Long Haul/Taylor Bros/Shen Corps/TPS sweeps through this prestigious tournament by going 4-0 to capture the Championship. Long Haul continues to have a hold on Dan Smith in the early goings, as they have a 4-0 win streak against this powerhouse team. Long Haul has rolled to four consecutive run-ruled games against them. I’m sure that the battles between these two powerhouses will continue when these two and Hague/Resmondo get it on again in the NSA Super in Indianapolis, Indiana the first weekend of June. As for the “Twitty”, it is truly amazing what Dave LeMarbre and the City of Hendersonville have done building that beautiful baseball field at Drake Park. That my friends is a job well done. As you well know by now, I’m a total advocate of playing Big Time softball either in stadiums or on baseball fields with 80′ or 90′ bases and using the right ball. I can tell you the ball field in Hendersonville is as good as it gets for softball. With the dimensions of 320′ down the lines, 345′ in the power alleys ad 370′ to center, using a .44 core. 450 compression was absolutely perfect for this park. As I said before, the main goal to play on baseball fields is to level the field for the good A & AA teams in this country so that they can be competitive and be able to play a full 7 innings. That my friends is just what happened to these good A teams that played in this tournament this weekend. We had three run-ruled games for the tournament. Two of those happened in the Long Haul/Dan Smith games and the other one was the Long Haul/New Construction game. The rest of them were as competitive as you can get. That is what this game needs to do. I want to talk about how a good A or AA team can compete when it plays against the Big Boys on these baseball fields, and that is a team like L&L Painting/TPS. This team twice played against Dan Smith/Easton, and believe me gave them all they wanted before losing. I also can tell you, in talking to Pat, one of the sponsors of L&L Painting, who has been around this game for a long long time had this to say about playing on the baseball fields with 80′ bases; “It sure lets us be competitive playing in these conditions, and we probably would of been back to the hotel room in 3 or 4 innings, if we were on 300′ fields, that’s the difference. This is where all Super tournaments should be played on, baseball fields with longer bases, no doubt about it”. I said earlier in the season when I got the roster from L&L Painting/TPS that this would be a very good team, well I can tell you they are solid and will be a contender to win National Championships in the A or AA, whichever they choose. This team is very good. They played all weekend without two of their best players, one of which is Brian Rainwater who graduated this weekend from the University of Georgia, and the other Will Watson, who got hurt in the 1st game Friday night. I wonder how much better they would of played with these two in the lineup. Make no mistake about it, they are one of the top 8 teams in America. L&L Painting/TPS finished in third place, and getting the 4th spot is another fine AA team, Reece’s/Roosters/Easton, who was also very competitive in their games against the Big Boys. The bottom line this weekend was the Long Haul bunch were just too strong as they came out hitting on all cylinders both offensively and defensively, and now have made it 3 out of 4 wins in the 2001 season. Dan Smith/Backman/Menosse/Easton who captured last week’s baseball field tournament at the NIT in Cocoa, came out this weekend and did not play very well for them, but I’m sure they will go home and work hard and get ready to go to Kettering, Maryland this coming weekend and try to get back on track. Make no mistake about it, this team will recover, they have a lot of talent.
I want to thank Dave LeMarbre and his entire staff for their hospitality and a truly great job in running this tremendous tournament. With people like Dave we can keep this great game of “Big Time Softball” going.
Gold Glove Award: John Mello
Homerun Champion: Hank Garris (10)
MVP: Jeff Wallace