Dudley/Budweiser NIT

Long Haul/TPS/Taylor Bros/Shen Corp/TPS has made it 6 out of 7 as they
captured the prestigious Minnesota Dudley Budweiser NIT by double dipping Dan
Smith/Backman/Menosse/Easton.  Softball fans, that is 6 straight run-ruled
games Long Haul has played against Dan Smith this season.   I want to tell
you it wasn’t easy getting to that point of the tournament, as the Long Haul
boys ran into their nemesis Hague/Resmondo/Specialty Tank/TPS early on into
the tournament when they lost to the Hague team for the fourth time this
year. These are the only four losses that Long Haul has in the 2001 season.
Long Haul came flying back through the losers bracket and proceeded to beat
Hague/TPS to get back to the finals and on their way to their sixth
Championship of the season.  Long Haul was led by MVP Hank Garris in a
complete team effort, especially pitcher Andy Purcell, who was over looked
and should of been named to the All Tournament team and truly a candidate to
be the MVP of this tournament.  As I said earlier in my Softball Reports,
this guy is without a doubt the best pitcher in the game today.  Andy started
numerous double plays with his great ability to field the ball up the middle
throughout the weekend.  I talked to Gary Jost, the manager of the Long Haul
boys of what he thought about this win, and he said ” this team has a lot of
heart, great players, great team chemistry and we never quit no matter what
the circumstances. He also stated ” that he would take the blame for the
Saturday night game against Hague for not having his team come out swinging
and be more 
aggressive at the plate, instead of trying to hit the ball down,
but said he told the boys after to come out and be 
aggressive in this homerun
ruled tournament and do what you have to do, and if we run out of homeruns
then so be it”.

Dan Smith/Backman/Menosse/Easton was playing pretty good as
they ran through and captured the winners bracket final game by beating

Hague/TPS, but then waited to see who they would play in the finals, and sure
enough back came Long Haul and I’m sure it wasn’t the team they wanted to
see.  In the first game of the Championship Long Haul rolled to a 42-21 win
over Dan Smith.  Then in the “If” game Dan Smith jumped out to an early 16-3
lead, looking like they were on their 
way. to winning this tournament, but
hold the phone a couple of errors and the bats began to roll for Long Haul as
they went on to win the Championship Title and Dan Smith had to settle for
second place.

Finishing in third place was Hague/Resmondo/Specialty Tanks/TPS
who played extremely well all weekend in this very tough tournament.  POV’s only two losses in the tournament came from Long Haul, as they played them two very good games.

Finishing in fourth was POV’s/Walser/Chevy/Reebok/TPS.  Once again the Dudley Budweiser NIT ranks at the top of the Softball World, and is without a doubt one of the truly great tournaments this country has.  Warren Bellm continues to show why this tournament is considered one of the top tournaments in the country.  He has done a magnificent job running this tournament for years, a truly First Class operation from top to bottom. Warren told me “it had done nothing but rain there for two straight weeks”, and the outfields were very wet, but I can tell you that the Parks and Recreation staff of Brooklyn Center should be commended for an unbelievable job in getting these fields ready and making it possible to play this great tournament.  The USSSA should be very proud to have  State Director, Mr. Gerry Turnberg and Warren Bellm in their organization.  These two men are truly softball people who care about the game itself.  We definitely could use more dedicated people like them to keep this game at the top level.  I want to thank Warren and Gerry for their hospitality to me for inviting me up there to this great tournament, and also thanks to the staff of the Brooklyn Center Parks & Recreation for giving me use of their office all weekend, and like I said before this was truly a “First Class” operation from top to bottom.  Congratulations to Long Haul/Taylor Bros/Shen Corp/TPS for their win and to all the teams who participated in the Dudley Budweiser Nit.

MVP Dirk Androff Award  –  Hank Garris
Defensive Player — Dennis Rulli
Homerun Champ- – Hank Garris (19)

All Tournament Team;
O&S Cattleman — Matt Kelsey
POV’s/TPS — Scott Brown and Bryson Baker
Hague/Resmondo/TPS — Albert Davis, Larry Carter and Robby Ergle
Dan Smith/Easton — Carl Rose, Dan Schuck, Dennis Rulli, DeWayne Nevitt and Brett Helmer
Long Haul/TPS — Mike Shenk, Hank Garris, Rusty Bumgardner, Jeff Wallace, Todd Martin and Jason Kendrick

1.  Long Haul/Taylor Bros/Shen Corp/TPS
2.  Dan Smith/Backman/Menosse/Easton
3.  Hague/Resmondo/Specialty Tank/TPS
4. Pov’s/Walser Chevy/Reebok/TPS