Players/Mizuno Win ISA Class D
Champions Win Seven Straight Games
Out Of The Loser's Bracket
Photo By Jerry Jackson
URBANA: Players/Mizuno from Canton came roaring
back through the loser's bracket after dropping their second round
game in the 2005 ISA Men's Class D State Tournament to run off seven
straight wins to win the state tile. The champions earned a berth
to play at the 2005 ISA Men's Class D World Tournament in Lexington,
South Carolina on August 26th through 28th. Robinson Plumbing (5-2)
from Pekin took home second place, Wise Guys (4-2) from Peoria finished
in third place, and City Vendors/Bombers (4-2) from Mackinaw was
fourth. Tying for fifth place were Lakota Tribe (3-2) from Urbana
and Aero Softball (2-2) from Sandwich with Kelly Glass (2-2) from
Peoria and Roundin' Third (2-2) from Chicago tying for seventh place
at this tournament.
The Players/Mizuno ball club was led to their state title by the
play of Eric Abernathy who was named as the MVP of this tournament.
Five other Players/Mizuno players were also named to the 2005 ISA
Men's Class D All-State Tournament team plus manager Matt Pemble
was named as the manager of the 'all-state' tournament team. The
other Players/Mizuno named to the All-State Tournament team were;
Chris Dwitt, Tracy Pratt, Brett Caukins, Dax Heddan and Corey Trone.
Tournament director Jerry Jackson said, "All of Sundays games
were played in the rain. The conditions were not the best but the
teams handled it well and we were able to finish the tournament."
Players/Mizuno opened tournament play with a pig tail game against
the Springfield Bar Boys winning 7-0 after the Springfield team
failed to show up for their game. Next up was a contest with Big
Ox Softball from Chillicothe and Players/Mizuno posted a 13-10 win
onto the bracket board to advance into the second round of this
Players/Mizuno stubbed their toe against the Wise Guys in the second
round losing to them 14-10 to drop the Canton ball club into the
loser's bracket where they needed a long winning streak to get to
the finals. The Wise Guys had defeated D's Nuts from Riverton 15-3
in a pig tail game before stopping Balls Deep P.A.L. from Bloomington
21-15 in the first round of play to advance into this game with
Players/Mizuno set their aim high and went to work as they disposed
of Team Complete from La Salle first in a very high scoring game
winning 28-17 to move forward in the bracket.
On Sunday morning it was Players/Mizuno and Roundin' Third tangling
with each other as Players/Mizuno posted another win onto the bracket
board sending Roundin' Third to the parking lot to pack their cars
for the trip back home after beating them 10-0.
Playing every hour on the hour Players/Mizuno next took the field
with Aero Softball occupying the other dugout. Again the bats were
booming for Players/Mizuno as they plated twenty runs winning 20-11
over Aero Softball.
Now Players/Mizuno and City Vendors/Bombers went toe to toe with
Players/Mizuno coming out on top by the final score of 19-15 as
the bats remained hot for the canton based ball club.
Now only the Wise guys, the team that had handed Players/Mizuno
a loss on Saturday stood between them and the chance to play for
the state title. Players/Mizuno took advantage of this by getting
some revenge over the Wise Guys sending them home with third place
after beating them 12-5 to earn the right to play unbeaten Robinson
Plumbing for the 2005 ISA Men's Class D State title.
Players/Mizuno came out and made a clear statement to all those
who were present by pounding out an impressive 30-15 win over Robinson
Plumbing to force the need to have the 'if necessary game' played
to decide between these two team who would wear the crown of the
2005 Illinois I.S.A. State championship.
The deciding game was everything that anyone could ask for. Lots
of hits and lots of great defensive plays as these two teams went
at each other holding nothing back in reserve and when the last
play was finished the score board read 20-19 in favor Players/Mizuno
the new Illinois I.S.A. Men's Class D State champions.
Players/Mizuno did not provide Illinois softball Report with any
team information, stats, highlights, or quotes as to how they were
able to accomplish their success in winning this state tournament.
Robinson Plumbing made it to the title game by winning the winners
bracket before they were upended in the championship game. They
were led by the play of Kyndal Zander who was named as the 'Golden
Glove' defensive player of the tournament. Zander was joined on
the 'All-State Tournament team by his teammates Mark McMahon, Jason
Crawford, John Drowns, and Jim Fletcher.
Robinson Plumbing opened play with a 7-0 forfeit win over the Academy
from Champaign in a pigtail game to get into the bracket.
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