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EMR/ Schock Tile/ BW/ Plant Detail Double-Dips EAP/ Tigerfitness 23-19, 26-6 For Metro Level 1 Repeat At Rumpke Ball Park

Crosby Township, Oh.– EMR/Schock Tile/BW/Plant Detail stormed out of the losers’ bracket to double-dip EAP/Tigerfitness 23-19 and 26-6 and successfully defend their title in the Level 1 Division of the Cincinnati Metro Tournament July 29-August 4 at Rumpke Ball Park.

 

EAP had routed EMR 21-14 in the winners’ bracket finals of the thirty-seven-team event, but could not overcome a 13-2, 5th inning deficit in the first championship game, despite mounting a furious 13-run rally over the final two innings.  But any momentum EAP might have expected to carry into the second finals was quickly reversed, as EMR jumped out to a 15-0 lead in the top of the 1st and never looked back.

 

EMR went 7-1 in the tournament, and outscored their opponents 153-94 en route to the title.  Prior to falling to EAP in the winners’ bracket finals, they overpowered Shocker Softball 26-14 and Sno-Bug/Penklor Pickles 22-8, then scored a run in their final at bat to outlast their next two opponents – TPE/S & S Pools/Sportsco/Easton 9-8 and Dark Horse/Pacific Apparel 19-18.  Rob Thompson drove in the winning run in both contests, singling in Greg Riddell with two outs in the bottom of the 7th against TPE, then plating Jeff Sunberg with a sac fly in the bottom of the 7th versus Dark Horse.  Dark Horse had just exploded for ten runs in the top of the 7th to take an 18-17 lead.

 

The ability to pull out those late victories along with a high-powered offense that averaged almost twenty runs per game helped carry the champions to the title.

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Metro Tournament Official Rick Miller, center, presents the runner-up trophy to EAP/Tigerfitness manager Rob Schlemmer, left, and sponsor Bob Shad.

 

“A couple times we were down, and we just never did give up,” said EMR manager Mike Clark.  “And everybody played as a team.”

 

Seven players hit .625 or higher, including four who eclipsed the .700 mark, to help power the champions.  Brian Weller, who led EMR with a .750 average, and John Lawwill, who finished second on the team in hitting at .741 and led EMR in home runs and rbi’s, did much of the damage.

 

Lawwill was named tournament MVP.

 

“John led us with eight home runs and twenty-seven rbi’s, and he had a lot of big home runs and a couple of big triples,” said Clark.  “He’s one of our veteran leaders on the team.”

 

Weller was one of nine of EMR’s All-Tournament Team selections.

 

“Our shortstop had quit the first day of the Metro, and we picked Brian up and he played really good over there,” said Clark.  “He had a lot of home runs and knocked in a lot of runs and had a lot of key hits.”

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Metro Tournament Official Rick Miller, center, presents the championship trophy to EMR/Schock Tile/BW/Plant Detail manager Mike Clark, left, and sponsor Steve Atkinson Sr.

 

All-Tourney picks Chuck Lack and Adam Calez also hit over .700.

 

“Chuck hit pretty good,” said Clark.  “He’s hit close to .770 for the year, and he was a little over .700 (.709) in the tournament.  He also had a lot of key hits and drove in a lot of runs.”

 

Clark called Calez, who batted .705, “one of our best hitters.

 

“At one point in time he had ten hits in a row.  He also plays centerfield and helps the team defensively.”

 

Other All-Tournament selection included Jason Molnar (.667), Greg Riddell (.633), Ryan Uckotter (.625), Steve Atkinson, and Rob Thompson.

 

“Jason is our AH and doesn’t get a chance to go out on defense and show that much, but he had about eight home runs and knocked in twenty runs,” said Clark.  “A lot of times he doesn’t get the credit he deserves because he doesn’t play defense.  He’s a real good team player and hits wherever we put him and performs well.

 

“Greg Riddell hit the ball really good all tournament and had some big hits for us and played like three different defensive positions in the field,” continued Clark.  “Ryan Uckotter is one of our outfielders.  He played really good defense and made a lot of great catches and had a lot of hits with a few timely home runs.”

 

Rob Thompson “also played pretty good defense,” said Clark.  “And he had two game winning hits in the tournament in our close games.  And Steve Atkinson pitched a really good tournament and had a shutout, and hit really well.  We’re able to play a four-man outfield a lot because Steve can field the middle pretty good.”

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Tournament MVP John Lawwill, left, receives the Level 1 MVP trophy from Metro Tournament Official Rick Miller.

