2010 Norcross 12U Blue Devils Diary

7-08-2010 - Finally! Cooperstown Bound - Norcross packs their bags for Cooperstown. The game schedule released today has the Blue Devils playing6 pool-play games against teams from Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada and Kansas. 4 of the first 6 games are video broadcast over the internet on Dreamspark TV. The schedule page is updated with the complete tournament schedule.

Cooperstown Web Site

6-22-2010 - Norcorss Teams Finally Meet - The Norcross "Blue" is all set for Cooperstown as they finished the "regular" season by downing the Norcross Gray team 12-4 in a lightning shortened game. Familiar umpires Marv Soskin and Richard Johnson called the game. After several game cancellations due to bad weather and schedule conflicts the game between the two Norcross 12U teams finally became reality. The game was tied at two after the first inning of play. Both teams used this game as a tune-up for their season ending finales - Gray @ Disney in Orlando and Blue @ Cooperstown NY. Many players from these two teams will eventually become teammates down the line.

Thanks to Marv and Richard for coming out early to help inform the parents of the schedule and details concerning Cooperstown.

Brendan Furry

6/20/2010 – Lightning Knocks Lights Out for Norcross 6 - 5 – Returning to Bunten Field after celebrating Father's Day with dads, the Norcross Blue Devils battled the top B Pool seed, South Gwinnett Lightning in the second game of tournament bracket play.

Recurring loose Blue Devil defense allowed 5 Lightning runs to score in the 1st 3 innings before an exciting 4th inning Norcross rally evened the game at 5 runs each. Chris McNulty finally got it going for Norcross with an RBI single in the top of the 4th inning and aggressive running Jake Gassert came home on a passed ball to score. Drew Aspinwall stroked a 2 RBI double and a Sammy Grosswald RBI dropped pop fly in right field tied the game at 5 runs apiece.

In the final 5th inning South Gwinnett loaded the bases and a bloop fly ball over the Blue Devil 2nd baseman's head allowed the Lightning to go ahead by a run in the time shortened final 5th inning.

After a respectable Brian McCann Summer Classic Tournament performance the Blue Devils are looking forward to some well deserved summer vacation and are soon to travel to Cooperstown, New York for the long awaited trip to baseball nirvana at the "Crown Jewel Of Youth Baseball" ........ "Where baseball present meets the traditional values of baseball past™.

Mikey Olson Hits HR at McCann Tournament

6/20/2010 – Norcross Hits Hammer Hornets 11 - 3 – Trying sleep deprivation as means of reviving reluctant bats, the Norcross Blue Devils liked the early morning start against the B Pool Roswell Hornets.

Jesse Vaughan, fresh from a week, of camp started on the mound for Norcross, throwing 2 shutout innings and holding Roswell to a single run for 3 innings. Defense was awake catching a Hornet in a 1st inning pickle run down, and a second inning 1-6-3 double play swatted 2 more bees.

Blue Devils bats were banging every inning starting with a Griffin Ramsey triple, brought home by a Chris McNulty sac fly RBI. Mikey Olson stayed up late to see Brian McCann go deep at Turner Field and coming to the plate in the 2nd inning drove a Hornet pitch over the center field 230 foot sign at Bunten Road Park for 2 RBIs.

Chris (red and blue face paint cleaned up from the night before) ripped another RBI followed by a bases clearing Nellie Stewart double and a Drew Aspinwall RBI to go up 8-0 after 2 innings.

Not done, the refreshed Blue Devil batters scored 3 more in the 3rd and 4th innings with Alan Carter driving in a run and Griffin Ramsey hitting deep to center field for another 2 RBI homer in the game.

After a long Father's mid Day break, the Blue Devils return to Bunten Road park for a 4:30 PM start against the top B Pool seed, the South Gwinnett Lightning in the second game of tournament bracket play.

6/18/2010 – NYO Titans Top Norcross 10 - 3 – Another big all star team from an inner city Atlanta park pounded Norcross pitching for 10 runs Saturday to hand Norcross their 2nd loss in the First Annual Brian McCann Summer Classic.

The Blue Devils bounced back from a sluggish Friday evening to start strong against the big Titans. Playing in a wilting afternoon 95° heat, Alan Carter threw 2 shutout innings helped by a 1st inning right fielder Jacob Gassert 3rd out gun down of a Titan trying for home. A well executed pickle run down of another Titan trying to plate run in the 2nd kept it scoreless after 2 NYO at bats.

Norcross runs were hard to come by but in the bottom of the 2nd inning, with his first of 2 RBIs in the game, a Jesse Vaughan sacrifice fly to right field put the Blue Devils up by a run.

A towering 2 run homer by NYO in the 3rd inning, followed by 4 runs in the 4th and 4 more in the 5th buried the Blue Devils in the time limit 5 inning game.

On a local note, NYO was coached by Randy Rhino, the only three-time, first-team all-America football player in Georgia Tech history, who was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002.

After a late night out watching the Braves Troy Glause walk off homer beat the KC Royals at Turner Field, the Blue Devils return to Bunten Road park for an early 8:30 AM start against the Roswell Hornets in the first round of tournament bracket play.

Chris McNulty

6/18/2010 – Buckhead Braves Silence Blue Devil Bats 5 - 0 – Norcross base runners were scarce as a tough defensive Buckhead Braves team knocked down everything hit at them Friday night.

Norcross traveled to nearby Bunten Road Park in Duluth for the opening game of the First Annual Brian McCann Summer Classic only to come up runless in 6 innings.

Norcross pitchers were looking for defensive support of their own as sloppy fielding and throwing errors again marred a solid performance by starter Sam Grosswald and reliever Zack Walch who struck out 3 Braves batters in the 3rd inning.

The Blue Devils next play a Saturday afternoon Bunten Road Park matchup against the NYO Titans, a Northside Youth Organization team playing out of Chastain Park.

