2007 Norcross 9U Blue Devils Diary

6/7/2007 -  Norcross Exits Tournament, Battles Soaring Eagles 10-12 - Disappointment and pride mark the Blue Devils exit from the GGBL tournament, losing a close match to the league's number 1 seed, the Collins Hill Eagles.
Norcross fought to the end, but bowed out of GGBL post-season play at Dacula Park today after going down 10-12 to Collins Hill in the 6th inning.

"It certainly wasn't the outcome we planned for or expected," said Scott Walch, Blue Devil head coach. "Collins Hill raised their game against us and deserves a lot of credit. I am very proud that our team went out and fought right down to the last out. We led 9-8 until the 5th inning and never gave up."

Norcross came out swinging in the first inning, scoring 4 runs to take the early lead. Sam Grosswald pitched lights out, striking out 3 Eagle batters to hold the lead at 6-2 through the first 2 innings.

Playing center field and first base, Zack "Attack" Walch had a career game, closing down 3 innings, including a center field catch to end a bases loaded 2nd inning. Zack combined two great "Andrew Jones" style center field catches with a heads up chase down of a startled Eagle runner off first base for another inning ender put out.

Speaking to the team after the game coach Curtis Ramsey said, "The reason for our departure is that Collins Hill has excelled this week. There are 11 teams here and ultimately 10 of them go home earlier than they would have liked. Today is our turn. It is earlier than we aspired to but you guys played great and there is nothing about our play that I would have changed."

Voting for 5 team awards was held immediately following the game including:
  • MVP - Player who made the most significant contribution to the teams overall success.
  • Cy Young Award - Player who the team could count on to pitch the ball effectively to hold the opposition to as few walks, hits and runs as possible allowing our team the best possible chance to win the game.
  • Most Improved Player - The player who improved the most from day one at the tryouts to the last game of the season.
  • Golden Glove Award - Player who the team could count on to play fundamentally sound defense consistently throughout the season.
  • Sportsmanship Award - Player who exhibits a great attitude complimenting other players when they do well and patting them on the back when they have a bad game. This player is fun to be around in the dugout.

The voting results will be revealed at team party to be held at a time and place to be organized and announced soon.
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6/7/2007 - GGBL County Championship Results - North Gwinnett beat Dacula on Wednesday night putting North Gwinnett in the finals.  Full Bracket

6/6/2007 - GGBL County Championship Results - In game two Tuesday night, Parkview beat Lawrenceville 6-4 setting a match-up with Mill Creek in the late game Thursday night.  Tonight, North Gwinnett will take on host team Dacula to determine the winners bracket champion.

6/5/2007 - Norcross Bounces Buford 10-7 - For a third time this season, thunder filled the sky as the Norcross Blue Devils prepared to face off against the Buford Wolves. This time would be in in GGBL tournament action at Dacula Park. After a 30-minute game delay the storm passed and the Blue Devils took over the field to send the Wolves back to Buford, outscoring the green team 10-7.

Even as the "all clear" horn had sounded over Dacula Park, Griffin Ramsey struck like lightning early in the first inning with a 2 RBI double to put the Blue Devils ahead 3-0.

For the Wolves, second base needed its own thunderbolt warning system as first inning right fielder Sam Grosswald struck down a Wolf runner trying for second base. In the third inning, despite compliance with "duty to warn", catcher Chris McNultey threw a bolt to burn the stealing Wolf runner at second holding the Buford team 10 - 1.

The Wolves refused to go quietly, and in the 4th inning, scored 4 runs to draw within 5 of the Blue Devils. As Norcross would not score again, Coach Walch called for right-handed bullpen reliever Mikey Olson to shut down the threatening Wolf thunder. Olson would give up two runs in the final two innings while striking out two batters, and getting 4 more ground and fly outs to end the game.

Coach Walch recognized 4 players of the game:

  • Griffin Ramsey - 2 RBI double to start the game
  • Andrew Thunhorst - 7 pitch, 3 out third inning
  • Jacob Gassert - leading hitter going 2 for 3 in the game
  • Mikey Olson - was awarded the save, closing out the final 2 innings with 2 strikeouts, backed up by excellent defensive fielding

The Blue Devils will travel once again to Dacula Park Thursday afternoon for a 6 PM start against number 1 seed Collins Hill in another "do or die" tournament match up, trying to gain a spot in the GGBL final four action.
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6/3/2007 - Blue Rips Red 14-3 - Insisting that their parents should again make the dreaded drive to Dacula in weekday rush hour traffic, the Norcross Blue Devils sent the Loganville Red Devils packing for Barrow County Sunday in game 2 of the GGBL Championship tournament.

The tenacious Norcross team had it all going on combining powerful pitching with determined defense, and red-hot bats that would run rule the Red Devils in 5 innings. Coach Scott Walch was compelled to award all 11 Norcross players "player of the game" status for the team effort.

Coach Walch dug deep into the Blue Devil pitching rotation to bring starter Brendan Furry, reliever Mikey Olson, and closer Drew Aspinwall to the mound in a game where the 3 Blue Devil pitchers would allow no bases on balls and would strike out 3 batters. The defense took care of the rest to hold the Red Devils to only 3 runs for the day.

Shortstop Andrew (how's that hand) Thunhorst came off the DL to blow away consecutive Red runners in the 2nd inning, fielding flawlessly and firing to Sam Grosswald at first base 3 times to shut down the Red team. Shortstop Drew Aspinwall would do the same twice in the 3rd inning, this time teaming with Zack Walch at first to allow no Red base runners.

Playing catcher in the 5th inning, Jesse Vaughan was not content to hit 3 for 3 with 5 RBIs in the game. Vaughan gunned down a stealing Red base runner at 2nd to send the Red team back to the dugout.

Coach Ramsey's hit sign was on early as Norcross jumped ahead 3-0 in the first inning with a 2 RBI double by Mikey Olson. Jesse Vaughan really started the hit parade in the third with a 2 out bases loaded triple blast to right field. Not to be outdone in the 8 run 4th inning, Jacob Gassert hit a towering drive to left center that confounded the Red center fielder and the official scorer as Jacob crossed home plate on the play with 3 RBIs.

The Blue Devils will travel back to Dacula Park Tuesday afternoon for a 6 PM start against the Buford Wolves in another "do or die" tournament match up trying to gain a spot in the GGBL final four action.
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6/3/2007 - North Gwinnett Contains Norcross 9 - 4 - In the opening game of the GGBL 9U tournament, Norcross fell behind early and never caught up to the 4th seed North Gwinnett Eagles. Down 0-2 after the first inning, the 5th seed Blue Devils fell to 0-5 going into the 4th before scoring 4 runs. Norcross would not score again, and in a game marred by errors, allowed the Eagles to cross the plate 4 more times allowing 8 of the 9 scores as unearned runs.

Blue Devil batters hit the ball consistently, but too often right at Eagle defender gloves. Jesse Vaughan was named player of the game after going 2 for 2 at the plate and making a great left field catch to shut down an Eagle rally. The strong-armed Vaughan also gunned down an Eagle runner trying to score, firing the ball from left field to catcher Griffin Ramsey who applied the tag at the plate.

Several Norcross defensive plays scattered over the 6-inning game kept the Blue Devils within reach and the final score from being worse than it ended. Brendan Furry made yet another diving catch at 2nd to end an Eagle bases loaded 4th inning. Earlier in the contest, Andrew Thunhorst combined with Chris McNulty at first and Sam Grosswald at 3rd for a 6-3-5 double play.

The Blue Devils are back in action continuing GGBL play Sunday afternoon. The Norcross team will start at 5 PM facing the Loganville Red Devils at the Dacula Park tournament facility.
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6/2/2007 - Norcross takes on North Gwinnett in game one of the Gwinnett County Championship at noon in Dacula

5/28/2007 - Norcross Takes Second in Wooden Bat Tournament - Playing for the third day in the highly competitive All American Wood Bat Classic, Norcross battled its way into the final championship round beating the Oviedo Knights 7-5 in the Monday morning "final four" game. Oviedo was a tough central Florida team that was the top seed from the opposite "A Pool" of the 12-team tournament.

Sam Grosswald batted 3 for 3 and pitched 2 innings, striking out 3 Knight batters to lead the Blue Devil charge into the championship game. Michael Bauer again pitched 2 outstanding innings combining with Grosswald to hold the Central Florida team to five runs during the game.

The day's schedule would be grueling for the exhausted Blue Devils as they had literally only 15 minutes to prepare for their 6th and final game of the weekend against the Oconee Threat, a well-traveled team from Watkinsville, Georgia.

