In the Northeast Fast Pitch region there is a team called The U. The 2014 roster, resembling it's 2011 self consists of Matty Griffin, Dave Fisher, Ryan Foley, Mike Foley. This year the notes reflect the addition of two time National Champion, Doom member, Brian Dinapoli rather than the previously slotted Troy Parks. The team is dirty.
After playing ten 2014 games, including two event championships they come out of Week #2 undefeated and a virtual lock for a playoff spot with 50+ standings points already. Of their ten wins, 4 of them are against the reigning Fast Pitch National Champs, CT's Razrs.
This year in the North East we'll see teams contend for one of four spots in the first ever Northeast Fast Pitch Championships. The region, featuring players & teams from PA, MA, NJ, CT, NH, NY, & more is a merger of previously dwindling Fast Pitch ranks in the individual regions respectively. Resembling more of a "Pro" offering against GSWL's booming Yard League, for any team to come out of the gate 10-0 is a sign of something special brewing.
FP #2 also increased promise for Rochester, NY's Freaky Franchise. Freaky going 3-2 on the day notched another 11 points keeping themselves in the mix for a berth in the North East Championships.
Taking DII honors on the day were NJ's Crusaders. James Stein and company had a modest morning, going 1-2 before dropping their Quarter Final game against Razrs. Playing fellow Quarter Final loser, MA Wiffaholics they were able to end the day with a DII win and 3pts. While the Crusaders were without the young arm of Connor Young, the Razrs were also shorthanded having yet to play with big bat Edgar Packer. Both teams, great on paper, will have to focus hard on the final 2/3's of the season to get their ticket to the dance.
Other notes worth noting include a dismal beginning for a "sick" on paper Wiffaholics team. The 2014 Wiffaholics roster is penciled in at Captain Josh Belanger, Paul "Painter" McBride, Erik Anderson, Wes Filkins, and David "Road Toast" Wood of Georgia's Super Savvy Psychos. The roster is as good as any and if they make it to Sunday in Georgia, the team will have a shot. However, with renewed emphasis on the Fast Pitch regular season, the team needs focus first on actually securing a bid. Time will tell.
North of the border, 603 All-Stars are still the same group of winners but rightfully should have some concerns. While rehabbed stud Josh Pagano is finally back on the rug, the team has a new problem to cure and it starts with U. With plenty of season to book, it will be interesting if the galvanized chemistry of Gary Lavoie's team will be enough to bring them back to national honors.
With teams keeping their best four, and four events remaining, it could be said the season hasn't even started yet. While this is true for many, the road to the four seats in North East has rubber on it for sure.