No Dead Ball for Nordkap
By Grant Ramey | (email@example.com)
Maryville’s Dead Ball Out took a one-run lead to the bottom of the first inning Friday in the first round of the Smoky Mountain Classic at Sandy Springs Park.
You could say Nordkap/Desert Falls/Easton (Riverton, Utah) took over from there.
Nordkap, the top-ranked USSSA team in the country coming into the tournament, used 18 home runs over a 12-run first inning, a 13-run second and a six-run third to run-rule DBO 31-1 in three innings.
“We could’ve had the best defense in the tournament and nobody would’ve ever known,” DBO catcher Michael Graves told The Daily Times. “It was 17 or 18 home runs in two innings.
“I think we made an error. Everything else they hit out of the park.”
Graves flied out in the third inning, in his first and only at-bat of the game. Nordkap cycled through the lineup three times in two innings.
Five players on the Nordkap roster had multi-home run games and 10 of 11 in the batting lineup had at least one home run.
Kevin Filby, Travis Clark, and Ryan Robbins each had three home runs, showing up J.D. Genter and Brian Justice’s lackluster-by-comparison two-home run perfromances.
“We wanted to come out early and set the tone and get our swings ready for the weekend,” Robbins said.
It’s a first-time appearance for Nordkap in the Classic, but the guys that make up the roster are no strangers to the tournament.
“This is a first-time thing for this sponsor, but some of these guys have played together before,” said Robbins, who’s playing in his 13th Smoky Mountain Classic this weekend.
It won’t be a short stay for Robbins and Nordkap, either.
“They’ve built a strong team,” Robbins said.
Nordkap hit the 18 home runs off two DBO pitchers.
“Our pitchers ERA’s are going to go up,” Graves said with a laugh. “Way up.”
DBO, one of three local entries in the 30-team field, will open play in the loser’s bracket of the double-elimination tournament at 8 a.m. Saturday at Sandy Springs Park against Sonny’s/Louisville Slugger.
Jean Shoppe 21, Columbus Pipe 3
Jean Shoppe/Team TPS/Elite (McKenzie, Tenn.) used three seven-run innings to run-rule Columbus Pipe (Columbus, Ohio) 21-3 in four innings in the first round.
Dan Sanchez, Shoppe’s winning pitcher, had a two-run home run in a seven-run first and a grand slam in a seven-run third. Kyle Cowart had an RBI single and a solo home run for Shoppe.
Catcher Tim Cocco had a two-run home run in the third and a three-run home run in Shoppe’s seven-run fourth inning.
Lee Powers added a two-run home run and Eric Thompson had a solo shot to help Shoppe to the run-rule win.
Magic 34, SBS 23
Magic beat SBS/CAC/Combat in the opening game at Everett Park as Aaron and Sean Hussey each hit three home runs. Magic scored eight runs in the fifth to take the lead, 23-22, and Hussey hit a grand slam in the sixth to clinch the win. Shannon Smith had three homers, and Joe Yusko hit two for SBS.
TYJA 27, B&B Sears 16
Dustin Roberts and Terry Rosenbalm combined for six home runs to power TYJA over B&B Sears. City Franklin, Keith Whitman and Edmund Locklear all hit two homers for B&B in the loss.
Headhunters 20, Sonny’s 19
Sonny’s/Louisville Slugger (Casper, Wy.) had a 12-run sixth, but couldn’t hang on in the seventh when the Headhunters/Cancooker/shhsports.comentry (Fayetteville, Ga.) entry scored five runs to win 20-19 in the first round’s closest game at Sandy Springs Park. Sonny’s sent 14 batters to the plate in the 12-run sixth to take a 19-9 lead, but Headhunters countered with a six-run sixth and the five-run seventh to advance to the second round.
R+M Metals 34, The Scene 33
R+M Metals held on against The Scene in a game that came down to the final at bat. Losson White went 4-for-5 with three home runs for R+M Metals, who led 21-4 after the second. In the seventh, Levi Wright hit a grand slam — one of his five homers in the game — with two outs to get it within one, but the Scene’s next batter went down on a flyout to center. The Scene scored 12 runs in the fifth to cut the deficit to six.
Laservision 35, Primetime 20
It didn’t look like Laservision/Anni/Supr/D2/Easton would need five innings in the second round but that’s what it took. The Cicero, N.Y. team jumped out to a 21-0 lead early but struggled to put away a pesky Primetime/Easton squad in a 35-20 run-rule win to advance to the third round. Laservision had a first-round bye playing as the tournament’s second-seeded team.