Crabtree Pitches White Castle/ S.O.P./ Chic’s/ S.O.C.C. Past Cincinnati ASA Metro “D” Field At River City West; Champions Double-Dip Dirty Dozen 14-4, 11-8
Crosby Township, Oh.—Pitcher Jon Crabtree held ten out of eleven opponents to single digit scoring to lead White Castle/S.O.P./Chic’s/S.O.C.C. to a first place finish in the Men’s Class “D” Division of the Cincinnati ASA Metro Tournament July 26-August 3 at River City West.
White Castle battled all the way back through the losers’ bracket after suffering a 14-10 setback to Aftershock in their sixth game to compile a 10-1 record and outlast a 67-team field. The winners double-dipped Dirty Dozen 14-4 and 11-8 in the finals.
Aftershock was the only team to put up double-digit runs against the winners.
White Castle avenged their loss to Aftershock with an 11-4 victory in the losers’ bracket finals. Their other six victories came over Wellman Construction 10-4, Bo’s Boys/Pic Produce 9-3, Westside Softball/UAW Local 863 15-0, John’s Army 10-0, Chamberlain PSI/Y N R 5-3, Dillon Painting/Nasty Boys 9-6, and Chamberlain again 16-8.
The champions outscored their opponents by a combined 129-54 margin, giving up an average of less than five runs per game behind the pitching of tournament MVP Jon Crabtree.
White Castle player-manager Bryan Schmidt said his team “played great defense and came ready to play every single day.
“Also, being a great team we had guys buy into roles they weren’t used to, like Kyle Rutledge,” said Schmidt. “Kyle is normally an outfielder and he was our runner. He saved a ton of outs and scored a ton of runs for us. We had fourteen guys there so we had to have guys come off the bench.”
Crabtree was nothing short of dominating on the mound.
“He pitched every inning and went 10-1, and in 72 innings he allowed just 54 runs and walked just fourteen batters,” observed Schmidt.
Crabtree also tossed two shutouts.
Joining Crabtree on the All-Tournament team were Blake Hall (.677), Jake Baker (.667), Schmidt (.636) and Cam Calhoun.
“Blake was our three-hole hitter and our shortstop and he led the team in average and rbi’s with 23,” said Schmidt. “Jake was hot the whole tournament so we bumped him up to the leadoff spot on Saturday.”
Brandon Branigan also knocked in twenty runs.
Schmidt said that he led White Castle in runs scored along with hitting .636, while Cam Calhoun “played centerfield and scored runs and drove in runs and hit four home runs.”
Anchoring the infield defense were Brandon Branigan and Tyler Vance.
“Brandon is our 1st baseman and if there is a better 1st baseman in the area, I don’t know him,” said Schmidt. “He makes our infield ten times better. He makes every play over there. Tyler is our middle infielder. He moves everybody around and does a great job running the infield.”
Calhoun and Cody Gross shined in the outfield.
“Cam goes and gets it in center, and Cody was awesome in left and right field,” said Schmidt. “He made a few diving catches.”
White Castle’s defense was absolutely smothering in their first five games, as they only gave up ten runs. In game one they used a four-run 3rd to overcome a 3-2 deficit and take the lead for good over Wellman Construction. Brandon Branigan doubled in a run to make it a one run game. The tying run scored on a Cody Mullens ground out. Cody Gross then delivered an rbi triple. White Castle added three in the 3rd. Andrew Burton tripled in a run and scored on a base hit by Derek Fugett. Tyler Vance closed out the scoring at 10-4 with an rbi single in the 6th.
Bryan Schmidt and Vance banged out three hits each and Nick Fleeman went 2-for-3.
Next White Castle plated two runs in the 1st and two in the 2nd, then pulled away to a 9-3 victory with three in the 5th and two in the 6th. Jake Baker’s inside-the-park home run highlighted the 2nd. Cody Mullins rbi double was the big hit in the 5th.
Jake Baker and Bryan Schmidt were both perfect in four trips to the plate.
Blake Hall belted a three-run home run in the bottom of the 1st to provide White Castle with the only runs they would need in an eventual 15-0, four-inning shutout victory over Westside Softball in game three. Hall picked up two more rbi’s with a single in the 2nd, then Brandon Branigan launched a three-run bomb to make it an 8-0 game. White Castle then broke the game open with seven in the 3rd. The inning featured an rbi double by Jake Baker and a two-run double by Hall.
Hall collected seven rbi’s in the game and shared a dozen hits with Branigan, Cam Calhoun and Bryan Schmidt.
Pitcher Jon Crabtree picked up his second straight shutout in game four as White Castle rolled past John’s Army 10-0 in six. Cam Calhoun’s leadoff inside-the-park home run put his club on the board in the bottom of the 1st. White Castle tacked on two in the 3rd, then opened up an 8-0 advantage with a five-run outburst in the 4th. Calhoun picked up two rbi’s with a base hit. Calhoun drove in his fourth run of the game with a sac fly in the 6th. Blake Hall then delivered a walk-off single.
Hall had three hits to pace the offense.
