On Thursday, the Flying Dogs continued their torrid start to the season, winning 14-4 over the Thurmont Fielders at the “Field of Dreams” Field in Thurmont, MD. The Dogs started off hot for the second time in three games, scoring 7 runs in the first inning, all with 2 outs in the first inning. The Dogs got 2 run homers in the first off the bats of Mick Myers and Brandon Roebuck as well as RBIs from Chris Godfrey and Devin Mackey.
After a RBI Sac Fly by Steve Shriner and a RBI Fielders Choice by Roebuck in the third, Godfrey launched a solo homer and Mackey hit a 2 run home run in the fourth to make the score 13-0. The Fielders made the game interesting in the bottom of the fifth, scoring four runs on four hits and taking advantage of a couple Flying Dog errors to make the score 13-4. The Dogs were able to tack on 1 more in the top of the sixth courtesy of a Ray Riggles bases loaded walk. Tim Martin recovered to pitch a scoreless sixth and lock up the 14-4 victory for the Dogs.
The Dogs leading hitters were Devin Mackey and Mick Myers who each had two hits including the aforementioned home runs, while Mackey and Roebuck had three RBIs apiece. Steve Shriner and Steve Canale each had a hit. An impressive stat of note was the fact that Matt Buchholz scored three runs on four walks and had only one official plate appearance on the evening. Ray Riggles also had two walks and a RBI, but he committed a foul by marking the scorebook incorrectly (unacceptable paper wasting Ray).
Dave Hostetter started on the mound for the Flying Dogs and was dominant in his four innings of work, limiting the Fielders to only 1 hit while striking out 12. Hostetter did not allow a run and only one hitter made it past second base. Martin pitched the last two innings allowing 4 runs on 4 hits, but only 2 of the runs were earned.
The Flying Dogs are off for Mother’s Day but they return to action on May 14th for their home opener at Tuscarora High School versus the Walkersville Patriots where they will look for their fourth consecutive victory. First pitch will be at 6 PM on Nick Collingham appreciation night. See you at the park.
On Sunday May 3rd, the Flying Dogs finally took the field (after sitting in horrible traffic, thanks Construction on Route 26 for that) for the first time in 2015, taking both games of the doubleheader with the Mason Dixon Rebels by the scores of 19-0 and 21-0.
The Flying Dogs exploded out of the gates in 2015, scoring 13 runs in the first inning on 10 hits, going through the lineup twice. The first eight hitters of the game reached base as Ryan Morse started the inning by reaching on catchers interference followed by a double by newcomer Devin Mackey, singles by Matt Buchholz and Mick Myers, Dave Hostetter reaching on a hit by pitch, singles by Steve Shriner and Brandon Roebuck and then Steve Canale reaching on a fielders choice. Buchholz, Myers, Shriner and Roebuck had 2 hits apiece in the first inning. From that point on, the Dogs coasted to the 19-0 victory in Game 1. Myers led the Dogs with 3 hits while Buchholz and Roebuck led the team with 3 RBIs apiece. Buchholz was able to get the win, allowing only 1 hit while striking out 9 in 3 innings of work. Newcomers Jesse Scheufele and Christian O’Reilly provided shutout innings of relief to wrap up the first win of 2015.
In Game 2, the Flying Dogs bats stayed hot as they scored 21 runs on 16 hits. The Flying Dogs bats were led by Matt Buchholz and Dave Hostetter in Game 2. Both Buchholz and Hostetter had 3 hits, 4 runs and 2 RBIs. Chris Godfrey had 3 RBIs to lead the Dogs in that department. Mick Myers and Steve Shriner had two hits apiece and Ryan Morse, Devin Mackey, Brandon Roebuck, Christian O’Reilly, Jesse Scheufele and Ray Riggles had hits as well. Jason Christianberry started on the mound for the Dogs in Game 2 and picked up the victory, allowing no runs on one hit and striking out 3 in three innings of work. Tim Martin and Steve Canale pitched the fourth and fifth respectively to complete the shutout.
The Flying Dogs improved to 2-0 on the season. Game 3 will be May 7th against the Thurmont Fielders at the “Field of Dreams” field in Thurmont, MD.
Prior to the season, two important members of the Frederick Flying Dogs decided to call it quits.
Shortly after the end of last season, Rich Ropp notified the Dogs that he would be hanging up his cleats. As a member of the Westminster Falcons, Richie won many crucial games as the Falcons won multiple MMSPBL championships with Ropp on the team. Ropp joined the Flying Dogs and continued his dominance, helping the Flying Dogs capture multiple MMSPBL championships as well. Ropp finished the 2014 season in only a style that he could, winning Games 2 and 3 of the MMSPBL Finals on the same day to help the Flying Dogs capture the 2014 MMSPBL Championship. Ropp also pitched the Flying Dogs to a victory over the Boonsboro Pirates in the NABF Regional last year. His best moment as a member of the Flying Dogs had to be in 2011 when he pitched back to back games in the NABF Semifinals and Finals, winning the Semifinal game before being the hard luck loser in the NABF Regional Championship game. It was a pleasure having Richie as a teammate and it was much more fun playing with him than against him.
A couple of weeks ago, Nick Collingham also informed the Flying Dogs that he was also going to call it a career. Nick Collingham was the founder of the team as well as the long time manager of the club. Nick built the team from the ground up and by 2004 he and the Frederick Cardinals were a challenger to the MMSPBL crown. In 2008, Collingham led the Flying Dogs to the first of their six MMSPBL Championships. Collingham managed the Flying Dogs to 7 NABF Regional Appearances, reaching the Championship Game in 2011. Collingham was also named the 2010 Maryland Semi-Pro Manager of the Year. Collingham retires after having a tremendous year at the plate in 2014 as he had 22 RBIs and hit a clutch home run to help defeat the Titans Baseball Club during the regular season. Collingham also had many other clutch hits throughout the year and throughout his career. Besides running the Flying Dogs, Nick also ran the MMSPBL for many years as well and he did a lot to help get the Flying Dogs to where they are today. Without Nick’s dedication, who knows what would’ve become of the Dogs. He may be retired, but this will always be his team and we appreciate everything he has done.
Thanks for everything Richie and Nick. Don’t think we won’t try to talk you both out of retirement!
The Flying Dogs held their last practice of the preseason on Sunday and after months of indoor and a few outdoor practices, the Flying Dogs are ready to go. Heading into 2015, the Flying Dogs return a solid nucleus along with the addition of some new faces that will round out a solid squad that will be looking to repeat as Champions of the MMSPBL. The Flying Dogs will also be participating in the Reno Powell Memorial Tournament in Hagerstown, MD on Memorial Day Weekend.
The MMSPBL had some changes over the offseason as the Carroll Spartans and the Titans Baseball Club did not return this year. While those two teams dropped out, the Mason Dixon Rebels join the league for the 2015 season to round out an 8 team league.
The Dogs get to open their season on the road as they travel up to Hampstead Municipal Park to take on the Mason Dixon Rebels in a doubleheader. First pitch will be at 1 PM on Sunday March 3rd.