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Players Only Win USSSA D/E In Byron

Fourteen Teams Partake At Byron Sports Complex On 5/29 & 30

Champions Players Only From Rockford

BYRON: Players Only (4-1) from Rockford won the 'if necessary game' over J-Bears Place (5-2) from Rockford by a final score of 13-4 to win the fourteen team, Byron USSSA Men's Class D National Qualifying Tournament held at the Byron Sports Complex on May 29th & 30th. Straightline Mowing (3-2) finished in third place with Byron Bank/Cave Inn/Costa's/6-4-3 (3-2) taking home fourth place and both the Peckers (2-2) AND Zero's TAP (2-2) tying for fifth place at this tournament.
The champions to be opened play with a first round bye before taking on and defeating Fatty's Pub 15-4 in the second round of tournament action. Fatty's Pub had advance to the second round by stopping Top Gun 19-6 in the first round of tournament play.
In their semifinal game of the winner's bracket it was Player's Only defeating Byron Bank/Cave Inn/Costa's/6-4-3 in a close game 7-4. Byron Bank/Cave Inn/Costa's/6-4-3 made it to the semifinal of the winner's bracket by defeating SMC Roofing 17-3 in the first round of play and than beating Advantage Consultants 11-10 in the second round of action.
In the game between the tournaments last two remaining unbeaten team it was Players Only edging J-Bears Place 9-8 to become the lone remaining unbeaten team and with this win assured themselves a spot in the tournament championship game against whichever opponent that would emerge from the loser's bracket to challenge them in the finals.
A rematch with J-Bears Place was in store for Players Only in the championship game. Players Only needed to win only one of two games while J-Bears had to sweep two straight games over Players Only to become the champions.
J-Bears Place let their intentions of coming back in the loser's bracket to win this tournament be know when they stopped Players Only 14-8 in the first game to force the need of playing that extra game to determine which of these two team would be the tournaments champion.
That extra game was all Players Only as they won convincingly 13-4 over J-Bears Place to claim the title and the top prize that goes with winning this tournament.
Players Only did not provide Illinois Softball Report with any team information, stats, highlights or quotes on how they were able to achieve winning this tournament.
J-Bears Place opened play on Saturday in a big way with a twelve runs in the top of the first inning as they jumped all over Maplehurst/AHH from Byron winning 21-9 in five inning. The top hitters for J-Bears Place in this win were Mark Evans 4-4 with 6 RBI, Brad Bach 3-4 with 3 RBI, Josh Houghton 3-4 with 3 RBI and Mike Jacobs 2-3 with 3 RBI.
Game number two was win number two as J-Bears Place stopped Zero's tap from Dixon 21-7 in five innings to continue their advancement in this tournament. J-Bears Place score five runs in the top of the first inning before adding five more runs onto the scoreboard in the top of the second inning to put the game out of reach early. J-Bears Place was led at the plate during this win by the hitting of Alan Yeager 2-2 with 2 RBI, Bach 3-4 with 6 RBI, and Houghton 4-4 with 2 RBI. Zero's Tap had received a first round bye in order to make it to this second round contest with J-Bears Place.
Saturday's third game for the J-Bears Place ball club squared off with Straightline Mowing and came away with a 17-15 win to move them into the tournament's undefeated game. J-Bears Place were led at the plate during this win by the hitting of Evans 3-4 with 2 RBI, Yeager 3-4, Bach 3-4 with 3 RBI, and Jeff Lake 1-2 with 3 RBI. Straightline Mowing made it to this semifinal of this tournament by opening with a 7-0 forfeit win over B.A.C. Greyhounds who failed to field a team at game time Straightline Mowing than defeated Haas Towing 17-9 in the second round of play.
On Sunday morning J-Bears Place squared off with Players Only and came out on the short end of a 9-8 score as Players Only hit a two run walk off home run to win the game in the bottom of the seventh inning to drop them into the loser's bracket finals. J-Bears Place were led at the plate during this loss by the hitting of Jeff Hurm 3-4, Houghton 3-4, Chris Shafer 2-3 and Evans with 3 RBI.
J-Bears Place now need to defeat Straightline Mowing for a second time to earn another shot at Players Only and that is exactly what they did stopping Straightline Mowing 10-8 to earn that second chance at Players Only. J-Bears Place top hitters in this win were Bach 3-4, Jacobs 3-4, Todd Bruder 2-3 and Evans 2-3.
In the first championship game J-Bears Place used a six run top of the eight inning to win over Players Only by a final score of 14-8 which forced the need to play the 'if necessary game' in order to determine which of these two teams would be the champion. J-Bears Place top hitter during this win were Yeager 4-4, Houghton 4-5 with 3 RBI, Bruder 3-4 and Jeff Lake with 4 RBI.
That extra game was not kind to the J-Bears Place ball club as they lost to Players Only 11-4 in spite of the hitting by Hurm 2-3, Jacobs 2-3, Mike Gifford 2-3 and Evans 2-3.
The J-Bears Place received a paid berth to play at the 2005 USSSA Men's National Tournament plus a paid berth to the 2005 Illinois USSSA State Tournament.

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