2010 Norcross Blue Devils

6/7/2010 - Norcross Eliminated from GGBL Tournament - Despite long solo home runs from Jacob Gassert and Nellie Stewart the Norcross Blue Devils were eliminated after 4 games in the Greater Gwinnett County Championships on Tuesday night by a score of 12-2 at the hands of the Grayson Rams. The Rams took advantage of 10 free passes issued by 4 different Blue Devil pitchers and included two home runs of there own to eventually run rule the Devils in 4 innings.

Next up for Norcross is the Brian McCann Summer Classic on June 18th in Duluth, GA.

Broadcast Crew

6/5/2010 – Ridge Runs Spoil Streak 13 - 3 – The 9 game Blue Devil winning streak was broken in the 3rd game of the GGBL Tournament as Peachtree Ridge batters hit everything four Norcross pitchers could throw at them. After allowing only 11 runs in 9 previous games, Norcross was ripped for a 13 run rule rout.

Norcross started strong when Chris "Diesel McNulty" went deep in the first inning to go up by 2 runs on the Ridge, but a seemingly sleepy defense gave Blue Devil hurlers little margin for error. Rumors were rampant in the Norcross clubhouse after the game that widespread curfew violations contributed to the sloppy performance.

The Blue Devils next play in a do or die game at 8:30 PM Monday evening at the well manicured Pinckneyville Park Sports Complex.

Norcross

6/4/2010 – Hit Train Rocks Rams 11 - 1 – The Tournament top seed Grayson Rams ran head long into the Norcross hit train Friday evening as the Blue Devils exploded for 7 runs in the top of the 5th inning to bury the GGBL league leader.

Norcross pitchers who have allowed only 11 runs in their last 9 games continued their domination of opposing batters. Zack "Attack" Walch allowed a single Ram run for three innings getting stronger as he went on facing only 3 batters in the 3rd inning. Jake Gassert gassed 3 batters in the 4th while dandy defense dominated the 5th with a Brendan Furry warning track catch in right field, Jake picking off a Ram runner at 2nd, and a Sammy Grosswald Cinderella line drive catch at 3rd base to end the 5th inning. Closer Brendan Furry came on the mound and fanned two Rams in the final 6th inning to rule the Rams.

Fans from as far away as Auburn, Alabama watched as Norcross had the triple threat working combining hitting, pitching, and error free defense to stay in control of the Grayson team all evening. Never trailing, Blue Devil Diesel McNulty ripped an RBI right away in the 1st inning. Nellie Stewart had 3 RBIs, Slammin Sammy 2, Andrew Thunhorst, Jake Gassert, Zack Walch each added 1, and Mikey Olson brought the crowd to their feet as he stroked a high fly ball RBI double to the right center field fence to go up 11-1 on Grayson after 5 innings.

The Blue Devils next play at 1pm Saturday afternoon at the newly beautiful Pinckneyville Park Sports Complex.

Jesse Vaughan6/3/2010 – Norcross Bats Bash Black Knights 9 - 2 – Norcross opened the first game of the 2010 GGBL Tournament on a well manicured home field Pinckneyville Park. With John Stewart’s infield looking like the 18th green at Augusta, Jesse Vaughan drove in the 1st run of the game with a double to left field.

Norcross ace Alan Carter started on the mound and kept the lid on Lawrenceville Knight bats holding the blackies to 1 run for 3 innings. Jesse Vaughan relieved in the 4th and closed the game over the final 3 innings allowing only a single run to the team that had run up 11 on the Blue Devils in their last meeting.

Mikey Olson and Jesse each had 2 RBIs on the evening driving balls towards Mark Gassert’s patriotic bunting on the outfield fences.

The game ended on a high note in the top of the 6th inning with 2 outs on the Knights when center fielder Griffin Ramsey gunned down a Knight runner trying to come home and Marv called “ball game”.

With the win Norcross will face the Tournament number 1 seed Grayson Friday evening at 6 PM.

Wood Bat Champs

5/31/2010 – Norcross Takes Wood Bat Title, Drops Chili Dogs 3 - 2 – Norcross remained on the field as the top seeded home team to face the Home Plate Chili Dogs in the championship game of the All American Wood Bat Tournament.

Blue Devils starting pitcher Andrew Thunhorst threw 4 shutout innings against the hot dogs extending the Norcross pitchers’ amazing scoreless inning streak to 16 over the past 4 games.

Hits for Norcross were harder to come by than a tournament park admission, but Nellie Stewart who was hotter at the plate than a mad fan at the entrance gate, ripped his 7th RBI of the 5 game tournament to get things going for the Blue Devils. Jesse Vaughan, who also dominated with the timber at the tournament, added another in the 4th to go up by 2 runs on the dogs.

After the Chili Dogs came back and tied the game at 2 runs each in the 5th inning, Andrew helped himself and drove in what would be the winning 3rd run for Norcross in the low scoring contest.

The Blue Devils who had struggled at times during the regular GGBL season really put it all together over the past 2 days. With outstanding pitching performance, great defensive play, and timely hitting, the Norcross Blue Devils dominated the All American Wood Bat Tournament leaving East Point intact with the championship trophy.

Mikey Olson and Griffin Ramsey

5/31/2010 – Blue Devils Silence Thunder in Semis 6 - 0 – The Blue Devils drove through a torrential downpour on the Northeast Expressway, returning to the John D Milner Sports Complex for the semi final round of bracket play in the Wood Bat Tournament.

Starting pitcher Mikey Olson was almost untouchable throwing a rare complete 6 inning shutout against the Suwanee Mountain Thunder, the team which had run up 11 runs on Norcross at the Cooperstown Challenge Tournament in late April.

Mikey helped himself with an RBI in the 2nd inning after Jesse Vaughan had batted in the first run for the Blue Devils in the 1st. Zack Walch had a bunt single RBI and slugging Nellie Stewart added 2 more runs as Blue Devil batters provided a 6 run cushion in the game.

