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Sandlin Single Lifts Team Steam/ Goodtimers/ @kjulius To USSSA Tri-State Conference “D” Title At Kolping Park

Mt. Healthy, Oh.—Brian Sandlin’s walk-off rbi single into left-center with one out in the bottom of the 7th lifted Team Steam/Goodtimers/@kjulius to an 8-7 victory over Kendrick Lawn/Team Havoc/Atwld.com in the finals of the USSSA Tri-State Conference “D” championship on Saturday, June 22nd at Kolping Park.

 

Sandlin’s base hit plated Chris Lenhof with the game winner and capped off a three-run rally for Team Steam, which entered the bottom of the 7th trailing Kendrick 7-5.  Kendrick had just scored four runs in the top of the inning to overcome a 5-3 deficit. But a sac fly by Nick Bibbins had trimmed the lead down to one at 5-4, then Greg Laws delivered an rbi single to score Eric Hopkins with the tying run.

 

The champions swept past four opponents en route to the title, winning two of their four games in their final at bat.  They outscored their victims by an overall 49-29 margin.

 

Steam pocketed $600 cash for their efforts, runner-up Kendrick took home $360, and third place Full Throttle/Durbin Bowl/Sunman Packaging won $240.

 

Kendrick had eliminated half of the eight team field after losing their first game.

 

Solid defense, pitching, and chemistry helped carry Team Steam to the title, said manager Dave Steinmetz.

 

“We played good defense all day,” said Steinmetz, whose team held three opponents to single digit scoring.  “And Johnny Leep pitched great all four games.  And our team chemistry is about as good as you can get.  Everybody plays well together, and everybody’s got each other’s back.

 

“We actually didn’t play very well,” remarked Steinmetz.  “We went 4-0, but didn’t play all that great.  Fortunately we ran into some situations where everybody came through for us.”

 

Ryan Busse (.813) was named Tournament MVP.

 

“Ryan carried us for the first three games with his hitting and defense in right field,” said Steinmetz.

 

Busse also drew a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the 7th to force in the game winner against American Trading in game one.

 

Joining Busse on the All-Tournament team were Johnny Leep (.846), Chris Lenhoff (.647), Brian Sandlin (.625), Mike Snell (.625) and Nick Bibbins (.571).

 

“Johnny pitched great all day and was hot with the bat again,” said Steinmetz.  “He only made two outs the whole tournament and he fielded the middle great all day and kept our opponents down for us.

 

“Chris Lenhof is our leadoff hitter and left-fielder, and he set the table for us most of the day and scored a lot of runs,” continued Steinmetz.  “He did what we hoped he would do when we picked him up to fill that leadoff spot for us, and he played good outfield.”

 

Brian Sandlin “played a great 1st base all day and had some key hits, including the walk-off in our final game,” added Steinmetz.  “Also Mike (Snell) had several key two-out hits for us during the tournament in all four games and played shortstop for us and did a pretty good job.  And Nick (Bibbins) had several key rbi’s during the day and played pretty good defense at 2nd base.”

 

Team Steam barely survived their first game, needing three runs in the bottom of the 6th and one in the 7th to erase a 12-9 deficit and rally past American Trading 13-12.  Steam built an early 9-0 lead after three, but Amerian Trading stormed back with five in the 5th and seven in the 6th to grab a 12-9 lead.  Back-to-back sac flies by Johnny Leep and Rick Parrott and a Mike Snell rbi single knotted the score in the bottom of the 6th.  Then in the 7th Chris Lenhoff doubled, went to third on a base hit by Jimmy Ray, then scored the game winner when Ryan Busse drew a bases loaded walk.

 

Brian Sandlin and Busse pounded out five hits each, and Lenhof, Leep and Snell chipped in with three apiece.

 

Next Steam exploded for five runs in the 5th, three in the 6th and seven in the 7th to overcome a 2-1 deficit and went on to rout TBA 17-9.  After Brian Sandlin’s sac fly knotted the score at 2-2 in the 5th, Ryan Busse cracked a three-run home run to cap off the inning, then Jimmy Ray contributed a big two-run single in the 6th.  The 7th featured rbi doubles by Mike Snell and Red Tucker and a two-run double by Chris Lenhoff as Steam stretched their lead to 17-2.  TBA rallied for six in the bottom of the 7th before running out of swings.

