Class Ceiling

Flag football, anyone?

Flag football is fun, but injuries can happen. Tery Red

What readers should know:

What: VAVI Sport and Social Club

When: Sunday  (April 29, 2018)

Where: Pacific Beach, California

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VAVI Flag Football Co-ed League, Pacific Beach.

SportsMap was able to catch a glimpse into a Coed Flag Football Game in Pacific Beach, California. On the way to the host facility there was a brief distraction with a nearby game going on. What kind of ball is that? It was not a basketball or a dodgeball. You guessed it. A Kickball game was in session!

Talk about tickled pink, I had not seen a Kickball game since grade school! To see active adults out in an organized effort on a sunny, breezy day, enjoying a fun yet challenging game  of foot to ball to base was quite refreshing! Stay Focused! Get to the Flag Football! 


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Local resident Pam Woods enjoys the VAVI co-ed game.

Ah yes! The Turf was impressive! I honestly had to touch it to be sure, YEP, field turf!  Now that's the stuff. Oh no! As I imagined being at the NRG, I hear a man's war cry. At that moment I see an injured player, rolling in the turf in agony. Wait, isn't this "flag football?" Here is a receiver, Keith Russel Hunter, who has been playing in the VAVI Flag Football League for two years, a real semi-pro NFL hopeful. I watched as fellow coed teammates along with the referee hop into action to assist. After they have Russell stabilized, I see Q.B. Kim Spinardi, a south paw from SDSU B-Ball / Combo Guard (2006-2010) gear up her next play. She has quite the impressive arm. As her eyes search up field for her receiver Katy, pass complete, going for the touchdown! Yikes! Flags stripped by fellow contender. Nice play, well done.

This was way more than just a leisure activity. Both teams had very good support,  competitive  contenders who treated each other with dignity and respect. Excellent sportsmanship displayed  here  and a real enjoyment for the comradery was definitely observed .  It was quite a treat!  

 

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Houston's offense once again obliterated Baltimore in Wednesday's finale. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Owners of a nine-game winning streak, the Astros tried to keep the train rolling to make it double digits and complete the three-game sweep of the Orioles in Baltimore. Not only would they get the win, but they also did it by dominating on both sides of the ball again in a one-sided shutout.

Final Score: Astros 13, Orioles 0

Astros' Record: 46-28, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (6-3)

Losing Pitcher: Thomas Eshelman (0-1)

Houston keeps mashing

Unlike Tuesday's game which ended 3-1 in a much closer affair, the finale on Wednesday was once again a lopsided affair like Monda's opener, favoring the Astros. Houston once again put up double-digit runs in an offensive explosion. It started right off the bat, with three runs scoring in the top of the first on a two-RBI double by Carlos Correa and an RBI single by Kyle Tucker to grab a 3-0 lead.

Yuli Gurriel extended it to 4-0 with a two-out RBI single in the second, then Jose Altuve made it a six-run game with a two-run blast in the top of the fourth. Michael Brantley joined in with an RBI single in the top of the sixth, then Yordan Alvarez led off a four-run seventh with a solo bomb before a three-run homer by Abraham Toro made it 11-0.

Urquidy cruises through seven scoreless

Jose Urquidy was cruising all the while, allowing just three baserunners over that span, a double to start his night, which he erased, then a one-out walk in the second and leadoff single in the sixth. He returned at the bottom of the seventh with a manageable pitch count, where he'd erase a one-out single to keep Baltimore scoreless. With the insurmountable lead, he'd be given the rest of the night off. His final line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 84 P.

Astros complete the sweep and grab tenth straight win

Chas McCormick, who came off the bench defensively in the bottom of the seventh, made it a twelve-run lead with a one-out solo homer in the top of the eighth, then later Abraham Toro notched his fourth RBI with a run-scoring single to make it 13-0. Brandon Bielak took over for Urquidy in the bottom of the eighth, and after loading the bases with no outs, was able to escape with a strikeout and double play.

Ralph Garza Jr. was Houston's third pitcher, wrapping things up at the bottom of the ninth. He erased a one-out walk and a single with a double play to end the game, giving Houston the three-game sweep and extending their winning streak to ten games as they continue to look like baseball's best team.

Up Next: The next stop on this road trip for Houston is Detroit, where they will kick off a four-game set with the Tigers on Thursday at 6:10 PM Central. The pitching matchup for the opener will be Luis Garcia (5-4, 2.82 ERA) for Houston and Jose Urena (2-7, 5.79 ERA) for Detroit.

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