Falling behind early 5-2, the Blue Devils tried to turn the momentum as Zach Walch gunned down a Threat runner trying to go home after a Walch fly ball catch in right field. Jacob Gassert would soon after notch an unassisted double play catching a fly ball and stepping on second to put out a surprised Threat base runner.

The Blue Devil bats attempted several rallies but were unable to score more than 3 runs over the 6-inning game against the strong defensive Oconee team.

Even with an 8-3 final score, the Blue Devils represented Gwinnett County well in the highly competitive tournament, bringing home a major team trophy, individual trophies for each Blue Devil player, and a great weekend of baseball memories for all.

With a long tournament weekend behind them, preparation begins immediately for the GGBL Tournament June 2nd. The Norcross team will practice at Pinckneyville Park, Field 4, Tuesday evening from 6 PM to 8 PM.
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5/27/2007 - Norcross Tops Team Wilson 10-6 - Not wanting to send their parents to the golf course or lake house early, the Blue Devils sent a tough Team Wilson ball club back to Woodstock with a break out 7 run 3rd inning.

Playing in their second game of the day, Blue Devil pitchers Michael Bauer and Sam Grosswald held the "A Pool" 3rd seed team to just 6 runs in 4 innings. Trailing by a score of 5-2 going into the bottom of the 3rd inning, the Blue Devil batters put on their now trademark batting show for the East Point crowd. Norcross batted around the order to score 7 runs in a game where 9 of 10 Norcross players would cross the plate.

Final nails in the Team Wilson coffin were applied by right fielder Griffin Ramsey throwing out a Wilson base runner at first, and a "standing O" circus catch by Brendan Furry to end the top of the 4th inning.

The Blue Devils progress to the final 4 in the Championship Bracket of the Wood Bat Tournament Monday morning at 11:30 AM. Norcross will return to Morgan Falls Park to face the winner of today's Championship Bracket Game 4, finishing late at the East Point John Milner Park.
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 5/27/2007 - Devils Break the Bulls 10-5 - In the second day of play in the All American Wood Bat Classic Tournament, the Blue Devils corralled the undefeated Birmingham team, which had scored 26 runs in winning their first two tournament games.

The two players of the game were named Mike. Michael Bauer allowed no hits and only 1 unearned run, striking out 3 Birmingham batters to "calf rope" the Bulls for two innings.

Mike Olson was hotter than a branding iron at the plate hitting 3 for 3 and notching 3 rib eyes. Mikey combined with Sam Grosswald and Jesse Vaughan who hit back to back doubles to break the Bull's backs in the time shortened 4 inning game.

Defensive support was stronger than new rope as Andrew Thunhorst played flawless shortstop gunning down two Bull runners at first. Catcher Chris McNulty corralled a Bull foul pop up to shut down a late inning rally.

The morning's rodeo earned the Blue Devils 2nd place in the tournament "B Pool" and a gourmet lunch at the Varsity. The Blue Devils will make a pleasant drive to beautiful East Point, Georgia for Game 3 in the Wood Bat Tournament Championship Bracket.
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5/26/2007 - Thunder Over Norcross 5-4 - After opening the All American Wood Bat Classic Tournament with a first game forfeit win, the Norcross Blue Devils took the field to face a solid Sawnee Mountain Thunder team.

Three Norcross pitchers would give up only 5 runs over the 5 inning game that would prove to be a defensive contest as Blue Devil base runners were in scarce supply.

Jesse Vaughan continued to excel in the catcher position and earned defensive player of the game honors picking off a base runner for the second consecutive game. Vaughan further threw out a base stealing Sawnee runner to end the fourth inning.

Chris McNulty was co-player of the game with a two run home run blast to left center that brought the Blues Devils to within 1 run of the Thunder.

The Blue Devils will continue the Wood Bat play Sunday morning at 11:15 AM facing the Birmingham Bulls at Morgan Falls Park.
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5/23/2007 - All-American Wood Bat Classic - The Pool Play schedule is out.  Norcross will play the Gresham Braves at 1pm on Saturday afternoon.  Game two will have the Blue Devils playing the Sawnee Mountain Thunder immediately following the first game at 2:45pm.  In Game three, Norcross will face the Birmingham Bulls at 11:15am Sunday morning.  All three games will take place at Morgan Falls Park located at 2495 Morgan Falls Road in Atlanta.
( Rules | Full Schedule)

5/21/2007 - Three Practices Scheduled Next Week - Please review the practice schedule for next week's GGBL tournament preparation.

5/20/2007 - O Sees Stars 11-10 - The Ocee Stars brought 15 players to Pinckneyville Park on a perfect Sunday afternoon to witness a real star performance by the hot again Norcross Blue Devils. The Ocee team plays in the newly formed Cal Ripken league in Georgia and is the only such Ripken league in the state.

In inter-league action, the Norcross all star lineup demonstrated powerful defense and explosive hitting to best the Fulton County team by 1 run after 5 innings. Playing with unfamiliar rules, the Blue Devils ended the game with a "walk off strike out" play, executed for the first time this season.

Falling behind early 4 - 0 in the first inning and playing with lead off base runners allowed, the Norcross defense quickly seized the momentum as starting pitcher Jesse Vaughan turned and picked off the lead Ocee runner at second base.

Vaughan would later move to catcher and combine with left fielder Jacob Gassert to shut down a third inning rally with the "defensive play of the game". Gassert threw a strike from left center field to Vaughan at home, who applied the tag to the surprised Ocee runner.

Although Coach Walch sent five pitchers to the mound in five innings to limit the Ocee team to 10 runs, the pressure applied by explosive Norcross hitting was too much for the Stars. Michael Bauer, Sam Grosswald, Zach Walch, and Jacob Gassert combined for 4 consecutive doubles to even the score 9 - 9 by the bottom of the fourth inning.

The game ended on a heads up Griffin Ramsey run to first base after a dropped third strike by the Star catcher allowed Jacob Gassert to come home from third for the winning 11th run.

Beginning Monday afternoon, the Blue Devils will utilize the plush Pinckneyville Middle School training facility for light drills in advance of pool party and Wooden Bat Tournament action scheduled for the upcoming week.
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5/19/2007 - Blue Devils Pummel Peachtree Ridge 14-0 - The Norcross Blue Devils broke out of a late season slump as they ended regular season play on the road at Bunten Road Park. Finishing up on a high note, Norcross beat the Peachtree Ridge Lions 14-0 Saturday afternoon.

As the Goodrich blimp hovered overhead, Norcross pitchers crafted a two hit masterpiece to earn their first shut out goal of the season. Drew Aspinwall and Brendan Fury each working two innings, struck out 3 batters, gave up no walks, and were backed up by an error free defense that did not allow a Lion runner to cross home plate.

Norcross batters scored early and scored often, jumping out to a 2 - 0 lead in the first inning and racking up 12 more scores to run rule the Ridge for the second time this season in shortened innings.

Player of the game honors were awarded to 4 players including the two pitchers Aspinwall and Fury, and to two of the game's hot hitters, Jacob Gassert and Drew Aspinwall.

Finishing the regular season with a solid record of 13 - 6 - 0 the Blue Devils will likely play as the 4th or 5th seed in the GGBL County Championship Series Game 2 at Noon on Saturday, June 2nd.

The Blue Devils get little rest as they will convene at 11 AM Sunday morning at the Pinckneyville home park for pitching drills before a 1 PM inter-league game Sunday afternoon with the Ocee Stars.
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5/15/2007 - Dacula Dominates Norcross  - Norcross was shutout by Dacula by a final score of 14-0 on Tuesday night.  Much like the game in Norcross on Saturday night, Dacula started early and got a big lead after one inning.  This time Norcross wasn't able to mount a come back never crossing the plate in the game.

Norcross enters its final weekend of the regular season playing on the road Saturday, 3pm at Peachtree Ridge and at home on Sunday at 1pm to face Ocee Park.
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5/14/2007 - Sunday's Game Move Up - Sunday's game between the Blue Devils and the Ocee Stars has been moved up to 1pm so it can be broadcast on national television.

5/12/2007 - Dacula Denies Devils - The Norcross Blue Devils came up a run short in the bottom of the fourth inning to spot the Dacula Falcons game one in their first meeting of the season, losing with a final score of 12-11.

In the first of a two game series, the Blue Devils trailed from the start and were down 12 - 6 going into what was to be the fourth and final inning of the long contest. Battling back from a 6 run deficit, the Norcross batters scored five runs in the inning and had loaded the bases before the game ended on a freak out. A hard hit ball spinning off the bat of Andrew Thunhorst struck a Blue Devil runner in the base path for the final out of the game.

