By Larry Snyder
Pittsburgh, Pa. – The Pittsburgh Thunderbirds (0-2) land at J.C Stone Field in Allison Park Saturday, May 4 for their American Ultimate Disc League home opener against the Indianapolis AlleyCats (2-1). The first pull between the two combatants is 6:00 p.m.
Sam VanDusen is the early leader for Pittsburgh with six assists after two contests. For the fans in the stands, it appears Max Sheppard is the player most likely to be in the end zone as he has recorded nine goals.
Gazing at the overall stats, Jonathan Mast owns 111 completions and 98 catches while Thomas Edmonds is second with 99 and 89 respectively. Mast is first on the score sheet with 63 minutes played, followed by Jimmy Towle and Owen Watt with 60 apiece.
Thunderbirds general manager Andrew Gardner told me he believes “this is the strongest roster the team has had since head coach Pat Hammonds took over the team in 2018.”
Head coach, Eric Leonard’s Indy crew, pull into the City of Bridges having claimed their first road victory last week 19-16 over the Detroit Mechanix (0-2). The A-cats are in third place in the Midwest Division standings.
Looking through the box scores, Rick Gross leads the Green and Black with 13 goals while Levi Jacobs is next with 10 scores. Keenan Plew is consistent with 131 completions and 109 catches over three games. Keegan North helps to keep the disc moving with 15 assists. Travis Carpenter is the leader with 109 minutes played and is second in assists with 10.
Some Familiar Faces Are Back For The Thunderbirds…
My Prediction: I believe the match will be close with the T-birds picking up a 22-20 win. You can select your prime seats online here.
Other Voices: Adam Ruffner lists the T-birds at No. 17 this week in the AUDL’s Power Rankings. He points out the Black and Gold is “one of the most throwing-dominant teams in the league this season as they average 295 completions per game, second in the league.” Ruffner has Indy at No. 11 and likes the trio of Plew, Carpenter, and North for their “33 assists on 314-of-328 throws combined.”
Matt Rezin on the league website has as his two players to watch in this matchup the leading blockers, Anson Reppermund (5) of Pittsburgh and Spencer Loscar (4) of Indianapolis. It could come down to who makes the last clutch block to decide the winner.
Checking in with the writers at Ultiworld.com, their Power Rankings have Indianapolis still in the Top 10 at No. 8 and Pittsburgh stacked up at No. 19 this week.
For the disc watchers at Massey Ratings the AlleyCats are ranked 13th while the Thunderbirds land at No. 20 in their survey. They think the Boys from the Hoosier State are going leave town with a 23-20 victory.
Weather: Per the barometer observers at weather.com, the prediction is mostly cloudy skies Saturday with a 70 percent chance of showers. The high to begin the contest should be 63 degrees and a low of 60 by 9:00 p.m. Winds out of the northwest at four mph.
Next Up: Pittsburgh keeps the bus parked at home when they host Midwest Division rival, the Chicago Wildfire (1-0) Saturday, May 11, at JC Stone Field. The fans can enjoy the opening pull at 6:00 p.m.
Top 20 Thunderbird Ultimate Plays In 2018 (AUDL) On YouTube.com…
Top Of The Article Photo By Larry N. Snyder – All Rights Reserved