By DJ Dave Hoffenberg
The playoffs are under way and they started with a highly contested battle between No. 2 seed Rock Warriors and No. 3 seed DTF, the defending champs.
The game started with a blast by Tucker Zink, his first home run since game one. That fired up DTF and they added three runs with two coming off a line drive double by Judd “Magnum” Washburn to take a 4-0 lead. Their defense shone in the bottom of the first with first baseman Joey Massores recording the first two put-outs, but getting out three was a challenge.
Rock tied the game off of three errors and two walks by pitcher Ronzoni Hacker. DTF and Ronzoni shook that off and scored another four runs with two coming off a rare double from Ronzoni to regain the lead 8-4. Rock put on a hitting clinic in the bottom, scoring seven runs to take their first lead 11-8. DTF stranded two in the third after Tall Tom Gilligan suffered a “Cold Beer K” to end the inning. Rock also failed to score in the third.
Washburn came through again in the fourth, driving in Tucker to cut the deficit 11-9. They had a chance for more but just like Tall Tom, Angel Shannon ended the inning with a “Cold Beer K” but he stranded the bases loaded. Big Kev Duprey walked and scored for the third straight time to put Rock back up three. They also had a chance for more with the bases loaded but DTF recorded a rare triple play to end the inning after Tall Tom made a diving scoop catch, then threw out the runner at first and Massores threw to second, catching that runner off base.
Hunter Pike scored for DTF in the fifth and Rock saw two score to take a 14-10 lead. The Bash Bros, Tucker and Taylor Zink both scored in the sixth to cut the deficit in half. It went right back to four after Chad Lonergan’s two-run double.
DTF had one more chance but Colby Raymond made a remarkable stretching, scoop catch on Josh “Purple Guy” Souza to end the game.
The nightcap featured No. 1 seed Chinese Gourmet versus the Rock Warriors with the winner going to the Championship.
Rock got on the board first with Lonergan scoring and then shutting down CG to end the first. Warren Bombardier lived up to his name, hitting a bomb in the second for a 2-0 lead. Joe Doherty quickly erased that with a two run homer. CG played some great defense in the third, shutting Rock down 1-2-3 and then got their first lead off of Troy “Cowboy” Gilbertson’s homer, 3-2. Rock had a big fourth, scoring five with most coming off a homer by Ricky Thow. Doherty scored again to cut the deficit to three and CG had a chance for more but Jordan “Little T” Toler flew out to end the inning with the bases loaded. Rock scored two in the fifth and CG got three to put Rock up 9-7. They both scored in the sixth with CG’s being a homer by “Dyno-Mike” Davis Jr. Josh “Little Rock” Stevens made it 11-8 and his team shut down CG 1-2-3 to end the game and send Rock Warriors to their first championship in their first season.
The Loser’s Bracket began with DTF versus Karrtel in an elimination game.
Karrtel was all over DTF in the first, practically hitting through their order twice while scoring 10 runs. DTF did not let that phase them. They practically hit through their order while scoring six to face a 10-6 deficit after one inning. DTF could not get out of their own way and committed their fifth error in just two innings, which led to two Karrtel runs. DTF got their first lead with a seven run second inning, 13-12. Both Nate Swahn and Joey Massores hit two-run bombs. Karrtel got one in the third but DTF got four with three coming off a Brett “Sharapova” Regimbald homer. Tall Tom stranded two, hitting into an inning ending double-play, similar to the one he turned on Monday. They each scored three runs the rest of the way with Massores hitting another two-run shot.
DTF eliminated Karrtel 20-16.
DTF immediately faced First Stop Board Barn, in another elimination game. This game was only close with the seeding: No. 3 versus No. 5.
FSBB did not record a hit until the third and hit into two double-plays. DTF scored multiple runs in every inning they played except the second. FSBB was only down five, until the fourth inning when DTF blew the game wide open. DTF practically hit through their order twice, scoring 15 runs. Massores, Ronzoni and DJ Dave Hoffenberg each recorded two hits and scored two runs in the inning. The lone bright spot for FSBB was their fifth inning when they scored five runs off three homers. Bobby Dederer hit his first ever, Smith Donelan and Colin “Hungry Like The” Wolf hit the others. Swahny showed his speed in the sixth with a two-run, inside-the-park home run. Ronzoni knocked FSBB out of the playoffs with back-to-back CBKs looking to Wyatt Mosher and Andrew Nevins with a final of 24-8.
Tucker Zink went 4 for 4 with two runs scored and a RBI and Judd “Apples” Washburn went four for four with a single, three homers, four runs scored and seven RBI.
(All games played at Barstow School Lower Field)
Wednesday, Aug. 26:
Game 2 of the Championship 5:50 p.m. & Game 3 (if necessary) 7 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 31: All-Star Game 6 p.m.