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An ORA Gryphons Softball Publication

ORA Men’s @ Chiang Mai University Open

MATCH REPORTS

Chiang Mai Softball Open 2013 was held at the Chiang Mai University grounds from the 28 Dec till the 31 Dec. This year’s International or Major category featured 6 teams with the first round of tournament dividing the teams into 3 groups: Group A Chiang Mai University (Thailand) Old Katsetsart University (Thailand)

Group B Old Rafflesians' Association (Singapore) Raffles Institution ‘A’ Division (Singapore)

Group C Bigfoot (Malaysia) Hong Kong Men's National (Hong Kong)

Each team will play against teams from other groups, but will not play against teams in the same group. Teams will play a total of 4 games in the first round. Thereafter, the top 3 teams will qualify for the championship round where a page system will be played. The ORA Gryphons Team would make their debut in this tournament. While many of the players were making their return trips to Chiang Mai, some were making their first trip up and were evidently more excited about the trip. Special arrangements were made for the team to travel up with their friends and families to make this entire trip a truly memorable one. Ultimately, we travelled up with a 28-men strong ORA contingent to Chiang Mai. The players and their families, friends and supporters representing ORA can be found in our Chiang Mai Trip Booklet.


An ORA Gryphons Softball Publication

Game 1:

ORA 5 – 10 HONG KONG

ORA’s first game was up against the tournament favourites, Hong Kong. Team Manager Farhan was certain that a fearless ORA line-up would be ready to take them on. With P Kuang Hao striking out two batters and C Ivan gunning down the runner’s attempt to steal 2B, ORA looked set to take the lead. True enough – Keefe’s single to RF, before Ivan’s double and Farhan’s single gave an early 2-0 lead in the 1st inning. This was short-lived as a resilient HK team bounced back in the 3rd inning with a stunning 5 runs, including a HR. ORA was not ready to give up yet and this time, Yirui led off with a surprise bunt attempt, inducing an error from the fielders; before Keefe hit a line-drive over RF that bounced off the top of the fence for a triple. Farhan added another RBI with a hit to RF. The score was back at 5-4, still in HK’s favour. However, from there, HK decided to take things into their own hands and brought in another 5 runs, including another 2 HRs over the next 2 innings. Thankfully, HK’s inning was cut short with a rehearsed pick-off at 3B between Ivan and Teck Piaw to leave the runner scrambling back to the base. At the bottom of the 5th inning, Keefe got on base again for a perfect 3-for-3 in this game with a bunt, before Ivan’s double brought him home. It was a good effort from the team and despite the pitchers collecting 6 Ks, the 4 defensive errors by ORA and 3 HRs from the HK batters were too costly for the team.


An ORA Gryphons Softball Publication

Game 2:

ORA 14 -1 BIG FOOT

Batting first, ORA’s first three batters were unfortunate to be retired in quick succession due to the overeagerness to bounce back from the previous loss. To make matters worse, ORA trailed 1-0 at the bottom of the 1st inning. The team managed to calm down and chose the pitches patiently. It paid off well as ORA’s 2nd inning saw a total of 14 batters up to bat. Farhan led off the batting streak with a double before Samuel Lau came up one of his own to level the score. Daryl’s surprise bunt got him on base safely, while advancing Samuel to 3B. The inning continued with a succession of hits from Yirui (single), Joshua (2B hit), Keefe (2B hit) and Ivan (2B hit). It was made even better with a 2-RBI HR to CF from Farhan. ORA had turned the table and were leading 9-1 at the bottom of the 2nd inning. The game was soon over in 4 innings as Jonathan, Farhan and Dao Zhe added a run each, and with Ziglar adding 2 runs. ORA took their first win in Chiang Mai as the game was made more memorable with this come-back victory and a hitting spree of 15 hits. All the players were also fielded in this game in one way or another.


