Defense Carries Velocity Past Cincinnati ASA Metro Co-Ed Lower Field At River City West
Crosby Township, Oh.—Velocity held four opponents to a combined thirteen runs en route to a four game sweep of the eight-team Co-Ed Lower Division of the Cincinnati ASA Metro Tournament August 1-August 3 at River City West.
Velocity overpowered Comer Buildings 22-4 in the championship game in just five innings to complete the sweep.
The champions outscored their opposition by a combined 53-13 margin on their way to the title, as they mowed down Sluggers 11-2, Comer Buildings 10-2 and Sound Station 10-5 prior to polishing off Comer again in the finals.
Velocity was so dominant in their march to the title that they only trailed for a half inning during the entire tournament. That occurred in the winners’ bracket finals when Sound Station plated four runs in the bottom of the 2nd to take a brief 4-3 lead. Velocity quickly remedied that with a pair of runs in the top of the 3rd.
“Amazing defense” carried the winners to the championship, said player-manager Jimmy Clark.
“We played amazing defense. If you look at the scores, we only gave up a maximum of five runs in any game. So we played great defense.”
Offensively, “the guys really carried us the first couple of games til the girls started to hit,” noted Clark. “Four of our guys combined to bat .822 for the tournament.”
Powering the offense were Zac Strobl at .866, Kurt Grimmeissen at .785, Clark at .769, and Jake Powell at .764.
The leading hitters for Velocity’s female players were Breigh Maples at .600 and Erin Madock at .550.
Powell and Madock were named the tournament’s Most Valuable Players.
“Jake played stellar defense,” said Clark. “He never missed a ball in left field. He also had five triples. He hit the ball really well and was finding gaps when we needed them.”
Not only did Maples “lead the girls in hitting,” but she also “played left-centerfield and ran down a ton of balls that normally were going to be singles and doubles and caught them,” said Clark.
Joining Powell and Maples on the All-Tournament team were Zac Strobl, Kurt Grimmeissen, Kyle Schlichte, and Lindsey Ryan.
“Zac was our home run hitter this tournament,” said Clark. “He had two home runs and batted .866 and only made two outs. He went 13-for-15.”
In addition to batting .785, Grimmeissen “also hit a home run and played a position (lf) he is not used to playing,” said Clark.
“We had too many outfielders and he played it very well for having never played there.”
Clark credited Kyle Schlichte “for putting this team together.
“He was also our back-up pitcher and he played good defense all week,” said Clark.
Like several of Velocity’s female players, Lindsey Ryan “really picked up her hitting in the last game.
“She went 4-for-5 and hit some shots in the finals,” said Clark. “She played outfield for us too and she never had a ball get by her.”
While Clark was the pitcher of record in all four of Velocity’s wins and held each opponent to five runs or less, he deferred all the credit to Velocity’s defense.
“It was easy to pitch with the defense I had behind me,” said Clark. “All I had to do was throw strikes and let the team catch it.”
An eleven-run outburst in the top of the 2nd carried Velocity past the Sluggers 11-2 in game one. An rbi double by Kurt Grimmeissen, an rbi triple by Jimmy Clark, a bases-clearing triple by Jake Powell, and a two-run shot by Zac Strobl accounted for seven of Velocity’s eleven runs.
Strobl and Jake Powell banged out three hits each, and Lindsey Ryan had a pair of rbi singles and went 2-for-3 along with Clark and Breigh Maples.
Next Velocity scored one in the 1st, two in the 2nd and three in the 3rd to take an early 6-2 advantage over Comer Buildings, then put Comer away with a four-run 6th. Kurt Grimmeissen put his club on the board with an rbi single in the 1st. Jimmy Clark had an rbi triple and was chased home on a base hit by Kyle Schlichte in the 2nd. Grimmeissen collected two more rbi’s with a two-run bomb in the 3rd. The 6th featured a two-run single by Erin Madock.
Zac Strobl was perfect in four trips to the plate, Jake Powell added three, and Jimmy Clark chipped in two hits.
That lifted Velocity into the winners’ bracket finals, where they found themselves trailing for the first time in the tournament when Sound Station took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the 2nd. But Kurt Grimmeissen doubled home the tying run in the top of the 3rd, and scored the go-ahead run on a base hit by Breigh Maples. Both teams put up goose eggs over the next three innings, but in the top of the 7th, Velocity erupted for five runs to break the game open. The inning was highlighted by a two-run Zac Strobl blast, a two-run double by Kyle Schlichte, and an rbi single by Jake Powell. Sound Station plated a lone run in the bottom of the inning to make the final 10-5.
Jimmy Clark, Grimmeissen and Powell shared nine hits for the winners.
The championship game featured a rematch with Comer Buildings, but the outcome was never in doubt after Velocity broke out to a 12-0 lead with six in the bottom of the 1st and six in the 2nd. Kurt Grimmeissen cracked a three-run homer and Jimmy Clark followed with a two-run single in the 1st, while the 2nd featured two-run singles by Breigh Maples and Eric Madock and a two run triple by Jake Powell. Comer put up three in the top of the 3rd, but Velocity came right back with two in the bottom of the inning, then put the game out of reach with four in the 4th and four in the 5th. Clark doubled in both runs in the 3rd, Lindsey Ryan and Maples each had an rbi double in the 4th, and Powell had another triple to drive in a run, and Maples picked up her fourth and fifth rbi’s of the game with a two-run double in the 5th. Velocity wound up mercy-ruling Comer 22-4 in five.
Grimmeissen pounded out five hits, Ryan and Maples combined for eight, and Madock went 3-for-4 to power the champions.
Velocity manager Jimmy Clark said his team “was a little nervous” heading into the championship game.
“Nobody on my team had ever won a Metro,” explained Clark. “So when we put up six in the 1st, everybody’s nervousness kinda went away. Then after the 2nd inning we were up 12-0, so with the defense we had played all tournament long, we knew we were in pretty good shape. We were pretty comfortable with 12-0 lead.”
Clark said that getting past Sound Station in the winners’ bracket finals proved to be the pivotal game of the tournament for his team.
“This was by far our best game,” said Clark. “It was 5-4 going into the final inning and we put up five in the top of the 7th and opened up a little bit of a gap. But it was very back and forth the whole game.”
Was Clark surprised that Velocity walked through the tournament with such ease?
“I knew if our team came out and hit, we’d have a good shot,” said Clark. “But that game with Sound Station was a great game. We were fighting and didn’t know if we would win or not. It was a back and forth game. But all the other wins I felt pretty comfortable with.
“It was a well-run tournament,” concluded Clark. “I never thought in a million years we would win. It was a great weekend for us and a good time.”
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