Assault/Ohio Valley Wine Fends Off Team Fury In USSSA Great Lakes “E” Finals At Kilianski Park; Four Run 5th Lifts Cincinnati Club To Title
Ft. Knox, Ky.–Cincy Assault/Ohio Valley Wine fended off Team Fury 6-4 in the second championship game to capture first place i the USSSA Great Lakes Division “E” National Tournament September 5-7 at Kilianski Sports Complex.
After falling 10-3 to Team Fury in the first finals, Cincy Assault used a four-run 5th overcome a 2-1, then held on for a 6-4 victory and the title.
“We tensed up in the last two games,” acknowledged Assault manager Phil Sauer. “Everybody was up tight. I took everybody into the outfield between games and said ‘if you guys want it, it’s here to take, and let’s go get it.”
Assault compiled a 7-1 record for the weekend to best a monster 75-team field. With the exception of a 19-14 victory over Wilson Concrete in the winners’ bracket semi-finals, the Cincinnati club was in control until the finals. Assault needed a ten-run 5th to overcome a 13-7 deficit to Wilson.
Sauer credited “teamwork, picking each other up, solid defense and hitting the ball” as the keys to winning the tournament.
“Everybody talked to each other,” said Sauer. “On defense everybody moved each other to the side or in and out. Steve Schroeder, our middle-infielder, commanded the infield pretty well and set everybody up where they needed to be.”
Due to “several offensive ejections” for violating the home run run, Sauer said his teammates had to “pick each other up.
“Instead of getting down on each other, somebody would pick that person up and we were able to keep winning,” said Sauer.
Defensively, Assault “made very few errors,” said Sauer.
“And the errors we did have, nobody got down. On the next ball hit to them, they just picked it up and made the plays.
“Our outfield of Travis Runyon (lf), Tyler Riley (cf) and Josh Reynolds (rf) as spectacular. The outfield was 310’ and they were still able to track a lot of balls down.”
Offensively, Lee Dumford paved the way with a .720 average and fourteen rbi’s. Runyon followed at .679, Tyler Riley batted .625, Chris Turner hit .600 with thirteen rbi’s and Justin Clem batted .593.
Turner was named Most Valuable Player, Dumford Outstanding Offensive Player and Steve Schroeder the Outstanding Defensive Player.
“We picked Chris for MVP for his clutch hitting and solid defense, and basically he just motivated us,” explained Sauer. “Also for his clutch hitting. If our one and two hitters got on, he always came up with a big hit, and on hits to the gaps they were going 1st to 3rd. He played really aggressive, and at 1st base he made the routine plays and a couple of highlight plays.
“He was our vocal leader,” added Sauer. “He was the one who came into the dugout and said ‘get up, let’s go, we’re doing fine.’”
Sauer said Dumford was moved into the leadoff spot after the first two games, “and after that it was just hit, hit, hit,” said Sauer.
“He was always on base, and he led our team in hitting and rbi’s.”
Middle-infielder Steve Schroeder “was making plays in the hole and diving back and forth and turned countless double plays,” said Sauer.
Cincy Assault’s entire outfield was named to the All-Tournament Team.
“Tyler and Josh just locked down the outfield with their speed. And Justin was the heart of our team and came up with several big hits when we needed them and made several big defensive plays. He had an all-around great tournament,” remarked Sauer.
A consistent offense and defense propelled Assault past their first three opponents, as they disposed of Hudson’s Automotive/Bob Evans 18-7, Louisville Sliders/Sports 55 17-8, and Drunken Monkeys 14-8.
A two-run 1st, a five-run 2nd and a six-run 4th carried Assault past Hudson’s. A two-run Justin Clem double put his club ahead for good in the bottom of the 1st. Assault tacked on five more in the 2nd to make it 7-1 with the help of Lee Dumford’s two-run base hit. A bases-clearing triple by Chris Turner was the big blow in the 4th as the lead swelled to 12-3, and Hudson’s never recovered.
Turner drove in five runs and shared fifteen hits with Clem, Travis Runyon and Phil Sauer.
Next Assault jumped out to a 16-3 lead with ten runs in the 1st and six in the 2nd and never looked back against the Sliders. A two-run double by Steve Schroeder erased a 3-1 deficit in the bottom of the 1st. Freddy Schroeder followed with an rbi double to give his club the lead. Later in the inning Lee Dumford contributed a two-run triple. Back-to-back rbi doubles by the Shroeder brothers sparked the six-run 2nd.