Batting strength again led to player of the game recognition as Jacob Gassert, Chris McNulty, and Drew Aspinwall each had 2 hits. Drew used his glove as well and once more brought the fans to their feet with a highlight film diving catch of a hard hit line drive in the second inning.

The Blue Devils will travel the Winder Highway to Dacula Park Tuesday night to try to even the score with the GGBL 2nd place Falcons.
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5/8/2007 - Reality Check as Collins Hill Wins 17-7 - In a late 8 PM start at Collins Hill Park, Norcross faced another tough team they had beaten earlier in the season. This time Collins Hill came out on top and for the first time the Blue Devils tasted the 10 run rule from the wrong side. The two teams now have identical 12 - 4 won loss records and find themselves among 5 tightly clustered teams battling down the homestretch for post season GGBL tournament seedings.

Norcross came out slugging in the first inning, sending 9 batters to the plate to score 3 runs. The Eagles were not to be intimidated early, retaliating with 8 runs in the bottom of the first.

The hard hitting Eagles were to score 9 more including two over the fence home runs before the game ended early in the fifth inning by a 10 run margin.

Norcross was not without plucky play as Drew Aspinwall was awarded player of the game for his two key hits including a long drive double to the centerfield fence. Jesse Vaughan shared game honors with three solid innings of relief pitching, allowing only one run to the tough Collins Hill hitters.

Norcross will practice Wednesday evening at 6 PM at the Dan Watts training facility before returning to action 7 PM Saturday night at home for the first of a two game series against the Dacula Falcons.
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5/6/2004 - Mill Creek Edges Norcross 7–6 - In their second meeting of the season, the highly touted Mill Creek Hawks managed to edge the Norcross Blue Devils by one run in a tight game that was undecided until the final at bat.

Looking for revenge after the earlier 16 - 5 pounding by the Blue Devils at their home park, the defending Dixie Youth Pee Wee state champion handed the GGBL league leading Blue Devils their first home loss of the season. While Norcross batters hit the ball hard and consistently, again and again the Hawk players seemed to be in position to catch and make the out.

Norcross defenders played tough as well. In a 3rd inning defensive highlight, Drew Aspinwall took a throw from first and completed the second out of an inning ending double play. With an aggressive and persistent tag on the Hawk base runner, Drew caught the Hawk player in a well executed run down at third base.

Speaking after the game, Norcross manager Scott Walch was upbeat telling the team that today’s game was a necessary learning experience. Reminding the players that even major league World Series winners like last year’s Cardinals will lose 50 or more games in a season, the Blue Devils will likely meet the Hawks again in the post season tournament. The Blue Devils are back on the road Tuesday night traveling to Collins Hill Park for an 8 PM start against the tough 11 and 4 Eagles.
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5/4/2007 - Norcross Extends Winning Streak - The Blue Devils extended their winning streak to 8 games as they beat the Lawrenceville Black Knights 16-4 Friday night. Returning to Rhodes Jordan Park, memories of an early season practice loss were erased as the Blue Devils dominated both defense and hitting.

Michael Bauer pitched 3 sharp innings allowing only one run on one hit as the Norcross defense played tough. Twice in the bottom of the first inning, Jacob Gassert ranged to his right to field hard hit ground balls, making long cross field throws to first shutting down Black Knight base runners.

The Blue Devils edged ahead 2 - 1 in the second inning as Mike Olson and Chris McNulty each reached base and scored one of their game high 3 runs a piece.

The Norcross batters put on another display of hitting power in the 4th inning, scoring a season tying high 14 runs, batting around the order with every player reaching base and crossing the plate at least once. Andrew Thunhorst also went 3 for 3 in the high scoring game and collected 3 RBIs along the way.

Zach Walch closed out the final fourth inning firing a called strike 3 past the frozen Black Knight batter Caleb Merritt.  Coming into the game Caleb was 6 for 7 and scored 4 runs in three games against the Blue Devils this season.  Earlier in the inning Zack gave up a long home run to 153 1/2 pound (estimated) Brandon Jones with a runner on 1st base.

The Blue Devils have a well deserved off day to rest Saturday before returning to action Sunday at 3 PM to face a tough Mill Creek opponent at home. Having lost to the Blue Devils at Bogan Park in their previous meeting, the Hawks have held their last two opponents to 1 run and are a half game behind Norcross in the GGBL standings.
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5/3/2007 - Norcross Pelts the Wolves 14 - 2 - Under thundering skies, Norcross resumed the rain out make up game where left off with bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning. The Blue Devils went 3 up and 3 down and had to start fresh with no score in the 2nd.

It would be a defensive contest for the next 2 innings. Zach Walch, playing center field, put the Buford Wolves on notice by throwing out the lead runner at 2nd base at the start of the 2nd inning. Chris McNulty kept the lid on in the 3rd inning, making a leaping grab of a fly ball at first base. McNulty, returning to the catcher position in the 4th, gunned down the initial base runner of the inning attempting an ill advised try to steal 2nd base on one of the strongest arms in the league.

Going into the 3rd, the team was down 2 - 1, and in a hint of what was to come, the Blue Devils Mike Olson, Chris McNulty, and Andrew Thunhorst ripped 3 consecutive doubles as Norcross scored 2 runs to take the lead 3 - 2.

In what is becoming a Blue Devil trademark, Norcross bats came alive in the 4th with every player in the lineup reaching base and crossing home plate for the second 11 run inning of the season. Spurred on by not one but two taunting brothers in the stands, Jesse Vaughan crushed a Buford pitch for a walk off triple and the now familiar “ball game” run rule call by the man in blue.

The Blue Devils travel Friday night to Lawrenceville for an 8PM start at Rhodes Jordan Park.
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5/1/2007 - Blue Devils Beat Buford - The Norcross hit train pulled into Buford Tuesday night leaving two hours later with a 13 - 4 win over the Buford Wolves.

Having scored in double digits in each game of the past weekend’s sweep, Norcross batters came out swinging in the first inning scoring 3 runs right away to take charge of the game. The Blue devils never trailed in the contest as a total of 13 runs were scored with run production again spread throughout the line up.

The bats made noise through the final inning when Griffin Ramsey drove in his 2nd run of the game with a long sacrifice fly to deep right field, followed by Chris McNulty ripping a line drive to the fence for a double in his last at bat.

The real story was about pitching, lots of pitching, as Blue Devils manager Scott Walch brought 5 hurlers to the mound in the long 6 inning game. The pitching staff allowed only 4 runs on 1 hit throughout the evening, with the Wolves scoring 3 of their runs on infield errors in a sloppy 5th inning.

The evening’s 3rd pitcher Brendan Furry helped himself in the third inning with 1 out and runners on base. With ice water running in his veins, Furry stayed cool to make two clean fielding plays and threw strikes to first to end the inning.

Closer Andrew Thunhorst hearing “it’s late” cries from several moms in the stands, faced only 4 batters in the bottom of the 6th working quickly to send the Wolves home with no hits to end the game.

After a short Wednesday break the Blue Devils are back in action at home Thursday night facing the same Buford Wolves team to complete the 2 game series.
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4/30/2007 - New Pictures Published - Dave Nelson has published the pictures from this weekend.  Once navigated to his site, click "Slideshow" to see the entire group.  http://davenelson.com/baseball

4/30/2007 - GGBL Tournament Information - The GGBL has determined the host sites for this years County Championships. This years 9U tournament will be hosted by Dacula beginning on June 2nd and run through June 10th.
( More | Full Bracket)

4/29/2007 - Norcross Extends Winning Streak -  Norcross Lashes Loganville 21-6 after falling behind 6-0 in the first inning, the early napping Norcross Blue Devils woke up with another offensive outburst in the second inning of this weekend’s final 3 game home stand against the Loganville Red Devils.

Reminiscent of Friday’s experience being down early against the North Gwinnett team, the potent Norcross bats scored a team record 14 runs in the second inning. This time the Blue Devils tacked on another 7 in the third inning before “ballgame” was called for the second run rule victory of the weekend.

