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2009 Manila - Turkeys

A different Pangaea format this year in Manila saw the Turkeys placed amongst the top 8 teams in the tournament to fight for a place in the Super Division or A Division finals.  Turkeys bracket included local powerhouse Cebuana Lhuillier, Taiwan team Heat, and Los Guzzleros – a tough Asia-Pac military team.

 

Turkeys started play FRI morning against Los Guzzleros.  Turks jumped out to a big lead with aggressive hitting and base running throughout the lineup as LG struggled defensively.  Big bats Foley, Chad Boyd, and Bangkok league MVP Rob Gould led the charge.  LG bats woke up as heavy wind forced high arc pitcher Ronen Mense to lower the ceiling to find the plate.  After a 10 run inning the game drew close again.  Down by 2 with bases loaded and 2 outs, time expired providing LG a sudden opportunity to win the game with a hit.  LG, however, found themselves going the wrong Wayne on a 1 Wayne highway as Wayne Lau got the big game ending out to drop the final nail in the coffin. 

 

Game 2 FRI afternoon saw the Turkeys for the first time ever face Philippines national squad Cebuana.  Game started with high arc pitching Turks simply could not find an answer too.  Cebuana quickly opened up a double digit lead before changing pitchers to show the shocked Turks what a real rain maker looked like.  Pitch heights topping 30 feet rumored to have made 1 Turkey excuse himself from the lineup in fear as it became clear Cebuana was just toying with their dirty bird foes.  The Turkeys ended day 1 on the losing side of a blowout.

 

Saturday started with a make or break game against the Heat from Taiwan.  Due to the setup of the tournament, a win would put the Turks in the Super Division Final 4 whereas a loss would secure a position in the A division Final 4.  Turkeys started all out in a close fought game with bombs by Dukie, Vinnie Z., and Mikosh, however, could not edge the Heat this time succumbing by only 6 runs.  A tough battle but not to be had.  This would be the one game the Turks would want back. 

 

The crossover game Saturday afternoon matched the Group B 3rd place Turks against Group A 2nd place Fattboyz/Guzzlers.  The game would have no impact on Sunday so with all pressure off the Turks sat back and soaked in one of the most enjoyable games of the weekend.  Turks distributed playtime and matched up well against a FBGZ team who hadn’t been told yet they aren’t quite what they used to be.  Missed opportunities allowed FBGZ to take a lead they would not relinquish.  Showing a tremendous amount of depth and character, the Turks still fought back to make it a game late before dropping the final round robin game by 10 or so runs.  Big D by SS Sean Boyd and offensive leaders Chris Unertl and Mike Elko shared game balls with 3 hits a pc.

 

Sunday started the same way the year previous had set up with the Turkeys in one semi-final and GHG in the other with a chance to face each other in an all-HK A finals.  Turks would face a smaller, defense-oriented Pera Pedala team that would prove no match.  Turkey bats exploded putting the team into the finals for a second year in a row beating down the 2nd tier local squad 19-3.  Loo fired moon balls as he does every Sunday in Manila and a stingy defense saw big plays by Rob Gould and Manila Tourney Hall of Famer Mike McIntyre.  Big bombs from Vince Zaleski highlighted an offensive merry-go-round that would give the Turks a well earned ticket into the finals. 

 

To repeat as champs, the Turkeys would need to go through Los Guzzleros yet again, a determined team now firmly establishing themselves in International tourney ball as the Turks favorite play toy.  The championship game started tight with run scoring giving way to defense as the Turkeys played to a 1-0, then 2-0, then 4-1, then 5-1 lead through 4.  LG gave the Turks a wake up call in the top of the 5th with a rally that would shift the lead momentarily.  Hits was the huddle call as the Gobblers would answer back with 6 and then 7 runs in the bottom of the 5th and 6th innings to close the deal.  Final out recorded by Sunday defensive start Steve Mossing to give the Turkeys their second A title in as many years, with 4 A finals and 3 A titles out of their last 6 Manila appearances.  This Sunday in Manila proved to be another Sunday of memorable performances.  HUGE bombs by Vinnie Z. (multiple), longest line drive of the tournament by Andy Hasbun who proved once again on Sundays he elevates his play to the highest of levels at will, and Rob Gould aka Mighty Mouse, led the way.  Professional hitting by Eddie Winkle, Mac, Loo, Flash, Mossing, Mikosh, among others.  The depth of this years Turkey squad was daunting, the chemistry – years in the making - a study of what it means to have true heart.  Each and every player had a part in lifting the hardware all weekend long.  Well deserved personal awards went to Mark Looram as Best Pitcher and Vince Zaleski as both MVP and Home Run King (by a whole bunch).  Your HK Turkeys are Pangaea Cup Repeat Champs.

 

 

2008 Manila - Turkeys

Turks Take Manila!

The good lord knows that birds fly south for the winter!!  This year our birds flew south and took home some hardware with them!  After a slow start to the 15th anual Pangea Cup the Turkey's are your 2008 champions!

The tournament started auspicously as the Birds lost a low scoring affair to Meralco in the first game.  In the next game they were tested by their upstart breathren the Razorbacks.  In what was a highly emotional game the Turks were able to eek out a one run victory in a game they very well could have lost.  Chad Boyd single handedly carried the Turks on his back coming up with huge plays with both his bat and glove.  Under appreciated but always clutch Eric Turner had a two out game winning hit to seal it.  They ended Friday 1-1.

Saturday was a whole new day as the Turks romped in their first first game over the Tokyo Premier Ghost Rider's.  Purple Wayne and Hasbun had huge games defensively and Saturday reinforcment Cave Mann went 4-4.  In the next game the Turks needed to beat the Gorilas to ensure they would make it to the winner's bracket.  They jumped out early on the bat of Joe Duke and turned the game over to Loo who shut the Gorilas down the rest of the way.  The stage was set for Sunday as both the Turks and Gas House were in the semi's.  The boys were dreaming of an all Hong Kong final!

The Turks drew the early game where they met up with a red hot Guzzlero's team.  They jumped out to an early 8-0 lead but quickly gave the 8 runs right back.  Tied 8-8 in the 5th the Turkey's put their webbed feet down and stomped on the meatheads from Korea!!  Dirty Ford hit a key three run bomb and again Chad Boyd continued his hit brigade.  Mac and Loo were also huge and suddenly the Turkey's were in full flight!  Unfortunately the Gas House didn't keep up their end of the All-HK final and now the Turks would have to pick their brothers up by knocking off the team that eliminated them in the semi's- Meralco and their 75 year old moon ball pitcher!

I'd love to build a little drama and tell you how the Turks pulled out a nail biter to win the championship but unfortunately that didn't happen.  Rather they came out and absolutley dominated those bastards from Manila in an 11-1 rout!!  Four double plays were turned by Hasbun, Dirty and Mac and Loo only faced 22 batters as he completely shut down the Meralco line up!  Chad Boyd continued his ownership of the Pangea Cup and Mac went 4-4.  And that was it, Hong Kong was bringing home the hardware!!!

Loo took home Pitcher of the Tourney and Mac was MVP.  It needs to be pointed out that both Mac and Chad had ENORMOUS tourney's and it was almost impossible to pick out the MVP.  In a gesture to what a teammate he is Chad agreed that the award should go to Mac.

Congratulations Dirty Birds you are the 2008 Pagea Cup CHAMPIONS!!