 

Jeff Sunberg chipped in with a .769 week in thirteen at bats, added Clark.

 

Shocker Softball hung with EMR for two and a half innings in game one, trailing by only one run – 14-13 – after putting up seven in the top of the 3rd.  But EMR broke the game open with four in the bottom of the 3rd and six in the 4th, then invoked the run-rule with two in the bottom of the 5th.  Chuck Lack cracked a three-run home run and Greg Riddell added an rbi double in the 3rd, and Brian Weller launched a three-run bomb to cap off the 4th.  Lack’s two-run single brought the curtain down in the 5th.

 

Adam Calez, Joe Lawwill, and Lack were all perfect in five trips to the plate, and Ryan Uckotter added four hits.

 

Next EMR jumped out to an 11-0 lead over Sno-Bug/Penklor Pickles with four in the 1st and seven in the 2nd and never looked back in a 22-8 rout.  Ryan Uckotter’s two-run double was the big blow in the 1st, while the 2nd featured a two-run double by Steve Atkinson, a two-run home run by John Lawwill, and solo shots by Brian Weller and Greg Riddell.  Riddell collected another rbi with a base hit to cap off a four-run 4th, then Adam Calez went yard with a three-run bomb to spark a seven-run 5th.

 

Calez, Lawwill, and Riddell shared a dozen hits, and Atkinson, Weller and Uckotter each went 3-for-4.

 

The walk in the park ended for EMR in their next three contests.  First, EMR needed a run in the bottom of the 7th to escape with a 9-8 victory over TPE in game three.  With the score deadlocked at 8-8 after six and a half, EMR got a one-out single from Greg Riddell in the bottom of the 7th.  Steve Kroeger walked to move Riddell into scoring position, then, after Jason Molnar flew out for the second out of the inning, Rob Thompson singled in Riddell with the game winner.

 

Molnar had two home runs in the game, and went 2-for-3 along with John Lawwill, Brian Weller, Riddell, and Kroeger.

 

Thompson struck again in game four, scoring Jeff Sunberg with the winning run on a sac fly in the bottom of the 7th as EMR battled past Dark Horse 19-18.  EMR appeared to have the game under control as they headed into the top of the 7th with a 16-7 advantage, only to have Dark Horse explode for ten runs to wrench away the lead at 17-16.  But in the bottom of the inning, Greg Riddell once again ignited the winning rally with an rbi single.  Riddell moved to 3rd on Sunberg’s single, then scored on a base hit by Jason Molnar.  Sunberg took 3rd on the hit, and then raced home with the game winner on Thompson’s sac.

 

EAP’s close brushes with the losers’ bracket finally caught up with them against EAP in the winners’ bracket finals.  EMR stayed with EAP for four innings, trailing by a lone run at 9-8 after pushing across three runs in the bottom of the 4th.  But EAP began to pull away in the top of the 5th, and outscored ERM 12-6 over the final three innings to record a 21-14 victory and relegate EMR to the losers’ bracket.

 

The loss appeared to be a wake-up call for EMR, as they were never seriously challenged in their next three games.  First Steve Atkinson tossed a 14-0 shutout over Cincysoftball.  After a Greg Riddell rbi single and a Rob Thompson sac fly gave EMR a 2-0 lead in the top of the 2nd, EMR broke the game open with back-to-back six-run innings.  John Lawwill drove in half of the runs with a slammer in the 3rd and a two-run shot in the 4th.

 

Brian Weller, who contributed solo home runs in both the 3rd and 4th, banged out four hits, and Jason Molnar and Thompson added three each to pace the winners.

 

EAP’s offense went into limbo for the first five innings of the finals, as EMR jumped out to an 11-1 lead with four in the 1st, four in the 2nd and three in the 3rd, then tacked on two in the 5th and three in the 6th to build a ten-run lead at 16-6.  Chuck Lack’s solo shot and a Ryan Uckotter three-run blast got their team on the board in the 1st.  Jason Molnar went solo, Steve Atkinson had an rbi double, and Lack added a two-run single in the 2nd.  Molnar socked another home run with a three-run bomb in the 3rd.  EAP responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning, but EMR offset that with a John Lawwill triple in and a Brian Weller sac in the 5th.  Both teams added three in their next at bat to give EMR a 16-6 advantage headed into the bottom of the 6th.  EAP cut the lead down to three with seven in the bottom of the inning, but EMR answered with seven of their own to open up another a ten-run bulge.  A two-run single by Atkinson highlighted the inning.  EAP went down swinging, plating six more runs to make the final 23-19.

