ASA Nationals Day Three Report – Sunday
For Immediate Release: October 2, 2011
Annihilation/PRI/Easton claims 2011 Men’s Class A title; Men’s Class C and D champions both from the west
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — The ASA Slow Pitch Championship season came to a close on Sunday morning at ASA Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City as three National Champions were crowned in the Men’s Class A, C and D divisions.
Annihilation/PRI/Easton (Lawrenceburg, Ind.) posted a large 25-5 run-rule victory over R&M/Troupe/Easton (Burlington, Iowa) and will have its place in the ASA record books as the 2011 National Championship team in Men’s Class A. Both Men’s Class C and D National titles will head to the west after West Coast Nitro/DeMarini (Highland, Calif.) claimed the title game in Class C and Softball Junkies/DeMarini (Citrus Heights, Calif.) earned the championship in Class D.
Men’s Class A
Annihilation/PRI/Easton lived up to its nickname in sweeping through a 14-team field to capture the 2011 ASA Men’s Class A Slow Pitch National Championship Sunday at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium with a 25-5 run-rule win over R&M/Troupe/Easton.
R&M, which had come-from-behind to eliminate 2011 runner-up Long Haul earlier in the third place game, fell behind 10-1 after one inning against Annihilation and never recovered, scoring two runs each in the second and fourth innings and not scoring in the fourth inning. R&M collected only nine hits in the four- inning game and finished the double elimination tourney with a 3-2 record.
“I have played an ASA National every year since 1987 and I know I am old (smile),” said Brett Helmer, tournament MVP. “But to me I am always going to come out here and support and do this and we worked really hard to put a good team together. We got some great sponsorship and obviously the guys played great too. We played consistent and you have to be consistent to win championships. I could not be happier for the guys, everyone played well.”
After the 10-run first, Annihilation exploded for 15 runs on 18 hits in the second inning to put the game in the record book despite going scoreless in the third and fourth innings. Annihilation finished unbeaten in five games, scoring 142 runs to 59 for the opposition. It had 32 hits in the championship game with Greg Connell leading the offense with four hits in five trips and six RBI.
Geno Buck pitched all of the wins for Annihilation and marked the second year in a row he was a member of the ASA Class A National Championship team. In 2010, he hurled Dan Smith to the Class A National title. That team also included Brett Helmer, Brian Wegman and John Gallegos, who also were members of Annihilation.
Helmer and teammate Travis Clark captured two of the tourney’s top awards. MVP Helmer finished hitting .826 (19-for-23) with five home runs and 17 RBI. Clark was the tournament batting champion with a .864 average recording 19 hits, 15 runs scored and seven doubles.
“This is pretty important to me to be National Champions,” said Clark. “Last year I was here and my team got double-dipped and it was not as nice. This year Jerry brought us out here and it was nice and it is just a great feeling to win.”
(Third place game- Class A)
R&M/Troupe/TCP Easton comes-from-behind to eliminate Long Haul, 22-17
Trailing most of the game, R&M/Troupe/TCP Easton rallied for 11 runs in the sixth inning to eliminate Long Haul Trucking (Albertville, Minn.) 22-17 and advance to the championship round of the ASA Men’s Class A Slow Pitch National Championship Sunday at the Hall of Fame Stadium.
R&M, which was sent to the loser’s bracket by Long Haul 24-8 in its third game, collected 10 hits in the sixth inning to win its fourth of five games in advancing to the championship round against undefeated Annihilation/PRI/Easton.
R&M trailed 15-11 entering the bottom of the sixth inning before second baseman Brad Reckart hit a three-run homer to put R&M into the lead to stay, 17-15. Three of R&M’s eight homers were hit in the sixth inning with Keith Anderson (two-run homer) and Chris Greinert (solo homer) also sending the ball over the fence. R&M collected 24 hits and Long Haul 23.
Third baseman Lee Powers led Long Haul with four hits in five trips to the plate, driving in eight runs to finish the tourney with 25. Powers hit a three-run homer in the first and second innings and a two-run blast in the sixth inning to finish with nine homers to lead the tourney. Jeremy Isenhower also had four hits in five trips for Long Haul.
