Extreme/Turner Outlasts Sunman/Full Throttle 7-4 In Worth-Bud Light-Ohio USSSA “D” State Finals At Kettering; Clutch Hitting, Defense, Pitching Carry Champions To Title
Dayton, Oh.–Veteran pitcher Danny Cupp held six of his team’s seven opponents to six runs or less to lead Extreme/Turner Property Services to a first place finish in the Worth-Bud Light-Ohio USSSA Men’s “D” State Tournament August 15-16 at Kettering Fields in Dayton.
Extreme/Turner held off Sunman Package Store/Full Throttle 7-4 in the second championship game to wrap up a 6-1 weekend. Sunman had forced an “if” game by upending Extreme 5-4 in the first championship game, then grabbed an early 4-1 lead in the top of the 3rd.
But the winners would not be denied, as they scored the game’s final six runs while pitcher Danny Cupp held Sunman at bay.
“Clutch hits, defense and pitching” carried Extreme to the title, said player-manager Chris Hilton.
“We came up with some big hits when we needed them,” said Hilton. “We had some big home runs from John Nicely, and some big rbi’s from Carlton Brock and Jeremy Williams.”
Hilton said his team’s defense was “off the charts.
“This weekend as a team the infield and the outfield made a total of five errors for the tournament,” remarked Hilton. “It was a strong performance. We turned at least six or seven double plays.”
Pitching chores were handled by Extreme veteran Danny Cupp, who was named tournament MVP.
“The guy is money on the mound,” said Hilton. “He’s been around forever. He doesn’t walk anybody. There were some pretty rough conditions toward the end of the tournament, and you couldn’t force a walk out of him. He pitches to our defense and he’s our leader.”
Jamie Hanlon paced the offense with a robust .824, seven rbi performance. Hilton followed at .600, John Nicely hit .591 with two home runs and thirteen rbi’s, Jeremy Williams batted .583 with ten rbi’s, and Danny Cupp chipped in with a solid .579 effort.
Hanlon, Nicely, Williams, Carlton Brock and Aric Mills were named to the All-State team.
“Jamie led our team with an .824 average, and he was battling with a nagging hamstring injury that he was able to tough out,” noted Hilton. “John had some clutch rbi’s. He led our team with thirteen. Jeremy also had some clutch hits and clutch rbi’s, and he has killer speed on the base paths. Carlton had some clutch hits also. His average was not where he’d like it to be, but he made each one of his hits count.
Mills’ selection was based primarily on his defense.
“He played some great defense at 3rd base,” said Hilton. “He had a lot of opportunities and made the most of them and hit .545.”
Extreme’s smothering defense helped them reach the winners’ bracket finals, as they outscored their first four opponents 43-17.
First they eased past Team Mojo/Walkoff/Old Hickory Bar-B-Que 5-2, scoring two runs in the bottom of the 4th to take the lead for good at 3-2, then tacking on single runs in the 5th and 6th to complete the scoring. Jamie Hanlon doubled in both runs in the 4th. A two-run double by Josh Zickgraf made it 4-2 in the 5th, then Jeremy Williams tripled and scored on Jamie Hanlon’s sac fly in the 6th.
Chris Schiavone was perfect in three at bats, Williams chipped in two hits, and Jamie Hanlon collected three rbi’s.
Next Extreme jumped out to an 11-3 lead with four runs in the 1st, four in the 2nd and three in the 3rd, and never looked back en route to a 13-3 spanking of Trophy Sports. John Nicely put his club on the board with an rbi single in the 1st. Jeremy Williams doubled home two runs in the 2nd. Chris Hilton’s rbi double highlighted a two-run 5th. Pitcher Danny Cupp held Trophy Sports scoreless over the final five innings.
Josh Zickgraf, Jamie Hanlon and Hilton combined for nine hits.
Extreme battled to a 6-6 stalemate with Backyard Boyz through three in game three, but finally pulled out in front with three in the 4th and two in the 6th for an eventual 11-6 victory. Once again Danny Cupp shut down the opposition over the final innings, as Backyard Boyz failed to score in their last four at bats. John Nicely vaulted his team into the lead at 9-6 with a three-run blast in the bottom of the 4th. Jeremy Williams produced the game’s final two runs with a single in the 6th.
Matt Leugers and Nicely each went 3-for-4, Williams drove in four runs, and Jamie Hanlon added two hits for the winners.
That pitted Extreme against the tournament’s top seed, American Dream. Extreme used a five-run 1st to claim the early lead, then put the game away in the bottom of the 5th with a seven-run outburst that sealed a 13-6 victory. John Nicely put his team ahead in the 1st with a two-run single. Aric Mills’ base hit capped off the inning and made it 5-0. American Dream chipped away at the lead with two int he 2nd and one in the 4th and 5th to cut the deficit to 6-4, but Extreme erupted for seven in the bottom of the 5th and American Dream never recovered. A three-run bomb by John Nicely finished off the scoring for Extreme and gave them a commanding 13-4 advantage.
Jamie Hanlon pounded out four hits, and Nicely collected five rbi’s and went 3-for-4 along with Josh Zickgraf, Matt Leugers, and Mills.
