Late Rally Lifts Cincy Ball Busters Past Rick’s House Of Trees 14-13 In Cincinnati ASA Metro “Rec” Finals At River City West
Crosby Township, Oh.—The Cincy Ball Busters rallied to outscore Rick’s House Of Trees 12-4 over the final three and a half innings to overcome a 9-2 deficit and pull out a 14-13 victory in the second championship game of the “Rec” Division of the Cincinnati ASA Metro Tournament July 25-August 3 at River City West.
The Ball Busters had spanked Rick’s 16-6 in five innings in the first finals after jumping out to a 10-3 lead early in the game.
Rick’s had knocked the eventual champions into the losers’ bracket in a 9-2 rout in the winners’ bracket finals.
Prior to that Cincy Ball Busters had outlasted Moonshine/GCCU 14-12 in eight innings and outslugged Kenny’s Sports Bar 17-12 in game two.
The winners narrowly outscored their opponents by a combined 71-55 margin en route to the title.
Speed, “heart,” and a never-say-die attitude helped carry the Ball Busters to the title, said player-manager Aaron Head.
“We’re a young team and we hit and run really good,” said Head. “And we just don’t give up.
“Also,” pointed out Head, “our whole team is in recovery and sponsored by a sober living house called ‘House of Hope,’ and our guys have heart. They don’t give up. In our last game we were down 9-2 and came alive and hit and ran. We were one of the fastest teams in the tournament.”
Offensively, the Ball Busters were led by Eric Haenny at .762, Tony Moser at .684, Jason Tenkotte at .625, Don Thomas at .619, Martin Goodman at .609, and Head at .524.
Haenny was selected the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
“Eric was a big part of everything,” said Head. “He crushed the ball. He was on fire the whole tournament. He only made five outs and he led us in average and rbi’s with fourteen. And he played great defense. He’s an awesome 1st baseman.”
Joining Haenny on the All-Tournament team were Tony Moser, Jason Tenkotte, Don Thomas and Brendan Collins.
“Tony hit real well and played a solid 3rd base,” said Head. “He’s another guy who had a lot of key hits when we needed them. He was second on our team as far as hitting.”
Head called Tenkotte “our rally guy.
“He bats last in the lineup. He doesn’t look like much, but it seems like every time we needed it, he had a key single to get things going. He’s been like that the whole season.
“Thomas was up there too in average at .619,” continued Head. “He’s a mix of hitting and speed and is the fastest guy on our team and a good outfielder.”
Shortstop Brendan Collins was named to the All-Tournament team “more for his glove than anything else.
“He also had a couple of big hits,” said Head. “He was fourth on our team in rbi’s and knocked in some big runs when we needed them.”
Cincy Ball Busters needed to score four runs in the top of the 8th inning to outlast Moonshine/GCCU 14-12 in game one. After moonshine rallied for two runs in the bottom of the 7th to force the game into extra innings, Eric Haenny launched a three-run bomb in the top of the 8th to give his team a 13-10 lead. Don Thomas followed with an inside-the-park home run. Moonshine pushed across two on the bottom of the inning before running out of swings.
Haenny, Thomas and Martin Goodman each went 3-for-4 to pace the offense.
Next Ball Busters used an eleven-run 2nd to take an early 11-1 lead, then fended off a late rally by Kenny’s Sports Bar to pull out a 17-12 victory. The 2nd featured a two-run single by Martin Goodman and a three-run blast from Aaron Head. The Ball Busters tacked on one in the 5th on a Zeke Haydon sac fly and one in the 6th on an Eric Haenny double, then pulled ahead by seven with four runs in the top of the 7th. Jason Tenkotte’s rbi single capped off the inning.
Head and Haenny pounded out four hits apiece.
That lifted the Ball Busters into the winners’ bracket finals, where Rick’s House of Trees ambushed the eventual champions 9-2. Only a two-run shot by Eric Haenny enabled the losers to avert a shutout.
Relegated to the losers’ bracket finals, the Ball Busters’ offense came back to life, scoring three in the 1st, three in the 2nd and two in the 6th to dispose of Pursuit, Skip, Trace 8-3. Eric Haenny connected for his third home run in four games. and Brendan Collins added an rbi single in the 1st. The 3rd featured a Haenny rbi triple and an rbi double by Aaron Head. The Ball Busters closed out the scoring with a Dustin Goff sac fly and a Jason Tenkotte rbi single in the 6th.
Randy Couch, Haenny, Don Thomas, Collins, Head, Tony Moser and Goff shared fourteen hits for the winners.
The Ball Busters scored in every inning in the first finals, as they mercy-ruled Rick’s House of Trees 16-6 to avenge their lone setback. After Ricks’ took an early 3-2 lead in the bottom of the 1st, the Ball Busters erupted for eight runs in the top of the 2nd and never looked back. A Don Thomas rbi double and a two-run double by Aaron Head highlighted the inning. The Ball Busters added a run in the 3rd on a Martin Goodman base hit, three in the 4th with the help of a two-run Brendan Collins triple, and two in the 5th on a two-run blast from Eric Haenny – his fourth homer of the tournament.
Thomas, Zeke Haydon, Martin Goodman, Collins and Dustin Goff combined for fifteen hits.
Rick’s appeared to right their ship for three and a half innings in the second finals, as they scored three in the top of the 1st, one in the 2nd, two in the 3rd and four in the 4th to forge ahead 9-2. Ball Busters rallied for two in the bottom of the 4th and five in the 5th to knot the score at 9-9, only to have Rick’s reclaim the lead with one in the 6th. But the Ball Busters answered with five in the bottom of the 6th to take the lead for good at 14-10. Randy Couch put his team on top to stay with a two-run triple. Eric Haenny added an rbi single, Zeke Haydon an rbi triple, and Jason Tenkotte an rbi single to cap off the inning. Rick’s responded with three in the top of the 7th but came up short 14-13.
Martin Goodman, Couch, Haenny and Tenkotte banged out three hits each to power the champions.
Ball Buster manager Aaron Head said his team “came out and put it to them” when they spanked Rick’s in the first finals.
“They beat us pretty handily (in the winners’ bracket finals) and I think they thought they had it wrapped up,” said Head. “I think they were surprised when we put it to them like that and performed like we did. It was a great team effort. We pretty much ran them off the field.”
But it was a whole different ball game in the second finals.
“Our team showed a lot of heart in that last game,” remarked Ball Buster manager Aaron Head. “We were down 9-2 and the guys didn’t give up. It was a great feeling for all of us since it was our first time in the Metro, and to be champions is pretty cool.”
Short URL: http://www.cincysoftball.com/?p=9821