With the win Norcross remains undefeated after 4 games and moves to the championship game of the All American Wood Bat Tournament.

Zack complete Game Shutout5/30/2010 – Norcross Shuts Out Bulls 8 - 0 – The second seed Blue Devils traveled across East Point to the Tom E. “Doc” Morris Sports Complex in beautiful Hapeville for the first pool play game against the Birmingham Bulls.

Even though Pat’s previous night onion ring order was now ready at Malone’s, the Blue Devil entourage stopped this time on the way to dine at Ruby Tuesday’s for a pre 3rd game of the day meal.

Fortified with a large lunch glass of milk, Zack Walch started on the mound for Norcross and pitched a complete game gem allowing only 2 hits in 4 innings, shutting out the Birmingham Bulls on the rainy evening.

Norcross hitters got the rodeo going in the bottom of the 1st inning as Jesse Vaughan drove in his first of 3 RBIs of the game with a long ball off the right field fence. Showing deceptive speed to the slow running Bulls, Jesse Vaughan and Chris McNulty executed a prefect double steal from 1st and 3rd with Diesel coming home for the 2nd run of the game.

Zack Walch, Andrew Thunhorst, Sam Grosswald, and Mikey Olson added RBI hits to go up 6-0 on the Birmingham boys after just 1 long inning completed.

After notching 3 wins on the long successful Sunday, Norcross returns to action Monday morning at 10 AM in further bracket play against the Sawnee Mountain Thunder at the John D. Milner Sports Complex in the All American Wood Bat Tournament.

5Fans/30/2010 – Blue Devils Punch Panthers 6 - 4 – The Blue Devils resumed the previous night’s washed out game at 12:50 PM where it was suspended with 3 on base and 2 outs, restarting the match with the Georgia Academy Panthers in the top of the 1st inning.

With Norcross failing to plate a run, Jesse Vaughan started on the mound for the Blue Devils and shut out the Georgia Academy team for 3 innings aided by a right fielder Brendan Furry throw out of a Panther runner at 1st base.

Blue Devil sprits were temporarily dampened as they were shut down by a triple play in the top of the 4th inning only to fall behind as the Panthers pounced on the opportunity to score 4 runs in the bottom of the 4th.

Finally, Norcross drew blood in the 5th as Drew Aspinwall came home on a passed ball followed by a Sam Grosswald RBI single to pull within 2 runs of the Panthers.

Down 4-2 in the top of the 6th inning, Norcross had loaded the bases when a third run came home on a hit batter and the tying run came in on a Georgia Academy walk. Zack Walch and Nellie Stewart RBIs added 2 runs to stake closer Jacob Gassert to a 2 run lead in the bottom of the 6th. Jacob faced just 3 batters to punch out the Panthers and remain undefeated in pool play in the All American Wood Bat Tournament.

Nellie5/30/2010 – Blue Devils Shut Down Sandtown 14 - 1 – Playing in the first game of the All American Wood Bat Tournament at John D Milner Sports Complex in East Point Georgia, Norcross pitching shut down the Reds batters for 4 innings.

Norcross swung the lumber led by Neely Farm boys Chris McNulty with 3 RBIs, and Nellie Stewart 3 RBIs, as 6 Blue Devils drove in runs to run rule the Sandtown Reds.

Fans from as far away as Plano, Texas watched starting pitcher Alan Carter mystify Reds batters for 3 innings with a mix of pitches that had the Sandtown team swinging for strikes or hitting weak balls for outs. In a rare mound appearance, grinning Drew Aspinwall came on the rubber to close the game in the 4th inning striking out the first batter and retiring the next 2 to end the game.

Norcross will next face the Georgia Academy Panthers in a restart of the prior night’s 10PM washout.

Cooperstown Banner

 

5/24/2010 - Cooperstown Banner - Special Thanks to Mark Gassert for getting the our Team Banner printed for Cooperstown and to Jim Olson for taking the Photography! The Cooperstown countdown has begun!

Andrew Thunhorst5/23/2010 – Blue Devil Hurlers Break Grip, 6 - 1 – Playing in the final game of the regular GGBL season, Norcross pitching dominated the Lawrenceville Grip in a Sunday afternoon contest at Pinckneyville Park.

Starter Andrew Thunhorst allowed only one run in three innings while Norcross batters rocked. Led by a 1st inning Jacob Gassert 2RBI home run and a Drew Aspinwall 3rd inning 2 RBI double the Blue Devils went up 5-1 on the Grip after 3 innings.

Middle inning reliever Brendan Furry pitched a shutout 4th inning and Mikey Olson came on the mound in the 5th with 2 on base to get out of the inning unscathed, finishing the job in the 6th to retire 3 more red Lawrenceville batters.

Post game, a record home crowd including grandparents from 4 states as far away as Cuba City, Wisconsin watched the happy Blue Devil players serenade Coach Walch on his 39th (again) birthday.

Ending the season on a high note, the Blue Devils will have some wood bat fun at home field Pinckneyville Park Wednesday evening against the Suwanee Stix followed by a weekend wood bat tournament at the John D. Milner Sports Complex in East Point, Georgia.

Griffin Ramsey5/22/2010 – Ridge Rocks Norcross 10 - 5 – The Peachtree Ridge Lions opened the second game of the afternoon double header with back to back home runs to go up 2 runs on the Norcross Blue Devils right away.

This time Norcross fought back with a Drew Aspinwall bases clearing 2 RBI triple down the 3rd base line into the right field corner. Zack Walch and Nellie Stewart added RBI’s to claw back to a 4-2 lead after the first inning.

Reliever Jacob Gassert threw a 4 pitch 4th inning to keep the Blue Devils in contention but down 7-4 after 4 innings. Norcross could not mount a significant rally and gave up 3 more runs to trail Peachtree Ridge by 5 runs in the 6 inning regulation contest.