In what must be confusing to the opposing teams, Norcross again demonstrated no “bottom of the batting order”  as the Blue Devils pounded out 20 hits for the second time this season including sending 18 batters to the plate in the 2nd inning and scoring 14 runs. Three Blue Devil pitchers combined to allow only 4 hits for the Red Devils. After falling behind 6-0 after the 1st inning, Norcross rallied from behind with their big 2nd inning. For the Red Devils it was their 11th consecutive defeat of the season and for the Blue Devils it was their 5th consecutive win. Every player from Norcross recorded a hit and a run scored in the game. Three Blue Devils led the way with 3 hits and were rewarded with player of the game honors:

   Drew Aspinwall - 3 for 3, 4 RBI's, 2 Runs
   Brendan Furry - 3 for 3, 4 RBI's, 2 Runs
   Andrew Thunhorst - 3 for 3, RBI, 3 Runs

Brendan Fury, batting twice in the second inning, brought the fans to their feet with a long drive double to the warning track, driving in 2 of his 4 runs for the day.

Chris McNulty made is first start of the year and the Blue Devils got a solid relief appearance from Jacob Gassert.  The game ended with Zach Walch coming on the mound in the closer role, shutting down the Red Devils with no runs allowed, to seal the win for Norcross.

Not lost in all the scoring excitement was another error free game in what counted for a second weekend sweep for the streaking Blue Devils.  Norcross travels to Buford for a 7pm start this Tuesday night and is back home Thursday to face them again at 7:45pm. Both games this week are rescheduled April rain games.
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4/28/2007 - Norcross Rules the Ridge 11-1 - Led by fresh pitching the Norcross Blue Devils held nearby Duluth rival Peachtree Ridge Lions to a single run Saturday night as Norcross batters again combined for double digit runs over the five inning game.

The game ended early after the fifth inning as the Norcross closer Drew Aspinwall shut out the final Lions batters.

Starter Mike Olson was awarded the win and was perfect allowing no walks and no hits while striking out 4 batters in the first two innings.

Norcross bats came alive right away in the first inning, and the 11 runs scored were spread over each of the five innings played.

Middle inning reliever Griffin Ramsey made good use of the 6 run lead to hold the Lions to a single run in innings 3 and 4. The Lions had not been held to only one run this season, typically scoring 5 or more runs per game against the league.

Michael Bauer continued his hitting with 2 hits and was joined by Griffin Ramsey, Mike Olson, Andrew Thunhorst, Drew Aspinwall and Zack Walch with multiple hits in the game.

Player of the game status was awarded to the pitching staff of Olson, Ramsey and Aspinwall.

Norcross is now tied for the lead in the GGBL 9U league having an identical
8 –2 record with the Dacula Falcons just past mid season and is back in action today 2pm versus Loganville at Pinckneyville Park.
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4/28/2007 - Comeback Kids Win Third Straight - Down by a score of 7-0 the Blue Devils plated one short of a 12 pack sending 15 batters to the plate and 10 of the 11 players all scored. Mike Olson stayed hot with 3 RBI's  and Co-Player of the game Chris McNulty had a two run Triple to lead the Norcross Offense.  Starting Pitcher Michele Bauer and Sam Grosswald also took home player of the game honors.

Norcross is back in action tonight against Peachtree Ridge at 7pm and again tomorrow at 2pm vs. Loganville.  Mike Olson will start tonight and Chris McNulty tomorrow afternoon.
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4/29/2007 - GGBL Tournament Information - The GGBL has determined the host sites for this years County Championships. This years 9U tournament will be hosted by Dacula beginning on June 2nd and run through June 10th.
( Full Bracket)

Tournament Host Sites:
9U: Dacula
(1: 10 team, Sat: June 2nd - 10th)

10u: Collins Hill & Norcross
(2: 8 team, Sat: June 2nd - 8th; Championship Sat, June 9 - 10)

11U: Bunten Park & Mountain Park
(2: 8 team, Sat: June 2nd - 8th; Championship Sat, June 9 - 10)

12U: Collins Hill & Mountain Park
(2: 9 team, Fri: June 1st - 8th; Championship Sat, June 9 - 10)
(Seeds #15 & 18 and #16 & 17 play single elimination tournament entry game on Fri, June 1st)

13U "AA": Duluth
(1: 11 team, Fri: June 1st - 10th)
(Seeds #10 & 11 play single elimination tournament entry game on Fri, June 1st)

13U "A": South Gwinnett
(1: 10 team, Sat: June 2nd - 10th)

14U: Duluth & Shiloh
(1: 8 team, Sat: June 2nd - 8th)
(1: 9 team, Fri: June 1st - 8th)
(Seeds #16 & 17 play single elimination tournament entry game on Fri, June 1st)
(Championship Sat, June 9 - 10)

Tournament Information:
Balls & Trophies provided by GGBL
Host sites to provide 3 umpires for each game
Lower numerical seeded team is the home team in each game (1st base dugout)

  • Games between undefeated teams will be played in accordance with regular season time limits
  • Official game (rain) 9-12U: 4 innings or 3.5 innings if home team is ahead.
  • Official game (rain) 13-14U: 5 innings or 4.5 innings if home team is ahead
  • Elimination games will have time limits extended by 15 minutes
  • Championship game will have no time limit (9-12U: 6 innings, 13-14U 7 innings)
  • Mercy rule for all 9-12U games: 15 after 3, 10 after 4
  • Mercy rule for all 13-14U games: 15 after 4, 10 after 5
  • Teams with only 9 players are required to take an out each time through the batting order
  • Teams with only 8 players are required to take 2 outs each time through the batting order
  • 9-12U pitchers are allowed 3 innings per game, 9 innings max
  • 13-14 pitchers are allowed to pitch 4 inning per game, 12 inning max
  • Dual location tournament winners (10, 11, 12 & 14U) play a best of 3 game Championship series
  • The Championship series is a different tournament and pitchers start with zero innings pitched
  • All Championship series games will have no time limit (9-12U: 6 innings, 13-14U 7 innings)
  • Championship series will be played at the lower numerical seed host park
  • Lower numerical seed is home team in game 1 of the Championship Tournament Series
  • Higher numerical seed is home team in game 2 of the Championship Tournament Series
  • Coin Toss determines home team in game 3 of the Championship Tournament Series
  • Player trophies awarded to the top 2 teams of each league
    Player medals awarded to the 2nd & 3rd place teams at each dual tournament location
  • Player medals awarded to the 3rd & 4th place teams at single tournament location

The next GGBL meeting will be at South Gwinnett on Tuesday, May 29 at 7PM to finalize tournament bracket seeding, distribute game balls and trophies.

4/26/2007 - Weekend Games - With Three Games scheduled this weekend and four games next week our pitching staff will be tested. Jesse Vaughan was the last batter on Sunday, for the third game in a row - Drew Aspinwall will lead off the weekend.

  • Friday vs. North Gwinnett -S: Michael 1,2,3 R: Sam 4,5,6 BP: Andrew, Jesse
  • Saturday vs. P'Tree Ridge -S: Mike 1,2 R: Griffin 3,4 R: Drew 5,6 BP: Jacob
  • Sunday vs. Loganville -S: Chris 1,2 R: Zack 3,4  R: Brendan 5,6 BP: Jacob

Friday Double-Header
This Friday night we play at 6pm and the Norcross 10U team plays directly following our game.  Steve Smith has asked his team to arrive early and to root on our team prior to their game.  If you haven’t made plans for after the game Friday night, please plan to stick around and watch their game vs. the first place Mill Creek Hawks.  Please plan to be on the T-Ball field for batting practice at 5:00pm on Friday.

Upcoming Vacation Days
Just a reminder that some kids will be taking their day off soon so it is important that everyone scheduled to play makes it to those games so we don’t run the risk of starting a game with too few of players.  I will update the web site’s schedule page with an indicator for each player’s day off

4/23/2007 - 9U Updates - Hi Everyone,  Great games this weekend!  Thank you all who gave to the concession stand.  I wasn't there to begin the game but I know the Olsons, Aspinwalls, and  Gasserts all dropped stuff by.  If I missed your name- please let me know.  Mrs. Grosswald- also, thank you for bringing all of that water from the Trader Joe's donation!  On that note- For those that donated this weekend and for any future donations- Please feel free to get reimbursed for your purchases at the end of the game. Unfortunately, it is too much for me to decipher who brought what and how much is owed- so if you wish to be reimbursed- please just grab it from the concession stand money.   We deposited $85.00  in our team account for this past Sunday.  Our team players favorite picks seem to be Gatorade, skittles ,starburst and Ring Pops.  

Jake has been working on the videoing so he has been MIA a bit for the concession.  He is much better than I am so I am grateful for his patience with the camera.  His live game shots and at bats of the boys are priceless.  I cannot wait for you to all see the footage.  Jen Thunhorst- Thank you so much for helping out with the Concession!  We wouldn't make it without you!   If anyone else can help out this weekend- we have 3 games- so it sure would be appreciated.

