CLEARFIELD — A new name might be added to the \”Past Your Prime\” 40-and-Over Modified Fast-Pitch Softball Tournament championship trophy this year as Slabtown won three games and Legends Sports Bar & Grill rolled through a pair of victories to highlight rain-delayed action at Bucky Strunk Memorial Field and Lawrence Township Recreation Park Saturday.
Potter\’s Bricklayers of Philipsburg, the Meatheads, and Buster\’s Sports Bar of Clearfield have been the only teams to claim titles. All of them face the difficult task of battling back through the loser\’s bracket to reign in the 12th annual tourney.
Slabtown, a Philipsburg area team sponsored by Pro Mass Media of State College, escaped the tournament opener with an 8-7 squeaker over the Houtzdale Hunkies and then knocked off Bob Boob\’s Garage 6-3 and Potter\’s 5-2. Legends of Clearfield thumped W.W. Engine 21-10 in six innings and the Meatheads 10-1.
Workhorse lefthander Tim McCamley pitched all 21 innings for Slabtown on the day. Tom Harris\’s solo home run and Chuck Moore\’s two-run triple were the key blows as Slabtown built a 7-0 lead before hanging on against Houtzdale, which got three hits apiece from JoJo Soltis and Al Sinclair. Against Boob\’s, a Clearfield entry, Slabtown built a 7-1 cushion for McCamley before Roger Mays belted a two-run homer in the seventh. Good defensive play was a key for Slabtown\’s big win over Potter\’s.
Legends opened a 9-0 lead in the second against W.W. Engine, which battled back and trailed 12-10 before the winners exploded for nine runs in the sixth, three on Scott Dunlap\’s triple and two on Lucky Prestash\’s triple. Dunlap also had a solo home run, while Ken Erskine knocked in four runs with two hits, one a double. Todd Vanderburgh enjoyed a five-hit performance, while Dunlap finished with four hits. Randy Sones was the winning hurler, with Erskine relieving in the fifth. Don Guthridge had a two-run double for the losers. Prestash stopped the defending champion Meatheads on four hits in the winner\’s bracket semifinal. Erskine staked him to a three-run lead with a first-inning homer and Gary Rowles added a pair of RBI-doubles.
In the other first-round games, the Meatheads bounced Buster\’s 9-3 and Potter\’s topped the Emporium Usedtobegoods 8-4. Meatheads pitcher Mark Bodle settled down after allowing back-to-back home runs by Dave Reed and Bob \”Red\” Harper in the first inning. His mates responded with four runs in the second, three on Denny Nosker\’s homer. Tom Danver added a solo homer in the fourth. Jerry Watson\’s strong pitching led Potter\’s, which got a solo homer from Bill \”Duck\” Harris and a pair of RBIs from Kevin Hahn. Stan Dunsmore drove in two runs for Emporium.
Russ Krise, Larry Bickel, Joe Bower and Doug Saltsman cracked home runs to power Buster\’s past W.W. Engine 20-6 in the first elimination game, with John Larson notching the win. Buster\’s and Houtzdale were locked in a 2-2 tie in the sixth inning when unplayable conditions at both fields forced the games to be suspended.
Emporium clawed out of a 6-1 hole to oust Boob\’s Garage 11-7 in the other elimination contest.
Action resumes Sunday at 8 a.m. with Busters and Houtzdale finishing their game. The Meatheads and Emporium will be on deck, pushing back the original schedule by one game. Slabtown and Legends will tangle in the winner\’s bracket final at noon. The approximate time for the championship game is 4:30. If another game is necessary, it will follow immediately.