Norcross will try to regroup tomorrow with a Sunday afternoon home game make up against the Lawrenceville Grip at Pinckneyville Park.

Jesse Vaughan5/22/2010 – Leaving Runners, Devils Fall to Lions 6 - 5 – Norcross fell 1 run short to the Peachtree Ridge Lions in the first game of a Saturday afternoon double header at Bunten Road Park in Duluth.

Norcross stranded 11 runners in the 6 inning game which proved to be costly as the Blue Devils came up short in scoring.

The Blue Devils best effort on the afternoon came as they mounted a 3 run rally in the 5th inning when Chris McNulty, Drew Aspinwall, and Jesse Vaughan each drove runs across the plate to tie the Lions 5-5.

A walk off line drive RBI by the Peachtree Ridge team ended the long 2 hour game with disappointing results for Norcross.

5/16/2010 - Lawrenceville Slugger Dominates Norcross - The big Lawrenceville 1st Baseman Aaron Gonzalez using his often dented Worth Lithium bat hammered two towering home runs tallying 7 RBI's to help the Black Knights gain a split in the season series with the Blue Devils. The game was stopped short due to a soaking down poar that occured with two outs in the top of the 4th inning and was eventually cancelled due to rain.

The Blue Devils finish the GGBL regular season this weekend playing host to the Lawrenceville Grip on Friday night (8:30pm at Pinckneyville Park) and travelling to Peachtree Ridge Park on Saturday for a double header at 2 and 4pm.

Zack Walch5/14/2010 – Norcross Batters Rams 9 - 5 – Playing the GGBL League leading Grayson Rams at their home Bay Creek Park in Loganville, the Norcross Blue Devils jumped out to a 3-0 first inning lead. After loading the bases, Blue Devil slugger Jesse Vaughan drove in the first run followed by a Zack Walch line drive rip up the middle bringing home 2 more.

Zack Walch started on the mound for Norcross and used a wicked sinker to hold the hard swinging Rams to a single run for 3 innings.

Nellie Stewart amazed the crowd with another long ball over the Bay Creek Park fence driving in 2 more runs followed by an Alan Carter rip down the 3rd base line to the left field fence adding 2 more to put the Devils up 7-1 in the top of the 4th inning.

During a 15 minute lightning delay, Jacob Gassert fortified himself with Krystal burgers from the aluminum room. When play resumed Jake used a step ladder to reach a high Ram pitch and send it over the fence for his 5th solo shot of the season.

Blue Devil fans from as far away as Lincolnshire, Illinois watched strong defensive glove work as Jesse Vaughan closed the game for Norcross, pitching the final 3 innings keeping the lid on the frustrated Rams who had lost only 2 games over the season.

The Blue Devils continue their 3 game road trip Sunday afternoon traveling on to Rhodes Jordan Park in Lawrenceville for a 6:00 PM joust with the Knights.

Nellie Goes Deep5/14/2010 – Norcross Short to Wolves 9 - 8 – For the 2nd time this season the Blue Devils came up one run short to the big Buford Wolves.

Playing on the road at Buford City Park, Norcross fell behind early by 8 runs to none after 3 innings that were marred by too many ground balls slipping through the infield or shallow Buford fly balls falling in for base hits in the outfield grass.

Norcross loaded the bases in the top of the 4th inning Blue Devil and spirits were lifted when Nellie Stewart came off the 15 day disabled list to scorch a grand slam home run over the regulation Buford left center field fence. Brendan Furry added a 2 RBI 2 single to make it a 6 run 4th inning comeback.

Although burned by errors, defensive highlights included a 1st inning 6-4-3 double play, an Alan Carter amazing grab in left field, plus a well executed Jesse Vaughan to Drew Aspinwall jeter play to keep the Blue Devils within reach.

Norcross bats rallied again in the 5th with a Jesse Vaughan RBI double off the right center field fence and a Zack Walch RBI 2 bagger to pull within a run of the tall Buford team before time expired.

The Blue Devils continue their 3 game road trip Saturday night looking for Bay Creek Park in Grayson for a 7:00 PM start against the Rams.

Alan Carter5/8/2010 – Norcross Downs Gold Falcons 6 - 5 – Blue Devil starting pitcher Alan Carter kept the hood on Falcon batters for 2 innings allowing only a single run as he pitched through the Dacula lineup. Aided by a hit stealing diving catch by the black eyed bandit Chris McNulty playing first base, Norcross went to the 3rd inning down a run but ready to rock. The loan run surrendered by Alan Carter was a towering 270 foot Home Run to the opposite field by the Falcons leadoff batter Dylan Singleton on the second pitch of the game.

Leadoff batter Mikey Olson got things going in the 3rd with a flare triple to right field followed by an Alan Carter RBI single to tie the game at 1 run a piece. A crazy inning ensued that would see a Jacob Gassert bases loaded walk, a Drew Aspinwall RBI bunt, a Blue Devil runner balked home, and a bandit Chris McNulty RBI to go up 5-1 on the surprised Falcons.

Reliever Jake Gassert came on the mound in the 4th inning with a 1 run lead and allowed only a single Dacula run for the final 3 innings as blackie Chris started shooting. Moving to catcher, Chris gunned down a Falcon flying toward 2nd base and again in the 5th the bandit executed an old time jeter play to send another Falcon flyer back to the Dacula Dugout.

Following center fielder Zack Walch who had 2 great fly ball catches earlier in the game, the cliff hanger 6 inning contest ended with left fielder Mikey Olson gliding under the last fly ball of the game catching the final Falcon drive for out number 3.

The Blue Devils continue GGBL action hosting Peachtree Ridge in a 7:30 PM home start at Pinckneyville Park Monday night.

