge forces showdown for Del. Little League title By Sean Greene
VIDEO: Highlights and Reaction to Woodbridge's victory
Woodbridge's Ricky Kane recorded 10 strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings of work as the hosts defeated Newark National 7-2 to force a decisive final game of the Delaware Little League Tournament.
Woodbridge lost 13-4 to Newark on Friday, but got off to a confident started as Kane struck out 3 of the first 4 batters he faced, only allowing a 1-out walk in the first two innings.
His offense then gave him all the supposed he would need in the 2nd, as eight batters came to the plate. Brock Keeler led off the inning with a single, and after a strikeout and Vance Joseph reaching on an error, and then another strikeout, the bottom of the order was due up.
Eight-hitter Tyler Heder showed what he could do by slicing a double under the grove of a defender all the way to the wall for a 2-run double. Nine-hitter Joey Marquez then singled to left to make it 3-0.
The lineup turned, and so did Gabe Wescott as he crushed a pitch out to left, to make it 5-0 Woodbridge.
Keeler would add two more by slamming a homer almost to the exact same place as Wescott's, and Woodbridge's damage was complete.
Newark National's Will Dubecq brought home two runs with a 4th inning single, but that would be the only runs, and only hit off of Kane on the evening.
The teams will meet at Woodbridge Monday night in a winner-take-all battle. The victor will go to next weekend's Mid-Atlantic Regional in Bristol, Conn. Newark National won that regional last year to earn Delaware's 2nd-ever trip to the Little League World Series.
Sunday, July 27, 2014 - 7:18pm Howard leads Phillies over Diamondbacks 4-2 By Aaron Bracy/Associated Press
Ryan Howard homered in his second game since a three-game benching and scored the go-ahead run on an overturned call at the plate in the Philadelphia Phillies' 4-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.
With the score 2-2 in the sixth, Howard walked with two outs against Vidal Nuno (0-2). Marlon Byrd popped up to short right field, where second baseman Didi Gregorius backpedaled slowly, settled under the ball and allowed it to kick off his glove and bounce toward center.
Ender Inciarte picked up the ball and threw to the plate, where Montero was blocking Howard's path, grabbed the throw on the fly and tagged the runner as Howard tried to get around him on the infield side.
Umpire Dale Scott signaled out, but after a review of 2 minutes, 55 seconds, Howard was ruled safe because Montero blocked the plate before he grabbed the throw.
Monday, July 28, 2014 - 11:46am Former Phillie hopes Lancaster is gateway back to MLB By Burt Wilson, LancasterOnline.com
(Photo by Marty Heisey)
Ben Francisco feels he can still play in the major leagues.
The last time Francisco played in the bigs, he went 0 for 4 playing for the New York Yankees in a game against Toronto last season. He doesn't want it to end that way.
So he's playing for the Lancaster Barnstormers to show the scouts he is just as good as he was when he debuted with Cleveland in 2007, just as good as when he made three straight trips to the playoffs with the Phillies, including a World Series appearance in 2009.
"I think I can still play," he said. "And (Lancaster) is a good place to play. (There are) a lot of ex-big leaguers, and we're all here for the same reason, trying to get back to affiliated ball. Every night it's good competition."
"He's an experienced guy," â€™Stormers skipper Butch Hobson said of Francisco, a quiet guy who lets his bat and skills do the talking. "He gives you a good effort every day, and Ben can be a big bat in our lineup."
Friday's game against the Bridgeport Bluefish showcased his talents. Francisco was 4 for 5 with four RBIs in the game, including his walk-off single in the 11th inning. He displayed his power with two doubles and gave a glimpse of his speed with a steal of third.
"It's good to see him steal third," hitting coach Stan Cliburn said of Francisco, now 32. "That tells us his legs are still good. There's nothing he can't do. And with the work he puts in every day in the (batting) cage, the extra batting practice â€¦ he's a big asset for this club."
Following three seasons at UCLA, the California native started his pro career after being selected by Cleveland in the fifth round of the 2002 draft.
In 2007, he was in a hotel in Pawtucket playing for Buffalo (then the Indiansâ€™ Triple-A team) when he was summoned to his manager's room and told he was being called up to Cleveland.
"It was a pretty special day," Francisco said. "I got to realize a dream. I called my dad, and he made it out (for my debut)."
His first appearance was as a defensive replacement on May 1 of that year. After striking out a couple of times as a pinch-hitter in latter games, he made the most of his first start.
He singled off Tampa Bay's Edwin Jackson for his first major league hit. Then he led off the bottom of the ninth with a home run against Shawn Camp to give Cleveland a 2-1 win. "First hit and a walk-off home run in the same game, that was a pretty good start," he said.
In 2009, he was traded along with Cliff Lee to the Phillies. "We had a great team," Francisco said. "I played with some Hall of Famers. We had a good run there in the playoffs, three straight years. Got to play in the World Series. It was a pretty special time in my career."
He spent the 2011 season with three different clubs (Toronto, Houston and Tampa Bay). "It was hectic, always packing," he said. "I felt like I was living out of a suitcase all year.
â€śBut I got to experience three different organizations, see how they do things. It's just part of the business."
After his stint with the Yankees last season, he finished the season with Tucson, San Diego's Triple-A team. He was not playing this season until he joined the Barnstormers on June 9.
"It's a good atmosphere here," he said. "We've got a good team, and hopefully we can get to the playoffs in the second half."
"He can help us get to the playoffs," Hobson said. "But he might not be here when they start. He's a guy who can still play. He's a guy who can get signed (by an affiliated team)."
Until then, the Barnstormers will appreciate and benefit from his talents.
If you're looking for sports coverage, WDEL.com keeps you on top of
all the local sports action. WDEL broadcasts the following sports
Philadelphia Phillies Baseball*
Philadelphia Eagles Football*
NFL Sunday Night & Monday Night Football*
Select local High School Football & Basketball games
Select NCAA Basketball action
UD Blue Hen Football & Basketball Updates
* Although we broadcast Phillies Baseball and NFL
Football on 1150AM WDEL, we are not permitted to do so on WDEL.com or
High School Sports, Wesley College Football and University of Delaware
updates are broadcast on WDEL.com and 93.7 HD-3.
It's the most popular game in the world! Keep up with the latest matches and scores.