To the Bauers- we have water for the coaches and boys at every game thanks to you guys!  Thank you for the keeping up with that - it was a scorcher on Sunday!

Last, not least, thank you Mr. Olson for taking all of those great shots and the team picture!  Super job!!  Scott and I were a little worried about Dave- it turns out he totally forgot.  He plans to make up for it by coming to both Saturday and Sunday games this weekend.  

We would like to get all of our sponsors out on the website.  A big thanks to all of the businesses below for their support.   Also, if we have left any business off- please let us know!  We still need to add the logos for Mr. Ramsey's and Mr. Gassert's companies.  Please forward a logo to Scott if you have one.

  • The Peachtree Bank (Mr. Olson)
  • Allied Waste (Mr. McNulty)
  • Mr. Ramsey's Company
  • Mr. Gassert's Company (Banner)
  • IHOP
  • Esquire Dry Cleaners
  • Trader Joes (Bottled Water)
  • Linens and Things (Coupon)
  • Powerade- by the Coca Cola Company (Team water cooler, ice chest, drink containers)
  • Berkeley Baseball (Cage rental deduction)
  • Colonial Properties Trust ( Mr. Aspinwall) and The Peachtree Bank (Mr. Olson) - both gave sponsorship money to Pinckneyville Park on behalf of our 9U team.

Thanks and GO Norcross!!


4/22/2007 - Weekend Sweep – Norcross pitched their way to a 9-5 victory over Collins Hill Sunday afternoon. Three Blue Devils were on the 2005 Pee Wee State Tournament team that was beat 4-3 by Collins Hill and four Blue Devils were beaten by Collins Hill this past July in the 2006 Pee Wee State Tournament by a score of 3-2. Seven players from the 2006 Collins Hill team played in the game Sunday. Mike Olson earned player of the game honors collecting 3 hits and 4 RBI's.  Co-player of the game honors went to Jacob Gassert with his two hits and two RBI's.

For the second game in as many nights, the Norcross pitchers had their way with the opposing hitters. Winning pitcher Michael Bauer threw the first three innings and Andrew Thunhorst continued his mastery over Collins Hill to record the save. Sunday's victory moved Norcross ahead of Collins Hill in the loss column and moved them to within one half game out of first place in the 9U GGBL Standings.

The two games this weekend were the front end of a stretch of ten games over the next 14 days. Norcross plays at home next Friday 6pm where they will try to avenge a tough loss at North Gwinnett a month ago. Friday's game is the front end of a Norcross Minor Field Doubleheader as the Norcross 10U Blue Devils take on the Mill Creek Hawks at 8pm.
More | Box)

4/21/2007 - Offensive Breakout – Norcross pounded out 22 hits and walked 9 times in route to a 16-5 victory over the defending Dixie Youth Pee Wee state champion Mill Creek Hawks. The Hawks are made up of 10 returning players from the state champion team that dominated the tournament in Monticello Georgia last July.  Eight Blue Devils had a multi-hit game led by Zack Walch (3-3,1 BB), Jacob Gassert (3-4) and Chris McNulty (3-4).  Not lost in all the hitting was the super effort of the Norcross Pitching staff of Sam Grosswald and Brendan Furry.  Both pitched 3 innings.  Sam gave up 2 runs on 2 hits - both runs in the first inning on a long home run from the Hawks cleanup hitter Matzick.  Brendan allowed 3 runs on 4 hits.  Both pitchers collected players of the game honors.

Norcross is at home on Sunday as they face Collins Hill at 3pm. This is the same Collins Hill team that beat Norcross 3-2 in Monticello last July at the Dixie Youth Pee Wee State Tournament.
More | Box)

4/18/2007 - Spring Classic for Kids – Presented by Brian Tumor Foundation for Children, Inc. and benefiting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Location: Turner Field
Date: Tuesday April 24, 2007
Norcross High School vs. St. Pius at 3:30 pm
University of Georgia vs. Georgia Tech at 7:00 pm
Ticket price is $10.00 each (includes both games)

This is a great event for $10 and money goes to a great cause. This event is good for Norcross baseball and if Norcross sells a lot of tickets then we will be able to participate again next year. We have an opportunity to make this a tradition every year. This $10 is a donation and is tax deductible. Consider buying tickets even if you are not available for the games. For more information about this event go to http://www.choa.org/springclassic

For tickets contact Bob Hope at 404-827-1346.  Also, you can contact Chris Matthews

4/18/2007 - Trader Joes - Just a heads up, we should be good to go for bottled water for our team concession. The Grosswald's obtained a sponsorship from Trader Joes. They are donating around 7 cases of bottled water to our team.
Many thanks to the Grosswald's and Trader Joes! 

4/17/2007 - Make-up Games Scheduled - The two Buford rainout games have now been confirmed for May 1st and 3rd. The first game is scheduled for Tuesday May 1st, 7:00pm at Buford City Park #6. The second game is scheduled for the same week on Thursday May 3rd at Pinckneyville Park at 7:45pm. The schedule page has been updated to reflect the changed schedule.

4/17/2007 9U Concession - Hi Guys, Looks like after this Saturday at Mill Creek- we host 4 home games in a row. I would like to keep the concession rolling- as it has been a great fundraiser for the team and the kids all seem to enjoy picking something out at the end of the game. This Sunday, Jake will be around to man the concession stand. I am in charge of our parks Ga Tech outing so I might be a bit late for our game. I will be sending the concession stand items with my guys for set up. Please help them if you can. We are short on drinks and getting a little short on items- if you see some on sale- please donate what you can. We are out of Gatorade and low on Coke/Diet Coke. However, Jake can change out the sign so whatever you bring is much appreciated! You don't have to give it to us ahead of time, just bring it to the park on Sunday. Mr. Grosswald- if we can borrow your table- that would be great.

Dave Nelson, our photographer, is trying to get to the game on Sunday. I would like to get another team picture - Please have your guy wear the jersey with the stitching that day so they all match. Also- coaches- please make sure to wear your new blue shirts that day as well.

Jake will be looking before Saturday's game to interview Jesse Vaughan- our Player of the Game on Friday night. I am getting a little better with our camera- I will try to get some good footage of our at bats at the next few games!

See you all soon and As Always- Go Norcross!


4/15/2007 - Washed Out - Today's game against the Buford Wolves has been rescheduled due to the Buford City Park is unplayable. We will make up the game on Tuesday night, May 1st at 7pm. Yesterdays game will also be rescheduled when we obtain a make-up date from the league commissioner.

4/13/2007 - Unlucky Friday - Norcross was upended by Parkview on Friday night by a score of 12-2.  The Blue Devils had their chances early in the game leaving the bases loaded twice but brilliant infield defense by the Panthers prevented Norcross from scoring until the 4th inning. Jesse Vaughn was named player of the game as he led the Blue Devils with two hits and pitched a scoreless 4th inning keeping his team in the game at that stage.  Weather permitting, Norcross is back home for a Saturday evening game against Buford at 7pm.
More | Box)

4/12/2007 - Practice Schedule Updated - Extended Team workout  practice on Thursday night (4/12), 6pm - 8pm at Dan Watts to get prepared for the weekend. We will review the new plays and signs practiced last Wednesday night.  Prior to the game Friday night, we will have a batting practice from 6pm to 7pm at Berkeley Baseball Academy - which is on the way to Mountain Park. 

4/3/2007 - Michael Bauer wins Norcross 9U NCAA Basketball Pool
Final Norcross 9U Pool Standings - http://norcross9u.mayhem.sportsline.com
Congratulations to Michael Bauer and Alec Ramsey! Each will be eating a complimentary steak dinner at our end of the season party for their expert bracket selections.

Rank Team Name Score Champion
1 Michael Bauer 1st Place 51 Florida (120)
2 Alec Ramsey 2nd Place 51 Florida (119)
3 Drew Aspinwal 50 Ohio St. (140)
4 Glenn Aspinwall 49 Ohio St. (134)
5 Scott G. Walch 48 Georgetown (150)
6 Andrew Thunhorst 47 Georgetown (147)
7 Zack Walch 46 Georgetown (121)
8 Matt Kenseth 44 Kansas (137)
9 Jake Walch 44 Georgetown (121)
9 Russ Sinden 44 Wisconsin (121)
11 Jim Huset 43 Florida (135)
12 Preston Furry 43 North Carolina (131)
13 Curtis Ramsey 43 Florida (120)
14 Jesse Vaughan 43 Texas ()
15 Brendan Furry 42 North Carolina (124)
16 Michael Huset 39 Wisconsin (115)
17 G Vaughan 38 North Carolina (170)
18 Chris McNulty 36 Ohio St. (155)
19 Michele Walch 30 Wisconsin (94)

4/6/2007 - Practice Schedule Updated - Will have our regular practice from 6-7:30pm on Wednesday (4/11) and an additional batting practice on Thursday night (4/12), 6pm at Dan Watts to get prepared for the weekend. Prior to the game Friday night, we will have a batting practice from 6pm to 7pm at Berkeley Baseball Academy - which is on the way to Mountain Park.

