Mt. Heathy, Oh.—Bill McClanahan’s two-run double in the top of the 6th lifted Boot Hill Guns past Game Time Softball 7-6 in the championship game of a USSSA “D-E” State-National Qualifier on Sunday, July 8th at Kolping Park.
McClanahan’s one-out shot into the left field corner capped off a four-run Boot Hill rally that overcame a 6-3 deficit. Boot Hill had trimmed a 5-2 lead to one with two runs in the top of the 5th. Then, after Game Time scored a run in the bottom of the inning, Boot Hill juiced the bases in the top of the 6th with no outs. Ronnie Whitt plated the first run with a sac fly, then Kevin Langdon cut the lead down to one with an rbi single, setting the stage for McClanahan’s clutch double.
The victory completed a three game sweep of a six-team field for the champions. Previously Boot Hill had rallied past Treefrogs/ISM 15-13 with two runs in the top of the 7th, then routed Eddie’s Chargers 16-8.
The winners picked up $50 in USSSA travel expense.
Defense, pitching and the offensive spark provided by Doug Coffee and Mark Conley helped carry Boot Hill to the title, said player-manager Preston Mustard.
“We played good defense,” said Mustard, whose team held two of their three opponents to single digit scoring. “In the infield Nathan Hodge (2b) and Ronnie Whitt (ss) always get a great jump on the ball and are able to get to everything. And they both have a good release. And in the outfield, Marcus Warner (lf) is super fast and able to run down a lot of balls. He also made some key throws and nailed a couple guys trying to take extra bases. He has a strong arm.”
Boot Hill utilized three pitchers in their three games.
“We used three different pitchers – Doug Coffee, Bill McClanahan and myself – and all did a good job,” said Mustard.
Doug Coffee batted .727 to pace the offense. Mark Conley followed with a solid .636 effort.
“He came out and really did a nice job ,” said Mustard of Coffee. “He’s a veteran player who knows what he should be doing and does it. And Mark is one of the best hitters on the team. He’s a veteran player who bats around .800 all season long.”
Boot Hill needed two runs in the top of the 7th to outlast Treefrogs/ISM 15-13 in game one. With the score knotted 13-13, Ronnie Whitt delivered an rbi single to put his team ahead for good at 14-13. Marcus Warner then tripled home Whitt with an insurance run to close out the scoring.
Doug Coffee, Mark Conley and Whitt banged out three hits each to lead the winners.
Next Boot Hill jumped out to an 8-3 lead over Eddie’s Chargers on the strength of a five-run 1st and a three-run 3rd, then broke open a 9-7 game with two in the 5th, four in the 6th and one in the 7th to spank Eddie’s 16-8. Cory McClanahan’s put his club on the board in the top of the 1st with a two-run single. Ronnie Whitt’s two-run shot was the big blow in the 3rd. Boot Hill began to pull away with a two-run 5th that featured a T. J. Francis sac fly and a Donald Rhinehimer rbi 1b. The 6th was highlighted by an rbi triple by Kevin Langdon, a two-run blast by Nate Hodge and an rbi double by Bill McClanahan.
Mark Conley pounded out four hits, and Doug Coffee, Bill McClanahan and Nate Hodge combined for nine hits.
That lifted Boot Hill into the championship game against Game Time, who built a 5-1 lead after four and took a 6-3 lead after five. But in the top of the 6th, consecutive singles by Doug Coffee, Mark Conley, and Cory McClanahan juiced the bases, and Ronnie Whitt plated Coffee with a sac fly to trim the deficit to two. Kevin Langdon followed with an rbi single to score Conley, then Bill McClanahan delivered his clutch, two-run double into the left field corner to score Cory McClanahan with the tying run and Langdon with the eventual game winner. Game Time put up back-to-back goose eggs in the 6th and 7th against pitcher Doug Coffee, as Boot Hill prevailed 7-6.
Coffee, Conley, McClanahan and Langdon each went 3-for-4 to power the champions.
Boot Hill manager Preston Mustard said his team was fortunate to record wins against both Treefrogs and Game Time.
“We’ve played Treefrogs three times and had to come from behind to beat them all three times,” recalled Mustard. “They’re a good team. They don’t make many mental mistakes and they just keep coming.
“We had a super game against Game Time,” added Mustard. “It went back and forth. They have one of the best outfields I’ve seen. They took some hits away from us. They have a lot of speed everywhere in the outfield.”
For final standings, please paste the following url into your browser: http://www.usssa.com/sports/Tournament3.asp?TournamentID= 878019