OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. --- The ASA awarded two National Championship crowns on Sunday afternoon at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium Complex as ABS Easton won the Menís Class A Slow Pitch title and Joe Corbis defeated Blue Water for the Menís Class D Hooters Championship Series title.
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ABS Easton of Hartley, Delaware traveled the furthest for the ASA Menís Class A Slow Pitch National Championship. And the trip was worth it.
ABS returns to Delaware as the 2008 ASA Menís Class A Slow Pitch National Championship after turning back a determined TCP team of Burlington, Iowa, 15-10, in the if game Sunday afternoon at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
The loss ended a tremendous run for TCP (6-2), which was led by pitcher Losson White who was named the tournamentís MVP and clearly deserved it as he did everything he could to propel his team to victory. In fact, if it wasnít for White TCP might not have advanced to the if game. It was Whiteís two-run scorching liner off the glove of ABS second baseman Chris Montenegro in the bottom of the seventh that scored the winning and tying runs in a 20-19 win in the championship game to force the if game.
An insurance adjuster, the 29-year-old White batted .677 and drove in 12 runs. He was added to the team as a pick-up player and it proved to be one of the best pick-up players for TCP in years. The front of Whiteís jersey was evident how hard he worked to get TCP to the championship round. It was covered with the Oklahoma red clay as he time and time again dove for balls and stopped them to make the play, some of them spectacular.
Summing up his teamís performance, White said, ďIt was unbelievable. We werenít expected to do anything. It was fun and we certainly played together.Ē
TCP did indeed play together and made a tremendous run through the loserís bracket to advance to the championship round. After winning its first two games, it lost to ABS 18-6 in the semis finals of the winnerís bracket, then won four games in the loserís bracket. One of those wins was a 18-17 decision against Team Combat/Pytch Blakk of Kent, Wash., Sunday morning. Team Combat finished third with a 3-2 record.
TCP (5-1) jumped out to an early 13-10 lead and added five more runs in the fourth inning to close out its scoring and held off Combat, which went scoreless in the top of the seventh inning after closing the game to its final margin with one run in the fourth, two in the fifth and four in the sixth.
Team Combat out-hit the winners, 21-18, but three times Team Combat was throttled hitting into three double plays.
Winning pitcher White led the offense with three hits and Nathan Staats, Andrew Schiltz, Saun Beutner, Justin Butler and Michael Kerr all had two hits apiece. Butler accounted for five of his teamís run with a pair of homers. DH Brian Higginbotham drove in four runs for Team Combat on a three-for-four performance. Kye Decker, Rusty Bumgardner, Jason Kendrick, Donovan Pokraka and Brad Blankenship each had two hits apiece for Team Combat.
In the championship game, each team tallied a run in the first inning, but TCP didnít score in three of the next six innings while ABS was only blanked on the scoreboard in the third inning. Speed can kill on the highway and going blank on the scoreboard in top-level slow pitch can prove fatal in the won-loss column. ABS pounded out 19 hits, four more than TPS, and scored three times in the second, twice in the fourth, five in the fifth and four in the sixth to decide the game.
No player had more than a pair of hits for TCP and White, Andrew Shiltz. Mike Irvine, Scott Roen and Justin Butler all had two hits apiece. Brett Helmer, one of the pick-ups for ABS, drove in three runs and finished with a 3-for-4 performance and shared the HR trophy with two other players. The leading hitter in the tournament was Brian Wegman, the other ABS pick-up, who batted .900 (18-for-20) with seven homers and 18 RBI. Winning pitcher Bill Honeycutt and Shaun Ballard also had three hits apiece for ABS, which captured its first ASA Class A national title.
Joe Corbis wins Menís Class D
Blue Water finished with one more win than Joe Corbis but the final game is what mattered as Joe Corbis beat Blue Water 5-4 in the final game of the Hooters Championship Series in Menís D. One of only two games with a combined score of less than 10 in the D Division, Blue Water was unable to combat a five-run fourth inning.
It was all Blue Water as they led Joe Corbis 4-0 until the lead change in the fourth would end up being the score in the books. Highlighting the inning was five straight hits including a double by Lane Strobel. Both Strobel and Joe Mullinex were 2-for-3 in the Championship game.
Billy Bakner was crowned the Menís D MVP as he was responsible for 13 RBI and four runs scored. Bakner hit .545 going 12-for 22.
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The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nationís largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 83 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 240,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.
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