4/4/2007 - Batting Practice Tonight at 7pm – Dan Watts - For those of you in town, I will have the pitching machine setup for a batting practice on the back field at Dan Watts. This is an optional batting practice. The weather is supposed to be sunny and 70 degrees at 7pm. Next week we will have our regular practice from 6-7:30pm on Wednesday (4/11) and an additional batting practice on Thursday night (4/12), 6pm at Dan Watts to get prepared for the weekend. Prior to the game Friday night, we will have a batting practice from 6pm to 7pm at Berkeley Baseball Academy - which is on the way to Mountain Park.

3/29/2007 - From Paul Miller - a grand parent of three past teams: At one point during a game, the coach called one of his 9-year-old baseball players aside and asked, "Do you understand what cooperation is? What a team is?"

The little boy nodded in the affirmative.

"Do you understand that what matters is whether we win or lose together as a team?"

The little boy nodded yes.

"So," the coach continued, "I'm sure you know, when an out is called, you shouldn't argue, curse, attack the umpire, or call him a pecker-head. Do you understand all that?

Again the little boy nodded.

He continued, "And when I take you out of the game so another boy gets a chance to play, it's not good sportsmanship to call your coach 'a dumb ass' is it?"

Again the little boy nodded.

"Good," said the coach. "Now go over there and explain all that to your grandmother".

3/25/2007 - Norcross 20 to 2 over the Gwinnett Eagles - The Blue Devils got it going offensively Sunday afternoon as they pounded out 18 hits and only allowed 6 hits in route to a 20 to 2 rout over a team that beat them 22 days ago. Mike Olson pitched two shutout innings and played very well defensively to take home the first player of the game award.  Shortstop Drew Aspinwall made the defensive web gem of the year with a diving effort on a looping line drive headed to left field to end an Eagles threat in the 2nd inning.  Chris McNulty reached base all four times, scored two and threw out the only runner who attempted to steal (by 4 steps).  Drew and Chris also took home player of the game honors for their outstanding games.

The Blue Devils are off for 19 days and return to action on Friday, April 13th at Mountain Park.  Norcross is 7-3 (4-1 GGBL) at the break.
More | Box)

3/24/2007 - Norcross Loses to North Gwinnett - Leading by a score of 6-5 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth inning - Norcross played uncharacteristic defense and gave into the vocal partisan fans and players of North Gwinnett by a final score of 14-6.  Players of the game for Norcross were Jacob Gassert (2 hits, 2 RBI's) and Griffin Ramsey (2 RBI's). Norcross is back at it today as they host the Gwinnett Eagles at 3pm.
( More | Box)

3/23/2007 - Norcross Beats Parkview 5-4 - Michael Bauer pitched 3 innings of no hit shutout ball throwing only 26 total pitches and Andrew Thunhorst shut the door again pitching the final two innings allowing only one base runner.  Griffin Ramsey had a clutch hit and RBI to win the game for the 9U Blue Devils.  Norcross travels to North Gwinnett to face the another tough team tomorrow night, the first pitch is 8pm.  They will be at home again on Sunday as they play host to the Gwinnett Eagles for the rubber match of the season three game series.
( More | Box)

3/18/2007 - Norcross Extends Winning Streak - The 9U Blue Devils won for the 4th consecutive time on Sunday as they beat the South Gwinnett Comets by a score of 15-4.  Sam Grosswald pitched 2 scoreless innings and Drew Aspinwall stayed hot going 3 for 3 with 2 runs scored and 4 RBI's.  For Drew it was his 7th consecutive plate appearance with a hit.  The defensive play of the season so far was turned in by center fielder Zack Walch as South's Evan Sturgill hit a bomb to the deepest part of the ball park and Zack made a running over the shoulder "snow cone" grab with runners on second and third.  Zack was able to hold the runner on second as South scored their first run of the game on the Sacrifice Fly. Norcross is back in action next Friday night playing host to Mountain Park, game time is 8pm.
More | Box)

3/18/2007 - Norcross Avenges Gwinnett Eagles Loss - Norcross beat the Gwinnett Eagles from Collins Hill by a final score of 9-3.  Norcross played the entire game without an error which included Christopher McNulty throwing out 2 base stealers and assisting on a 2-6-2 "Jeter" play to close out the top of the fourth inning.  Three Norcross pitchers combined to allow only 5 base hits in the game. Norcross is at home again today versus South Gwinnett, the first pitch is scheduled for  3pm.
More | Box)

3/11/2007 - Norcross Avenges Lawrenceville Loss - After a scoreless first and second innings, Norcross sent 10 batters to the plate in the third and twelve batters to in the fourth avenging last Sunday's loss to Lawrenceville by a final score of 16-6.  Andrew Thunhorst continued his mastery over the Black Knights spreading 4 hits and 3 runs over the first three innings.  Brendan Furry had two solid hits and collected two RBI's and Mike Olson batted twice in the fourth and final inning with two RBI's including the RBI that gave Norcross the 10 run rule victory in the final at bat of the game.
( More | Box)

3/10/2007 - Norcross Wins GGBL Opener - Norcross batted around in two of three innings and won the opening game of their GGBL season by a score of 18-3.  Sam Grosswald worked two innings and allowed only one base runner and Andrew Thunhorst played flawlessly in the field as both Amberfield boys earned players of the game honors.  Ten of eleven Norcross players scored in the game.  Norcross plays Lawrenceville at 3pm at Pinckneyville Park Sunday.
( More | Box)

3/12/2007 - Norcross 9U NCAA Basketball Pool - Kansas? Winthrop? GA Tech? This should be a fun tournament.  Click the link below to play in this years bracket pick'em pool: http://norcross9u.mayhem.sportsline.com

3/11/2007 - NCAA Finals Tickets - Michele's dad has six tickets to the NCAA Finals game on Monday, April 2nd and will sell them for $200 each.  First come, first served.

3/4/2007 - Norcross Loses Game 3 - Norcross put together a late rally that fell a little short as they were eliminated from the Gwinnett South Shootout by Lawrenceville by a score of 10-7.
( More | Box)

3/3/2007 - Norcross Loses Game 2 - Chris McNulty stayed hot hitting his third  home run in two days but it wasn't enough as Norcross lost to the Gwinnett Eagles by a score of 7-4.  Andrew Thunhorst breezed through the final 3 innings only throwing 33 total pitches.  Zack Walch and Griffin Ramsey each had two hits in the game.
( More | Box)

3/3/2007 - Norcross Wins Game 1 - Chris McNulty hit two towering home runs in his first two plate appearances as Norcross beat Loganville in the opening game of the South Gwinnett Shootout.   Norcross plays the Gwinnett Eagles from Collins Hill at noon today in game two.
( More | Box)

2/28/2007 - Practice Season is Over! - Recap of the 9U Practice season

2/28/2007 - Practice Added Next Week - Next Wednesday and Thursday we will be playing split practice games with Coach Roby Kerr's Minor Mets.  Both teams will be split and merged together and play each other on two consecutive nights - Wednesday 3/7 6pm - 7:30pm Dan Watts Field and Thursday 3/8 7:30-9:00pm at Pinckneyville Park #4.

2/27/2007 - Batting Practice Tonight- Batting practice from 5:30pm to 6:30pm at Pinckneyville Middle School.

2/25/2007 - Norcross Splits Weekend Practice Games - Friday night the Lawrenceville Black Knights beat the 9U Norcross Blue Devils helped out by 6 Norcross errors and 11 walks and on Saturday afternoon Norcross beat the Peachtree Ridge Lions turning it around as they did not commit one error in the game.

2/22/2007 - Lawrenceville Practice Game - Please have your son to Rhodes Jordan Park 45 minutes prior to game time for warm up (4:15pm). After the game, there is a Norcross High school basketball Georgia State Regional Tournament game vs. Wheeler that promises to be exciting. We have heard from several families that will be leaving the game and going directly to the basketball game. Gina Gassert has the details on that and will be sending out more info about it this afternoon. The concession stand will not be open on Saturday in Lawrenceville. Michele is bringing hotdogs, chips, cookies, and a cooler of drinks to the fields for the game.

