WC Monsta/Team Chent claims 2018 Men’s Class A Slow Pitch National Championship

By Codi Warren (cwarren@usasoftball.com) | Sept. 30, 2018, 5:26 p.m. (ET)

Ridgeland, Miss. – The 2018 Championship season for USA Softball has come to an exciting close as WC Monsta/Team Chent took home the Class A Slow Pitch National Championship after defeating Thunder/Flippin Keys 29-19.  Taking advantage of six, multi-run home runs, WC Monsta/Team Chent came from behind and put the game away in the sixth inning after scoring eight runs.

2018 Class A Slow Pitch All-Americans
David Johnson – WC Monsta/Team Chent
Ryan Dacko – WC Monsta/Team Chent
Johnathon Williams – WC Monsta/Team Chent
Filip Washington – WC Monsta/Team Chent
Steven Lopez – WC Monsta/Team Chent
Jared Hunt – WC Monsta/Team Chent
Josh Brown – Thunder/Flippin Keys
Kyle Pearson (LA) – Thunder/Flippin Keys
Kyle Pearson (FL) – Thunder/Flippin Keys
Zack Messer – Thunder/Flippin Keys
Shannon Smith – Thunder/Flippin Keys
Cory Briggs – EGL Foundation/Fillies Softball/VSP/ASP
Davis Bilardello – EGL Foundation/Fillies Softball/VSP/ASP
Marcus Thornton – EGL Foundation/Fillies Softball/VSP/ASP
Brett Rettenmeier – WC Monsta/Team Jer Bear

Batting Champion – David Johnson, WC Monsta/Team Chent
Home Run Champion – Daniel McClement – WC Monsta/Team Jer Bear
Tournament MVP – Daniel Lopez, WC Monsta/Team Chent

Thunder/Flippin Keys took an early lead after posting seven runs in the first inning.  Home runs by Shannon Smith and Joshua Riley and then an RBI single from Brian Logan made it 7-0 in favor of the visiting team.  WC Monsta/Team Chent nibbled away at the lead by plating three runs in the bottom of the frame.  A two-run blast from David Johnson and solo shot by Johnathon Williams made it a 7-3, Thunder/Flippin Keys ballgame.

Tournament MVP Daniel Lopez held the offense to zero runs in the top of the second to bring his team back to the plate for a chance to take the lead.  Back-to-back solo home runs by Ryan Dacko and Jared Hunt brought WC Monsta/Team Chent within two until a three-run bomb from Johnson gave WC Monsta/Team Chent the lead.  A double by Chente Granados extended the lead to 9-7, WC Monsta/Team Chent.

Six runs crossed the plate for Thunder/Flippin Keys in the top of the third for the third lead change of the game.  Doubles by Ryan Stovall and Justin Mooch and home runs by Kyle Pearson (LA) and Smith made it 13-9. 

Both sides were held scoreless until the bottom of the fourth when WC Monsta regained the lead.  Two, three-run shots from Johnson and Steve Whaley put the team from the west coast up 15-13.

Shutting down their opponents again in the top of the fifth, WC Monsta/Team Chent added another six runs to their lead.  Steven Lopez started the scoring drive with a two-run triple, followed by a two-run home run by Filip Washington.  Singles from Whaley and Williams and a sac fly from Granados made it 21-13, WC Monsta/Team Chent.

Thunder/Flippin Keys brought the game within four runs in the top of the sixth after an error and three singles, but WC Monsta/Team Chent put the game away in the bottom of the frame.  Home runs courtesy of Jared Hunt, Ryan McClanahan and Johnson and then hits from Whaley and Mario Granados made it 29-17.

Trailing by 12 runs, Thunder/Flippin Keys started their last at-bat with a solo home run and a two-out home run, but that would be all the team could scrape from the deficit as WC Monsta/Team Chent walked away with the 29-19 win.

Johnson had a game at the plate, driving in 11 runs with four home runs while Whaley tallied five RBI with a home run. 

How the teams made it to the finals

WC Monsta/Team Chent sealed their place in the Championship Game after going 3-0 in bracket play.  Starting off the event with a 28-13 (five innings) win over Comatose/S2N/Monsta, the team was led by Johnson, who collected seven RBI.  The team followed with another run-rule victory, this time a 29-14 (six innings) win over Team Racks/Yeahhh.  Fueled by an eight-RBI performance by Dacko, Williams also drove in six runs in the win.

An extra-inning thriller in the winner’s bracket finale against Thunder/Flippin Keys placed WC Monsta/Team Chent into the Championship Game.  Trailing through the entire game, a nine-run seventh inning sent the game into extras, where both sides tacked on a run each until the bottom of the ninth when WC Monsta/Team Chent sealed the walk-off win.

Thunder/Flippin Keys went 2-1 in bracket play.  Opening the National Championship with a 26-16 (four innings) routing of defending Class A National Champion Precision/H. Auto/Sprizzi, three batters had five RBI in the win: Smith, Riley and Josh Brown.

A 32-24 win over WC Monsta/Team Jer Bear put Thunder/Flippin Keys into the winner’s bracket finale.  Fueled by a 12-run first inning and a 10-run sixth inning, Logan had seven RBI in the win with a pair of home runs, including a grand slam.

The loss to WC Monsta/Team Chent put Thunder/Flippin Keys in a win-or-go-home situation as the team squared off against EGL Foundation/Gillies Softball/VSP/ASP in the third-place game.  The team put runs on the board in each of the seven innings and were led by Riley and Kyle Pearson (FL), who each had seven RBI.

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