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Self Made Double Dips Bullies, 14-1 And 8-4, In 13th City Slam-USSSA-“E-Rec” Finals At Mid-America

Colerain Township, Oh.—Self Made rallied out of the losers’ bracket to trip up Millard Field Bullies 14-1 and 8-4 in a double finals to capture a first place finish in the “E-Rec” division of the 13th Annual USSSA City Slam May 24-26 at Mid-America Ballyard.

The Bullies had slapped a 7-3 setback on Self Made in the winners’ bracket finals, forcing Self Made to rally past Dynatec/Televac 9-6 in the losers’ bracket finals and take two from the Bullies in the finals.

Previously Self Made had knocked off WTP 14-3 and Dynatec 12-6.

The champions outscored their opponents by a 60-27 margin en route to the title, mercy-ruling two of their six victims.

Tournament MVP Zach Holland

Tournament MVP Zach Holland


Self Made pocketed $250 in cash, a $100 park credit, and an unpaid berth to the “E Rec” State Championship on August 16-17 at Expressway Park in Milford.

“Pitching and defense” carried the winners to the title, said player-manager Mike Foster.

“It all came down to pitching and defense. We put this team together in two weeks. This late in the season we didn’t think we’d find a lot of offensive players out there, so we ended up picking up the best defensive players we could find. And the average runs we gave up was only four per game,” said Foster.

Pitcher Zach Holland was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player “because of the way he pitched and fielded the middle.

“He only gave up four runs per game and only gave up more than ten in our first game against Millard,” said Foster.

Self Made had battled past the Bullies 14-13 in pool play, then spanked GTR 13-3.

Also named to the All-Tournament team were Sean Elmlinger, Josh Hoying, and Tyler Richards.

“Sean led our team in hitting (.736) and played good defense at 3rd,” said Foster. “And Josh was named because of his defense up the middle in our five man infield. And he had some timely rbi’s. Tyler is just a nineteen-year old kid who never played softball before except for filling in here and there. He played an outstanding centerfield and hit .650.”

Other hitting leaders included Foster (.650) and Derek Ball (.650).

A seven-run 1st helped propel Self Made past WTP 14-3 in five innings in game one. Dustin Thurman put his team on the board with a two-run single. Later in the inning Derek Ball contributed a big two-run double. Self Made tacked on two in the 3rd on a single by Sean Elmlinger, three in the 4th on Mike Foster’s bases-clearing double, and two in the 5th on base hits by Elmlinger and Robbie Kuriger.

Paul Smith and Elmlinger banged out three hits each to pace the offense.

Self Made’s offense went into a funk for the first four innings of game two, where the eventual champions found themselves trailing Dynatec/Televac 3-2 heading into the 5th. But Self Made outscored Dynatec 10-3 over the last three innings. Rbi singles by Tyler Richards and Dustin Thurman put their club ahead for good in a five-run 5th. Zach Holland’s rbi single capped off the inning. A four-run 6th featured run-scoring singles from Thurman, Holland, Jon Richards and Josh Hoying. Tyler Richards added an rbi single in the 7th.

Jon Richards pounded out four hits, and Sean Elmlinger and Thurman each went 3-4.

That lifted Self Made into the winners’ bracket finals, where they took a short-lived 1-0 lead over Millard Field Bullies in the top of the 2nd. But they didn’t score again until the 7th, while the Bullies scored in four straight innings to take a commanding 7-1 lead after six. Self Made pushed across two in the top of the 7th before running out of swings to make the final 7-3.

In the losers’ bracket finals Self Made broke open a 3-3 contest with a six-run outburst in the bottom of the 4th. Tyler Richards doubled in a run to break the tie, then Dustin Thurman followed with a two-run double. Mike Foster added an rbi single, Derek Ball an rbi double, and Robbie Kuriger hit into a fielder’s choice to plate the final run. Dynatec’s bats finally came alive in the 7th with three runs, but fell short in the 9-6 decision.

Foster and Thurman shared six hits for the winners.

The first finals was all Self Made, as they jumped out to a 14-0 lead on the strength of a six-run 1st, a five-run 3rd and a three-run 4th. Tyler Richards had a two-run double and Mike Foster a two-run single to highlight the 1st. The 3rd featured a Richards’ two-run, inside-the-park home run and a two-run double by Robbie Kuriger, while Paul Smith’s rbi double was the big blow in the 4th. The Bullies finally put up a run in the bottom of the 5th to avert the shutout.

Foster collected three hits, while Richards and Josh Hoying chipped in with two apiece.

In the second finals Self Made used a three-run 2nd and a three-run 3rd to break open a 2-2 contest and pull out an eventual 8-4 victory. Rbi singles by Mike Foster, Josh Hoying and Zach Holland produced Self Made’s three runs in the 2nd, while Tyler Richards had a two-run single and Derek Ball added a run-scoring single in the 3rd. The Bullies finally tacked on two in the 7th to close out the scoring.

Dustin Thurman and Ball combined for six hits to power the champions. Jake Hyde went 2-for-3.

An off-day on Sunday and the pool play victory over Millard seemed to work in Self Made’s favor when they returned to play in the losers’ bracket finals on Memorial Day, said manager Mike Foster.

“We had a day in between games after our 7-3 loss to Millard Field, and we put all of our focus on Dynatec starting off the morning,” said Foster. “Then once we beat Dynatec, we didn’t overlook Millard, but we had the feeling since we had already beaten them once in pool play, our guys just needed to take a deep breath after losing to them and to refocus and get back to business.”

A defensive realignment also seemed to help, said Foster.

“They’re (the Bullies) a group of older guys who can hit well, and in the first finals we changed some things up defensively and decided to go with a four-man outfield instead of three,” said Foster.

Heading into the second finals, Foster said his club had their confidence back.

“We just kept doing what we did in the first game, which was to play solid defense and have timely hitting,” said Foster. “That was our second win over Miller on the weekend and that put a lot of confidence in they guys from that point on. It’s probably what we should have done in the second game.”

Foster concluded by acknowledging Mid-America Ballyard.

“We would like to thank Dave (park manager Dave Maury) and Wegs (owner Brian Wegman) and our sponsors, Tri-State Medical Transport and Raw Production,” said Foster.

For final standings, tournament game scores and all-tournament team, please paste the following url into your browser: http://www.usssa.com/sports/tournament3.asp?TournamentID=1091542

This article is also available for viewing at www.ohiousssasoftball.com.

Self Made rallied out of the losers’ bracket to trip up Millard Field Bullies 14-1 and 8-4 in a double finals and capture first place in the “E-Rec” division of the 13th Annual USSSA City Slam May 24-26 at Mid-America Ballyard.

Self Made rallied out of the losers’ bracket to trip up Millard Field Bullies 14-1 and 8-4 in a double finals and capture first place in the “E-Rec” division of the 13th Annual USSSA City Slam May 24-26 at Mid-America Ballyard.

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Posted by on May 30 2014.
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