2/22/2007 - Vacation Schedule - Our team has implemented a vacation schedule that allows players/families on the team to plan a weekend or just a game to take off during the season. The vacation chart has been circulated for the team. The Furry's were the first draw and have already picked their dates. We have many games so if you just have one date you would like to pick - that is fine. Or, if you have a weekend that you will be out of town- that will work too. The next on the list is the Olson family, like a fantasy football draft they are on the clock! After picks are made Michele will update the team which dates are left.

2/21/2007 - Batting Practice Tonight -
Even thought the park has closed the practice fields due to rain tonight, we are going to hold our practice at Dan Watts field (in the batting cages) from 6-7:30pm as scheduled.

2/20/2007 - Lawrenceville Game Moved - The game this Friday 2/23 8pm vs. Lawrenceville has been moved to Saturday night 2/24 at 5pm due to conflicts with both teams playing in season ending basketball tournaments.  The weather for Saturday nights game is mostly cloudy and a high of 63 degrees.

2/19/2007 - Sunday Afternoon Practice - Batting practice with Anthony Byrd will be rescheduled for a later date.

2/19/2007 - Sunday Afternoon Practice - Sunday, 2/18 afternoon from 4-6pm  Anthony Byrd (AB) will conduct a hitting clinic for our team.  Please dress warmly as it will be cold (low 40's) on Sunday.

2/19/2007 - Sunday Intra-Squad Basketball Game - Big thanks to Mark Gassert for organizing an intra-squad basketball game at the Robert D. Fowler YMCA this Sunday from 2-3pm. This should be a lot of fun for the boys since most have played basketball this season but on separate teams. Mark has arranged to get “guest passes” for those on the team that are not members. I do know there are a couple of kids who cannot make it since they are out of town so please let Coach Mark Gassert know if your son cannot play in the game.

2/16/2007 - South Gwinnett Shootout Pairings - The 9U Blue Devils will open the tournament on Friday 3/2 at 8pm vs. Loganville and play again the following morning at noon vs. the Gwinnett Eagles.
( More | Rules )

2/16/2007 - 2007 South Gwinnet Annual Shootout - Thanks you to the players and parents of “69 teams” for participating in our Annual GRAND SLAM WORLD SERIES QUALIFIER. As your tournament director, please feel free to contact me by email (tgaines@sgaasports.com) or voicemail (404-570-SGAA) with any questions you may have. Good luck to all – we’ll pray for dry weather but if not here’s the rainout # for parents – 404-570-SGAA. I will update only if rain is an issue by 4 pm weekdays for both parks to keep everyone informed.  The Rules.

Tim Gaines
Tournament Director


9U Bracket  Field: South #4

Group A   Group B
Mountain Park Panthers Norcross Blue Devils
Home Plate Chilidogs Gwinnett Eagles
Lawrenceville Black Nights Loganville Red Devils

Friday 3/2 6PM Mountain Park vs. Lawrenceville
8PM Norcross vs. Loganville
Saturday 3/3 10AM Home Plate vs. Mountain Park
12PM Norcross vs. Gwinnett Eagles
2PM Home Plate vs. Lawrenceville
4PM Gwinnett Eagles vs. Loganville
6PM Norcross vs. Lawrenceville
Sunday 3/4 11AM A#2 SEED vs. B#3 SEED

9U Championship


2/15/2007 - Practice Cancelled - The practice scheduled for 6:30pm tonight at Pinckneyville Park has been cancelled due to cold weather.

2/13/2007 - Upcoming Practices - Beginning this Saturday the Norcross Recreation baseball program will begin practice. We will begin practicing next week on Wednesday nights at Dan Watts field from 6:00-7:30pm. This will be our practice night throughout the season.

Tonight (2/13) night we will have an indoor batting practice at Berkeley Baseball Academy from 6-7pm. Please try to be there early enough that we can get started at 6pm sharp since we only have one hour. I will have a pitching machine going and hopefully a few other batting stations setup so they all get a lot of swings in the hour.

Thursday night we have a field practice at Pinckneyville Park from 6:30 to 8:30pm on the game field.

Big thanks to Mark Gassert for working with the youth sports director at the YMCA and scheduling an intra-squad basketball game at the Robert D. Fowler YMCA this Sunday from 2-3pm. This should be a lot of fun for the boys since most have played basketball this season but on separate teams. Mark has arranged to get “guest passes” for those on the team that are not members. I do know there are a couple of kids who cannot make it since they are out of town so please let Coach Mark Gassert know if your son cannot play in the game. We will have our regular practice later on Sunday afternoon from 4-6pm as Anthony Byrd (AB) will be there to run a hitting clinic specifically for our team.

2/12/2007 - Practice Change - Due to expected thunderstorms for Tuesday evening, we will hold the practice at Berkley Baseball Academy from 6-7pm.  Batting Practice only.

2/5/2007 - In-Season Practice Schedule - We have been assigned a Wednesday night practice slot at Dan Watts field during the season.

2/7/2007 - Parkview beats Norcross 6-5 - The Blue Devils started slow as the Parkview Panthers jumped out to a 6-0 lead scoring in each of the first three innings. But Norcross chipped away at the lead until the tying run was thrown out at the plate to end the game.  The game was a great workout for Norcross as 7 pitchers made an appearance and they were able to workout 4 catchers.

2/5/2007 - Norcross Baseball Clinic - Sponsored By Norcross High School Baseball Dug Out Club. Feb. 11, 1:30- 4:00 pm - Norcross High School Baseball Field - Clinic under the direction of Norcross Head Baseball Coach Andy Collins.

2/6/2007 - Practice Game - After 26 practices the Norcross Blue Devil 9U team will take the field for the first time as they play at Mountain Park (directions). Game time has been moved up to 6:30pm - please be there by 6:00pm for warm-ups. 

2/2/2007 - Saturday Practice Change - Due to expected cold weather conditions, we will be practicing indoors on Saturday from 4:30-6:00pm at Berkeley Baseball Academy. 

2/1/2007 - We have scheduled 3 sessions (1 hour each) at Berkeley Academy next Thursday night to video tape the boys batting and pitching mechanics.  We will analyze these videos and meet individually with each player to review.  We will then video everyone again in a few months to look for improvement.  We will divide the kids in groups of three and ask that you come to one of the four 1-hour slots:

Slot 1: Thr 01/31 - 5:30pm - 6:30pm: Gassert, McNulty, Furry, Walch

Slot 1: Thr 01/31 - 6:30pm - 7:30pm: Grosswald, Olson, Thunhorst

Slot 2: Thr 01/31 - 7:30pm - 8:30pm: Aspinwall, Vaughan, Bauer, Ramsey

1/25/2007 - GGBL Schedule - The 2007 Season Schedule is now available and posted on the Schedule page.  There is also a convenient PDA page to link to with your PDA or Cell Phone. To link to the mobile page from your device link to this address: https://walch.biz/mobile

Here are a few of the highlights of our schedule:

  • We have Mothers day off!!
  • We play all of our home games on Friday, Saturday or Sundays at Pinckneyville Park #4
  • We play two road games (at Collins Hill and at Dacula) in May on Tuesday night at 8pm, but other than that all of our games are on the weekend.
  • Beginning Saturday, March 24th we have 19 consecutive days off for spring break.  We will schedule some practices for those who are in town and can make it. 
  • We do not have any games during the week of Gateway testing (4/9 – 4/13)
  • We do not have any games during the week of CRCT testing (4/18 – 4/20 and 4/23 – 4/24)
1/5/2007 - South Gwinnett Annual Shootout  - The Norcross 9U Team will participate in the South Gwinnett Shootout to be held at South Gwinnett Park in Snellville from March 1st through the 4th.  80 Teams participated (six age groups) in this tournament last year.  The tournament is a Grand Slam Sports World Series Qualifier which is held July 21st in Panama City.

1/7/2007 - 9U GGBL Teams Announced - The following parks will have a 9U team in GGBL this season:

  • Buford
  • Collins Hill
  • Dacula
  • Lawrenceville
  • Loganville
  • Mill Creek
  • Mountain Park
  • Norcross
  • North Gwinnett
  • Peachtree Ridge
  • South Gwinnett
12/4/2006 - 9U Norcross Travel Kick Off Open House - The 9U Travel season kicks off with a get together to meet the other players and families! We will have an informal dinner with pizza and beverages and lots of fun! Please have your players wear their Norcross All-star jersey. Coaches please wear a Norcross Shirt. If you don't have one, extras will be available. A team picture will be taken at the party. Hope to see everyone there!  The party will be held at The Furry's Home on Friday, January 12th at 7pm at 5280 Blue Yarrow Run, Norcross, GA (Map).

