Rogers, Scott, Jamison Power 3rd Street/ Team Cincinnati/ Viox To Runner-Up Finish In ASA “A” Nationals

Oklahoma City, Ok.—Michael Rogers hit .830, Jayson Scott batted .730, and slugger Jon Jamison homered eight times and collected 25 rbi’s, to power 3rd Street/Team Cincinnati/Viox Services to a runner-up finish in the Amateur Softball Association Men’s Class “A” National Tournament September 28-30 at the ASA Hall of Fame Softball Complex in Oklahoma City, Ok.


3rd Street/Team Cincinnati/Viox averaged 33 runs per game as the slugged their way through the winners’ bracket of the 20-team event, but got double-dipped by Sonny’s 20-15 and 19-18 in the finals.


3rd Street had stormed back from a 31-13 deficit to stun Sonny’s 39-36 in the winners’ bracket finals, rallying for seven runs in the bottom of the 7th.  Dan Houchin’s two-out walk-off slammer provided the difference.


Team Cincinnati won three straight winners’ bracket games in their final at bat.  Prior to polishing off Sonny’s, they escaped with a 30-29 victory over Jean Shoppe in game three, scoring 17 runs over the final three innings to overcome a 22-13 4th inning deficit.  Jayson Scott delivered a walk-off solo shot in the bottom of the 7th to break a 29-29 tie.  Then in game four, Team Cincinnati exploded for 27 runs in the top of the 4th to dig out of a 31-5 hole, and went on to edge Desert Falls 32-31.  Butch Castor drove in the game winner with an rbi single in the top of the 7th.


Previously the Ohio club had knocked off the Seminoles 36-2 and Nordkap 30-21.


3rd Street/Team Cincinnati/Viox let the second finals slip away, blowing an 18-10 lead over the final two innings when Sonny’s made a pitching change in the bottom of the 5th.  The new pitcher retired nine straight batters, while Sonny’s rallied for seven in the 6th and two in the 7th to grab the lead.


Chemistry, refusing to be intimidated, timely hitting and excellent defense helped carry 3rd Street to their second place finish.


“We had amazing chemistry,” said 3rd Street player-manager Robert Mahaffey.  “We put a roster together from three of the top teams from Cincinnati that battled head-to-head with ‘Major’ and ‘A’ teams.  And when we needed big innings, the guys put it together and got it done.


“For guys who primarily play ‘A’ and ‘B’ ball, we weren’t afraid of any of the ‘Major’ teams,” remarked Mahaffey.  “In our five wins, we knocked off three ‘Major’ and one ‘A’ team, and we weren’t intimidated by anybody.”


Mahaffey said “very timely hitting” proved to be a big key for his club.


“Two games that stick out were when we needed seven runs in the top of the 4th to stay in the game against Desert Falls and we scored 27,” recalled Mahaffey.  “And then against Sonny’s in the winners’ bracket finals when we needed five runs to stay in the game and scored 15 in the 5th.”


Rob Menke and Roger Drake shined on defense.


“Although he didn’t make the All-Tournament team, Rob made some amazing plays at middle infield, and Roger Drake was a force to be reckoned with on the mound,” said Mahaffey.’


Team Cincinnati’s hitting leaders included Michael Rogers (.830, 14 rbi’s, 5 HR’s), Jayson Scott (.730, 14 rbi’s, 6 HR’s), Jon Jamison (.690, 25 rbi’s, 8 HR’s), Roger Drake (.690, 21 rbi’s, 6 HR’s) and Tom Stevens (.690, 23 rbi’s, 7 HR’s).


Rogers, Scott, Drake and Larry Wert were named to the All-American first team.


“Michael was selected for his unbelievable performance at the plate,” said Mahaffey.  “Going into the winners’ bracket finals, he had not made an out in four games and he only made two against Sonny’s in the winners’ bracket finals.”


Scott was picked “for his excellent hitting and defense at 3rd base,” and Drake “for his outstanding pitching and hitting,” said Mahaffey.


Larry Wert “ended up hitting .640 even though he was only 2-for-7 in the two championship games on Sunday,” pointed out Mahaffey.


Team Cincinnati only needed four innings to dispose of the Seminoles 36-2 in game one.  Two-run shots by Dave Kessler, Michael Rogers, Tommy Stevens, Rob Menke and Jon Jamison accounted for ten of their club’s fifteen runs in the top of the 1st.  Three-run blasts by Jamison and Dan Houchin helped make it a 22-0 game in the 2nd.  Jamison delivered again with a slammer to cap off a 5-run 3rd.  Kessler, Robert Mahaffey and Larry Wert each contributed a two-run single in a nine-run 4th.  The Seminoles finally plated two runs in the bottom of the 4th to avert the shutout.


Jamison cracked three home runs, collected ten rbi’s and went 5-for-5 along with Kessler and Rogers to power the offense.


Next Team Cincinnati scored seven runs in the bottom of the 2nd to take a 12-8 lead, then blew the game open with four in the 3rd and ten in the 4th en route to a 30-21 spanking of Nordkap.  Michael Rogers’ launched a three-run bomb to put his team ahead for good at 10-8 in the 2nd, then Dan Houchin followed with a two-run homer.  The lead swelled to 16-10 on a pair of two-run shots by Butch Castor and Jon Jamison in the 3rd.  Then in the 4th Castor added a slammer, Dave Kessler socked a three-run homer, and Rogers picked up two more rbi’s with a home run and the rout was on.