Extreme overcame a 9-8, 5th inning deficit in the winners’ bracket finals against Down-N-Dirty, scoring two in the bottom of the 5th and one in the 6th to squeeze out a hard-fought 11-10 victory. Back-to-back rbi doubles by Jamie Hanlon and Aric Mills and an rbi single by Chris Schiavone accounted for Extreme’s two runs in the 5th and put the eventual champions ahead for good at 10-9. They added an insurance run in the 6th as Jeremy Williams singled and scored on Carlton Brock’s two-out double. Down-N-Dirty answered with one in the top of the 7th to make the final 11-10.
Sunman Packaging then routed Down-N-Dirty 16-4 in the losers’ bracket finals to earn a berth into the finals, and they promptly slapped a 5-4 setback on Extreme. Then in the second finals they took an early 4-1 lead with three runs in the top of the 3rd. But Extreme wrenched away the lead with five runs in the bottom of the inning. After a Troy Johnson sac fly knotted the game at 4-4, Carlton Brock came through with his second game-winning hit in as many games with a two-run double. An rbi single by Danny Cupp fittingly closed out the scoring in the bottom of the 6th.
Cupp banged out three hits, and Aric Mills and Brock shared four.
Manager Chris Hilton said that his team’s match-ups with top-seeded American Dream and Down-N-Dirty proved to be the pivotal games of the tournament for Extreme.
“We knew we needed to get past American Dream to have a chance,” said Hilton. “But Down-N-Dirty was the biggest game for us. We’ve had some tough games with them. They beat us 20-9 in the Bash for Cash this year. We’ve played them four times since, and every time it’s been a one-run game. We struggle to get past them. They’re a young, scrappy team. If they keep that operation together, they’re going to be pretty strong in the future.”
Hilton cited Carlton Brock’s two-out, rbi double that gave Extreme a two-run cushion against Down-N-Dirty in the bottom of the 6th “one of the biggest hits in the tournament.
“Anytime you can get a two-out double with a guy on 1st base and the speed is there to score him, it’s the right hit at the right time,” said Hilton. “There aren’t many guys who can score from first on a ball hit into the gap. I attribute that to Jeremy Williams’ speed and Carlton Brock’s clutch hitting.”
Hilton concluded by praising his team’s defense and chemistry.
“One good thing about our group of guys is that if you look up defense in the dictionary, there would be a picture of our group of guys,” said Hilton.
“Everybody knows their role and that they’re not going to win it by themselves. And they believe if they do their part, the guy behind him will do there part,” he added.
“We have great chemistry on this team matched by none other that I’ve ever been around. We’re just a bunch of above average ball players, but as a team, we made each and everyone better.
“Finally, we want to thank our sponsors, Turner Property Services Group,” said Hilton.
BUD LIGHT-WORTH SPORTS-OHIO USSSA MEN’S
CLASS “D” STATE TOURNAMENT FINAL STANDINGS
1. Extreme/Turner Prop. Services, Hamilton, OH 6 1
2. Sunman Package/Full Throttle, Cincinnati, OH 8 2
3. Down-N-Dirty, Middletown, OH 3 2
4. Mojo/Walkoff/Old Hickory, Riverside, OH 6 2
5. Mouch Chiropractic, Goshen, OH 3 2
American Dream, Cincinnati, OH 2 2
7. Backyard Boyz, Hamilton, OH 3 2
Secret Service, Cincinnati, OH 3 2
9. Cincy Blazers, Cincinnati, OH 3 2
Chris’ Band Box, Dayton, OH 2 2
Southend Players, Springfield, OH 2 2
Team Typhoon, Hillsboro, OH 1 2
13. Brown’s Body Shop, Hillsboro, OH 2 2
Tri-State Air Filter, Milford, OH 2 2
Trophy Sports, Dayton, OH 2 2
Queen City Accoustical/Schmoe’s, Cinti., OH 1 2
17. Backyard Bar/Cousin Const., Cincinnati, OH 1 2
Black Sheep Tav./Cincy Impact, Cincinnati, OH 1 2
C & R Pharmacy, Sidney, OH 1 2
Dayton Crush, Dayton, OH 1 2
Fitzgerald’s Pharmacy, Winchester, OH 1 2
Hard Knocks Softball, Cincinnati, OH 1 2
Our Place/Caretaker II, Wash. Court House, OH 1 2
Team CI, Englewood, OH 1 2
25. Dirty Dozen/Metro Auto/G-1 Pl., Cinti., OH 0 2
M & M Connection, Carlisle, OH 0 2
Mud Chukars, Hillsboro< OH 0 2
Pennsyl. Av. Sports/Boot Hill, Midland, OH 0 2
Team VSC/Take 5/L & J Appraisals, Cin., OH 0 2
BUD LIGHT-WORTH SPORTS-USSSA MEN’S
CLASS “D” ALL-STATE TOURNAMENT TEAM
Ryne Holly Down-N-Dirty
Josh Hudson Down-N-Dirty
Andy Young Down-N-Dirty
Nate Eckstein Sunman Package Store/Full Throttle
Carlton Brock Extreme/Turner Property Services Group
Jamie Hanlon Extreme/Turner Property Services Group
Chris Hilton Extreme/Turner Property Services Group
Aric Mills Extreme/Turner Property Services Group
John Nicely Extreme/Turner Property Services Group
Jeremy Williams Extreme/Turner Property Services
Ken Ball – ODP Sunman Package Store/Full Throttle
Danny Cupp – MVP Extreme/Turner Property Services