WCH Wins Relay For Life Softball Tournament
The third annual Wetzel Chronicle Relay For Life Softball Tournament is in the books, as Wetzel County Hospital and St. Vincent de Paul teams upended the Wetzel Chronicle and the Pain Train team to get to the championship.
Jeff Mead and his group of WCH players defeated St. Vincent, 32-28, to claim this year’s title. The hospital came back to beat last year’s champion, Pain Train, 21-15, to make it to the title game, while St. Vincent took care of the Wetzel Chronicle in the semi final match.
Rain was forecast throughout the June 11-13 event, but it never happened. The weather was perfect, almost as though our beloved Judy Hill was interceding for us with the Great General Manager. There were 824 runs scored and more than 200 strike outs during the tournament.
Wetzel Chronicle and the hospital’s Bobby DeVaul, a former Hundred High School athletic standout, won the tournament’s award for Most Home Runs, with 18, and just nosing out fellow hospital players Brock Price and Jamie Brown, who combined to drill 17 round trips.
The Chronicle’s Derek Cisar and the Something Gizzard’s Eric McKeever played in only three or four games. But, they blasted 15 home runs that had several Wal-Mart employees on break in fear of coming into their parking lot.
St. Vincent’s Colt Street was his team’s hurler, sitting down more batters than any other pitcher, 65, including 16 in one game. Meanwhile, Wetzel Chronicle Zebra pitcher Vance Ash, a southie, sidelined 24 batters.
The choice of an MVP was tough. Each team had an MVP and a few teams had more than one. Some notables were DeVaul, Price, and Brown for the hospital. 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, it was St. Vincent’s Tommy Herrick who was tagged as the tournament’s official MVP. His presence and good humor is what the Relay Softball Tournament was all about.
There were 10 home runs hit in the little league baseball field and well over 200 on the softball field. There were many strike outs, as foul balls were counted as a strike out.
McDonald’s donated a lot 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 base runners.
Creighton’s Sporting donated the plaques once again, but a special thanks to several guys that came through and umpired some games. Others who played a big role in helping the Chronicle raise well-over $2,500 in this tournament included Buzz Miller, Bill Starkey, Zachary Lockhart, and Keith Gray. Thanks, also, to Kerri McClure and Jamie Benson, who helped take many great action pictures of the tournament.
There were some people who seemed to forget that we were there to Strike Out Cancer, but most did remember and that keeps us going.
First up was the NM Little League coaches and players taking on the Something Gizzards on the softball field. Although the Little League didn’t have Bill Starkey in charge, they brought in Carman Harman to help keep the crowd entertained. Mike Glow, in his fashionable sports bra, made several nice plays in the field. But, in the end. it was the Something Gizzards and Eric McKeever that got the 28-18 victory.
In the second game of the seven-team double-elimination #2 bracket, it was JB’s Chosen Few that shot down the Outlaws, 30-26. The Outlaws’ Casey Dehi, Kurt Long, Donnie Jackson, and Zach Thomas each found the softball field to their liking with long range blasts. But, it was hits to hydro drive by JB’s Chosen Few that kept pedestrians on their toes.
Several nice defensive plays by the Outlaws, as well as Ashley Thomas’ good humor while tantalizing the Chosen Few, stole the show. The Outlaws thank Outlaw Signs and Apparel’s owner Cody Watson for his generosity in donating their shirts.
Assault n’ Batter pulled out a secret weapon, Ryan Yost, to slow down the Chronicle. But, the Chronicle neutralized that by bringing out old timers such as the knuckle-thrower Vance Ash, Mark Moore, Chris Baker, John Daughtery, Dave Hull, Terry Riter, Darren Bohrer, Bob McClure, and Danny Snyder.
They combined with the Chronicle’s very own Amy Witschey and RJ Goode to go along with the youth of Garrett Amos, Nicole Means, Stephanie Pallisco, Jordan Ash, Jeff Potts, Bobby Devaul, and Tyson Wolfe get the job done, in a 38-34 slugfest.
West Virginia Northern Community College took on the Pain Train in the #1 bracket. The game was very close throughout, but the Train stayed on track and won 20-12, despite the WVNCC Chicken’s making an appearance on the mound.
In the final game on Friday, it was St. Vincent beating Days Gone By, 27-26, as Brian Rodriquez trotted home on a walk-off single by Justin “Tank” Fox being the last batter of the game.
Saturday’s first game went into extra innings, but ended with a 24-23 win for the Gizzard’s when a blast to left field deflected on a glove and went over the fence.
WCH beat JB’s, 21-18 as the JB squad had the best time in the tournament. The Chronicle beat the Gizzards 24-21, as Derek “Bubba” Cisar smacked seven homers in the game, three of which he paid $5 for. The Gizzards turned around and beat WCH, 25-20, while the Outlaws took it out on Assault n’ Batter, 28-23, that knocked them out of the tournament.
The Wetzel Chronicle went undefeated to win the #2 bracket with a 28-23 victory over JB’s Chosen Few. WCH sent the Outlaws home, 24-21, and defeated JB’s to make it to Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile, St. Vincent knocked off the S.W.A.T., 23-13, to make it into Sunday games. Earlier in the day, S.W.A.T beat St. Vincent, 20-19, on their last at bat.
Other notable games on Saturday included the Pain Train in a 30-11 rout of the Hillbilly Rockers. The Rockers – with the goal of having as much fun as anyone – had a good time losing to S.W.A.T., 20-12, in a game played later in the day. The game had everything the Relay brings out in adults: good defense, outstanding hitting, lots of purchased extra at bats, and, best of all, great sportsmanship by all. (Why can’t all the games go that way?)
S.W.A.T. scored the winning run in their last at bat against Days Gone By, 19-18. Days defeated WVNCC a few games later, 24-18, in an outstanding game. WVNCC took the lead, but Days went wild and took a commanding lead just to see the college kids bounce back and make a game of it. Both teams looked like they had a good time, as sportsmanship was at an all-time high during this game.
Notable plays during the tournament was the Chronicle’s Darren Bohrer dotting the “i” on the scoreboard – twice. Also, the Chronicle’s Jordan Ash smacked a foul ball that shattered his mother’s car window and the Assault and Batter’s Brock Price took Vance Ash’s knuckle ball on the bounce and hit it over the fence.
Next year’s tournament is scheduled for the same weekend, so keep your bats hot and your gloves oiled for another fun-filled Relay For Life Benefit Softball Tournament.
A Home Run Derby will return next year after a year’s absence. The NM Little League will assist in the tournament, having pledged to umpire all the games, as well as having their players keep the scorebook. All I have to do is take pictures and keep everyone focused on Striking Out Cancer.