An ORA Gryphons Softball Publication

Game 3:

ORA 8 – 3 OKU

Considerably the deciding game for the top 3 placing, ORA matched up against 2012’s finalists OKU. The home team, OKU, got on base in the 2nd inning with a HBP, and 2 doubles later from the next batters made the score 2-0. Riding on their own offensive momentum, ORA bounced back in the 3rd inning to tie the game through Ivan’s single, Farhan’s double and Jonathan’s single. With the score at 2-2, ORA extended their streak with Chee Kiong (Hamster) leading off a 6-hits-inning with a single, followed by Dao Zhe’s double to RF, Daryl and Yirui’s single; and Ivan and Keefe’s double. By the bottom of the 4th inning, the score was 7-2 in ORA’s favour. ORA’s 6th inning featured a textbook play where Yirui got on base to lead off the inning, Ivan put down a sacrifice bunt to advance Yirui to 2B and Farhan singled in the run. Interestingly, OKU made an almost exact set-up to get back a run in the 6th inning as well. Kuang Hao and Watson combined for 7Ks and induced 5 fly balls in the game. An interference play between the runner and our SS Keefe also caused some commotion along the way, but eventually the right call was made for the out (see picture on left).


An ORA Gryphons Softball Publication

Game 4:

ORA 12 – 2 CMU

A much-awaited game 4 of the tournament began with ORA batting and right from the blocks, the hits raced in. The first inning saw 8 batters at-bat with the first consecutive hits resulting in a 4-0 lead early in the game. While CMU managed to squeeze in 2 runs of their own from two hits and an error, it was about all that our dynamic duo of Kuang Hao and Watson was willing to let in. The game was capped by back-to-back HRs to CF from Ivan and Farhan as both the team captain and manager led the way, both batting 3-for-3 in this game. Unfortunately, while the crowd prayed for a back-to-back-to-back HR from ORA’s 4th batter, it was not meant to be. Nevertheless, Dao Zhe wowed the crowd by sneaking to 3B without any play. Youngsters Jonathan and Ziglar also each added a run in the later innings. ORA finished the game in 4 innings, with a convincing victory. The team ended their day at a Thai Restaurant with Coach Nelson, Farhan, Keefe and Samuel singing on stage. After the dinner, everyone gathered to set off the lanterns as an early celebration for the New Year to come. The tour guide explained that, “Put all your bad luck and what you do not want into the lantern. Let them all go away!” And very soon, everyone was putting their “strikeouts”, “one-bounce throws”, “hit into fielders”, “errors”…”bad day at work”, “homework” etc. into the lanterns that set off high into the night…


An ORA Gryphons Softball Publication

Semi-Finals: ORA 19 – 2 OKU ORA found themselves picking up a great form as they entered the playoff round against title contenders OKU. Batting first, Yi Rui got on base after a HBP and a single by Ivan advanced him. Yirui then continued to steal a base before scoring on a wild pitch. 1-0 to ORA in the top of the 1st inning. While Kuang Hao retired the 1st 3 batters in fashion, OKU’s starting pitcher got into some early trouble. The pitcher awarded ORA’s Samuel first base after a HBP, starting both innings the same way. Taking the opportunity, Hamster continued his hitting streak with a line drive double to LF before Dao Zhe’s single brought 2 runs in! With the score now at 3-0, and none down, ORA was not going to stop now. Another HBP placed the runners Dao Zhe at 2B and Daryl at 1B. That was before Ivan delivered a 2-RBI triple down the LF line. With the game at 5-0, ORA’s 3rd batter, Farhan stepped up to the plate and blasted his 3rd HR of the tournament to stretch the lead to a comfortable 7-0. Perhaps, all the bad luck was really taken away by the lanterns last night. The following inning, 2 consecutive singles from OKU’s batters put them in a scoring position. But ORA’s defense was up to the test as Kuang Hao struck out a batter, while 2B Jonathan and 3B Yi Rui each made a brave stop before finishing with a toss to 1B that looked ever so easy. Having finished the inning strong, ORA was determined to outdo themselves. Samuel started the inning again, but this time with a single to LF and Hamster added another single once again. This time, Dao Zhe lay down an exquisite bunt single. With the bases loaded, it was a golden opportunity for Daryl to deliver the big hit. To the crowd’s disappointment, there was no hit, but he did manage to draw a walk on a full count to add another run. With the bases still loaded, Yi Rui was more pumped up than ever to deliver a big hit. On the very first pitch, he returned a scorching line drive to LF that bounced over the fence for a ground-rule double, just short of a Grand Slam. Riding on their tremendous momentum, Ivan added a sacrifice fly to RF to score Daryl before Farhan’s hit forced an error on the 3B, scoring Yi Rui. With the score at 12-0, the game looked almost over. However, Keefe was not going to let a glory moment go. With 2 strikes, he drove a stand-up double to LF.


