Demarini/Dirty/3N2/ATWLDesigns out of Orlando, Florida backed up their Conference tournament win in Indiana two weeks ago with a 5-0 performance at the “Peach State Shoot-Out”, beating Shoppe/Team TPS/Elite 36-16 in the championship game. Demarini and 3rd place TYJA-Suncoast Reebok cruised through their first 3 games each on a collision course to meet late Saturday night in the winner’s final. In the winner’s final, a two hour slugfest, TYJA-Suncoast Reebok jumped out to a 13 run top of the first inning and held leads of 15-5 and 27-17, using two double plays and a strikeout to keep the Demarini offense in check. Demarini/Dirty never gave up though and came all the way back to trail 36-29 to start the bottom of the 6th inning. Demarini would score 10 runs in the 6th to take a 39-36 lead into the 7th. TYJA scored 2 in the top half of the 7th and had the tying run on 2nd when Defensive MVP SS Steven Loyd made a nice play to get the final out.
On Sunday, Shoppe, for the third week in a row made a run through the loser’s bracket and beat D2E 24-8 and TYJA-Suncoast 19-17 to make it back to the championship game against Demarini. In the championship Demarini/Dirty took the heart out of a tired and banged up Shoppe team as they posted a 30 run lead and flip flopped and beat Shoppe 36-16, but to Shoppe’s credit they never did give up.
The DownEarth “Peach State Shoot-Out” didn’t start until Saturday morning at 8 am. The play in round was uneventful with no real upsets to speak of. In the second round D2E got past The Scene by 5, Headhunters beat Baugh Ford by 1 in extra innings when Ron Pearce lined a knuckle ball off of the BaughFord shortstops glove with the bases loaded and Baugh was only able to get a force play while the winning run scored. B&B/Sears had a nice 15-6 win over Primetime, and Taylormade broke open a 14-14 tie in the 4th inning with Westshore Pizza by scoring 15 runs in the 5th and run ruling them 29-14. Demarini/Dirty also struggled some with Major League but pulled out a 21-15 victory. Meanwhile 454, TYJA, and Shoppe all moved on easily.
In the third round, TYJA jumped out to a huge lead on D2E with some clean hitting as D2E didn’t give them any errors and TYJA run ruled them 26-9. 454 waited til late to get by Headhunters 13-9 when neither team could really get anything going in the heat of the day. B&B/Sears jumped out to a 9 run first on Shoppe and never let off the gas as they beat Shoppe in a stunner 24-8. And Demarini/Dirty knocked off Taylormade 21-19 when Taylormade made a late charge.
In the semi-finals TYJA-Suncoast hammered Team 454 39-24 and Demarini/Dirty crushed B&B/Sears 25-7.
Note: all bats were re-tested before Sunday and zero bats failed compression testing for the final 4 teams
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