Vincent Granados had a perfect day for R&M with four hits and five RBI including a three-run homer in the first inning and a two-run blast in the third inning.
Long Haul, which finished third with a 3-2 record, was seeking to advance to the championship round of the ASA Men’s Class A Slow Pitch National Championship for the sixth time in seven years. It has finished runner-up in 2010 and 2006 and won Class A titles in 2005, 2007 and 2009.
Men’s Class A All-American Team
Infield- Vincent Granados, R&M/Troupe/Easton
Infield- Keith Anderson, R&M/Troupe/Easton
Infield- Matt Pesso, Nordkap
Infield- Travis Clark, Annihilation/PRI/Easton
Infield- Brett Helmer, Annihilation/PRI/Easton
Outfield- Mike Bowlin, Nordkap
Outfield- Jason Branch, Sonny’s
Outfield- Bubba Mack, Annihilation/PRI/Easton
Outfield- Rick Baker, Annihilation/PRI/Easton
Utility- LC Watson, Long Haul Trucking
Utility- Brad Reckart, R&M/Troupe/Easton
Utility- Kevin Filby, Nordkap
Utility- Charles Cunningham, Sonny’s
Utility- Bryson Baker, Long Haul Trucking
Pitcher- Geno Buck, Annihilation
Batting Champ- Travis Clark, Annihilation/PRI/Easton, .864 avg
HR Champ- Lee Powers, Long Haul Trucking, 9 HR
MVP- Brett Helmer, Annihilation/PRI/Easton
Men’s Class C
West Coast Nitro/DeMarini claimed the Men’s Class C National Championship on Sunday morning with a 15-7 victory over Hustlers (Cadiz, Ky.). A back and forth game with three lead changes through the fourth inning, West Coast had just a narrow 7-6 lead heading into the fifth inning.
But their bats came alive posting five runs in the top of the sixth to pad the advantage to 12-6. David Rosales highlighted the inning with a triple while finishing the game going 3-for-4 with three RBI.
The Hustlers failed to muster a run in the sixth while West Coast knocked in three more runs in the top of the seventh. Hustlers tried to mount a comeback recording one run in the bottom of the seventh, but the defense of West Coast prevailed to earn them the title of “best of the best” in Men’s Class C.
The tournament’s Most Valuable Player was second baseman Raymond Alvarez who completed the tournament going 15-for-22 (.682) with one home run and two RBI.
“Our team is young with no experience in the beginning, but we fought through the whole year,” said Alvarez. “We battled through everything and we are a family. We just came together at the right time to win the championship and this is the best team I have played on so far. “
Men’s Class D
The Softball Junkies/DeMarini (Citrus Heights, Calif.) will be traveling home with the 2011 Men’s Class D championship hardware after recording a 15-7 title game victory on Sunday morning against Boar’s Butt (Hackleburg, Ala.). Led by the offensive effort and pitching of tournament Most Valuable Player John Wheeler, the Junkies took command early with a 9-0 lead and never looked back.
“It is awesome to be champions,” said Wheeler. “We have a great team and it has been a long year. We just played good as a team and being MVP just shows what kind of team we have. This is probably the best team I have ever been on and I love my guys.”
The Junkies scored three runs in each of the first four innings for a solid 12-0 lead going into the fifth. It looked like a run-rule victory was coming, but Boar’s Butt rallied for seven runs in the bottom of the fifth making the game a little more interesting. Boar’s Butt posted its two allowed home runs that inning coming from Daniel Boyd and Doug Taylor.
But the pitching of Wheeler and the defense behind him held strong in the final outs taking home the 15-7 victory. Wheeler finished the tournament hitting .545 with 10 RBI and two home runs.
For complete results, updated brackets, stats, live video streaming (video on demand) and photos from the Championships visit http://www.asasoftball.com/tournaments/SlowPitchChampionshipSeries.asp
Thanks to Julie and Bill for the great recaps of each day of the tournament.
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 nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 210,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.