Steve Schroeder went 3-for-3 to lead the offense.
Back-to-back-to-back three-run innings in the 4th 5th and 6th enabled Assault to break open a 5-5 contest with Drunken Monkeys and emerge with a 14-8 victory in game three. Chris Perry’s sac fly put his team on top to stay at 6-5, then Tyler Riley followed with a two-run double for a three-run lead. Freddie Schroeder’s two-run single was the big blow in the 5th. Then in the 6th Riley tripled to lead off the inning and scored on Lee Dumford’s single.
Travis Runyon banged out four hits, and Dumford and Riley chipped in three apiece.
In game four Assault jumped out to an early 7-0 lead with four in the1st, two in the 2nd and one in the 3rd, then held on for an 8-5 win over the Playmakers. Chris Turner’s inside-the-park three-run homer made it 3-0 in the 1st. Justin Clem followed with a triple and scored on Steve Shroeder’s base hit. Tyler Riley tripled and scored on Lee Dumford’s sac fly to highlight the 2nd.
Turner and Justin Clem were both perfect in three trips to the plate.
Assault needed a ten-run 5th to overcome a 13-7 deficit and battle past Wilson Concrete 19-14 in game five. Following a bases-clearing triple by Josh Reynolds, Lee Dumford drove a slammer into the right-centerfield gap put his club up for good at 16-13.
Dumford, Travis Runyon, Freddie Schroeder, Justin Clem and Jessie Moore combined for fifteen hits.
An eight-run 1st and a four-run 4th helped carry Assault past Team Fury 15-11 in the winners’ bracket finals. Justin Clem put his team on the board with a two-run single in the 1st. Later in the inning Josh Reynolds had a big two-run single to put his team ahead 6-0. Rbi doubles by Lee Dumford and Travis Runyon highlighted the four-run 4th as the lead swelled to 13-7.
Dumford, Freddie Schroeder, Jessie Moore, Reynolds and Tyler Riley each went 3-for-4 to pace the offense.
Fury bounced back quickly, ousting Wilson Concrete 4-3 in the losers’ bracket finals, then slapping a 10-3 loss on Assault to force an “if” game. But after taking a 2-1 advantage in the bottom of the 4th, Fury gave up a four runs in the top of the 4th and never recovered. Back-to-back triples by Justin Clem and Steve Schroeder knotted the score at 2-2. Freddy Schroeder followed with an rbi single to put Assault on top to stay at 3-2. Rbi singles by Phil Sauer and Chris Perry increased Assault’s advantage to 5-2. Team Fury put up lone runs in the 5th and 6th, and Assault tacked on an insurance run in the 6th to make the final 6-4.
Perry, Steve Schroeder and Travis Runyon shared six hits for the champions.
Games four and five with Playmakers and Wilson Concrete were the pivotal games of the tournament, said Cincy Assault manager Phil Sauer.
“We had back-to-back ejections in the 1st and 2nd innings and still came out on top,” said Sauer. “The Wilson game was the best game of the tournament. It was back-and-forth the whole game. They had us down and we came back and overtook them.”
Strangely, Sauer said Wilson went to four-man after his team grabbed a 4-0 lead in the 1st. “But then in the 5th they went back to a five-man and we started hitting the gaps and blew it open.”
WORTH-BUD LIGHT-USSSA MEN’S CLASS “E”
GREAT LAKES NATIONAL ALL-TOURN. TEAM
Jeremy Boswell Wilson Concrete
Joey Napier Wilson Concrete
Dave Dodson Danners
Wes S mith Danners
Gary Hicks Team Fury
Matt Hilbert Team Fury
John Leppert Team Fury
Justin Clem Cincy Assault/Ohio Valley Wine
Josh Reynolds Cincy Assault/Ohio Valley Wine
Tyler Riley Cincy Assault/Ohio Valley Wine
Phil Sauer Cincy Assault/Ohio Valley Wine
Steve Schroeder – ODP Cincy Assault/Ohio Valley Wine
Lee Dumford – OOP Cincy Assault/Ohio Valley Wine
Chris Turner – MVP Cincy Assault/Ohio Valley Wine
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