 

Nick Bibbins, Lenhof and Busse combined for a dozen hits, and Johnny Leep and Eric Hopkins each went 3-for-4.

 

That lifted Steam into the winners’ bracket finals against Full Throttle, who drew first blood with a run in the top of the 1st.  But Throttle put up nothing but goose eggs against pitcher Johnny Leep over the next six innings, while Steam erupted for eleven with an eight-run outburst in the 3rd and three in the 4th.  A two-run double by Ryan Busse and a two-run single by Leep accounted for half of Steam’s eight runs in the 3rd.  Busse added a sac fly, and Brent Hopkins and Rick Parrott each delivered an rbi single in the 4th.

 

Chris Lenhof, Nick Bibbins, Brian Sandlin, Leep, Hopkins and Parrott all went 2-for-3 to pace the offense.

 

Meanwhile Kendrick, which had dropped a 16-9 contest to TBA in their opener, was trekking through the losers’ bracket.  The eventual runners-up battled past American Trading 13-9, Me-5-Me/Schmoe’s 23-20, and Premier Services/Louisville Slugger 16-14, then ousted Full Throttle 22-18 in the losers’ bracket finals to earn a shot at Team Steam.  Steam held a precarious 4-3 lead after six innings in the finals, only to have Kendrick push across four runs in the top of the 7th to take a 7-4 advantage.  But in the bottom of the 7th, Mike Snell singled, moved into scoring position on a walk to Eric Hopkins and a Chris Lenhof base hit, then scored on a Nick Bibbins sac fly to trim the deficit to one.  Greg Laws then followed with a single to plate Hopkins, setting the stage for Brian Sandlin’s walk-off to left-center to score Lenhof.

 

Laws, Johnny Leep, Ryan Busse and Sandlin shared twelve hits to power the champions.

 

Team Steam manager Dave Steinmetz called his club’s win over Kendrick “a funny game for both teams.

 

“Neither one of us hit really well until late in the game,” pointed out Steinmetz.  “We both scored one run here and one run there, then they scored four in the 7th, and we came in and scored our three.

 

“They’re a solid team and a nice bunch of guys,” said Steinmetz.  “Just about every game we’ve had with them has been a one-run game.

 

“It was a long day for both teams,” added Steinmetz.  “Both teams were tired and their outfielders were really worn out.  They did a very good job after losing their first game.”

 

Steinmetz said his team was fortunate to win their opener against American Trading.

 

“We had that game in hand until they came back in the 5th and 6th, but we shut them down in the 7th and got three in the 6th and one in the 7th to win.”

 

Steinmetz said “it was a good feeling to be the first team to win the Tri-State Conference championship.

 

“Our guys fought all year long to do what we did,” said Steinmetz.  “This was our third win, and we had a second and a fourth place finish.  To finish in the top four in every tournament is a good accomplishment.  We feel like we have accomplished a lot.  We have a good group of guys.  Everybody likes each other.  We hit before every game, and we go out together.  This team just has a lot of team chemistry and everybody just has a good time.”

 

For final standings, tournament game scores and all-tournament team, please paste the following url into your browser: http://www.usssa.com/sports/Tournament3.asp?TournamentID= 975743

 

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

Team Steam/Goodtimers/@kjulius rallied for three runs in the bottom of the 7th to trim Kendrick Lawn/Team Havoc/Atwld.com 8-7 in the finals of the USSSA Tri-State Conference “D” championship on Saturday, June 22nd at Kolping Park.  Photo courtesy of Kolping Park.

Team Steam/Goodtimers/@kjulius rallied for three runs in the bottom of the 7th to trim Kendrick Lawn/Team Havoc/Atwld.com 8-7 in the finals of the USSSA Tri-State Conference “D” championship on Saturday, June 22nd at Kolping Park. Kneeling, left to right, are Chris Lenhof, Brian Sandlin, Jimmy Ray and Eric Hopkins. Standing are Dave Steinmetz, Johnny Leep, Mike Snell, Nick Bibbins, Ryan Busse, Greg Laws, Jeff Hardy, Ken Hansel, Red Tucker and Brent Hopkins. Photo courtesy of Kolping Park.

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Posted by on Jun 24 2013.
Filed under All, Headlines, Kolping Park News, News, picture, Tri-State Conference, USSSA News.
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