1994 – 30th Annual ASA Gateway Classic – St Louis, Missouri
June 1, 1994 – article by Jerome Earnest – Softball USA Vol. 5, No. 5
They roll up the numbers at St. Louis!
11 times the nation's super powers scored in the 50's and 60's in the 30th annual Gateway Classic, an ASA Super Qualifier over the Memorial Day weekend at Fountain Lake Park in the St. Louis suburb of Bellefontaine Neighbors.
3 games produced scores in the 50's and 60's by both teams.
Check out these scores:
65-61 Bell Corp of Tampa over Ritch's/Superior of Windsor Locks, CT;
55-52 DJ's of Atchison, KS over Ritch's/Superior;
61-50 DJ's over Converters of Kinston, NC;
56-37 Lighthouse of Stone Mountain, GA over DJ's;
55-35 Bell over Converters (Bell scored 34 runs in one inning);
55-22 DJ's over Steele's/Sunbelt of Brookpark, Ohio;
61-1 Bell over Hooters of Overland Park, KS;
51-5 Ritch's/Superior over Supreme of St Louis;
Those last two scores were for only three innings…in first round games.
The 65-61 game lasted 3 hours and 45 minutes. A 20-minute "discussion" with the umpires was included. The 55-52 game lasted over 3 hours while the 61-50 game lasted almost 3 hours.
Lighthouse made it through the winners bracket as the only undefeated team, but the team elected to forfeit instead or its players would miss their flights home. Lighthouse already had qualified for the ASA Super Nationals (Aug 19-21 in Maryville, TN) by winning the qualifying tournament in Hendersonville, TN.
Bell and DJ's met in the game that determined who would get the berth. Bell won 40-38, leading most of the way by margins of 9-2, 22-13, 28-14, 34-21, 38-30, and 40-33. DJ's tried to mount one last comeback with 4 homers for 5 runs in the bottom of the 7th, but came up 2 runs short.
Dan Schuck was the big gun for Bell with 4 homers and a single for 9 RBI. Todd Joerling, Kim Seaman, and pitcher Greg Cannedy each went 6-6. Joerling and Seaman each had 2 homers, Cannedy 1. Bell had a 16-15 edge in home runs. Ricky Huggins and Robbie Ergle each had 3 for DJ's, with Huggins totaling 9 RBI.
Both DJ's and Bell had suffered losses to Lighthouse — DJ's by 56-37 in Saturday night's winners bracket semifinal round and Bell by 32-27 in Sunday morning's winners bracket finals.
Lighthouse beat both Bell and DJ's en route to the championship of the Hendersonville qualifier.
Ritch's/Superior, the two time defending champion in the ASA Super Nationals, is still looking for a berth after 3 tries.
Converters won the first qualifier at Orlando, Florida, and when Converters won another qualifier at Largo, MD, the runner-up Tri-Gems team from Cedar Brook, NJ was awarded the berth.
The most exciting game of the St. Louis stop on was DJ's vs. Ritch's/Superior. The R/S Express roared out to a 24-0 lead going into the bottom of the second inning. It was 33-3 going into the bottom of the third. But DJ's roared back, eventually winning with a 15-run rally in the bottom of the seventh. 13 of those runs came with 2 outs. After an intentional walk to Ricky Huggins, Doug Burns came through with a 2 run single. Then J.C. Phelps won it with a 3 run home run. It was his second home run of the inning, and fifth of the game. Shawn Keane also had 5 homers for DJ's. Both Phelps last inning homers were long drives…70 to 80 feet over the 300 foot fence.
Britt Hightower hit 5 homers for R/S, which had 13 homers en route to the 24-0 lead.
Mark Martin hit 6 homers in Bell's win over R/S. Greg Harding added 5 while going 8-8. Ron Parnell had 5 for R/S, which owned a 33-29 advantage in homers. Charles Wright was 8-8, with 4 homers, for R/S.
