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RDG Takes SPA 60 AA World

Chattanooga’s (Phil) Rowland Development Group, better known as RDG came out of the loser’s bracket to win the 2017 SPA 60 AA World championship September 14-17 held in Dalton, Georgia.

RDG lost their opening bracket game 8-12 to Glory Daze but beat Indy Fog 13-2 and Glory Daze twice 18-15, 14-8 for the comeback championship.

“We did not have an easy time,” RDG’s and SPA 60 AA Manager-of-the-Year Mike Ricketts said. “We had to come from behind in the 6th or 7th inning in both games with Clory Daze to win.”

The biggest comeback was in the game they needed to force a championship game with Glory Daze. A Glory Daze win would have ended the tournament with them as champs and RDG second.

“We won the open inning and that was the difference,” Ricketts said of the teams 18-15 win.

The final game was a 14-5 victory for RDG.

RDG was bumped to the losers bracket by Glory Daze in the second round 12-8 and RDG needed a 13-2 win over Indy Fog to set up the two important games with Glory Daze.

The SPA World title was the first one for the champs after coming in 3rd in 2015 and 2nd in 2016.

Tim Terrant was the Tournament MVP. Selected to the All-American team were Ed Girard, Steve Southern, Michel Hoy, Gerald “Jethrow” Paulton and Jim King.

Others on the championship 60AA RDG team are: Howard Wilcox, Martin Simmons, Steve Stokes, Jeff Sentten, Tommy Schleit, Brent Nicholas, Dennis Terrant and Steve Wegenbauer.

Glory Daze was second and Indy Fog third in the three team field.

Carolina Brings “A” Games Wins SPA 55 AAA World

The Carolina A’s went seven-for-seven in winning the SPA 2017 ten team 55 AAA Worlds September 7-10 at Dalton, Georgia’s Heritage Point Park.

“We couldn’t afford to lose a game and fall into the loser’s bracket, “Carolina SPA 55 AAA Manager-of-the-Year Jack Rule said. “We only brought ten players and any extra games would have worn us out completely.”

The “Iron Ten” beat DT Express 27-21 and 22-13, 1 Undercraft 14-11 and JJ Financial 16-10 in bracket play and Tenn. Connection 26-25, DT Express 18-13 and Daryl Harris and Associates 19-17 in pool play.

“Nothing was easy, we had to battle each game,” Rule said. “A lot of our games were decided in the sixth or seventh inning. All the teams we played were very good and with a bounce here or there could have easily been the champs instead of us.”

Although Carolina has seven World championships, this was their first SPA 55 AAA World title.

Ryan Roberts was the tournament MVP. Selected to the All-American All-Star team were James Pearson, Ted Harris, Mark Rippy, Keith Ayers, Buck Josey and Ricky Tucker

Other team members are: James Pearson, Rickie Brown, Perry Clark, Scott Limerick, Carroll Gallagher, Dola Holt, Keith Ayers, Tim Furr, who is also the team sponsor, and team statistician and base coach Dane Pitts.

DT Express was runner-up followed by Detroit Connection, 1 under Craft, TN Connection, Nebraska Silver, Dayton Legends, J.R.Smith, Darryl Harris and JJ Financial.

Jersey "Masterful" at SPA 70 AAA World

The New Jersey Masters took no prisoners at the Dalton 70 AAA Worlds going undefeated in pool and bracket play to not only win the World 70 AAA title but also the Triple Crown.

"It was our first World title in ten years," Jersey Master and SPA 70 AAA Manager of the Year Artie Thomas said. "We just got on a roll the first game and never stopped."

The Masters started out in pool play beating Louisiana Legends 14-5, Time Bandits 20-2 (triple crown championship) and Bank of Risson 12-5.

Bracket play saw US Pallet (26-12), For Freedom (18-2) and Columbus ((IND) Silver Sticks 14-12,19-2) for a seven-game sweep.

"Our balanced hitting was the key," Thomas said. "We had hitters from top to bottom. We had seven players who hit over .600".

Leading the way for Jersey was the Most Valuable Player award winner Tom Campitello. Selected for the All-American All Star team were Stan Robinson, Tom Lombardi, Tom Wieczerak, Joe Maikes and Dana Kimmel.