An ORA Gryphons Softball Publication Following the lead of his seniors, Jonathan decided to join the party with a single of his own. And, being known for his speed, he even decided to give himself a steal signal to take 2B. Joshua came on to hit for a single, adding another run as well. To wrap it off all in the 3rd inning, Hamster went 3-for-3 after hitting another single to RF. However, he was later caught in a double play situation on Dao Zhe’s hit to 2B (4-3-5 Double play, out at 3B). Looks like it will be back to the running wheels for Hamster. OKU were ever determined to start a rally on their own with 2 consecutive singles in the bottom of the 3rd inning. However, ORA’s defense had a plan of their own. The next single to CF, Dao Zhe took his time to scoop it up routinely before unleashing a laser beam one-bounce throw to C Ivan who applied the tag to the incoming runner with 4 steps to spare. It was later revealed that the one-bounce throw was a “bad-throw” as the intention was for a direct throw… nonetheless; it was good defensive work from the seniors of the team. OKU continued to fight on and with the bases loaded, induced an error that scored their only 2 runs in the game. ORA, perhaps upset that OKU had scored 2 runs in the inning, came back with 3 runs of their own in the 4th inning. The Yirui-Ivan pairing (1-2 batter) continued to work, as a single from Yi Rui was followed by a HR over CF. Farhan, now with 3 HRs, tried another back-to-back but his long drive was unfortunate to find the fielder’s glove just before the CF fence. Ziglar subbed in to pinch hit and was effective as he came up with a double to LF and, fellow B-Division team mate Jonathan doubled him home. With the score at 19-2, Watson finished the side in order to pick up his 3rd save this tournament. For ORA’s first trip up to Chiang Mai, the team made it to the finals against HK.


An ORA Gryphons Softball Publication

GRAND FINALS: ORA 1 – 0 HONG KONG In their second time up against the HK team, ORA reminded themselves to be aggressive with their batting and to put their bodies behind the defense. ORA batted first – and while Yi Rui lined to the SS and Ivan lined to the CF, Farhan drove a hard grounder through the legs of the SS to get on base, yet another time. The next batter was Keefe, who batted 3-for-3 against HK a few days ago. He smashed the very first pitch back to the pitcher, but the pitchers glove was well-placed to make the stab amidst the “awww” from the ORA crowd. Bottom of the 1st inning was all about Kuang Hao as he struck out two batters and fielded one grounder back to him. To the top of the 2nd, with 1 down, Samuel and Hamster continued their combination of making consecutive singles down the middle to bring Dao Zhe up to bat. An illegal pitch was called to move both runners to scoring positions. With the count at 3-1, Dao Zhe was once again, unfortunate as he lined a hard hit to 2B that was caught just before the ball touched the ground, and later doubled off at 2B for a F4–6 double play to end the inning. It was a solid hit, but also a great defensive play, well executed by the HK National Team. Kuang Hao continued to pitch well, collecting another K while making another play to 1B for 2 outs. On his 8th pitch for that inning, he induced a routine fly ball to SS Keefe to retire 6 batters in a row. The top of 3rd inning, Daryl led off with a hard hit that tipped off the glove of HK’s second baseman. While Yi Rui’s sacrifice bunt meant to advance Daryl to 2B, Daryl tried to advance more to 3B, and was caught in a double play. Unfazed by the play, Ivan came back with a line drive over the CF for a stand up double. With 2 down and a runner in scoring position, the task was for Farhan to make a difference. With the count at 2-2, he tapped a single past the 2B and Ivan rounded home, with a hook slide, evading the catcher’s tag. 1-0 to ORA – once again, ORA continued to score with 2 down.


