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SYLVANIA SENIOR SOFTBALL

Pacesetter Park, Sylvania,Ohio - A mens' league. Established January 2008.

Seniors Post 5-1 Record
Maumee Bay Raptors Win SPA Great Lakes "AA" Tournament


SPA/GREAT LAKES WINNERS! The Maumee Bay Raptors won the 60's AA SPA Great Lakes National Tournament, held at Pacesetter Park, Sylvania, Ohio, August 2-5, 2012. Back row, l. to r.: Mark Vonderembse, Al Seeger, Fred Roberts, Dave Ashman, Granville Smith, John Strzelecki, Ric Stager & Joel Hansen. Front row, l. to r.: Dale Knepper, Tim Wilde, George Martinez, Neil Klopping & Scott Libbey. The Raptors received jackets and an invite to play in the SPA World Tournament, Sept. 6- Sept. 9, at Dalton, GA.

The Maumee Bay Raptors coached by John Buehler and Fred Roberts posted a 5 and 1 record and won the Great Lakes National Senior Softball Tournament in dramatic fashion. After an opening loss in pool play to Brantford, the Raptors reeled off five victories. Trailing going into the fifth inning or later in every game but one, the Raptors mounted comeback victories by beating Cavco 14-12, Mississauga Legends 12-8, and Central PA 17-13 to complete pool play. As the number 2 seed in bracket play, the Raptors beat Central PA 16-1 and revenged the loss to Brantford by beating them in the finals 23 to 21 in what was the most exciting game of the tournament. Cavco, Mississauga, and Brantford are from Canada. The victory against Cavco was particularly sweet because Cavco beat the Raptors three times in the Buckeye Classic in Akron in June of this year. Those were the only losses by the Raptors in that tournament.

In the five victories at the Great Lakes Tournament, the Raptors played great defense turning ten double plays and making several very good grabs in the outfield. Fred Roberts and Al Seeger did excellent work from behind the slab with only a handful of walks, mostly intentional, and great defense that killed several rallies. In pool play, the hitting was very good. In the game against Cavco Granville Smith was 3-3 and Dale Knepper and Mark Vonderembse were 2-2. Neal Klopping, Dave Ashman, Joel Hansen went 2-3. In the game against Mississauga, Joel Hansen hit 3-3 and John Buehler, Dave Ashman, Fred Roberts, and John Strzelecki were 2-3. Jim Dandar tripled and scored. In the game against Central PA, Tim Wilde, John Buehler, and Granville Smith went 3-4 while Rick Stager and Mark Vonderembse went 2-3. Al Seeger and John Strzelecki split the time at the plate and went a combined 4- 4 with each collecting two hits.

In the bracket games, the Raptors' bats exploded. They went 23-32 (.718) in the game against Central PA with Tim Wilde, John Buehler, Dave Ashman, Granville Smith, Scott Libbe, Al Seeger, and Mark Vonderembse being perfect at the plate. Neal Klopping and Fred Roberts were 2-3. The Raptors went 31-47 (.660) in the finals with Scott Libbe hitting 4-4. Rick Stagger, Granville Smith, and John Strzelecki were 3-3. George Martinez hit 2-2. Neal Klopping and John Buehler went 3-4. Al Seeger, Dale Knepper, and Mark Vonderembse were 2-3. The bottom of the batting order came through in both games going 8-10 against Central PA and igniting the winning rally in the top of the seventh inning in the final game against Brantford.

SPA
Fred Roberts and John Buehler accept the championship trophy from Rob Conover for winning the 2012 SPA Great Lakes Nationals-60’s AA Division at Pacesetter Park.

The most exciting game by far was the championship game. The Raptors gave up 14 runs in the first three innings while scoring only 6. In the top of the fourth inning, the Raptors scored 4 to pull within 4, but Brantford responded in the bottom of the inning with 4 runs, pushing their lead back to 8. With Brantford leading 18 to 10 going into the fifth inning, the Raptors only managed 1 run, but were able to hold Brantford scoreless. So, going into the sixth inning, Brantford led by 7 and the fans from Brantford openly and aggressively expressed confidence in their team, which helped to motivate the Raptors' players and fans. The Raptors scored 3 in the top of the sixth to pull within 4, and Brantford responded with 2, pushing Brantford's lead to 20 to 14. In the top of the seventh, needing 6 runs to tie, Dale Knepper led off with a double to right. Granville Smith and John Strzelecki added singles to score Dale. George Martinez and Joel Hansen added back to back doubles to score 2 more. Mark Vonderembse, Neal Klopping, John Buehler, Dave Ashman, Scott Libbe, and Rick Stager added singles to drive in the other 6 runs. This provided the Raptors with a 3 run lead. In the bottom of the seventh, Brantford started slowly when Rick Stagger made a nice catch on a well hit ball to left. The next batter singled. The third batter hit the ball sharply to Tim Wilde at short who makes the relay to Scott Libbe for the force at second. The next batter reaches on an error. So, it is first and second with 2 outs, and the next batter, who is in the leadoff position, hits a sharp single, scoring 1 run and leaving runner at the corners. This puts the tying run at first. The next batter swings and hits a sharp ground ball down the left field line that is foul by a couple of inches. The batter has a one ball and two strike count. (Because of early morning rain, the tournament director designates that all games would have hitters starting with a 1 and 1 count.) On the next pitch, Fred Roberts offers a high deep pitch into a brisk breeze that catches the back edge of the mat for strike three. One can only speculate whether the hitter forgot the count.

