IRON MEN WIN THEIR FIFTH 2014 TITLE
DALTON, GEORGIA – Nobody is hotter in senior softball this year than the DLB 50 MAJOR PLUS team.
The WISCONSON squad stayed on fire during the SPA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS at DALTON, GEORGIA'S HERITAGE POINT PARK JULY 17-20 adding the SPA 50 MAJOR PLUS TITLE to their growing list of 2014 tournament championships.
“That (SPA WORLDS) was our first SPA WORLDS CHAMPIONSHIP title,” DLB MANAGER and SPA 50 MAJOR PLUS MANAGER-OF-THE-YEAR LARRY TOSTRUD said, “but it was our fifth Major championship this year.”
At DALTON, DLB after losing an opening pool play game to BRYSON'S PUB (30-27), who was the number two seed in the eight team group, the WISCONSIN team went to work.
DLB finished pool play with a 34-26 win over TSC TRI-STATE and then began their roll through the competition in bracket play. First up was 43-38 win over TEAN 1 SPORTS, followed by a 30-14 pounding of TEAM ADIKTIVE
DLB edged 2013 50 MAJOR CHAMP OKI 24-21 before disposing of top seed MID-ATLANTIC 26-11 in the title game.
“Once we got it rolling, we just kept going,” TOSTRUD said, “We hit over .750 with seven guys over .800.”
TOSTRUD also emphasized the balance on the team from one-through-twelve.
“There are no easy outs on the team, so when they have us with two outs, they (opponents) still don't have a breather,” he explained, “Our 12th batter GENE SNOWDEN was 19-for-22 (.864), not too many teams have an .800 hitter batting last.”
“We all laugh when the other team says, 'their 10-11 and 12 hitters are up this inning', they (opponents) have no idea what they are getting.”
What they do get when they play DLB is a solid group of players who put as much emphasis on defense as they do offense.
“Oh yeah, we do concentrate on our defense a lot,” TOSTRUD said, “ These are major plus teams we play and you can't give them extra outs with errors and by the same token you want to take outs away with double plays and great fielding plays.”
The team's top ring leader at DALTON was MVP BOB WOLDYK. The first baseman hit .800 with eight home runs and some sparkling defense including a couple of diving stops.
Joining WOLDYK on the ALL-AMERICAN teams were PAUL STANLEY (LF,.862), TIM FREDENBURG (P 5-1, .840), TOSTRUD (2B, .872), KEITH LESMEISTER (OF, .868) AND SNOWDEN (C, .864).
Others on the team were VINNIE CHAMBERS (OF/C/DH .625) , JIM CUSHING (OF,.840), JIM MOLENCUPP (3B,.590), JIM OLSON INF/OF, .850), DOUG KEIT (SS/.785), MARVIN LIBERTY (INJ/ASST MGR/COACH), AL VANCAMPLER (DNP), KURT KOZLOWSKI (DNP) and TERRY DUNN (DNP).
“As you can see by our roster, we down to the bare minimum,” ASSISTANT MGR/COACH MARVIN LIBERTY said, “If we would have lost our last game and had been forced to play the”IF” game, I doubt if we would have had enough healthy people to play the game.”
TOSTRUD also gave special mention to team statistician LAURIE LESMEISTER.
“She does an A+ job with the scoring and stats,” TOSTRUD said, “She also keeps us on our toes in the field telling us where the batter normally hits and Lord help you if you screw up at bat or in the field, she will let you know. LAURIE is a very important part of our team.”
Another special person in the DLB FAMILY is sponsor DAN BISHOP, owner of DLB PURCHASING COMPANY in RACINE,WISCONSIN.
“DAN has been with us for over seventeen years,” TOSTRUD continued, “He takes care of our entry fees, hotels, uniforms and a few other items. He is the ULTIMATE SPONSOR and more like a team member then a sponsor. We really appreciate what he does for us and we probably wouldn't be a team without him.”
However, TOSTRUD forgot to mention another individual who has been contributing far more than his share to the team's tournament fund.
“Larry will never tell anybody because of his modesty but he also has contributed a lot of money to support the DLB team, “ LIBERTY said,” He just does it quietly so nobody else will know but believe me, I know.”
The DLB team although made up of players from adjoining four states, have either played with each other or against each other over the years and are not strangers to each other.
“We all have known each other for years coming up through all the younger “alphabet organizations” and shared each others e-mail addresses and phone numbers,” the manager said, “ So when we put a senior softball team together it was just a matter of some phone calls and e-mails.”
According to TOSTRUD, the team has great chemistry on and off the field.
“No head cases on this team, we all get along great and really look forward to getting together after the games,” he said, “The wives are also a huge part of our group. They go to the games, cheer us on and help organize off-the-field things. This is just like a big family reunion when we get together. It really is a special group.”
The DLB manager also said the SPA DALTON TOURNAMENT was special and praised RIDGE HOOKS for his leadership.
“This (DALTON WORLDS) is the way a MAJOR PLUS tournament should be run,” he said, “Getting EIGHT MAJOR PLUS teams together for such a high-class event is fantastic. With the quality of teams we had here, who needs those sandbagging major teams who are afraid of competition.”
“This is the best run and player friendly senior tournament we have ever attended,” he added, “The SPA umpires were without a doubt the best umpires we have had in any other organization's tournament this year. This was really a great tournament and we look forward to returning next year.”