Worx/D & D Grocery Three-Peats In One-Pitch National Gold Division At Expressway Park; Gilley Powers Champions

Milford, Oh.—Worx/D & D Grocery swept undefeated past six opponents to capture their third consecutive championship in the Gold Division of the USSSA One-Pitch National Tournament on Saturday, September 27th at Expressway Park.

 

Worx/D & D mercy-ruled five of their six opponents, including finalist Slayer/K & G/Kintner Athletics 20-9 in the championship game, en route to the title.

 

Previously the champions had slugged their way past Diamond Foolz 25-13, Cincinnati Dynasty 16-12, and Slayer/K & G/Kintner Electric 29-12 in pool play, then overpowered Diamond Foolz 29-10 and Cincinnati Dynasty 21-7 before polishing off Slayer in the elimination round.

 

Worx/D & D outscored their six victims by a combined 140-63 margin.  Cincinnati Dynasty was the only team to last a full seven innings against the winners in their 16-12 second round loss in pool play.  The defending champions defeated every other team by double digits and scored at least twenty runs each game.

 

In addition, the Louisville, Ky.-based club scored in every inning except one and never trailed during the entire tournament.

 

The pitching of Ben Gamble, solid defense, effective use of their home runs, and the offensive spark provided by tournament MVP Gillie Melton helped carry Worx to the title, said manager Cobbie Harrison.

 

“Pitching was a big key,” said Harrison.  “Ben had nineteen putouts.  And we turned eight double plays.  I’ve always put more emphasis on defense than the other side.

 

“Also, we hit twenty one home runs, and didn’t hit one for an out, and only hit three solos out of the twenty one,” noted Harrison.  “So we made our home runs count.”

 

Tournament MVP Gillie Melton hit nine of those home runs, and led Worx in hitting with a hefty .885 day.

 

“He hit in the clutch all weekend,” said Harrison.  “In my opinion, he’s become one of the top four or five hitters in our state.  When you go 24-for-27 in one-pitch, that’s hitting.”

 

While Gilley made only three outs, Jason Hatley was retired only four times during the tournament.

 

“He’s my middle infielder and he was huge for our team,” said Harrison.  “He is a veteran player, and solid on both sides.  He hit .846 and he’s the glue in our middle.  He turned eight double plays.”

 

The next highest average (.741) – and the second most home runs on the team (four) – belonged to Choo Choo Williams.

 

“When Choo Choo hits it, they go long,” summed up Harrison.

 

Following Williams were pitcher Ben Gamble at .720 and Heath Barnes at .704.

 

Harrison called Barnes “the best shortstop I’ve had in 25 years.”

 

Fortunately for Harrison and Worx, Barnes also shines in the outfield.

 

“We only had ten players, and he had to play centerfield, and he was tremendous,” said Harrison.  “He covered everything out there and has a rocket for an arm.  He was the fastest guy on the field – nobody can out-run him.”

 

Dave Munroe came along to be an “extra player” and wound up hitting .682, said Harrison.

 

“He was an extra coming with us, but our MVP from last year couldn’t make it, so I had to play this kid as a starter.  He didn’t make an error at 2nd base and hit .682 and turned out to be a helluva extra player.”

 

Ernie Mobley also had a big day for Worx, said Harrison.

 

“He was solid in left field and finished strong after a slow start.  He’s a tremendous team player and he’s with us no matter what.”

 

Other hitting leaders for Worx included Seth Dunn at .652, Devin Hollerin at .583, and Hector Urbanesa at .556.

 

Worx/D & D Grocery used a nine-run 3rd and an eight-run 4th to pull away from Diamond Foolz in a 25-13, five-inning rout in the first round of pool play.  Heath Barnes and Gillie Melton both homered twice and shared a dozen hits with Dave Munroe.

 

Next Worx used a pair of big defense plays to fend off Cincinnati Dynasty 16-12.  In the 4th, Dynasty had the bases loaded with no outs when middle-infielder Jason Hatley fielded a grounder, tagged the runner going to 3rd for one out, touched 2nd for the second out, then threw to 1st to complete the triple play.  An inning later Heath Barnes made a diving catch in center with two outs while Worx was nursing a three-run lead.

 

Gillie Melton clubbed three more home runs, and went 4-for-5 along with Hatley.  Hatley also contributed a homer.

