OKLAHOMA CITY – The Championship Game might have started out slow, but it certainly did not end that way as Seminoles/TPS/NACSF.Inc claimed the 2020 USA Softball Men’s Class A Slow Pitch National Championship. The Seminoles went undefeated throughout the tournament, besting Comatose/S2N/Monsta 20-18 in the Championship finale that came down to the last batter.
Comatose jumped out to an early lead, driving in four runs in the top of the first while holding the Seminoles to a zero. Mitchell Dunse and Jim Dreikosen each homered in the first inning to bring the four runners across the plate for Comatose.
The Seminoles nearly returned the favor in the top of the second to Comatose, limiting the visiting team to just one run while driving in five of their own to tie up the game. The offense got started with a leadoff home run by Zane Trammell and an error on the defense allowed the next runner to reach second. A two-run shot by Kyndrich Doggett continued the momentum for the Seminoles with two outs and then another two-run blast from Oliver Odle made it an even 5-5 score.
Another home run from Dreikosen in the top of the third put Comatose on top by one run, but that lead did not last long as the Seminoles put up a run of their own via a Steven Smith homer to tie the game up again at six runs apiece.
Robert Guzman homered with two outs and an RBI single from Brett Wichman put Comatose back up by two runs in the top of the fourth. The game continued to be a nail biter in the bottom of the frame, as a two-run shot by Conner Murray tied up the game for the third time in the contest.
Comatose was kept off the board for the first time in the top of the fifth, giving the Seminoles a chance to take the lead. The home team did just that, driving in two to pull ahead by as many runs. A leadoff home run by Tim Bowser and RBI double from Smith drove in the lone runs of the fifth inning.
Comatose plated three in the top of the sixth and limited the Seminoles to just one to once again tie up the game after six complete innings. Headed into the seventh, the Comatose bats woke up as the team drove in seven runs to take a large lead. Three home runs and a fielder’s choice made a difference for Comatose, as the team went up 18-11 with the Seminoles headed to their final at-bat.
The Seminoles offense also came alive in their final at-bat as the team drove in nine runs for the walk off, 20-18 win. Hunter Ramirez, Smith and Jose Hernandez each homered to bring the game within three runs, and a single and error by the defense kept the offense rolling with two outs. Doggett drove in a run with a single up the middle, and a double by Murray tied up the game. Needing one run to win it all, the Seminoles did that and then some as Odle drove the ball over the left field fence for a two-run bomb to give his team the win.
Murray won MVP accolades after an impressive tournament in which he drove in 11 runs, scored 16 times and blasted four home runs.
2020 Men's Class A Slow Pitch All-Americans
Ryan O'Connell - Chanticlear
Joe Cornell - Heartland Investors
Zane Trammell - Seminoles
Conner Murray - Seminoles
Craig Wais - Comatose
Mitchell Dunse - Comatose
Spencer Selby - Seminoles
Hunter Ramirez - Seminoles
Alex Hovey - Drip City
John Stibal - Ductech
Blaine Horsager - Heartland Investors
Richard Buck - Heartland Investors
Tim Bowser - Seminoles
Jim Dreikosen - Comatose
Mike Jacobson - Comatose
Billy Sanders - Program - HR Champion (11)
Mike Jacobson (Comatose) and Joey Bulens (T's 13) - Co-Batting Champs (.933)
Conner Murray - Seminoles - MVP
How the teams made it to the finals
Seminoles earned their spot in the finals in a variety of fashions, but all-in-all the team used the long ball to power their way through bracket play. With a 28-13 (five innings) run-rule win over Ductech/Monsta Athletics, the Seminoles started out the Men’s Class A Slow Pitch National Championship with a one-run, 24-23 win over Drip City/Monsta. A 33-27 win over Chanticlear/P5 Sports/JES/Extreme Graffix earned the squad a spot in the winner’s bracket finale against Comatose, where the team punched a 25-16 win to make it to the Championship Game.
Comatose cruised through bracket play with three-straight victories before dropping the 25-16 decision to Seminoles to drop them into the loser’s bracket. Starting the National Championship in dominant fashion with a 31-15 (five innings) run rule over PTS/Southern Roosters, Comatose held on for a 15-14 win over Tharaldson Softball before narrowly edging Heartland Investors/Monsta Athletics 23-21 in an extra-inning thriller. Moving on to the winner’s bracket finale, Comatose dropped their first game of the National Championship to Seminoles, which setup the rematch with Heartland Investors in the semifinals. This rematch had the same result for Comatose, who sent Heartland Investors home with the third-place trophy after handing the team a 36-29 loss.