Rogers banged out five more hits, and Jamison, Jayson Scott, Roger Drake and Houchin each went 4-for-5.


The walk in the park ended after that, as Team Cincinnati won their next three games in their final at bat.


First they rallied from a 22-13 deficit with eight runs in the bottom of the 5th, eight in the 6th and one in the 7th to outlast Jean Shoppe/Team TPS 30-29.  Three-run homers by Dave Kessler and Tommy Stevens produced six of their team’s eight runs in the 5th to help trim the lead down to 22-21.  Stevens added a two-run shot in the 6th to knot the score at 27-27, then Brandon Bellamy cracked a two-run homer to give Team Cincinnati their first lead at 29-27.  Jean Shoppe tied it with two in the top of the 7th, but Scott answered with a one-out walk-off to right-center to end it in the bottom of the inning.


Michael Rogers, Roger Drake, Stevens and Brandon Bellamy were all perfect in five trips to the plate.


After falling behind 31-5 after three innings and needing seven runs in the top of the 4th to avoid being mercy-ruled by Desert Falls in game four, Team Cincinnati erupted for 27-runs to take a 32-31 lead.  Two-run shots by Jayson Scott and Jon Jamison, and three-run bombs by Brandon Bellamy, Roger Drake and Butch Castor supplied thirteen of their team’s 27 in the inning.  Desert Falls pushed across a run in the bottom of the 4th to knot the score, but Team Cincinnati went ahead by three in the top of the 5th with the help of a Dan Houchin two-run homer.  Tommy Stevens made if a four-run game with an rbi single in the top of the 6th, but Desert Falls refused to go away, and answered with four in the bottom of the 6th to tie the game at 36-36.  Finally in the top of the 7th, Butch Castor singled in the eventual game winners, and pitcher Roger Drake shut down Desert Falls in the bottom of the inning to preserve the win.


Castor had two home runs and seven rbi’s, and pounded out six hits along with Michael Rogers and Larry Wert.


Team Cincinnati dodged yet another bullet in the winners’ bracket finals.  After falling behind Sonny’s 31-13 after five and a half innings, they outscored the eventual champions 26-4 – including a deciding seven-run outburst in the bottom of the 7th – to pull out a 39-36 victory.  Team Cincinnati slashed the deficit down to two with a 16-run 5th that included three-run bombs from Brandon Bellamy, Tommy Stevens and Butch Castor.  Sonny’s opened the lead back up to six with four in the top of the 6th, but Team Cincinnati put up ten unanswered in their last two at bats, plating three in the 6th on another Stevens’ three-run blast, then rallying for seven in the 7th to emerge with the victory.  In the 7th Dave Kessler had an rbi single to trim the lead down to three, then Mike Rogers stroked a two-out, two-run single to make it a one-run game.  With the bases juiced, veteran Dan Houchin connected for a walk-off slammer to give his club a dramatic 39-36 victory.


Jayson Scott collected six hits, Stevens added five, and Castor and Rob Menke chipped in with four apiece.


Team Cincinnati held a brief 7-4 lead after scoring five runs in the top of the 3rd in the first finals, but Sonny’s put up thirteen unanswered with six in the bottom of the 3rd and seven in the 4th and never looked back.  Team Cincinnati rallied for six in the top of the 7th to make the final more respectable at 20-15.


Team Cincinnati appeared to have the championship in hand after a Rob Menke two-run shot in the bottom of the 5th gave his club an eight-run lead at 18-10.  But then Sonny’s made a pitching change, and the new pitcher retired the next nine batters he faced while Sonny’s put up seven in the 6th and two in the 7th to claim a 19-18 victory and the title.


“The guy they switched to had broken his glove hand in the prior game,” noted Team Cincinnati manager Robert Mahaffey.  “They switched to him because of our eight-run 3rd and five-run 4th.  We had a couple of decent innings in a row and they switched to him after Rob Menke hit a two-run home run in the 5th.  And then they switched pitchers and he retired the next nine straight batters.


“We scored a lot of runs with a great group of guys,” summed up Mahaffey.  “There were a lot of guys who could have been selected to represent Team Cincinnati and we look forward to continuing to represent Cincinnati next year.”


Mahaffey concluded by thanking ASA Cincinnati Metro Commissioner Dave Maury and Team Cincinnati’s sponsors.


“We want to thank Dave and our sponsors, Andy Larkins and Mike Viox, and of course 3rd Street Financial,” said Mahaffey.

3rd Street/Team Cincinnati/Viox Services went 5-2 en route to a runner-up finish in the Amateur Softball Association Men’s Class “A” National Tournament September 28-30 at the ASA Hall of Fame Softball Complex in Oklahoma City, Ok. Kneeling, left to right, are Brandon Bellamy, Jayson Scott, Rob Menke, Butch Castor, and Larry Wert. Standing are David Kessler, Michael Rogers, Robert Mahaffey, Jon Jamison, Tommy Stevens Jr, Roger Drake, and Dan Houchin. Photo courtesy of 3rd Street/Team Cincinnati/Viox Services softball team.





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Posted by on Oct 19 2012.
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