 

Next the Kentucky club rocked Slayer/K & G/Kintner Athletics 29-12 in just four innings on the strength of an eight-run 1st, a nine-run 2nd and an eight-run 4th.  Gilley Melton collected his sixth home run of the day and was perfect in five trips to the plate.  Ben Gamble added four hits and Seth Dunn three, including a pair of doubles for both players.

 

Choo Choo Williams homered twice and pounded out five hits along with Heath Barnes as Worx mercy-ruled Diamond Foolz 29-10 in five in the first round of elimination play.  Gillie Melton chipped in with his seventh home run and a 2-for-4 effort.

 

That lifted D & D in the semi-finals, where they steamrolled Cincinnati Dynasty 21-7 in five.  Melton picked up another home run and combined with Jason Hatley for four hits, including three doubles.  Hector Urbanesa went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles.

 

Worx rolled past Slayer/K & G/Kintner 20-9 in a five inning finals with the help of two double plays and four hits each from Melton and Devin Hollerin.  Melton also socked two more home runs, and Hollerin had a home run and a triple.

 

Was Harrison surprised to mercy-rule five of his team’s six opponents?

 

“My philosophy going up there – and we’ve won it three straight years without losing a game – is that we don’t try to hit home runs the first two innings,” said Harrison.  “We want to score runs and have some home runs left over after the other teams go on and hit theirs.  We try to go into the last two or three innings with one or two home runs left.  We think that is big.

 

“Everybody thinks you have to take hitting up there, but I think defense in the middle of the field is the most important thing, and a pitcher who can play defense,” continued Harrison.  “We give up the lines and play the middle, and that is probably the difference.”

 

Harrison concluded by saluting his sponsor and coach, Norman Holt.

 

“He’s my right arm,” said Harrison.  “Anything we need for the guys he does.  He’s a great guy who’s always there for the team.  He means a lot to us.”

 

 

For final standings and tournament game scores, please paste the following url into your browser: http://www.usssa.com/sports/tournament3.asp?TournamentID=1132247

Worx/D & D Grocery swept undefeated past six opponents, including Slayer/K & G/Kintner Athletics 20-9 in the championship game, to capture their third consecutive championship in the Gold Division of the USSSA One-Pitch National Tournament on Saturday, September 27th at Expressway Park.  Front row, left to right, are Cobbie Harrison, Ernie Mobley, Norm Holt, Dave Munroe, Hector Urbanesa, Heath Barnes, and Gillie Melton.  In the back row are Jason Hatley, Seth Dunn, Devin Hollerin, Ben Gamble and Choo Choo Williams.  Photo by Mike McNutt.

Worx/D & D Grocery swept undefeated past six opponents, including Slayer/K & G/Kintner Athletics 20-9 in the championship game, to capture their third consecutive championship in the Gold Division of the USSSA One-Pitch National Tournament on Saturday, September 27th at Expressway Park. Front row, left to right, are Cobbie Harrison, Ernie Mobley, Norm Holt, Dave Munroe, Hector Urbanesa, Heath Barnes, and Gillie Melton. In the back row are Jason Hatley, Seth Dunn, Devin Hollerin, Ben Gamble and Choo Choo Williams. Photo by Mike McNutt.

 

Cincinnati Dynasty went 3-2 en route to a runner-up finish in the Gold Division of the USSSA One-Pitch National Tournament on Saturday, September 27th at Expressway Park.  Front row, left to right, are Cobbie Harrison, Ernie Mobley, Norm Holt, Dave Munroe, Hector Vumenesa, Heath Barnes, and Gillie Melton.  In the back row are Jason Hatley, Seth Dunn, Devin Hollerin, Ben Gamble and Choo Choo Williams.  Photo by Mike McNutt.

Cincinnati Dynasty went 3-2 en route to a runner-up finish in the Gold Division of the USSSA One-Pitch National Tournament on Saturday, September 27th at Expressway Park. Front row, left to right, are Cobbie Harrison, Ernie Mobley, Norm Holt, Dave Munroe, Hector Vumenesa, Heath Barnes, and Gillie Melton. In the back row are Jason Hatley, Seth Dunn, Devin Hollerin, Ben Gamble and Choo Choo Williams. Photo by Mike McNutt.