11/23/2006 - Winter Strength and Conditioning Program - The Norcross 9U team will begin a baseball oriented winter strength and conditioning program to be administered by Anthony Byrd.  If you don't know Anthony, he served as the Norcross assistant varsity baseball coach for the last 4 seasons, was a 3 year starter at Georgia Tech and played 5 years of professional baseball in the Twins and Expos organizations.  The program will be held at the new SuperKick facility very close to Pinckneyville park located at 4825 South Old Peachtree Road (behind the Dairy Queen).

The program will consist of 16 sessions on Tuesday and Sunday evenings beginning on Sunday, Dec 3rd and ending on Sunday, February 4th.  We will take 2 weeks off between 12/19 and 1/2 for Christmas and New Years.  The Tuesday sessions will begin at 6:30pm and run to 7:15pm and the Sunday sessions will begin a 5:30pm and run to 6:45pm. The complete schedule is posted on the team's schedule page.

11/27/2006 - Practice at 2pm for this Sunday (11/26) at Pinckneyville Park

11/23/2006 - From the feedback I have heard, until we get indoors the consensus seems to be to practice earlier in the afternoon on Sunday's.  Practice at 2pm for this Sunday at Pinckneyville Park.

I mentioned in an earlier email last Thursday that I was working on organizing a baseball oriented winter strength and conditioning program to be administered by Anthony Byrd.  If you don't know Anthony, he served as the Norcross assistant varsity baseball coach for the last 4 seasons, was a 3 year starter at Georgia Tech and played 5 years of professional baseball in the Twins and Expos organizations.  The program will be held at the new SuperKick facility very close to Pinckneyville park located at 4825 South Old Peachtree Road (behind the Dairy Queen).
The program will consist of 16 sessions on Tuesday and Sunday evenings beginning on Sunday, Dec 3rd and ending on Sunday, February 4th.  We will take 2 weeks off between 12/19 and 1/2 for Christmas and New Years.  The Tuesday sessions will begin at 6:30pm and run to 7:15pm and the Sunday sessions will begin a 5:30pm and run to 6:45pm. The complete schedule is posted on the team's schedule page

11/16/2006 - Just a quick update concerning winter team workouts. We have 9 or our 11 boys playing basketball this winter so scheduling practices for our team will be a challenge because everyone has practice on differing nights. It does look good for Tuesday nights however since (as of now) no one has practice on that night. I am still working on a program with Anthony Byrd out of the Berkeley Academy (and Norcross High School) and will let you know as soon as we have something finalized. For now, I would like to get together as a team every Sunday early evening from 4:30pm to 6:30pm at the back field at Dan Watts. It will get cold, so please have your son dressed appropriately. We have budgeted for indoor cages and for really bad weather days I will schedule with Lou at Berkeley and let you know ahead of time to meet there instead of at Dan Watts. The forcast for this Sunday is 47 degrees and mostly cloudy.

I have a Pete Rose video that I would like to show to the team before we have too many practices and will get that scheduled as well. See you Sunday at 4:30pm at Dan Watts field.

11/2/2006 - Hello and welcome to the 2007 Spring Norcross 9U GGBL Travel Baseball Team!  I am by no means an English major, but that is a lot of adjectives.  On behalf of my assistant coach Curtis Ramsey, congratulations on your son’s selection to the team.  Here is our official team Roster:

#82 - Drew Aspinwall
#51 - Michael Bauer
#13 -Brendan Furry
#2 - Jacob Gassert
#34 - Sam Grosswald
#8 - Chris McNulty
#32 - Mikey Olson
#3 - Griffin Ramsey
#4 - Andrew Thunhorst
#21 - Jesse Vaughan
#22 - Zack Walch

Please forward to me your son’s uniform number preference; hopefully there are no duplicate choices.  If there are duplicates I will consider who sent in there preference first.  It is very unusual for me to coach a team that I am so unfamiliar with the parents and kids on the team – it will be refreshing to meet new families in the upcoming spring baseball season.  Even though I am unfamiliar with a lot of families on the team, I have heard from many that we have a fun bunch.  This spring’s team will be the 16th team I have coached at Pinckneyville Park.  My Dad was a very successful baseball coach in Wisconsin and my father in-law (Zack’s grandpa Petitgoue) was inducted into the Wisconsin Coach’s Hall of Fame in 2003 for his success in coaching high school basketball. 
Jackie Thunhorst has graciously volunteered to be our team secretary/treasurer for the season.  One of the many tasks performed by Jackie will be to collect your son’s birth certificate, which we will need for the eligibility affidavit we have to file with the league.  Please forward to Jackie your current contact information and any secondary email addresses you would like added to our distribution list.  I have provided Jackie a preliminary roster that has information I have gathered from past seasons rosters.  Please reply back to me with your son’s winter sports schedule so I can determine a winter workout plan that will best work for the entire team.  Also, let me know if you have a family membership at the YMCA as I am trying to setup a team strength and conditioning training program and it will help in my negotiations with them to know we have team members that are also members of the Y. 
Our team’s operating expenses will be about $7000 that we will need to obtain by either getting sponsorships or through fund raising.  As I mentioned in the handout you received at the tryout, $250 per family is due immediately to cover league expenses and uniform purchases that we will incur within the next month.  If your company or someone you know can sponsor our team please let me know as there are some guidelines we need to follow that are outlined in our parks travel handbook – but it would be great to lessen the personal financial burden for each of us by obtaining sponsorships or generating money through a fund raising event.  One idea for a fund raising event that I thought of could be a golf outing, if you have an idea that you have seen work in the past please let me know.
Please go to the NDYBSA website (http://www.norcrossbaseballsoftball.com) under Travel to register your son.  There is a link there that will get you into the spring registration system.  You will need to pay the league directly this season (either by credit card or check) $70 which is used to purchase insurance for our team.  This needs to be completed within the next two weeks.
My wife Michele will be our social director and will be organizing a pre-season get party and will be forwarding more information along as she plans it (we are still playing now in our fall league – so we still need to coordinate the end of season party with them).  She will be coordinating our Team Video and Team Music CD.  Please email Michele at Michele@walch.biz with a song choice for your son to be included on the team CD.  At the end of the season, we will combine the songs with video footage and still photo’s taken during the season onto a DVD that we will distribute to the team (and watch) at the end of the season party.  We have had a tradition over the past several years to include Zack’s older brother Jake in the role of the JSPN “sideline reporter”.  We team him up with other older siblings on the team and they have fun interviewing the players of the game that we record digitally and use on the year end video.  If your son has an older sibling that is interested in working with Jake this season, let Michele know so we can include him/her on the first event.
I welcome all parents who have an interest in helping with the team to bring your glove to practice and jump in.  I have a series of drills that work on basic fundamentals of ball skills, technique and leadership on the field.  Our team will establish team oriented goals that we will refer to at every practice.  We will improve with every practice and with every game – and our primary goal will be to win the GGBL regular season and end of season tournament.   You cannot win at any level unless you get the entire team working together as one unit.  I feel it is my job to get everyone on the team to contribute to the bottom line success of the entire unit.  It is all about leadership, attitude and cohesiveness on the field and I believe those are the most valuable skills that will be taught on this team.
I mentioned above that I feel it is important for the team to work toward a set of goals.  The goals I set for my teams have always been team oriented, not individually driven.  Examples of these are:  “play an error free game”, “play a game where everyone reaches base”, “get a shutout”, or “win the league”.  These goals are presented at one of the first team meetings and the expectation is set that everything we do as a team is done to reach these goals.  I typically focus drills on those things that help the team to steadily improve (offensively and defensively) so that by the end of the season we are the team to beat.  It is always great to hear from a parent or grand parent about “how well the team has improved since the beginning of the season”.  To keep the kids motivated, I employ a series of competitive drills that benchmark results and show their individual improvement over time.  I have found that these drills are even more effective because they are competitive the kids enjoy doing them.
If you have any questions, or would like to discuss the team at further length, you may email me or call me on my cell (404) 759-0011. Thank you and we look forward to seeing all of you soon!
Recap of your action items:

  • Forward me your son’s uniform number preference
  • Get your son’s birth certificate to Jackie Thunhorst
  • Let me know if you are a member of the YMCA
  • Forward contact information including secondary email addresses to Jackie Thunhorst
  • Make $250 check payable to Jackie Thunhorst
  • Research possible sponsorships within your personal network
  • Go to the NDYBSA website under Travel to register your son
  • Forward to Michele your son’s favorite song for inclusion on the teams music CD





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