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Trailblazers/ WSL, AKA “One-Hit Wonders” Rally Past One-Pitch National Silver Division Field At Expressway Park

Milford, Oh.—After getting only one hit in their first game, Trailblazers/WSL rallied to mow down six consecutive teams en route to a first place finish in the Silver Division of the USSSA One-Pitch National Tournament on Saturday, September 27th at Expressway Park.

 

The Trailblazers polished off Spark Jumpers 20-11 in the championship game – the very team that had held the ‘Blazers to one hit in 12-1 setback in their opener.

 

In between, the champions disposed of Mid-South Softball 21-11, Mighty Knucks 23-13, Carnegie Beer 9-7, and Mullican Flooring/Quad City Fence 16-9 in pool play, then routed Mighty Knucks once more, 19-8, in the semi-finals of the elimination round prior to avenging their loss to the Spark Jumpers in the finals.

 

The winners outscored their opponents by a combined 109-71 margin. Carnegie Beer was the only team that came closer than seven runs to the eventual champions. Half of the Trailblazers’ wins were by ten runs or more.

 

Getting past Carnegie, along with the offensive and defensive contributions of tournament Co-MVP’s Deontey Kenner and Tyler Sickinger, helped carry the Trailblazers to the title, said manager Mike Papoi.

 

“We had a big grand slam from Kevin Langdon and a triple from Ray Johnson against Carnegie,” said Papoi. “Two other keys were Deontey Kenner’s pitching and Tyler Sickinger’s play in centerfield. Deontey shut down the middle. In a one-pitch you get a lot of balls hit at the pitcher and he fielded them all. Tyler was out there in centerfield by himself all day and he covered a lot of ground.”

 

Kenner also hit .611 and Sickinger .682.

 

Named Co-MVP's for the Silver Division of the One Pitch National Tournament were, from left to right, Brian Browne of Spark Jumpers, and Tyler Sickinger and Deontey Kenner of Trailblazers/WSL. Photo by Mike McNutt.

Named Co-MVP’s for the Silver Division of the One Pitch National Tournament were, from left to right, Brian Browne of Spark Jumpers, and Tyler Sickinger and Deontey Kenner of Trailblazers/WSL. Photo by Mike McNutt.

Ray Johnson paced the offense.

 

“Not only did he hit .700, but he also had five walks,” noted Papoi.

 

Other hitting leaders included Larry Spellman at .611 and Eric Stevenson at .579.

 

After the humiliating 12-1 loss in their opener, Trailblazers bounced back impressively, pounding Mid-South Softball 21-11 behind three hits each from Tyler Sickinger and Ryan Langdon, and Mighty Knucks 23-13 as Sickinger and Jay Johnson banged out four hits each and Ray Johnson and Brett Brinkmeyer chipped in with three hits. Next Eric Stevenson went 2-for-3 to help the ‘Blazers trim Carnegie Beer 9-6, then Matt Monroe and Jay Johnson had three hits each in a 16-9 rout of Mullican Flooring.

 

The Trailblazers rolled past the Knucks again 19-8 in the semi-finals of the elimination round, jumping out to a 14-0 lead on the strength of a four-run 1st, a three-run 2nd, and a seven-run 3rd. Mark Humbee’s rbi single put his team on the board in the top of the 1st, then Deontey Kenner followed with a three-run blast. Humbee picked up two more rbi’s with a two-run triple in the 2nd, and scored on a base hit by Eric Stevenson. The 3rd featured an rbi double by Brett Brinkmeyer and a two-run single by Jay Johnson. The Knucks cut the deficit in half with six in the bottom of the 3rd and one in the 4th, but the Trailblazers added two in the 5th when Eric Stevenson tripled in a run and scored on Nate Fite’s rbi single, and three more in the 7th on a base hit by Adam Moser and a two-run double by Kevin Langdon.

 

Deontey Kenner collected four hits, and Tyler Sickinger, Humbee and Stevenson shared six.

 

That lifted the Trailblazers into the championship game, where they avenged their lone setback by scoring in every inning on their way to a 20-11 spanking of Spark Jumpers. The ‘Blazers used a four-run 2nd to break a 3-3 tie and take the lead for good, then tacked on three in the 3rd, two in the 4th, one in the 5th, four in the 6th and two in the 7th. Tyler Sickinger plated the go ahead run with an rbi triple in the top of the 2nd. Mark Humbee had a two-run single in the 3rd, and Rodney Beavers a two-run single in the 4th. Humbee picked up two more rbi’s with a base hit in the 6th. Larry Spellman chased Humbee home with a triple. An rbi single by Spellman and a Brett Brinkmeyer sac fly closed out the scoring in the 7th.

 

Spellman pounded out five hits for the champions. Sickinger, Humbee, Kevin Langdon and Jay Johnson combined for a dozen.

 

Trailblazers manager Mike Papoi acknowledged that he was “a little nervious” about his team after their embarrassing 12-1, one-hit loss to the Spark Jumpers in their opener.

 

“That was terrible,” said Papoi. “I’ve never been no hit, but I almost saw it. I have to admit, I was a little nervous. We had six new guys, so after we started hitting, I felt a little better, especially after we came out in the next game and scored twenty-one runs.”

 

Papoi said that getting past Carnegie Beer in game four “was the hardest game we had.

 

“That was our biggest game,” he said. “Fortunately their leadoff hitter struck out, then threw his bat and got ejected. So that was an automatic out every time he came up to bat.

 

“I have to give credit to all my guys for fighting it out all weekend, and Bob (Park Manager Bob Owens) did a good job out there. Everything ran pretty smooth.”

 

For final standings and tournament game scores, please paste the following url into your browser: http://www.usssa.com/sports/tournament3.asp?TournamentID=1132248

Spark Jumpers went 6-1 en route to a runner-up finish in the Silver Division of the USSSA One-Pitch National Tournament on Saturday, September 27th at Expressway Park. Photo by Mike McNutt.

Spark Jumpers went 6-1 en route to a runner-up finish in the Silver Division of the USSSA One-Pitch National Tournament on Saturday, September 27th at Expressway Park. Photo by Mike McNutt.

Trailblazers/WSL rallied from an opening round 12-1 setback to Spark Jumpers to mow down six straight teams, polishing off Spark Jumpers 20-11 in the finals, to capture first place in the Silver Division of the USSSA One-Pitch National Tournament on Saturday, September 27th at Expressway Park. Front row, left to right, are Mike Papoi and Mark Humbee. In the second row are Chase Langdon, Matt Monroe, Brett Brinkmeyer, Larry Spellman, and Jay Johnson. In row three are Kevin Langdon, Tyler Sickinger, Rodney Beavers, Nate Fite, Adam Moser, Deontey Kenner, and Eric Stevenson. Missing from photo: Ray Johnson and Ryan Langdon. Photo by Mike McNutt.

Trailblazers/WSL rallied from an opening round 12-1 setback to Spark Jumpers to mow down six straight teams, polishing off Spark Jumpers 20-11 in the finals, to capture first place in the Silver Division of the USSSA One-Pitch National Tournament on Saturday, September 27th at Expressway Park. Front row, left to right, are Mike Papoi and Mark Humbee. In the second row are Chase Langdon, Matt Monroe, Brett Brinkmeyer, Larry Spellman, and Jay Johnson. In row three are Kevin Langdon, Tyler Sickinger, Rodney Beavers, Nate Fite, Adam Moser, Deontey Kenner, and Eric Stevenson. Missing from photo: Ray Johnson and Ryan Langdon. Photo by Mike McNutt.

 

 

 

 

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Posted by on Oct 6 2014.
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