Other members of the team are:Dick Lillich, Karl Eymold, Bob Gallagher, Joe Depierro, Gary Krause, Ray Poyer, Rick Polonitza,Bill McCabe, Joe Starr, Bob Richard, Wayne Westerman, Mike Muldoon and Earl Tapper.

The Columbus Silver Sticks were second in the tournament followed by U.S. Pallet, Chicago Strikers, Midwest Express, Dayton Legends, Chicago Gray Sox, For Freedom, Lifeguard Financial, Time Bandits, Louisiana Legends, Austin Merchants and Bank of Rissin.

Legends of Dayton Win Two and SPA 70 World

The Legends of Dayton needed only two wins to claim the 2017 SPA 70 AA World championship September 14-17 at Heritage Point Park, Dalton. Georgia.

With only two teams in the 70 AA division, the Legends of Dayton and Texas Greyhounds, the teams played two-out-of-three for the title.

It was a sweep for the Ohio team winning the first two games negating a third taking the finale by a 14-4 count.

In pool play, the Legends lost to three AAA teams For Freedom 9-13,  Austin Merchants 11-13 and the Chicago Strikers 9-24.

Team members: Gary Cramer, Marion Jackson, Robert Kender, Robert Kueller,Roger Lane, Terence Lawhorn, Lloyd Nowlin, Herb Rickabaugh, Gary Rodgers, Joseph Szoke, Mark Blount, Mitchell Marinelli, manager Kenn Young, J. Gary Swords, Myren Mitchell, Bobby White, James Macgue, Clyde Smith and Stephen Bennett.

Chicago Hitmen SPA 65 AA World Champs

The Chicago Hitmen survived a loss to the Dallas Spurs forcing an "if" game to win the title game and claim the 65AA SPA crown.

The Hitmen lost to the SPURS 19-2 before bouncing back for a 19-13 win and the championship.

Chicago had also beaten the Spurs 8-7 in the opening round of the three team bracket. The third team in the 65 AA group was the Deep South.

Chicago Hitmen team member: Mike Sabatino manger, Steve DeCori, Greg Poliska, Felix Garcia, Jim Kupiec, Rick Masino, Mike McLennand, Paul Whitman, Steve Gajda, Daniel Serrato, Michael Chastain, Warren York, Daniel Todd, Patrick Jops, Archie Aaron and Art Corral.

Weather Deciding Factor for Dalton 75/80

The weather was the deciding factor for the 75/80 Spa Worlds Sept 10-13 at Dalton, Georgia..

Originally twenty teams signed up for the tournament but the concern about winds, rain and being stranded in Dalton saw all but four withdraw. "I can’t blame them," SPA President Ridge Hooks said. “They were all coming from long distance and the uncertainty of the weather was the factor in them pulling out.”

The four teams who braved the conditions were two Georgia teams (Southeast and East Coast Leftovers, 85’s Center for Sight from Florida and the New York Statesmen.

The down side was lack of teams to play but the up side was everyone won a championship.

Center for Sight was 85 Champs, East Coast Leftovers claimed the 80 Crown, the Statesmen went home with the 75 crown and Southeast Leftovers took the 75 Major title.

The teams played a round robin format.

75 CHAMPS – New York Statesmen, manager Richard Clark

Team members: Al Castaldy. Tony Castaldy, Clark, Larry Deschaine, Carmine DeStefane, John Johnson, Thomas Ladd, James Nugent, Thomas Strickler, Roger Thresher, Robert Wardle, Clarnce Dieter, Jack Westbrook, Doug Hogue, Dennis Leach, Roland Gomez, John Tortora, Robert Magyar, Robert Lowery and William Mulligan.

75 MAJOR CHAMPS – Southeast Leftovers, manager Ken Griffith

Tem members: Jim Bavis, Bill Burger, Glynn Grantham, Harold Hammond, Herman Hydas, Bill Ingram, Dale McCracken, Cecil McLeod, Ron Pfeiffer, Mike Pickett, Thomas Sides, Walter Taylor, Jacob Wood jr, Wayne Yates, Greg Foster, John Ramage, Ron Boyer, Richard Durbin and Griffith.

80 CHAMPS – East Coast Leftovers, manager Ken Griffith

Team members: Ivan Barnes, Mike DeSorbo, Raymond Dupree, Howard Gunn, Philip Johnson, Jay Moyer, Francis Murth, Ron Pfeiffer, James Self, Thomas Sells, Brad Smith, James Stone, Harford Gibbs, Griffith, Robert Martin, Dan Dupree, Clinton Smith, Ray Kent and Donald Manek.