White Castle rallied for four runs in the top of the 6th to escape with a 5-3 victory over Chamberlain PSI in game five. Blake Hall and Brandon Branigan stepped up big, with each swatting a two-run homer.
Baker, Hall and Tyler Vance shared six hits.
If White Castle had any visions of a sweep, they came to an abrupt end in game six, as Aftershock stunned the Middletown club 14-10. After trailing White Castle 5-4 after two, Aftershock outscored White Castle 10-5 over the next five innings to advance to the winners’ bracket finals.
White Castle’s defense tightened up again over their next five games. First they used a four-run 2nd and a two-run 3rd to take an early 7-1 lead over Dillon Painting, then held on for a 9-6 victory. Jake Baker’s two-run double capped off the 2nd, while Brandon Branigan singled home both of his team’s runs in the 3rd. Baker had an inside-the-park home run, and Branigan a sac fly, as the lead swelled to 9-2 in the 5th. Dillon rallied for one in the 5th and three in the 6th, but put up a goose egg in the 7th.
Baker collected four hits in all. Rob Patterson, Branigan and Derek Fugett each went 2-for-3.
That pitted White Castle against Chamberlain again, who took and early 3-2 lead after two. But in the 3rd White Castle got a two-run single from Brandon Branigan and an rbi single from Cody Mullins to go on top to stay at 5-3. Cam Calhoun cracked a two-run homer in the 5th to extend the lead to 7-4, and Jake Baker added another run with an rbi single in the 6th. Then in the 7th White Castle broke the game open with eight. Derek Fugett had a two-run single, Bryan Schmidt a two-run double and Blake Hall capped off the inning with a two-run homer.
Revenge was sweet for White Castle in the losers’ bracket finals, where they disposed of Aftershock 11-4. Rbi singles by Cody Mullins and Cody Gross quickly erased a 1-0 deficit in the top of the 2nd. White Castle added three more runs in the inning on a Jon Crabtree single, a Jake Baker sac fly and a base hit by Bryan Schmidt. Brandon Branigan hit a two-run homer and Crabtree followed with an rbi double as the lead swelled to 8-1 in the 3rd. White Castle tacked on three more in the 4th on a Cam Calhoun sac fly and rbi singles by Tyler Vance and Mullins.
Schmidt and Mullins went 3-for-4, and Baker, Calhoun and Crabtree chipped in with two hits each.
That lifted White Castle into the finals with Dirty Dozen. After spotting Dirty Dozen three runs in the bottom of the 1st in game one, White Castle answered with six in the top of the 2nd, then added three in the 4th and five in the 5th to invoke the mercy-rule at 14-4. A two-run shot by Brandon Branigan and rbi singles by Rob Patterson and Bryan Schmidt erased the 3-0 deficit and put White Castle ahead for good at 4-3 in the 2nd. Blake Hall and Tyler Vance added rbi singles to make it 6-3. Schmidt and Hall each singled in another run in the 4th, while the 5th featured a two-run double by Hall and a two-run single by Vance.
Hall pounded out four hits, and Vance added three.
Dirty Dozen jumped out to an early 6-3 lead with four runs in the bottom of the 1st and two in the 2nd in the championship game. However White Castle scored the game’s next five runs with one in the 3rd and four in the 5th to take a brief 8-6 advantage. Dirty Dozen answered with one in the bottom of the 5th and one in the 6th to knot the score at 8-8, sending the game into extra innings as both teams put up goose eggs in the 7th. Finally in the top of the 8th, Cody Gross had a leadoff single, but Jake Baker hit into a fielder’s choice. Kyle Rutledge then pinch-ran for Baker, took 3rd on a base hit by Bryan Schmidt, and scored the go-ahead run on a Blake Hall sac fly. Cameron Calhoun then stepped to the plate and smacked a two-run homer to close out the scoring at 11-8.
Hall, Cody Mullins and Calhoun combined for nine hits to power the champions.
White Castle manager Bryan Schmidt called the second championship game “a battle.
“There were a bunch of opportunities to win the game on both sides and defense really came into play,” said Schmidt. “There were a few hits taken away on both sides.”
The pivotal game of the tournament, said Schmidt, was White Castle’s 16-8 victory over Chamberlain on Saturday.
“It was a night game and the atmosphere was phenomenal,” said Schmidt. “There was a ton of people watching. In the 7th we broke out for eight runs and that really got us going.”
How did Schmidt account for his team’s letdown against Aftershock in game six?
“We just made a few mistakes defensively and a few base-running errors, and didn’t hit as well as we could,” summed up Schmidt.
What did White Castle think their chances were after falling to Aftershock?
“We were just glad we didn’t have to play again that day,” said Schmidt. “We got to go home and relax and come back on Saturday, which I think helped us a lot.”
Schmidt concluded by thanking his team’s scorekeeper, Samantha Schmidt, “for everything she does for the team.
“We also want to thank our sponsors, as well as Apple (Steve Frederick of River City West) and Dave (ASA Commissioner Dave Maury) for running a great tournament.”
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