Pain Train Back On Track; Wins Relay
The second Wetzel Chronicle Relay For Life Softball Tournament is in the history books, as the Pain Train got back on track after falling to Wetzel County Hospital #1 Team in the #1 Pool bracket.
The Train came back to beat the Wetzel Chronicle Zebra’s 21-6 to make it to the title game against the Wetzel County Hospital #1 team, who got by Crusaders For A Cure, 16-14.
In the finals, the Pain Train out-slugged the Wetzel County Hospital 25-22 for the coveted Relay For Life Softball Championship, June 14 at Bruce Park.
Rain dampened the tournament last season, but the weather was perfect for the three-day event June 15-17.
Wetzel County Hospital’s Bobby DeVaul, a former Hundred High School athletic standout, won the tournament’s award for Most Home Runs, with 18,just nosing out Anthony Wells, who had 14.
New Martinsville Police Chief Tim Cecil was his team’s hurler, sitting down more batters than any other pitcher, 25, including 14 in one game. Meanwhile, Wetzel Chronicle Zebra pitcher Lynn Abraham, a southie, sidelined 24 batters for second place.
The choice of an MVP was tough. Each team had an MVP and a few teams had more than one. Some notables were DeVaul and Wells.
The MVPs and real champions of the tournament are cancer victims and cancer survivors – some of whom played in the tournament – and the many, many others who otherwise supported it.
However, the Wetzel Chronicle’s Gary Partridge was tagged as the tournament’s official MVP. Although he played in only one game, his presence is what the Relay Softball Tournament was all about.
Partridge, softball and volleyball coach at Valley High School, kept the crowd entertained, while playing an admirable game on and off the field. His good humor and good sense of humor delighted all who attended the game.
McDonald’s donated many of coupons for free food and ice cream cones that were given out on nice plays, home runs, and to kids who helped during the tournament, many of them as baserunners.
Creighton’s Sports Center donated the plaques that will be presented at the Relay For Life Walk June 14. Thanks, also, to Bill Abraham and Chuck Murdock who took many great action pictures of the tournament.
There was only one game on Friday, June 12, in which the Wetzel Chronicle Zebras defeated the Wetzel County Hospital Varsity 25-18.
On Saturday, there were games played every hour-and-a-half at Bruce Park and on the new fields on Howard Jeffers Drive. The WCH Varsity team came back after a rest and were defeated by Crusaders For A Cure, 20-11.
Meantime, WCH Team #1 triumphed over St. Vincent, 24-21, while the Zebras kept their winning streak alive with a 33-20 victory over the New Martinsville Rotary.
Rotary pulled out a secret weapon to slow down the Chronicle – an 11-year-old pitcher – Katie Marshall, granddaughter of Rotarian Neill and Ann Marshall. Katie, experienced as a fastpitch catcher, sat down a number of batters, including this sportswriter. . . twice.
The Crusaders out-scored the First Christian Team, 33-21 and the New Martinsville Police overtook the Diamond Queens, 19-12. The WCH #1 team upended the Pain Train 21-19 and the Wetzel County Hospital Varsity won their first game, 18-3 over the Rotary Club.
The Wetzel Chronicle Zebras defeated the First Christian Team, 33-19 and the Pain Train came back to beat St. Vincent, 18-15. Wetzel County Hospital #1 Team beat the Police, 21-20 in the last inning and the Wetzel Chronicle won Pool #2 with a 22-8 victory over the Crusaders For A Cure.
The Pain Train doubled up the Diamond Queens, 24-12 to stay in contention for the Pool #1 pennant and the First Christian won their first game, 30-6, over the Wetzel County Hospital Varsity. In what may be the most sensational play of the tournament, NMPD’s Kent Pilant climbed the outfield fence to snag a fly ball, robbing the Pain Train of a home run. But, he wasn’t done.
In the top of the last inning, after the Police had batted the allotted 15 players, Pilant went to the plate as a $5 extra batter and punched out a grand slam to force the Train to score in the bottom half.
And they did. After singles by Rod Keller and Butch Jackson, Jeff Wright drilled a home run to win it for the Pain Train, knocking NMPD out of contention as runner up in Pool #1.
St. Vincent beat the Diamond Queens, 21-16, and the Crusaders captured second place in Pool #2 with a 26-25 victory over the Rotary Club. The WCH #1 Team won pool #1 with a 23-14 win over the Diamond Queens, who just played their third straight game at two different sites. Meanwhile, First Christian brought out some new players and beat the Rotary Club, 31-30 in a slugfest. And, in the last game of the night, St. Vincent beat the Police, 21-20 with a walk-off home run.
In the championship games. Pool #1 winner Wetzel Chronicle lost to the Pain Train 21-6 and the Wetzel County Hospital Team #1 just got by the Crusaders 16-14. In the championship, the Pain Train got revenge and beat Wetzel County Hospital #1 Team, 25-22.
In the home run derby, Anthony Wells and Robbie Wise went head-to-head after Wells hit 4-10 home runs to advance and Wise smacked 3-10 home runs. Both advanced to the championship, where Wise won the title with 4-10, while Wells smacked, 3-10.
Next year’s tournament is scheduled for the same weekend, so keep your bats polished and your gloves oiled for another fun-filled Relay For Life Benefit Softball Tournament.