North Texas Amateur Baseball League, 18+ Open Division (Spring season)
Denton Mean Bears 4, Dallas Panthers 3 (Game two of series sweep)
Submitted by Matthew Ondak, Mean Bear manager
The Denton Mean Bears are a newly formed North Texas Amateur Baseball League team assembled from two previous teams, the North Dallas Bears and the Denton Mean Green. The Denton Mean Bears had a rough start of 0-2 at the beginning of the spring season, as they were still finding their footing and team composition. The Mean Bears drove home one of their first victories against the Andrews Co. Tigers, thus starting their 9-game winning streak. In the middle of the season, the Mean Bears were posting a team batting average of .375, an OBP of .466, and an OPS of .965 with 30 stolen bases. The pitching staff had a 3.141 ERA with a 1.500 WHIP with 77 strikeouts while facing 365 batters.
The streak was stopped by the Dallas Panthers but the Mean Bears wasted no time and immediately regrouped for an 8-game win streak to end the regular season with a record of 17-3 and clinching the #1 spot for the playoffs. The Denton Mean Bears finished the regular season with a team batting average of .380, an OBP of .473, and an OPS of .985 with 43 stolen bases. The pitching staff had a 3.858 ERA with a 1.701 WHIP with 118 K’s while facing 616 batters.
After playing in a competitive game against the Dark Horse, the Denton Mean Bears were facing the Dallas Panthers for the Spring 2022 Championship series.
Championship Game one…
The first game was a test of endurance, tenacity, and character. The game went 13 innings on a Tuesday night at Graham Field, ending at around 12:30 am. Mike Yetter led the Mean Bears to a 9-8 victory by scoring Jared Delger on a hard ground ball to the first baseman, who made a throwing error to home. The Dallas Panthers had a collective 15 hits to the Mean Bears 14 hits. The Denton Mean Bears broke open a 1-run lead in the second, but the Panthers answered back with two more, commanding the lead in the third. In the fourth, the Mean Bears took back the lead with a run. The Panthers bats awoke in the seventh, gaining three runs and a 2-run lead over the Mean Bears.
The Mean Bears tied it up in the eighth inning, however, shortly after the Panthers gained the 1-run lead in the ninth. The Mean Bears extended the game by answering with one run of their own. In the 11th inning, the Panthers scored first in extra innings on a home run by Tyler King to Left field. In the bottom of the 11th, the Mean Bears had the bases loaded with two outs. Jared Delger stole home during a rundown of Irvin Santamaria, attempting to steal second. The Mean Bears continued into the 13th, where they finally claimed victory.
Aaron Corwin started for the Dallas Panthers and Brandon Clounch for the Denton Mean Bears. Corwin pitched six innings and allowed two earned runs, with seven strikeouts and seven hits. Tyler King relieved Corwin for five innings, allowing four earned runs, with four strikeouts and six hits. Wetsch finished the game while pitching for 1.1 innings, giving up one earned run, one hit, and one K.
Brandon Clounch pitched five innings for the Mean Bears while surrendering four hits, one earned run, and six strikeouts. Jeff Kolb relieved Clounch for two innings and allowed two earned runs with two strikeouts and giving up five hits. Cesar Paz finished the game in extras, collecting the win with six innings pitched, six hits, two earned runs, and three strikeouts.
Championship Game two…
The game was a sizzling 2:00 pm start at Graham Field with a high of 102 F on a turf field. This game was going to be a test of endurance and strength. The Dallas Panthers were the home team and started Craig Molldrem on the bump. Zach Torres was on the mound for Denton Mean Bears.
Torres was credited with the victory over the Panthers in a 4-3 game. The lefty went for five innings, allowing seven hits and two runs while striking out two. Cesar Paz and Brandon Clounch entered the game from the bullpen and helped to close out the game in relief. Clounch recorded the last five outs to earn the save. Molldrem took the loss and allowed eight hits and four runs over seven innings, striking out nine and walking one.
The Mean Bears tallied eight hits on the day where Jared Delger and Irvin Santamaria racked up two hits apiece. The Panthers tallied 11 hits with Aaron Corwin, Eric Wald, and Tyler King all with multiple hits for the day. Corwin led the Panthers with three hits in his four at-bats.
The majority of the Mean Bears runs were scored in the first inning and two were scored by the Panthers in the second. In the top of the fifth, the Mean Bears extended their lead by one, making it a 4-2 game. The Panthers proceeded to score one in the eighth, but could not score with the bases loaded and only one out. The Mean Bears held the Panthers in the ninth, claiming their championship title for the Spring 2022 Season.
The Denton Mean Bears Playoff stats as a team were: BA .226, OBP .318, OPS .595, with 21 SB
The pitching staff posted a 3.084 ERA, 1.594 WHIP, and 42 strikeouts over 225 batters faced.
“This was a special season that I will NOT forget. I had a blast coaching these young men. I am so proud of how the Mean Bears played every game with focus and heart. This team is a great example of sportsmanship, hard work, and friendship ON and OFF the field.”