Individual honors were awarded to John Buehler as Tournament MVP and to Fred Roberts, Tim Wilde, Mark Vonderembse, and Scott Libbe as members of the all-tournament team. A special thanks to our fans and to Jane Wilde for an exceptional job as scorekeeper.

With this victory, the team qualifies for the Softball Players Association World Championship later this year. It was a great team effort with everyone contributing. To comeback in so many games indicates the strength of this team in its first year. The Raptors have done very well winning the Toledo Area Office on Aging Sports Classic 60 and placing third in the Buckeye Classic. The team looks forward to the tournament at the Marion Popcorn Festival in September.

SPA SYLVANIA GREAT LAKES CLASSIC TOPS THIRTY TEAMS
OHIO TOURNAMENT CROWNS EIGHT DIVISION CHAMPIONS

 

SYLVANIA, OHIO – The SPA OHIO TOURNAMENTS (Dayton, Barberton, Columbus, Sylvania) continued their outstanding 2012 tournament season as SYLVANIA'S PACESETTER PARK drew 34 teams to the SECOND ANNUAL GREAT LAKES CLASSIC. “I thought it was a very well run tournament with great competition,” SPA TOURNAMENT REPRESENTATIVE LARRY MILLIRON SAID, “ Tournament Director ROB CONOVER along with JERRY KEEFE did a great job sending out the tournament info, contacting teams and getting a good group of teams to participate.”

UNIVERSAL MECHANICAL SOFTBALL set the tone for the tournament's competitive action winning the 50's DIVISION with a close 23-21 win over CHICAGO PRIME 50's in the title game. UNIVERSAL played it close to the vest all the way in bracket play by first sneaking by SYLVANIA ALLSHRED SERVICES 18-16 and then another cliff-hanger 23-22 victory over PLAYER'S WAREHOUSE. POLYVIOU FAMILY DENISTRY and DAYTON LEGENDS 50'S rounded out the six-team field.

Three teams battled it out for the 55's crown with the GOLDEN VIPERS edging the MINUTEMEN/SFS 16-15 in another white-knuckle championship game. The CHICAGO PRIME 55's were the third team in the group.

The CHICAGO PRIME 60's made short work of the DAYTON LEGENDS 60's downing the OHIO team by a 29-10 score in the 60 AAA championship game.. The WINDSOR CHIEFS 60's and U.S. UTILITY CONTRACTORS filled out the four -team field.

Six teams went at it in the highly competitive 60 AA division as the home town MAUMEE BAY RAPTORS sneaked by the BRANTFORD (ONTARIO) NISSAN 60's by a 23-21 count. CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA and MISSISSAUGA LEGENDS 60'S made it to the semi's before bowing out. THE BOMB SQUAD and CAVCO filled out the six-team SPAbracket.

The COSSA 65's II won a close 11-10 contest over the DAYTON LEGENDS 65's to capture the three-team 65 AA title. The home town SYLVANIA 65's was the third team in the bracket.

The WINDSOR (ONTARIO) CHIEFS 65's blew down from CANADA to defeat MICHIGAN'S DOC MARTENS 24-9 to claim the 65 AAA championship. RUSH TRUCKING, WEST MICHIGAN and BRANTFORD NISSAN 65's also participated in the FIVE-TEAM bracket.

In a best two-out-of-three showdown, PITTSBURGH GOLD beat CLEVELAND'S PEPCO 23-3 and 15-0 for the 70 AAA crown.

The MISSISSAUGA LEGENDS 70's added another championship trophy to the CANADIAN haul as they beat the OLDE D'S 17-10 in the five-team 70 AA championship game. BRANTFORD NISSAN 70's, DORCHESTER CANADIANS and CENTRAL OHIO 70's rounded out the five-team bracket.

All teams who finished first and/or second in the 2012 SPA MEN'S NATIONALS earned spots in the inaugural SPA 2012 WORLD SERIES in JACKSONVILLE,FLORIDA October 31 and November 1,2 and 3.