CincySoftball.com

Six-Run 7th Lifts Cincysoftball/ Buffalo Joe’s/ Cronin Ford Past White Castle/ SOP/ Chic’s 21-15 In USSSA “D-E” Open National Invitational Finals At Kolping Park

Mt. Healthy, Oh.—Cincysoftball/Buffalo Joe’s/Cronin Ford erupted for six runs in the top of the 7th to break a 15-15 tie and pull out a 21-15 victory over White Castle/SOP/Chic’s in the championship game of a USSSA “D-E” Open National Invitational on Saturday, June 8th at Kolping Park.

 

The victory wrapped up a three-game sweep of the six-team field for the winners.  Cincysoftball had previously shaken off Players 7-6 and Reloaded 12-10 in pool play before out-slugging White Castle in the finals.

 

The champions outscored their opponents by a combined 40-31 margin en route to their second tournament win of the season.

 

Cincysoftball left Kolping with a $50 travel expense voucher towards state or national tournament play.

 

Both Cincysoftball and White Castle had previously qualified for USSSA post-season play.

 

“Solid defense and timely hitting in the 7th inning of the White Castle game,” plus the offensive spark provided by Steve Bock and veteran Kevin Birkofer helped carry Cincysoftball to the championship, said manager Andy Larkins.

 

“We didn’t make too many errors,” observed Larkins.  “Our 3rd baseman, Ryan Neff, probably had ten chances and got us ten outs.  And 2nd baseman Steve Bock had a big play in the 7th inning of the Reloaded game.  He made a diving stop and threw to 2nd to get us out of their rally.  That was a big play to help us win that game.”

 

Bock also shined on the other side of the ball, leading Cincysoftball in hitting with a big .750 day.

 

“He just got on base,” said Larkins.  “He hits down toward the bottom of the line-up.  He had several solid hits, including a double and a triple.  He had a good tournament.

 

“And what can you say about Kevin Birkofer (.692),” said Larkins.  “He’s 53-years old and still hits.  He had a big rbi single in the White Castle game in the 5th.  He just hits.  You just can’t get him out.”

 

Coy Baker also shined for Cincysoftball, said Larkins.

 

“Coy batted .667 and had six solid, clean hits.  And he played a good middle-infield and didn’t have any errors.”

 

Isaiah Staton also made key contributions to Cincysoftball’s offense with a pair of clutch three-run home runs.  The first one, which came in the bottom of the 5th against Reloaded, wound up being the difference in the game.  The second broke open an 18-15 contest with White Castle in the top of the 7th.

 

“He had some important at bats for us that he came through on including those two home runs,” remarked Larkins.

 

In a low-scoring opener against Players, Cincysoftball pushed across two runs in the bottom of the 3rd to break a 3-3 tie, then tacked on lone runs in the 4th and 5th to pull out a narrow 7-6 victory.  Rbi singles by Brad Hargreaves and Ryan Neff put their club ahead for good in the 3rd at 5-3After Players answered with a run in the top of the 4th, Cincysoftball offset that with a sac fly from Mark Kahny in the bottom of the inning, then Hargreaves singled in an insurance run in the 5th.  Players trimmed the deficit to 7-6 in the 6th, but put up a goose egg in the 7th.

 

Kevin Birkofer banged out three hits, and Hargreaves and Steve Bock each went 2-for-3 to pace the offense.

 

Next Cincysoftball jumped out to an 8-0 lead with two in the 1st and six in the 2nd, then fended off a late Reloaded rally in the 7th to emerge with a 12-10 victory in their final pool play affair.  Ryan Neff provided both runs in the 1st with a base hit, while the 2nd featured a three-run bomb by Isaiah Staton.  Reloaded struck for five in the top of the 4th to cut the deficit to 8-5, but Joe Frey singled in a run in the bottom of the inning, and Cincysoftball tacked on three more in the 5th on an Anthony Robinson single and a two-run double by Steve Bock.  Reloaded failed to score in the 5th and 6th, but plated five runs in the 7th before running out of swings.

 

Frey and Robinson shared six hits, and Neff and Coy Baker chipped in two hits each for the winners.

 

Cincysoftball exploded for eight runs in the 1st and four in the 2nd to break on top 12-0 in the finals, only to have White Castle storm back to outscore the eventual champions 15-3 over the next four and a half innings and knot the score after six.  But in the top of the 7th, Cincysoftball used a six-run outburst to slam the door on the challengers and escaped with a 21-16 victory.  Steve Bock singled in the go-ahead run.  Mark Kahny and Joe Frey followed with rbi singles, then Isaiah Staton launched his second three-run shot of the day to seal the win.

 

Staton pounded out four hits and collected eight rbi’s to power the champions.  Kevin Birkofer, Ryan Neff and Back combined for nine hits.

 

Cincysoftball manager Andy Larkins called White Castle “a young team with a lot of speed.

 

“They have a lot of up-and-coming players,” said Larkins.  “And they wouldn’t go away after we put up eight in the 1st and four in the 2nd.  They didn’t quit, so props to them for that.  I’m happy that our team kept hitting.  We marked in six of seven innings.  It was a good game…it was tied up going into the 7th.”

 

Larkins concluded by saluting Kolping Park on a well-run tournament.

 

“The fields at Kolping were in great shape, and Tom (park manager Tom Stine) does a nice job,” said Larkins.  “Also all the teams came to play.  It was a good night.”

 

For final standings, please paste the following url into your browser: http://www.usssa.com/sports/Tournament3.asp?TournamentID=983800

 

This article is also available for viewing at www.ohiousssasoftball.com.

Cincysoftball.com/Buffalo Joe’s/Cronin Ford outlasted White Castle/SOP/Chic’s in the championship game to complete a three-game sweep of a six-team USSSA “D-E” Open National Invitational on Saturday, June 8th at Kolping Park.  Front row, left to right, are Kevin Hutson, Steve Bock, Mark Kahny, Anthony Robinson, and Luke Thieken.  In the second row are Coy Baker, Joe Frey, Ryan Neff, Brad Hargreaves, Brandon Houlihan, and Christian Kline.  In the back row are Jeremy Hampton, Andy Larkins, Kevin Birkofer, Dan Tolbert, Pete Ems, Isaiah Stayton, and Brett Kostoff.

Cincysoftball.com/Buffalo Joe’s/Cronin Ford outlasted White Castle/SOP/Chic’s in the championship game to complete a three-game sweep of a six-team USSSA “D-E” Open National Invitational on Saturday, June 8th at Kolping Park. Front row, left to right, are Kevin Hutson, Steve Bock, Mark Kahny, Anthony Robinson, and Luke Thieken. In the second row are Coy Baker, Joe Frey, Ryan Neff, Brad Hargreaves, Brandon Houlihan, and Christian Kline. In the back row are Jeremy Hampton, Andy Larkins, Kevin Birkofer, Dan Tolbert, Pete Ems, Isaiah Stayton, and Brett Kostoff.

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Posted by on Jun 10 2013.
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