It wasn’t done the easy way though. Bedford was beaten in the first round then ran off five consecutive wins to claim the title.
Due to forecasted bad weather on Sunday, the tourney was shortened to one day by using a 1-ball, 1-strike count to begin each at bat. All other rules of play remained the same.
So not only was Bedford the first team to take the field in the seven team double-elimination format at 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning, they were the last team on the field as well when the tourney ended at 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning. It was Bedford’s first Past Your Prime title after several runners-up finishes.
The first game of the tournament saw the Siegel Engraving/Buster’s Sports Bar team come out of the gates strong against last year’s tournament runner-up Bedford. Siegel/Buster’s jumped out to a 7-0 lead after two innings and held on for a 9-4 win behind the pitching and hitting of Jim Miller. Miller earned the complete game win, coming one out away from a shutout before Bedford plated four unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Miller also had three singles while Donnie Shimmel and Tom Hibbert homered and Brent Thomas had three hits.
Other first round highlights saw the defending champion Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub team pull off a comeback against the Meatheads. Down 3-1 and held to only one hit, a solo blast by Rich Terry, by Meathead stalwart pitcher Mark Bodle, Denny’s plated five runs in the sixth inning to win 6-3.
Winner’s bracket semifinal action saw Siegel Engraving/Buster’s best Potter’s Bricklayers 13-1 and the Emporium “Used-to-be-Goods” upset Denny’s 10-3. Siegel/Buster’s was led by Bob Gearhart, who fashioned a two-hitter, and Donnie Shimmel who legged out four long singles.
Siegel’s/Buster’s had an easy time against Emporium in the winner’s bracket final winning 16-4.
Perhaps the best games of the tourney occurred in the loser’s bracket second round where Bedford upended Denny’s 10-7 in a rematch of last years’ championship game. Denny’s had the game in hand, but Bedford took advantage of a late misplayed ball that eventually led to the come-from-behind win. The other loser’s bracket semi saw Potter’s eliminate the Meatheads 10-9 with a late comeback of their own.
Bedford then “10-runned” Potter’s and Emporium to set up their rematch with Siegel Engraving/Buster’s.
The Hillbillies jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning, then broke the game open with a 4-run salvo in the fifth inning to earn the win 10-2 and set up a winner-take-all final game.
There, Bedford completed their unlikely run to the title when they broke open a 2-0 game with three runs in the fifth inning that all but capped their 7-0 whitewashing of Siegel/Buster’s.
Final standings: 1. Bedford 2. Siegel Engraving/Buster’s 3. Emporium 4. Potter’s 5. Denny’s 6. Meatheads 7. Clearfield Electric
Past Your Prime Scoreboard
Siegel/Buster’s 9 Bedford 4. Emporium 17 Clearfield Electronics 1. Denny’s 6 Meatheads 3. Potter’s BYE.
Siegel/Buster’s 13 Potter’s 1. Emporium 10 Denny’s 3.
Consolation First Round:
Meatheads 16 Clearfield Electric 0.
Consolation Second Round:
Potter’s 10 Meatheads 9. Bedford 10 Denny’s 7.
Winner’s Bracket Final:
Siegel/Buster’s 16 Emporium 4.
Consolation Third Round:
Bedford 11 Potter’s 1.
Bedford 13 Emporium 2.
Bedford 10 Siegel/Buster’s 2.
Bedford 7 Siegel/Buster’s 0.