TEAMS FROM 18 STATES AND CANADA INVADE BARBERTON
BARBERTON,OHIO – It was another record breaking attendance record for THEE SPA BUCKEYE CLASSIC as eighty-three AA and AAA from eighteen states and Canada participated in the 15 separate divisions tournament.
“As the word goes out about THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC our popularityseemsto grow,” co-tournament director RED BOLE said, “ Five years ago as an SSUSA tournament we hosted 24 teams and the following year as an INDEPENDENT event we climbed to 54 teams. With SPA the last three years the total has increased from 72-to-75 and this year to 83.”
With the increase in teams, the increase in awards also goes with the territory. Thisyear THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC awarded SIXTEEN FIRST PLACE TEAM AWARDS, FOURTEEN RUNNER-UP TEAM AWARDS and over 250 SPORTS BAGS as individual awards.
Despite losing two days of the thirteen day event due to rain, all divisions in the six-game round robin event went down to the wire with tie breakers more of the norm than the exception.
SEVENTEEN-TEAMS 75'S DIVISION
In the five-team 75's SCARLET competition HAMEL'S BUILDERS (MD), PEPCO (OH) and BACK OFFICE (MASS) all tied for first place and also in head-to-head competition. In the third tie breaker runs allowed in the head-to-headshowing, HAMEL'S allowed 25 runs, PEPCO 26 and BACKOFFICE 27. PFEIFFER AUTO (MICH) and PROHEALTH CARE (WISC) rounded out the five-team bracket.
The GREY five-team division saw the CHICAGO GEEZERS (IL) edge PEACHTREE RESTAURANT (PA) in a tie-breaker with MICHIGAN MILLER'S (MICH) and the INDY CROWNS (IND) just out of the picture. LOUISVILLE THUNDER (KY) completed the field.
DELAWARE DIAMONDS (DEL) downed the MICHIGAN LAKERS (MICH) 10-2 in a battle of 5-0 teams to take seven-team GOLD bracket. The NY STATESMEN (NY) finished third at 4-2 followed by INDIANA SILVER FOXES (IND), NAMI CONSTRUCTION (NJ), CFI (MICH) and AKRON 75's (OH).
TWENTY-TWO TEAMS 70'S DIVISIONS
Rain played a big factor in all four 70's brackets washing out one day of the three-day event as well as two of the six scheduled games. The result was teams did not get to complete all their in-bracket games leading to tie-breakers in all brackets.
In the AAA GREY bracket, the tie breaker formula was still even after going to the third one, so MONKEY JOE'S (NJ) and SILVER SNEAKERS (IL) were declared co-champs. Both teams were 3-0 in their bracket and tied in runs allowed within the bracket.
Ironically it was the second consecutive co-title for the SNEAKERS, who also shared a championship with KNAPHEIDE in the ROUTE 66 tournament.
Also competing in the six-team GREY BRACKET were INDIANAPOLIS CLASSICS (IND), FEDELE'S BROOKHOUSE RESTAURANT (NY), CAROLINA CARDINALS (NC) and BRENNAN'S AKRON 70's (OH).
In the six-team SCARLET group, MICHIANA MERCHANTS (MICH) and MIKE'S RAIDERS (OH) both tied with identical 3-0 marks in bracket play and 4-0 overall but MICHIANA got the championship nod on least runs allowed.
The MICHIGAN KNIGHTS (MICH), JERSEY JAGS (NJ), PITTSBURGH GOLD (PA) and BAILEY”S TALENT CAVALIERS (VA) completed the bracket,
Tie breakers were also the name of the game in the two 70 AA BRACKETS.. DORCHESTER CANADIANS (Ont) edged the SYLVANIA 70's (OH) in runs allowed tiebreaker to claim the GOLD DIVISION while BRANTFORD NISSAN (ONT) also won on runs allowed, sneaking by CENTRAL OHIO 70's (OH) to win the SILVER DIVISION.
Also participating in the two five-team 70's AA BRACKETS were MTX (KY), MICHIGAN SPIRIT (MICH), RAINBOWS (OH), MISSISSAUGA LEGENDS (ONT), MICH-INDY (IND) and OLDE D's (MICH)
FOURTEEN 65'S TEAMS DIVISION
Rain also played a factor in the two 65's divisions as rain washed out the first day resulting in a 7:00 AM start the second day to get FOUR GAMES played for each team.
