LAS VEGAS – With the bright lights of the world-famous Las Vegas strip looming in the background on one side and the Spring Mountains providing the backdrop on the other, the first-ever Lone Star Shootout World Tournament was held Oct. 23-24 at the brand new Big League Dreams in the desert paradise.
Thirty-two teams from nine different states competed in both a Men’s D bracket and a separate Men’s E bracket. Anytime Garage Door from Las Vegas went undefeated through five games to win the Men’s D World championship, while Iron Pigs/Four Loko from Chino Hills, California went a perfect 5-0 to win the Men’s E World title.
“It is so exciting to win a World Tournament of any kind – we are very proud of this accomplishment,” said Joaquin Villalobos, manager of the Iron Pigs/Four Loko. “This was the best-ran and most-fun tourna¬ment we played in all season. We will defi¬nitely be coming back next and every year that it is held here.”
In the 16-team Men’s D Division, Anytime Garage Door began their journey with an 18-8 win over CTM from Laredo, Texas. They followed that up with wins over the Brown Sox from Nevada (17-5) and Drty/ Haolefied also from Las Vegas (21-5) to advance to the winner’s bracket finals. In the king seat game, Anytime Garage Door faced another team from Texas, La Familia Classics from Houston, and came away with a 19-9 win.
La Familia Classics dropped to the loser’s bracket and ran into a team on a roll. Custom Truck from Las Vegas had lost their first game to Turmoil Softball from Oklahoma City (21-20), before drop¬ping to the loser’s bracket and posting consecutive wins over The Benchwarmers from Lancaster, Calif. (22-3); K’s Choice from Babb, Montana (7-0); Inksignia from San Antonio, Texas (14-9); Straight Shot from Montgomery, Texas (22-9); Time To Mash from Las Vegas (14-10); and Brown Sox from Las Vegas (19-11) to get to the finals of the loser’s bracket. Custom Truck continued their roll by beating La Familia Classics (19-6) to advance to the finals.
The championship game was an exciting battle between two Las Vegas teams played on the Dodger Stadium replica field. Anytime Garage Door held a 19-15 lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning, when Custom Truck began a rally that fell short when a spectacular, leaping over-the-fence catch at the left-field foul pole ended the game at 19-17.
Anytime Garage Door claimed the champi¬onship with a 5-0 record, and Custom Truck finished second at 6-2. La Familia Classics finished third at 3-2, followed by the Brown Sox in fourth at 4-2. Time to Mash (NV) and Drty Haolefied (NV) tied for fifth place; Straight Shot (TX) and Ruff Riders (OR) tied for seventh; and CTM (TX), Inksignia (TX), Turmoil (OK) and Don’t Trip (CA) tied for ninth.
The All-World Team for the Men’s D Division consisted of Cecil Hale, Clayton Mofford, Micah Schnurstein, Owen Ondrisko and Joey Serdoza, of Anytime Garage Doors; Filip Washington, Paul Pena, Frankie Castillo and Joey Roy, of Custom Truck; Mike Trevino, Joey Hernandez and Melvin Glass, of La Familia Classics; and Eric Stewart, Jerry Gomez and Daniel Ramirez, of the Brown Sox.
There were also 16 teams in the Men’s E Division, where the Iron Pigs/Four Loko posted consecutive wins over All State Fence from Portland, Oregon (20-6); Surefire from Henderson, Nevada (17-14); and B&N Sports Bar from San Antonio, Texas (26-21) to advance to the winner’s bracket finals, where they met DSC Softball from Las Vegas. DSC had defeated Anglico from Carlsbad, Calif. (18-2); Boerne Posse from Boerne, Texas (12-8); and Core Elite from Las Vegas (12-10). The Iron Pigs crushed DSC in the king seat game (14-2) to advance to the championship.
DSC dropped to the loser’s bracket and was eliminated by the Boerne Posse (18-12) who advanced on to play the Iron Pigs for the championship. After Posse scored just one in the top of the first inning, the Iron Pigs answered with seven. But Posse showed they would not go away easy by scoring eight runs in the top of the second inning, before the Iron Pigs answered with three to take a 10-9 lead. Both teams put up goose eggs in the third frame, scored two runs apiece in the fourth, and blanked again in the fifth to make the score 12-11 in favor of the Iron Pigs heading into the sixth inning. Posse scored four times in the sixth to take a temporary 15-12 lead. But the Iron Pigs posted eight runs in the bottom of the sixth to go ahead 20-15. When Posse was unable to scratch in the top of the seventh inning, that was the final score.
Iron Pigs/Four Loko averaged an impressive 19.4 runs in their five victories – the most of any team in the tournament, regardless of division. The Boerne Posse (TX) settled for second place with a 6-2 record, while DSC Softball (NV) came in third at 3-2.
No Regret/Texas Crooks from San Antonio provided one of the best storylines of the tournament. After losing their very first game to Surefire (8-6), No Regret/Texas Crooks dropped to the loser’s bracket and posted consecutive wins over All State Fence from Portland, Oregon (16-6); Slumpbusters from San Diego, Calif. (15-5); Killin’ Time from Las Vegas (16-5); Surefire from Henderson, Nevada (18-17); and hometown rival B&N Sports Bar from San Antonio, before finally being eliminated by the Boerne Posse (14-7) to finish in fourth place with a 5-2 record.
Core Elite (NV) and B&N Sports Bar (TX) tied for fifth place; Team Diesel (NV) and Surefire (NV) tied for seventh; and Elite Audio & Video (UT), Cyber Draft (NV), All State Fence (OR) and Killin’ Time (NV) tied for ninth.
Members of the All-World Team for the Men’s E Division were Tony Diaz, Allen Krapf, Eddie Pagliuso, Cesar Garcia and Joaquin Villalobos, of Iron Pigs/Four Loko; Jacob Villarreal, Tyler Betts, Danny Perez and Tim Armstrong, of the Boerne Posse; Brandon Naber, Chris Ortiz and Sean Havins, of DSC; and Robert Flores, Anthony Hernandez and Richard Mendoza, of No Regret/Texas Crooks.
The tournament also featured a Home Run Derby on Saturday night. Following two hours of qualifying, the top eight hitters advanced to a head-to-head playoff for the grand prize. When all the dust had settled, Willie Taveras of Anytime Garage Door was the champion. Taveras hit an impressive 8-out-of-8 over the home run fence in the championship round – including several that cleared the netting high above the 30-foot walls – and he needed every one of them to beat out Marcus Thornton of Straight Shot from Texas, who hit 7-out-of-8 out in his final round.
The first-ever Lone Star Shootout World Tournament could not have been a success without the support of Las Vegas general manager Ed Farmer and his staff at Big League Dreams. The Umpire-in-Chief was Ben Templeton from Austin, Texas who received support from Nevada State UIC Ernie Gum. The umpiring crew came from Nevada, except for Damon Massey who made the long trip from Seagoville, Texas. Finally, tournament directors Roy Dean and Scott Duffy kept the even running smooth and on time.
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