Virginia State Doubles
June 21, 2014
By Pat Snelgrove
Weather predictions were for possible storms all day, so the light drizzle that started at 8am had everyone a little worried. However, by 9am, that ended, and sign-ups began in earnest. With 26 teams signed up, it looked like we were set for a good day of pitching, provided the rain held off.
In E Class, partners in the top seeded team of Gary Martin & Mickey Gillespie kidded each other all day about who-was-carrying-who. However, the truth was tallied at the end of the games, and both pitchers had thrown an even 22% for the day! In their third game, they were dealt a loss by the team of Jack Abrams & Larry Huff, their only loss of the day. Meanwhile, the team of Abrams&Huff were a little cold starting, and lost their 1st game to partners Donnie Carver & Michael Toye. At the end of the schedule round robin games, Martin&Gillespie faced a playoff against Abrams&Huff. Gillespie&Martin took the lead from the beginning. By shoe 20, they were ahead 31-20. But Abrams&Huff mustered, and closed the gap, so that at the end of 30 shoes (shoe limit game), the score stood 38-35 Martin&Gillespie. Good pitching all!
D Class also ended in a playoff game. Partners Michael Baden & Wanda Harris faced off against Debbie Barbour & Victor Riggleman. During round robin games, Barbour & Riggleman were dealt a loss by Baden&Harris in the 3rd round. Later on, Baden&Harris were dealt their only loss of the day by John Ham & Jeremi Skillman in a really tight game that ended with a 44-41 score on their very last game. This forced the playoff with both teams having 3-1 records up to that point. The playoff game was really tight, with the lead going back-and-forth. By shoe 10, score stood 12-13. Then by shoe 16, tied 20-20. The Baden&Harris each scored twice with un-covered six packs, took the lead and never looked back. They won the playoff and class title with a final score of 50-35. Congrats everyone. Good game!
Partners Yogi Guyer & Randy Rickard (5th seed to begin the day), took first place in C Class, with a 4-1 record. Their only loss was by Ray Barb & Sam Kuske in the 3rd round – with the score tied 22-22 at shoe 18, Guyer&Rickard “got stuck” for the next 4 innings, while Barb&Kuske kept piling up the points. There were so many close games all day long, but the closest was between partners Regina Thomas & Clinton Parker vs. John Cummings & Chuck Duymich. With the lead yawing back-and-forth, the game ended 40-39, favor of Cummings&Duymich.
Junior boy, Andrew Dudley, and his partner Chuck Hansen took B Class by storm. They won all their games, ending the day 5-0. Andrew threw a very impressive 47.5%overall. He has been practicing this summer, facing competition from his brothers Johnathan Payne and Tyler Payne. Payne&Payne teamed up for the event, and as it happened were also in B Class.
And vying for the 2014 title and coveted patch of “State Doubles Champion”, four teams played through their round robin twice. Since the 2013 defending championship team (Charles Walker & Ronald Walker) was not available, the class line-up was by percentage. Top seed was a “new” team to the state doubles, with partners Glenn Barlow & George Maitland. Second seed was team Amy Hall & Ricky Hall, who hold Virginia’s record for winning the State Doubles 14 times already.
During the first round of play, Hall&Hall won their first two games, but lost to Barlow&Maitland. In the meantime, Barlow&Maitland had won all three of their games. In the second round of games, Barlow&Maitland won their first two games, but lost to Hall&Hall. In the meantime, Hall&Hall had won all of three of their games.
The two teams had to face each other ONE MORE TIME to playoff for the Championship Title!! Hall&Hall hit the scoreboard with a bang! By shoe18, the score stood 31-10 their favor. It wasn’t for a lack of trying – Barlow&Maitland were coverering as many of those double ringers as they could. And then the inexplicable happened. Hall&Hall lost steam, while Barlow&Maitland never let up. By shoe 26, they had closed the gap to 37-32! By shoe 28, it was 38-35...Then the last inning...it was anyone’s game. ... Amy threw down, got 1 ringer. Barlow threw down, missed the pin completely. Score was then 42-35. Ricky threw back, missed the pin...Maitland threw back, got 1 ringer. The game ended after 30 shoes with a score of 42-38 in favor of the Halls. Great pitching everyone!!
Amy & Ricky Hall are the 2014 Virginia State Doubles Champions
As it turned out, the weather made it a great day for pitching horseshoes. The rain held off until about ½ hour after the courts were closed up, awards handed out and everyone heading home. The VaHPA extends it’s sincere thanks to the Winchester Horseshoe Club for hosting.