85 CHAMPS – Center for Sight, manager Hugh Brotherton

Team members: Everett Arnold, David Bush, Bob Darnell, Donald Gsell, Jerry Jones, Willard Kittrell, Jose Merced, Al Murray, Harold Oliver, Howard Schoen, Edward Schultz, Forrest Parks, James Thomas, Tom Ingham, Bernard Sciacca and Stuart Sellinger.

Central Illinois Chiefs Win SPA 60 AAA World

It took nearly ten years but the 60 AAA Central Illinois Chiefs finally won a SPA World Championship capturing the title September 7-10 in Dalton, Georgia.

“It has been a long time coming but is worth the wait,” Chief spokesman Mike Chamness said. “Every year we thought we could do it but a bad bounce or something always seemed to cut us short. This year we got all the bounces and breaks.”

The champs ran the table in bracket play beating Atlanta Recycling twice 19-18 and 14-8 to take the title. Earlier bracket wins were 22-7 over KC Thunder, 18-4 Georgia’s Columbus LX and, Georgia’s GAS Softball 13-10.

They went 2-1 in pool play downing Boys of Summer (Tn) 23-13 and Seasoned Veterans 23-13 before losing 17-18 to Columbus LX.

The Chiefs are unique in the fact they do not have one manager or two managers they have four.

Mike Barton was the SPA 65 AAA Manager of the Year but he was ably assisted by Britt Edwards, Chamness and Dan Hittmeier.

Central Illinois short stop Joe Ferguson was Tournament MVP. Selected to the All-American AllStar team were Lonnie Netzell, Bart Wills, Britt Edwards, Kevin Kronst and Greg Finigan..

Team members are: Netzel, Bart Wills, Randy McEldowney, Hittmeier, Edwards, Cliff Krueger, Mike Henry, Chamness, Barton, Kronst, Finigan. Ferguson, Jed Bunyan, Kevin Blakeman and Jeff Huston.

Following the Chiefs were 2. Atlanta Recycling, 3. Boys of Summer, 4 GAS Softball, 5. Cincinnati 60’s, 5. Seasoned Veterans, 7. KC Thunder, 7. Columbus LX, 9. Carolina Patriots, 9. RPR Softball and 9. (By) Grace Redeemed.

Jim & Joe’s Cool As Ice Team Wins SPA 65 AAA World

Kentucky's Jim & Joe’s Ice out dueled ten other teams to win the 2017 SPA 65+ AAA Worlds September 7-10 in Dalton, Georgia.

The Icemen went 4-0 in bracket play beating The Firm (Tenn) 18-9, The Firm 22-17, The Travelers 16-12 and Boyd Metal 18-14. They went 2-1 in pool play with a 9-8 win over Travelers and 18-14 over Tennessee’s Tag. Their only loss in the tournament was 8-17 to Maryland’s Simmons Day All-Stars.

“I think the difference between us and the others was our speed, especially in the outfield,” Jim & Joe’s SPA 65 AAA Manager of the Year John Coffman said. “We also had a full roster so we were able to rest players and have plenty of runners to give guys a chance to rest.”

The four outfielders Coffman praised were Chris Stenger, Mike Howell, Jimmy Nageleisen and Ed Perry.

The Icemen qualified for Dalton by winning Thee 2017 SPA Buckeye Classic. They also won the Heart of Ohio.

“We enjoyed playing the SPA tournaments, they are always among the best in Senior Softball, especially the Dalton Worlds,” Coffman said.

Tournament MVP was Jim & Joe’s Bobby Mefford with Charles Marrero, Dickie Vaughn, Billy Heim, Larry Metcalf and Billy Brown all selected to the All-American team.

Other members of the 2017 SPA 65 AAA champs are: Bill Brutscher Jr, Greg Ellerkamp, Michael Robey, Anthony Steel Sr, Lamon Tucker, Daniel Vogt, Harry Young, Herman Cottrell and Larry Gray.