Andrew Thunhorst5/8/2010 – Dacula Blue Downs Devils 5 - 2 – Saturday afternoon Norcross starting pitcher Brendan Furry kept the Dacula Blue Falcons grounded for 3 innings finally allowing only 1 run in the 3rd as Norcross led the game early.

Playing on the road at Dacula Park, the Blue Devils struck right away sparked by a leadoff single by Andrew Thunhorst and a Chris McNulty RBI to go up on the blue birds.

Norcross bats went quiet scoring only 2 runs in the late starting game to fall to the Blue Falcons by 3 runs in the 6 inning contest.

The Blue Devils next face the Dacula Park's Gold Falcon team with an immediate start at 4:45 PM.

5/7/2010 - Blue Devils Drop Close Game to Defending GGBL Champs 8-7 - Winning much of the game Friday night, the Norcross 12U Blue Devils couldn't hold a lead in the late going. The Dacula Gold team scored 4 runs in the top of the 5th inning to take a one run lead. This has been an ongoing theme to the season thus far - playing teams even but not being able to close out the close one run games.

Zack Walch started for Norcross pitching 3 strong innings and chipped in with 3 hits and was relieved by Jacob Gassert who also pitched 3 strong. But the Blue Devils couldn't hold the lead and lost their 4th one run game of the season.

5/5/2010 - Blue Devils Offense Sputters - Scoring runs has been an issue for the Blue Devils as of late. Norcross managed only two runs in an 8-2 loss to the Sharon Springs Baseball team at Sharon Springs park on Wednesday night. Playing with only 8 regulars, the injury and sickness bug has also plaqued the Blue Devils this season. Thanks to Patrick Hutton for filling in nicely and helping his old team out.

Alan Carter5/1/2010 – Spartans Elbow Devils 7 - 1 – Powered by strong pitching and sharp elbows, the Sharon Springs Spartans bumped the Blue Devils out of the 12U Cooperstown Challenge Tournament in the first game of bracket play.

The undefeated 5th seed SSS team effectively shut down 12th seeded Norcross batters while pushing 7 runs across the plate.

Reliever Andrew Thunhorst came on the mound in the 3rd inning and did not allow an earned run to keep the Blue Devils within reach.

Jesse Vaughan had the only Norcross RBI in the game driving Jacob Gassert home in the 4th inning for the single Blue Devil score in the game.

The Blue Devils will face Sharon Springs again in season play 7 PM Wednesday at Sharon Springs Park.

Sam Grosswald Home Run5/1/2010 – Devils Fall to Rocket Fire 6 - 5 A Roswell Rocket walk off home run in the bottom of the 6th inning spoiled a nice afternoon for the Norcross Blue Devils who had led the red Roswell team most of the game.

Jesse Vaughan stayed hotter than a Camaro on Buford Highway drilling a 2RBI line drive over the left center fence to go up by 2 runs on the Rockets right away in the 1st inning.

Starter Brendan Furry pitched 2 strong innings for Norcross allowing only 1 run as the Blue Devils led 2-1 after 2. Middle inning reliever Mikey Olson kept the Rockets on the launch pad thanks to star wars defense including a Jesse Vaughan (3rd base) to Drew Aspinwall (2nd) to Zack Walch (1st base) double play, and a catcher Chris McNulty shoot down of a stealing Rocket trying for 2nd base.

Slammin Sammy Grosswald lit up the scoreboard with a solo home run in the 4th inning and a Drew Aspinwall RBI triple put the Blue Devils up by 2 runs going into the bottom of the 6th inning.

A 3 run bottom of the 6th inning by the Roswell team sent the Blue Devils off the field without a tournament win after 2 games.

The Blue Devils return to All Tournament Players Park at 8:30 PM looking for their first win in the 12U Cooperstown Challenge Tournament.

Jesse Vaughan Home Run Celebration4/25/2010 – Sawnee Thunder Takes First Round 11 - 5 – The Sawnee Mountain Thunder prevailed over the Norcross Blue Devils in a Thursday night tournament start at All Tournament Players Park in Marietta.

The Blue Devils started strong with Jacob Gassert and Jesse Vaughan going back to back with solo home runs in the first inning to go up 2-1 on the Thunder.

Jesse pounded Thunder pitching again in the 2nd inning with a 2 RBI rip down the left field line to lead Sawnee 5-3 after 2 innings played.

Despite a solid pitching start by Jacob Gassert lasting into the 3rd innings, Sawnee batters kept chipping away, scoring in every inning, pulling away to an 11-5 lead when the short 1 hour and 30 minute game time limit was reached after 5 innings.

The Blue Devils travel back to All Tournament Players Park for a 2:15 PM Saturday continuation of play against the Roswell Rockets in the Cooperstown Challenge Tournament.

Zack Walch

4/25/2010 – Norcross Hit Train Flattens Eagles 12 - 2 – Still smarting from back to back losses at home, the Norcross Blue Devil train pulled into Collins Hill Park looking for road kill.

Facing the GGBL League leading Eagles, Zack Walch started on the mound and mystified Eagle batters mixing up his lefty pitches holding the Eagles to just 2 runs for 3 innings. Zack got stronger the longer he pitched, striking out all 3 batters he faced in the 3rd inning.

Drew Aspinwall had an RBI in the first inning followed by a 3rd inning Jesse Vaughan bases loaded 2 RBI shot to put the Eagles on notice Norcross had come for a bird shoot.

Reprising the classic Norcross 4th inning hit train, the Blue Devils got rolling exploding for 8 runs, dominating Eagle pitching. Alan Carter got it going with an RBI, while Jake Gassert and Drew Aspinwall each added another. Chris McNulty and Mikey Olson were both driving the ball hard, each having 2 RBI doubles in the inning to go up 11-2 on the green birds.

