I had to cancel my tournament at Redding Big League Dreams on Wednesday. I was down to 7 teams and I saw the writing on the wall. I am going to try again Sept. 13th and 14th at Redding. Metal Bat Slow Pitch "Off the Wall" Tournament. Guaranteed 3 games. E-mail me.
Since I was canceling the tournament, I had players who still wanted to come to Redding and play ball. So I told the guys we could enter a fast pitch tournament at Big League Dreams, and I would find us some pitchers to throw. One of the first I called was Billy Osborne who has played for many local fast pitch teams. He laughed at me, but said he could pitch a "few innings." I told him I would find backups for him. I could not. Local pitcher Josh Sargent was playing for the host team, Bob Annis was busy, Larry Kuwahara the same and all from here and the valley that still play were already taken. So it was Billy and I. Here is what happened:
Redding: Samoa Athletic Club finished second in the 2008 “Rumble in the Valley” men’s fast pitch softball tournament after being drubbed 7-0 by Brotherton Pipe of Oregon this past weekend at Big League Dreams. Richard Marks took the loss on the mound, giving up 3 earned runs in 6 innings. Samoa Athletic Club reached the championship game by scoring 6 runs in the bottom of the seventh against KTM of Willits for a 15-14 victory in the semi final.
Billy Osborne led the Samoa pitching staff, going 3-1 and pitching 30 innings. Sam Jaskar won the Golden Glove award. Kelly Miller paced the hitters by batting .550 with a homerun followed by Travis Wright at .421. Catcher Byron Gardner had 2 home runs. As a team, Samoa had a batting average of .335 for the tournament of highly ranked west coast fast pitch teams.
Other SAC players batting averages in the tournament were: Byron at .381, Dave Jones .318, Sam Jasker .316, Mike Brown .294, Nate Parkinson .273, Tracy Driskoll .235, Me .200, Tommy .188. Of course, some of our players were walked and Hit By Pitches that would have raised their on base percentages. My OBP was .333. I wasn't hit because "I was a baling!"
Billy Osborne was hooked up in a pitching dual with pitcher for Brotherton on Saturday night that ended with Brotherton scoring 2 runs in the bottom of the 7th to beat us 2-1. Ugh! Billy was a Warrior and pitched masterfully to almost pull a monumental upset against a ranked "A" Fast Pitch team. Brotherton's pitcher was flown in to pitch this tournament, so you can understand the David vs Goliath thing. But we still were the #2 seed going into Sundays play for our 2-1 record and our plus run differential which must have been a plus 17. Billy shut down Yokuts from Lemore early Sunday and pitched into the 7th inning against #8 state ranked KTM. I finished up that mess and lucked out for the win.
I threw the Championship game throwing, slow, slower and slowest but I walked only 2 so I was satisfied. Ended up 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA. The defense behind me saved my buttocks. If Billy had more help in the bullpen, we may have pulled off a championship.
Most of our players were slowpitch guys who have never played fast pitch, so that was good. One problem I had with some was their squirreling. Most of these people playing fast pitch were very serious. KTM has three sponsor's and three different set of uniforms and they were not happy losing to us twice and our guys were, believe or not, overconfident. And they lipped off a little too freely to some hardcore veterans playing. Not all, but just a few.
I did enjoy our team going out to Logan's Roadhouse Saturday night and getting to know each other better. Thank goodness they didn't throw us out for the peanut throwing fiasco!