Finishing behind Jim&Joe’s Ice were: 2. The Firm, 3. Boyd Metals. 4. Simmons Day AllStars, 5. Trvelers, 5. Tag, 7. Dayton Legends, 7. Blue Chips, 9. Ohio Silverado’s, 9. Cavco Sports and 9 Crystal Heat.

Trinity/Rizzo Wins SPA 50 Worlds

Rochester’s Trinity Home Renovation/Rizzo TR Painting ran the table at the Softball Players Association (SPA) World Championships September 7-10 at Heritage Park in Dalton, Georgia to win the organizations 50 AAA bracket.

Competing with fourteen other teams from Michigan, Tennessee, Ohio, Texas, Carolina’s, Nebraska, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Indiana and New York. Trinity/Rizzo's won not only The World Tournament but also the Regional Qualifier in Barberton, Ohio and the World Series between the four SPA regional winners.

“Considering we had never won a tournament prior to this year, it was quite an honor for us,”

Trinity/Rizzo manager Tony Rizzo said. “This year everything fell in to place and we played great ball.”

The trifecta was the Triple Crown championship and the only team to win the Triple Crown in the SPA 50. 54, 60, 65, 70. 75. 80 AA,AAA and major brackets.

Trinity/Rizzo’s started the tournament with wins over SE Swarm (16-14), Atlanta 50’s (22-3) and Bulletts (17-8). The pool came win over Bullets was for the title in the of the four regional winners.

In the bracket play the Rochester team Beat Roadhouse Blues (28-13), Team 757 15-14, Bulletts 28-18 and KC Classic 19-7.

In the title game with KC, Trinity/Rizzo erupted for 13 runs in the top of the seventh to rally from a 7-6 deficit.

In addition to the team title individuals also were honored. Rizzo was named SPA 555 Manager of the Year and Rod Richardson was tournament MVP. Selected to the All-American Tournament team are John Hoagland, Ray Thornton, Steve Horton, Jeff Drain, Darren Mack and Ray Tramonto.

Members of the team were: Donato Fazio Jr, Robert Shaffer, Salvatore Gallo, Horton, Tramonto, Jose Munoz, Rizzo, Mark Lapoma, Christopher Parsons, Richardson, Don DiCrasto, James Canfield, Jeffrey Drain, Darren Mack, David Perkins, Thornton, Hoaglund, Steve Holmes and Thomas Rickard.

Hoaglund (Trinity) and Rizzo were the team sponsors.

Order of finish: 1. Trinity/Rizo,2. KC Classics, 3. Bulletts, 4. SE Water/Swarm, 5. Tennessee Comers, 5. Team 757, 7. Roadhouse Blues, 7. Carolina five-0, 9. Blackburn Trucking, 9. MLG Seniors, 9. Brickyard Softball, (. Flytime Seniors, 13. Atlanta 50’s, 13. Colorado Elite.

Team USA Repeats at SPA 50 MajorPlus Worlds

Team USA may soon force SPA into creating a new division. Two years ago they won the 50 AAA and were moved up, in 2016 they won the 50 Major crown and moved up. This year they added the SPA 50 Major Plus crown to their list of accomplishments.

Team USA went 3-0 in bracket play beating Suncoast Addias 13-12 in the title game. They didn't exactly run away with the championship as they only beat Team 1 Sports 31-29 and Suncoast Addias 21-20 in earlier bracket games.

”It was an evenly matched tournament with all four teams being very equal, “ manager Mike Rose said. “The difference for us was our depth.”

Playing in 100-degree weather conditions, Rose used his entire roster of 15 players.

“If they didn't start one game then they were runners in that game, the next game they started and we used other runners. I just wanted to keep everyone as fresh as I could..” Rose said.

It has been a good season for Team USA winning five of the seven tournaments they played compiling a 45-7 record. They still have a couple of tournaments left on the 2017 schedule.

Members of the 2017 SPA 50 MAJOR PLUS World champions are: coaches Dutch Detwiler Jr and Jimmie Johnson. Players are Michael Allegretti, Verdell Blackston, John Casner, James Devine, Michael Dill, Ernest Donaldson Jr, Jay Ehrhart, Edward Farrell, Stephen Heller, Bob Jones, William Kelly, Reid Miller, Kenneth Shemonski, Charles A. Smith and Ronald Wenrich.

Final Standings: 1. Team USA, 2. Suncoast Addias, 3.Team 1 Sports, 4. Mid-Atlantic