Reliever Griffin Ramsey cruised with the 9 run lead through the bottom of 4th inning aided by an Andrew Thunhorst to Drew Aspinwall double play. In all, Griffin completed 2 shutout innings facing just 3 batters in the final 5th inning before time forced the “home cookin” umps to call “ball game”.

The Blue Devils travel to All Tournament Players Park for a Thursday 8 PM game in the Cooperstown Challenge Tournament against the Sawnee Mountain Thunder.

Griffin Ramsey4/25/2010 – Buford Wolves Slip By Norcross 4 - 3 – Following a pre game feast highlighted by the Furry family culinary master Matt’s gifted grilling and Deanna’s butter and cream rich Chessman cookie topped banana pudding, Alan Carter started on the mound for Norcross in the 2nd game of the afternoon.

Powered by Jang Rea’s Raman noodle chicken salad, Alan pitching 3 strong innings allowing only one run to the big Wolf team.

After falling behind early by one run, Norcross tied the game a 1 run apiece before the inning ended as the 3rd Norcross base runner of the day was picked off base with no Coach Stewart “BAAAAAAAK” resonating off the neighboring office buildings!

Wolf scores were scarce thanks to catcher and 2nd baseman Griffin Ramsey who was designated the “Pro Sun Tan Company” defensive player of the game. Catcher Griff gunned down a would be 3rd base stealer in the 2nd inning and later made a leaping line drive grab at 2nd base to keep the game score tied at 2 - 2 after 4th innings played.

Despite dominating defense, the Blue Devil batters managed only 3 runs in 6 innings and Norcross fell a run short to Buford for the second loss on the disappointing but delicious afternoon.

The Blue Devils travel to Collins Hill for a Monday evening 8 PM start against the GGBL League leading Eagles.

4/25/2010 – Falcons Fly Over Devils 8 - 6 – Starting pitcher Jacob Gassert held the Dacula Blue Falcons to just 1 run for 2 innings, striking out the final batter in the 2nd inning with bases loaded to keep the score tied at 1-1.

Norcross fell back 4-1 to the Falcons after 4 innings when the Blue Devils exploded for a 5 run 5th inning. After Griffin Ramsey came home on a balk pitch, Brendan Fury ripped a 2 RBI single to tie the game at 4 runs apiece. Hotter than a stolen tamale on Beaver Ruin Road, Jake Gassert stepped up to the plate and smoked his 3rd home run in the past 2 weeks to put the Blue Devils up 6 - 4 over the fluttering Falcons.

Despite the 2 run lead, Norcross stumbled in the final inning allowing Dacula to peck out 4 runs. The Blue Devils could not overcome the 8 – 6 deficit and ended the game down 2 runs after 6 innings.

Drew Aspinwall4/23/2010 – Devil Bats Thunder Over Lightning 12 - 8 – Starting a late 9:15 PM second game, Brendan Fury pitched 2 innings as Blue Devils bats banged 4 runs in the 1st, another in the 2nd, 2 more in the 3rd, and exploded for 5 runs in the 4th inning to rule the Lightning in the 2nd game of the evening's double header.

Norcross defense perked up in the 2nd game when Brendan picked off a base runner behind him at 2nd base. Center fielder Zack Walch was a lightning rod drawing in 4 bolt strikes, and Chris McNulty would make 2 highlight plays at 1st base including a snow cone catch even the black eyed bandit couldn’t believe.

Mikey Olson stayed hot at the plate with 3 RBIs in the game. Sam Grosswald, Drew Aspinwall, and Chris McNulty each drove 2 runs across the plate as Norcross batters were seeing Lightning pitches clearly.

The Blue Devils host North County rival Buford Saturday in a 3 PM start back at Pinckneyville Park.

4/23/2010 – South Gwinnett Strikes Devils 7 - 4 – Resuming play down 2 runs in the 3rd inning of a rained out game that began on March 28, Norcross battled the South Gwinnett Lightning at home field Pinckneyville Park on a warm Friday evening.

Zack Walch started on the mound in the first game of the doubleheader evening holding the hard hitting Lightning to 4 runs over 2 innings. The Blue Devils scored 2 in the bottom of the 3rd on a Drew Aspinwall 2RBI infield bloop to pull within a run of the Lightning.

Mikey Olson came on the mound in the final 5th inning shutting out the South Gwinnett sluggers but Norcross failed to score in the bottom of the inning and was struck down by the Lightning, short 3 runs.

Jacob Gassert4/18/2010 – Panthers Come Back Nips Devils 8 - 5 – Norcross traveled the Indian Trail to Mountain Park Park to take on their friendly rival Parkview Panthers on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

With fans from as far away as Mobile, Alabama in attendance, hot hitting Jacob Gassert led off the game with a home run over the left field fence for his second dinger in the last three games. Wiley Drew Aspinwall, not to be outdone, walked and then circled the bases on a passed ball and three overthrows to put the Blue Devils up 2-0 after just 2 batters.

Norcross struck again in the 3rd when Jesse Vaughan drove a high fly ball to the center field fence bringing in 2 base runners to put the Blue Devils up 4-1 after 3 at bats.

Starting on the mound for Norcross, Alan Carter hurled 2 strong innings holding the Panthers to just 1 run before needing help in the 3rd from Sam Grosswald who came on in relief to throw 2 pitches and retire the last orange batter.

With the game score tied at 4-4 in the top of the 4th in what was to be the final partial inning, Brendan Fury pushed an RBI double down the first base line to score Alan Carter and put the Blue Devils up by a run, 5-4.

The Panthers clawed back in the bottom of the 4th scoring 4 runs to go up 8-5 when the Lilburn based officiating crew (which had arrived at the game 20 minutes late) became punctual with their synchronized watches. With timepieces reading exactly 7 PM, the umps called “ball game” to end a scrappy fight between the neighboring rivals after just 3 ½ innings played.

