CLEARFIELD — They might be the Over-The-Hillbillies, but don’t characterize them as too long of tooth just yet.
The Bedford team certainly didn’t show any cracks in the Clearfield “Past-Your-Prime” Modified Fast-Pitch Softball Tournament dynasty that began in 2011 during its eighth appearance at Bucky Strunk Memorial Field Saturday and Sunday.
The Over-The-Hillbillies swept their way to their sixth championship in the 24th annual gathering of players 40 years of age and older, many still active but the majority coming out of retirement one more time. They also shared the title with Bob Boob’s Garage in 2016.
Two of Bedford’s four wins came at the expense of first-year entry St. Charles Café, including 9-3 in the finale that was only a three-run game until the Over-The-Hillbillies posted their third three-spot in the bottom of the sixth inning.
St. Charles Café, one of four Clearfield challengers in the seven-team field, had fallen 12-3 in the winner’s bracket finale of the double-elimination tourney after opening with victories over Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub 10-3 and Potter’s Bricklayers of Philipsburg 11-3.
The champions had advanced by defeating the Emporium Used-To-Be-Goods 12-2 and Siegel Engraving/Buster’s Sports Bar 7-0.
Kenny Fisher, the winning pitcher in every game, led the Over-The-Hillbillies with five consecutive singles against Emporium before blanking Siegel’s/Buster’s.
St. Charles Café proved to be a worthy opponent, holding a 3-0 lead before Bedford exploded for nine runs in the fourth inning of the first meeting, and taking a short-lived 1-0 edge in the finale via a sacrifice fly by Mike Norris after loading the bases with no outs.
Fisher worked out of a similar situation in the second inning on an infield pop-up, one of his four strikeouts and a groundout.
St. Charles was one clutch hit away from making it really interesting but wound up stranding 15 runners.
Run-scoring singles by Brett Cessna and Jim Harshbarger and a bases-loaded walk to Brian McConnell had the Over-The-Hillbillies ahead 3-1 after one inning.
They expanded the margin to 6-1 in the third frame with RBIs recorded by Harshbarger, Corey Wertz and Devon Hosselrode.
St. Charles closed the gap on RBI hits by losing hurler Todd Fedder in the fourth and Richie Lopez in the fifth but left the sacks jammed in that inning and again in the sixth.
Then, three errors with two outs gave Bedford three runs in the lower sixth before Fisher closed out the win with his only 1-2-3 inning.
Harshbarger, McConnell and Greg Wysong had two hits apiece for the champs.
Fedder led St. Charles Café with three singles, while Norris and Todd Hainsey each had two hits.
The runners-up finished 3-2, their other win 8-2 over The Meatheads in the elimination bracket final.
Proceeds generated from concession stand sales and other fund-raisers were earmarked for the Toys for Tots program sponsored by the Clearfield-based Sgt. William L. Dixon Detachment of the U.S. Marine Corps League.
ST. CHARLES CAFÉ — 3
Todd Hainsey ss 4120, Todd Fedder p 4031, Brian Price cf 3000, Dave Master 1b 4010, Mike Norris 2b 2021, Mark McGill c 4110, Tim Guenot rf 4110, Richie Lopez eh 2011, Izzy Bennett 3b 2110, Bill Lindstrom lf 3000. TOTALS: 32 3 12 3.
BEDFORD OVER-THE-HILLBILLIES — 9
Greg Wysong cf 4220, Kenny Fisher p 4210, Matt Wysong ss 4100, Brett Cessna lf 3211, Jim Harshbarger 1b 4122, Corey Wertz c 2011, Donnie Ellis 3b 2010, Brian McConnell rf 2101, Devon Hosselrode 2b 3021, Lee Roy eh 3000. TOTALS: 31 9 100 6.
Score by Innings
St. Charles Café 100 110 0 – 3 12 5
Bedford Over-The-Hillbillies 303 003 x – 9 10 1
DP – St. Charles Café 1 (Norris and Master). LOB – St. Charles Café 15; Bedford Over-The-Hillbillies 8. 2B – Harshbarger. SF – Norris. SB – Lindstrom.
St. Charles Café – Fedder 6 IP, 10 H, 9 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 0 K.
Bedford Over-The-Hillbillies – Fisher 7 IP, 12 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 4 K.
HB – Fisher 1 (Bennett).
W – Fisher. L – Fedder.
* * * * * * * * * *
St. Charles Café 10, Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub 3
Siegel Engraving/Buster’s Sports Bar 8, The Meatheads 7
Bedford Over-The-Hillbillies 12, Emporium Used-To-Be-Goods 2
Winner’s Bracket Semifinals
St. Charles Café 11, Potter’s Bricklayers 3
Bedford Over-The-Hillbillies 7, Siegel Engraving/Buster’s Sports Bar 0
Elimination Bracket Preliminary Round
The Meatheads 8, Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub 7
Potter’s Bricklayers beat Emporium Used-To-Be-Goods
Elimination Bracket First Round
Siegel Engraving/Buster’s Sports Bar 8, Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub 2
Winner’s Bracket Final
Bedford Over-The-Hillbillies 12, St. Charles Café 3
Elimination Bracket Quarterfinals
The Meatheads 8, Emporium Used-To-Be-Goods 5
Siegel Engraving/Buster’s Sports Bar 15, Potter’s Bricklayers 4
Elimination Bracket Semifinal
The Meatheads 8, Siegel Engraving/Buster’s Sports Bar 6
Elimination Bracket Final
St. Charles Café 8, The Meatheads 2
Bedford Over-The-Hillbillies 9, St. Charles Café 3