 

Lack and Weller combined for eight hits, and Molnar and Shawn Arthur went 3-fo-4.

 

Any momentum EAP appeared to generate over the last two innings of the first finals quickly vanished in the championship game, as EMR exploded to an insurmountable 25-1 lead on the strength of a fifteen-run 1st, a seven-run 2nd and three-run 3rd.  A three-run homer by John Lawwill, a two-run single by Steve Atkinson, a Brian Weller slammer, and a Ryan Uckotter solo shot accounted for ten of their team’s fifteen runs in the 1st.  The 2nd featured a Jason Molnar solo home run, rbi doubles by Adam Calez and Chuck Lack, a two-run triple by Uckotter.  Base hits by Shawn Arthur, Atkinson and Lack provided EMR’s three runs in the 3rd, then Rob Thompson had an rbi single to close out the scoring in the 4th.  EAP plated one in the 1st and five in the 3rd.

 

Calez, Lack, Uckotter and Thompson pounded out four hits each for the champions.  Atkinson, Lawwill, Weller and Greg Riddell chipped in three apiece.

 

“Contagious” hitting led to EMR scoring forty-nine runs in the finals, said manager Mike Clark.

 

“We started hitting it pretty good in the first game and just kind of picked up from there in the second,” said Clark.  “We were visitors, so we got the first swing and started a good little rally there.  It gets really contagious on our team when we start hitting, we just keep going.”

 

A quick start also sustained EMR in the first finals, said Clark.

 

“We kinda started out pretty good in that one and got a lead, and that made us play a little bit better,” said Clark.  “Then they came back a little toward the end and we held them off.  They have a really good team and some really good hitters.”

 

EMR dodged a bullet with their back-to-back one-run wins over TPE and Dark Horse, said Clark.

 

“TPE is really talented, and we beat them in the bottom of the 7th.  We just played them a week earlier in the Elite, and these were the first two times we played them this year.  We looked forward to playing those guys to see how we would do,” said Clark.

 

Dark Horse gave EMR “a pretty tough game,” said Clark.

 

“We’re friends with a lot of those guys.  The game wasn’t decided until the last inning.  They had a really big comeback on us, but we beat them,” said Clark.

 

Clark concluded by acknowledging subs Matt Siebert and Jason Osborne, “who helped us out a lot by being there and running for us.”  He also thanked fellow coaches Bill Ammann and Tony Lack.  “We work pretty good together,” said Clark.

 

“We also want to thank our sponsors, Schock Tile, BW3, River City, Plant Detail and Don Holden of EMR have helped us tremendously,” said Clark.  “And we want to thank (Tournament Director) Danney Saylor for a great tournament.  I like the idea of using the same bats.  I have to give him credit for trying to make it a level playing field.”

 

Clark finally acknowledged his team for successfully meeting the pressure to repeat.

 

“This was our third Metro title in two years,” said Clark.  “We won Level 1 and Level 2 last year, and won Level 1 this year.  We had a lot of pressure on us to do good, and I applaud the team for doing that.”

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EMR/Schock Tile/BW/Plant Detail stormed out of the losers’ bracket to double-dip EAP 23-19 and 26-6 and successfully defend their title in the Level 1 Division of the Cincinnati Metro Tournament July 29-August 4 at Rumpke Ball Park. Kneeling left to right are Jason Osborne, Matt Siebert, Ryan Uckotter, Steve Atkinson, Brian Weller, Adam Calez, John Lawwill, Jeff Sunberg, and Shawn Arthur. Standing are Metro Tournament Official Rick Miller, Steve Kroeger, Jason Molnar, Greg Riddell, Bill Ammann, Mike Clark, Tony Lack, Rob Thompson, Chuck Lack, Craig Patterson and Metro Tournament Official Curtis Miller.

 

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EAP/Tigerfitness went 5-2 en route to a runner-up finish in the Level 1 division of the Cincinnati Metro Tournament July 29-August 4 at Rumpke Ball Park. Kneeling, left to right, are Pat Shanks, Bob Shad, Terris Allen, Rob Schlemmer, Kevin Greene, Craig Harden, Jason Brown, and Bobby Kendoll. Standing are Metro Tournament Official Rick Miller, Steve Williams, Josh Brown, Brian Wegman, Danny Sharp, Brian Alexander, Brandon Black, Jason Kraemer, Casey Stewart, Greg Bennett, and Metro Tournament Official Curtis Miller.

 

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The 2013 Metro Level 1 Division All-Tournament team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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