The Blue Devils continue GGBL action Friday with a 2 game double header home matchup against the South Gwinnett Lightning at Pinckneyville Park starting 7:55 PM.

Chris McNulty
4/17/2010 – Black Dogs Bite Devils 11 - 6
– The hard hitting North Gwinnett Bulldogs (Black) pounded the Norcross Blue Devils for 7 runs in the first inning of the Blue Devils third GGBL regular season game.

Playing at home Pinckneyville Park, Norcross outscored the black dogs for the next five innings but never recovered the margin.

Coming to the mound in the third inning, reliever Jacob Gassert pitched 2 shut out innings to give the Blue Devils a chance at catching the dogs while mom Gina represented the Gassert team supervising a gourmet grill of marinated chicken and burgers.

Norcross struggled at the plate for most of the evening except for the third inning. Chris McNulty, wearing enough eye black to star in his own minstrel show, fired a rocket over the right center fence with bases loaded to bring the Devils within 4 runs of the dogs.

The Blue Devils continue GGBL action at Parkview Sunday afternoon traveling to Mountain Park Park for a 5 PM matchup against the cross county rival.

Mikey Olson4/12/2010 – Blue Devils Top Titans 6 - 5 – Returning from Spring break, the Norcross Blue Devils clashed with the Johns Creek Titans at historic Dan Watts Field on a warm Monday evening.

Coach Walch brought 7 pitchers to the mound in the 6 inning game to tame the Titan bats, allowing just 5 runs in the regulation contest. Not to be outdone, setting an all time franchise record, 3 Norcross batters went deep in the game over the 200 foot Dan Watts fence. Jacob Gassert and Drew Aspinwall had solo shot home runs while Mikey Olson lifted a high fly ball into the poison ivy for 2 RBIs in the 4th inning.

A 6-4-3 double play in the 5th inning followed by a well executed pickle run down in the top of the 6th kept Norcross within a run going into the bottom of the final inning.

With 2 outs and 2 runners on base, Casey …. er …. Jesse Vaughan came to the plate ripping a line drive to left field driving in Mikey Olson from 2nd base for the winning run.

Riding a 4 game winning streak, The Norcross Blue Devils will return to action Friday night at Pinckneyville Park facing the Norcross Gray team in exhibition action.

3/31/2010 – Blue Devils Snap Stix at Suwannee 11 - 8 – Batting around the order in the first inning, the Norcross Blue Devils piled up 7 runs on the surprised Suwannee Stix and never trailed in the 2 hour 4 inning game.

Griffin RamseyFans traveled from as far away as Wilmington, North Carolina to watch grandson Nellie Stewart and other Norcross batters knock out the first Stix pitcher in the 1st inning highlighted by a Griffin Ramsey loaded bases clearing triple.

The Suwannee team rallied back scoring 4 runs in the bottom of the first before catcher Chris McNulty dove to catch a weak pop off a Stix bat, firing to first base to double a runner off the bag and end a troublesome inning.

Coach Walch brought 5 pitchers to the mound in the 4 inning game to keep the Stix bats under control. Jacob Gassert threw a 3 up and 3 down 2nd inning and Mikey Olson came on the mound to relieve in the 3rd with bases loaded and a go ahead run at the plate, getting 2 outs to retire the side.

Norcross players will travel to exotic beach locations for Spring Break, returning to action April 12 hosting the John’s Creek Titans at the newly renovated Dan Watts Field.

3/31/2010 - NCAA Pool Top 10 - Drew Aspinwall currently leads our 4th annual NCAA Tournament Pickem Pool. With Wins by Duke or West Virginia - it could become a two person race for the first place prize of $250. If Duke wins the tournament, our very own Nelson Stewart will take home top prize. If West Virginia, 7th Grade Marquette Fan Jessica Stelzel will take home the top prize. Either way, our team will benefit $125 towards our season ending Cooperstown tournament. Thanks to all who participated.

Here is the top 10:

Rank     Team Name          Score   Correct   Champion
  1         Drew Aspinwall         452       38       Kansas (148)
  2         Joe Provenzano         439       39       Kentucky (160)
  3         Lauren Olson            435       37       Syracuse (167)
  4         Rick Winters             432       38       Kansas (140)
  5         Nelson Stewart          429       37       Duke (3)
  6         George Thunhorst     428       37       Syracuse (160)
  7         Jessica (2)                426       37       West Virginia (152)
  8         Tom Cable               425       37       Kentucky (140)
  9         Kami Lang (1)           417       38       Kansas (156)
 10        Ian Stewart               413       36       Kentucky (130)

3/28/2010 - South Gwinnett game suspended with 1 out in the top of the 3rd inning and the Lightning leading the Blue Devils by a score of 3-1. So far in the game Sam Grosswald pitched the first two innings and Zack Walch came into the 3rd inning when the Thunder and Lightening interupted the game. The game will be resumed on April 23rd with 1hr remaining in the contest. The two teams will then play a second game that evening that was already previously scheduled.

3/28/2010 - Monday practice (5:30pm at Dan Watts) to feature Former Georgia Tech standout Jeremy Slayden. Jeremy played professionally where he was a 3 time All-Star in the Phillies Minor League system and will run the two hour practice for our team.

Jeremy Slayden


Brendan Furry3/27/2010 – Furry Foils Felines 6 - 3 – The Norcross Blue Devils traveled to nearby Duluth Saturday for a first of the season meeting with the reconstituted Wildcats. Starting pitcher Brendan Furry, backed by strong defense, faced the minimum 9 Duluth batters over 3 innings. Furry was untouchable, not giving up a hit or a walk leaving the purple team scoreless in front of their home crowd.

Playing on a windy cool afternoon at Shorty Howell Park, Norcross batters were hot early scoring 3 runs in the first inning off a Jesse Vaughan bases loaded double followed by a Zack Walch RBI to go up 4 – 0 on the Cats.