Bell used a 19-run, 11 homer 4th inning to seize a 48-39 lead. It came on the heels of an 18 run bottom of the third for R/S that produced a short lived 31-19 lead. R/S put together a 15 run 5th on the strength of 10 homers to regain a 54-48 margin. Bell had back to back 8 run innings in the 6th and 7th, and R/S managed only 2 in the 6th before coming up short with 5 in the 7th.
Bell now owns a 2-0 season series edge over Ritch's/Superior after losing 15 of 16 meetings last season. DJ's also owns a 2-0 margin over R/S. Plus DJ's beat R/S in the two teams last meeting of 1993.
Ritch's/Superior, the No. 1 ranked team by Softball USA 3 years running and top ranked in the 1994 preseason, was left with a modest 10-7 record for the young 1994 season.
DJ's displayed come from behind resiliency in the win over Converters, a team that had gained the No. 1 ranking. Converters led 20-8, but DJ's scored 13 in the bottom of the second. Converters regained a 33-23 lead, only to see DJ's score 11, 14, and 13 in the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings.
Phelps went 7-7 with 5 homers. He had four 3-run homers, totaling 13 RBI. Robbie Ergle was 7-7 with 4 homers. Mike Shenk's 4th homer was a grand slam in the 6th that gave DJ's a 56-48 lead. DJ's wound up with a 31-28 lead in homers and little left handed pitcher John Keigley contributed two triples (and two singles). Four players had 4 homers for Converters — Jimmy Powers, Dewayne Nevitt, Rusty Bumgarnder, and Todd Martin. Two of Nevitt's homers came with the bases loaded as he totaled 11 RBI. Powers and Martin each had 7 hits and Randy Romagna was 6-6.
Bell's 34 run innning (coming after an 11 run 2nd for a 53-16 bulge) saw 19 home runs, including 3 each by Schuck and Joerling. They each added a single for 4 hits in the inning. Seaman, Jeff Arnold, Greg Harding and Phil White each had 2 homers and a single in the inning, while Martin and Don Rardin each chipped in with 3 singles.
Schuck who was 7-7 with 5 homers, ended the game (via the 20-run rule) with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the 5th.
Lighthouse's win over DJ's was featured by a 21 run, 12 homer 4th inning. Ron Holder, Dewayne Frizzell and Ernie Montgomery each had 2. Lighthouse wound up with 35 homers, with Montgomery hitting 5 and Kenny Carver, Steve Craven and David Johnson 4 each. Montgomery and Derek Jones each went 7-7, while Carver was 7-8 and Holder 6-7.
The round before saw Lighthouse hit 28 homers in a 44-24 win over the St. Louis Merchants/Roberts Park team.
Lighthouse fell behind 13-3 against Bell in teh first two innings, but scored 8 in the 3rd on 5 homers and 15 in the top of the 6th on 5 more homers. Craven had a 3 runner in each inning while Johnson totaled 10 RBI on 3 homers and a single in the 3rd, 5th and 6th innings. Lighthouse out homered Bell by the surprising margin of 15-6 as Craven and Frizzell each matched Johnson's 3. Kim Seaman was 5-5 in a losing effort for Bell.
DJ's lopsided win over Steele's/Sunbelt saw a former Hit Man Shawn Keane go 7-7 with 5 homers. Huggins was 6-7 with 5 homers and 11 RBI. Doug Burns, another former Hit Man, and Phelps each had 4 homers as DJ's totaled 29 in 5 innings.
Converters eliminated Steele's/Sunbelt 29-27 when a 9 run las inning rally by the Hit Men fell shy. The Powers brothers, Jimmy and Tot, who played for the Hit Men in 1992, combined to go 9-10 with 7 homers for the North Carolina club.
The overall record for Steele's/Sunbelt is 15-11, with 8 of the losses being inflicted by Converters (5) and DJ's (3).