An ORA Gryphons Softball Publication The next couple of innings became a pitchers’ showdown. This was until the top of the 7th inning when with 1 down, Dao Zhe came up with a towering triple over the CF. He came up short of an inside-the-park HR, trying to stretch HK’s errors in that one play. A little game of tag-me-if-you-can was cut short as the 3rd baseman applied the tag on him and ended the excitement. In the bottom of the inning, Kuang Hao grounded out HK’s 3rd batter and struck out their 4th batter looking without a swing. The game was down to the final out, with ORA leading 1-0. Up to bat was their 5th batter, who hit a HR over CF in the first game. With one strike on the batter, he extended his bat out to make a solid contact on the very next outside pitch, sending the drive to RF. Ziglar raced to the ball and made a full stretch that sent him tumbling on to the ground, before eventually raising his glove, with the ball for the final out of the game! It was an amazing catch that ended the game and sent the team rushing to hug him in celebrations. His mom, Dionne, rejoiced in the stands saying, “That’s my son!” and the other members of the Raffles Family continued to cheer the victors for the outstanding display. It was a humble and hard-earned 1-0 victory over the HK team, a great overall performance combining every ORA team member’s contributions. Kuang Hao led the defense with a 1-hitter shutout game and 9 strikeouts. With the final catch of the day, made by the youngest player in the team, the ORA Gryphons completed their debut of the 2013 Chiang Mai Softball Open, as International Champions. This completes another amazing chapter in our history.


An ORA Gryphons Softball Publication

STATISTICS

*Unofficial stats collated according to score sheets

PITCHERS NAME

STA

INN

BF

BB

HBP

RA

ER

H

SO

W

L

SV

ERA

Kuang Hao

5

22

89

3

2

13

9

19

27

4

1

0

2.86

Watson Tan

1

9

36

2

1

5

2

7

6

1

0

3

1.56

*STA – Starts; BF – Batters Faced; RA – Runs Against; ER – Earned Runs; ERA (calculated based on 7-inning game)

BATTERS NAME

PA

AB

BB

SAC

HBP

R

RBI

H

2B

3B

HR

SB

SO

OB

Hamster Teck Piaw Ivan Ng Dao Zhe Farhan Kuang Hao Keefe Tan Yi Rui Samuel Lau Joshua Yeo Watson Tan Jonathan Daryl Kow Ziglar Oh

10 3 20 14 19 2 20 20 14 9 3 19 13 9

10 3 17 13 18 2 18 19 13 9 3 16 10 8

0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0

0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 2 1 1

3 0 10 5 7 1 6 9 5 2 0 3 4 4

4 0 12 4 13 0 4 4 2 2 0 5 3 3

5 0 2 2 7 1 4 2 3 0 1 5 2 2

2 0 6 3 4 0 2 3 1 1 0 1 0 1

0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 2 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 2 1 0 0 1 2 1 1 0 4 0 0

1 1 2 1 0 0 2 2 1 6 1 3 3 0

7 0 13 7 15 1 9 10 6 2 1 8 6 5

– At Bats; BB – Walk; SAC – Sacrifice Bunt/Fly; OB – On Base

BATTING AVG 0.700 0.000 0.647 0.462 0.778 0.500 0.389 0.263 0.308 0.111 0.333 0.375 0.200 0.375


An ORA Gryphons Softball Publication


Ora Chiang Mai 2013 Match Reports