CUSTOM GRAPHICS (GA) made their first trip to BARBERTON a rewarding one as their (4-0) mark topped a pair of (3-1) records from RUNNER-UP RUSH TRUCKING (MICH) and third place UNIVERSAL MECHANICAL/COSSA (OH). HAMEL'S (MD), PRONIO SPORTS (OH), STAHL POST #30 (DEL) and ROCHESTER CLASSICS (NY) rounded out the seven-team 65 AAA group.
In the 65's AA, it was JIM and JOE'S (KY) nosing out CHICAGO STRIKERS (IL) in a tie breaker to win the AA seven-team bracket. Others in the AA division were U.S. DOT JOBS (IND), BRANTFORD NISSAN 65'S (ONT), MISSISSAUGA LEGENDS (ONT), KENTUCKIANA (IND) and SYLVANIA 65's (OH).
TWELVE 60'S TEAMS DIVISION
The big news was no rain!! All twelve teams in the three divisions got their six games in with no need for tie beakers.
The SYRACUSE MERCHANTS (NY) won the AAA division going 5-1 in the round robin event which pitted each team with two games against each other.
BRICKYARD (IND) won the tiebreaker with the MINUTEMEN PEPCO SFS (OH) for runner-up with both teams finishing 3-3. Fourth place was the DAYTON LEGENDS squad.
The 60 AA SCARLET and GREY DIVISION titles turned into an ALL-CANADIAN championship celebration. CAVCO (ONT) won the SCARLET BRACKET while BRANTFORD NISSAN 60's (ONT) took the GREY crown.
Runner-up honors in the SCARLET went to OHIO SILVERADO'S (OHIO) with MAUMEE BAY RAPTORS (OHIO) finishing second in the GREY. Other teams participating in the 60 AA group were THE BOMB SQUAD (MICH), PRONIO SPORTS 60'S (OH), N.E. OHIO SENIORS (OHIO) and INDY FOG (IND).
SIX 55'S TEAMS DIVISION
The GOLDEN VIPERS (MICH) and MINUTEMEN SFS (OHIO) tied at 5-1 and at head-to-head competition. Least runs allowed between the two teams in head-to-head went to the GOLDEN VIPERS 57-76, giving them the 55's DIVISION CROWN.
RIVER ROOM POKER CLUB (OH), SYLVANIA ALLSHRED (OH), DURHAM SILVER STICKS (ONT) and DAYTON LEGENDS (OH) rounded out the six-team field.
TEN 50'S TEAMS DIVISION
In the 50's SCARLET DIVION, there were no ANGELS in the OUTFIELD but MICHELLE'S BOYS (OH) had an ANGEL (MICHELLE) watching down on themfrom above as they eked out a tie-breaker decision to win the SCARLET CROWN and dedicated the title to MICHELLE..
The CHICAGO PRIME (ILL) took runner-up honors in the five-team SCARLET group followed by BUCKEYE CLASSICS (OH), WINDSOR FOG DEVILS (ONT) and CAPP”S STEEL (OH).
The EAST-WEST OUTLAWS (PA) took no prisoners as they went 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the Division to claim the GREY DIVISION title. Runner-up honors went to OG's (KY).
UNIVERSAL MECHANICAL (OH), SYLVANIA EAGLES SOFTBALL (OH) and STRABANE SNPJ LODGE #139 (PA) rounded out the five-team division.
A SAD NOTE FROM THE TOURNAMENT
LONG-TIME SENIOR SOFTBALL PLAYER, JOHN WARNERS, THE FIRST BASEMAN ON THE 75 DIVISION PFEIFFER AUTO TEAM SUFFERED A HEART ATTACK AFTER DINNER MONDAY NIGHT AND PASSED AWAY.
I KNOW YOUR PRAYERS AS WELL AS OURS GO OUT TO BOTH THE WARNERS AND PFEIFFER AUTO FAMILIES FOR THEIR UNTIMELY LOSS.
All teams who finished first and/or second at THEE 2013 SPA BUCKEYE CLASSIC earned spots in the SPA 2013 WORLD SERIES in the HOUSTON, TEXAS SPORTSPLEX OCTOBER 31-NOVEMBER 3, 2013..