The final standings:
1) Bell Corp
7) Jock's Nitch
- MVP Mark Martin 21-24 .875, 11 HR
- Todd Joerling 28-32, 11 HR
- Kim Seaman 26-30 .867, 10 HR
- Greg Harding .839, 13 HR
- Phil Jobe .800, ankle injury
- Greg Cannedy .774, 10 HR
- Hank Garris .759, 12 HR
- Dan Schuck 12 HR
- Jeff Arnold 11 HR
- Team totaled 107 HR in 5 games
- Robbie Ergle 32-34 .941, 17 homers, and 25 consecutive hits at one point
- J.C. Phelps 32-36 .889, 19 HR
- Ricky Huggins .758, 19 HR
- Shawn Keane .743, 19 HR
- Team hit 138 homers in 6 games.
- Doug Burns 14 HR
- Mike Shenk .758, 11 HR
- Scott Alley .657, 11 HR
- Randall Boone .727, 10 HR
- Gary Jones .741, 9 HR, suffered knee injury making a diving catch against Converters
- Jason Kendrick .700, several outstanding catches in the outfield
- John Keigley .655
- Team 99 HR in 4 games
- Dewayne Frezzell 12 HR
- Larry Sauceman .773, 12 HR
- David Johnson 12 HR
- Steve Craven .750, 11 HR
- Kenny Carver 11 HR
- Ernie Montgomery .773, 10 HR
- Ron Holder .810, 8 HR
- Wendell Rickard 8 HR
- Derek Jones .893
- Danny Holder .722
- Jimmy Powers 25-28 .893, 16 HR – current league leading hitter .820
- Dewayne Nevitt .815, 13 HR
- Todd Martin .750, 12 HR
- Rusty Bumgardner .731, 15 HR
- Derek Oliver .731, 12 HR
- Scott Elliott .720, 10 HR
- Tim Moye .714
- Tot Powers 11 HR
- Larry Fredieu .786, 9 HR
- Britt Hightower 25-28 .893, 14 HR
- Jacques Millier .846
- Dirk Androff .844, 15 HR
- Cecil Whitehead .818, 9 HR
- Paul Drilling .818
- Rick Weiterman .800
- Parnell 14 HR, Wright 11 HR, and Beeler 9 HR were all over .700
- Doug Roberson .692, 8 HR
- Team hit 104 HR in 5 games
- Kenny Scobee .824
- Doug Kissane .812
- Steve Helewicz .750, 10 HR
No less than 9 members of the Ritch's/Superior team have played for Steele's teams — Macenko, Millier, Weiterman, Androff, Roberson, Parnell, Wright, Whitehead, and Fredieu.
|ASA Super Qualifier||St Louis, Missouri|
|TPS/Louisville||May 27-29, 1994|
|Converters Unlimited 35||Converters 36|
|Davault Softball 22|
|Lawton Cable 8||Jocks 10|
|Jocks Nitch/Worth 30|
|Bell Corp 27|
|Bell Corp/Easton 61||Bell Corp 65|
|Bell Corp 55|
|Ritch's Superior 51||Ritch's 61|
|Supreme Tire 5|
|Lighthouse/Worth 38||Lighthouse 44|
|Dudley Midsouth 10|
|Robert's Park/TPS 34||Roberts 24|
|B&C Softball 8|
|DJ's/TPS 21||DJ's 55|
|Steele's/Sunbelt 22||Steele's 22|
|Springfield Softball 2|
|Loser's Bracket||Steele's 24|
|Devault 29||Lawton 11|
|Steele's 27||Bell Corp 40|
|Hooters 29||Hooters 39|
|Supreme 14||Hooters 5||Converters 50|
|Roberts 35||Bell Corp|
|Ritchs 20||Converters 29|
|Midsouth 17||B&C 8||DJ's 38|
|Harvey 2||Springfield 3|
|Springfield 16||Jocks 16||DJ's 61|