Blue Devil sluggers added 2 more in the third with a Mikey Olson RBI double to the right field fence and a Chris McNulty RBI stroke to the left center field fence that kept Wildcat outfielders’ backs to the home crowd showing their numbers chasing fast rolling Norcross shots.

Middle inning reliever Mikey Olson shut out the Cats in the 4th but allowed 3 runs in the 5th before right fielder Jacob Gassert fired a bullet to 2nd base Brendan Furry who caught a Duluth runner off first base to end the inning.

Alan Carter came to the mound in the closer role to finish off the felines in the 6 inning regulation contest.

Norcross returns to league action Sunday, March 28th with a 6 PM home field Pinckneyville Park match up against the South Gwinnett Lightning.

3/26/2010 - Tonights game @ Rehoboth will be rescheduled for a later date.

3/25/2010 - Saturday's Game vs. North Gwinnett will need to be rescheduled due to a confilct with their team. Instead, we will play Duluth at 1:45pm at Shortey Howell Park. Please review the schedule to see other changes with practices.

Practice tonight at 5:30pm at NHS - we will move indoors for BP in the event of rain. Monday practice is scheduled for 6:30pm at Dan Watts field.

3/20/2010 - Norcross Beats Lawrenceville in Nigh Cap -Norcross jumped out to an 8-0 lead over the Lawrenceville Black Nights in the second of two games played Saturday night. Sam Grosswald pitched two strong innings not allowing a run to the Lawrenceville team who surprised the Blue Devils last season by winning in Lawrenceville last March. Mikey Olson came in to pitch a 1-2-3 3rd inning. Jesse Vaughan closed the game for Norcrosss.

With the win, Norcross moves to one game over .500 and 1-1 in the GGBL. One final long weekend of baseball before the team is off for Spring Break. Games this week include Friday night (at Rehoboth), Saturday night (at North Gwinnett Black - GGBL), and Sunday night at home against the South Gwinnett Lightning (GGBL).

3/20/2010 - Norcross Drops GGBL Opener - Playing for the first time this season with all 12 players the Blue Devils were not able to stop the potent Grayson Rams offense as they lost at Pinckneyville Park by a score of 12-7. The Rams scored in every inning of the game. With the loss, Norcross drops to .500 for the season with a 5-5 record. Alan Carter started the game and went two innings. Andrew Thunhorst finished off the final 3 innings.

3/15/2010 - The Blue Devils continued their hot hitting by scoring 20 runs in the 3rd inning as they bested the Rehoboth Rays 22-4 on a cold and windy night in Norcross

Alan Carter started the game and gave up 2 runs in 2 innings and Jacob Gassert pitched the 3rd inning. For the second consecutive night, the opposition failed to record 3 outs in the 3rd inning before the time expired on long innings. The game was called after Sam Grosswald hit the only home run of the evening - a Grand Slam which prompted the time shortened end with only 1 out being recorded.

Norcross opens the GGBL season this weekend as they host a double-header against Grayson and Lawrenceville. A new game has been added to the schedule for Sunday evening at 6pm against the Suwanee Stix

3/14/2010 - Norcross error free in win over Northview. The 12U Blue Devils played error free on Sunday evening as they beat a very good Northview team 18-2 at Pinckneyvill Park. Playing short handed with only 9 players (several teamates out for Spring Break) the team responded to extra batting practice as every player had at least one hit in the game.

Jesse Vaughan started the game and gave up two hits including a long two run home run to the Northview cleanup hitte and went 1-2-3 in the second inning. Alan Carter came on in the second inning to record a 3 up 3 down inning.

Norcross is back in action on Monday evening against the Rehoboth Rays team at the newly renovated Dan Watts field at 7pm. The last meeting between these two teams was at the Buckhead Classic last year as Norcross escaped with a 2-0 victory.

3/11/2010 - You are invited to join the 4th Annual Norcross 12U Baseball on-line college hoops bracket group! Thats right - the fourth annual...

This years pool will benefit the Norcross 12U Blue Devils baseball team to help fund their trip to Cooperstown NY (home of the MLB Hall of Fame) the week of July 10th, 2010. Entry fee is $10 with 50% going toward the team and 50% going toward the pool for payouts. Feel free to fill out as many as 3 brackets and please forward this email to any friends who you think may want to participate.

To accept this invitation and join the group, click the link below (or cut and paste the link into your browser's address bar). You'll be asked to enter the group's password before you can join. The group password is included below.

http://norcross9u.mayhem.cbssports.com/e?ttag=BM10_EM_all_cspt_os_inlk_0001
The Group password is: norcross12U

Good Luck! - and Go Badgers!

3/11/2010 - We will be in the indoor facility at NHS from 6:30pm to 8:pm tonight. Rather than having a bunch of players standing around,we will have two groups for 45 minutes to concentrate mainly on hitting but also throwing from the mound.

As you know, we are starting our GGBL schedule on Saturday followed by a Sunday game vs. Northview (Trautwein and Mannion) and a Monday evening game vs. Rehoboth. All three games present formidable competition for the weekend.

Here is a schedule of players for each 45 minute session. Feel free to trade with someone if it is more convenient - but I would like to keep the same number (6) in each group.

6:30-7:15pm
Drew Aspinwall
Alan Carter
Brendan Furry
Jacob Gassert
Nelson Stewart
Chris McNulty
7:15-8:00pm
Sam Grosswald
Mikey Olson
Griffin Ramsey
Andrew Thunhorst
Jesse Vaughan
Zack Walch

8/26/2009 - Congratulations to the following players for making the 2010 Spring 12U Norcross Blue Devils:

Drew Aspinwall
Alan Carter
Brendan Furry
Jacob Gassert
Sam Grosswald
Chris McNulty
Mikey Olson
Griffin Ramsey
Nelson Stewart
Andrew Thunhorst
Jesse Vaughan
Zack Walch

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