2014 State Singles Qualifying Rounds
The Stuarts Draft club members were hard at work for weeks prior to the Singles tournament, getting ready for the big weekend. Their efforts paid off as pitchers started arriving at the courts Friday night for some warm-up shoes, and commented on what good shape the courts & clay were in.
Sixty two pitchers vied off during the two days trying to win a State Title for their pitching division. The flights ran with the short-distance and full-distance A’s & B’s first thing Saturday morning, followed by the short and full distance C’s & D’s in the afternoon flight, and the rest of the classes in the evening flight. This line-up worked well, because the Juniors pitched their qualifying games in the morning, and played their Championship rounds late afternoon/evening.
30’ A was won hands-down by Glenn Barlow with a 5-0 record, 63% overall. Glen’s game has really improved lately, and he was really pleased that he had a ‘good day’ pitching. George Maitland finished in 2nd place after tying a game 30-30 with Carrie Flowers, and earning his only loss of the day against Glenn.
Gail Walker won the 30’ B Class, also with no losses. Finishing 45% and 6-0. She had her work cut out for her though. April Campbell and Andrew Dudley (JrBoy) gave her stiff competition. In the game against April, it was neck ‘n neck. Gail squeaked in a couple of extra points, but April was catching back up when they ran out of shoes. In the game with Andrew, Andrew had a commanding lead right up to shoe 28, where the score was 27-15 his favor. Then he got “stuck” on 27 for the next five innings. Gail kept comin’ on squeaking out the win at shoe 40 with 29-28. Both pitchers ended the game with 17 ringers... what a really close match!
Rosa Owens won 30’ C, but not without some effort. She had to work at it to get all wins. In her two tightest matches, she had run out of steam and her opponents were right on her heals.... then the shoe count (40 shoe games) ran out.
The 30’ D Class, had our eldest pitcher – Don Parkes taking 1st place with 5-0, and 21.5%. His final stat wasn’t the highest finish in the class, but his WINS won the day.
The 40’ A class was won by Ronald Walker (5-0), his worst game of the day was his very first, with a 52.5%. He came back with a vengeance into his second game, tromping Gerry Colyer with a 70% winning that game 55-7. Poor Jerry couldn’t catch a break from the moment he stepped up to throw his first shoe.
Wayne Perkins won the’ B class with 5-0, and 51% overall for the day. He pitched 6.58 over his entering stat, winning the special Gift Certificate from the VaHPA for the highest-over-average during the qualifying classes. Congrats Wayne, good pitching!
Nathan Davis was really pleased with his 1st place win in 40’ C Class. “I haven’t won a class in a long time, had a good day pitching. I’ll say good day. He ended with40.5%, a full 5.5 over his entering stat. Randy Rickard came in 2nd, his only loss of the day was by Nathan in the very first game. His next games were really tight against Ted Pilcher 32-27, Bobby Evans 27-25 and David Cowan 25-22. Good competition everyone!
The 40’ D Class entering stats were really tight , with only a 3 point spread top-to-bottom. Dean Campbell ended up in 2nd, but gave everyone a run for the money. Three of his game scores were 22-22, 24-21,29-30. Tight games, and Joseph Rogers took the 1st place finish with 3-1, 35.63% overall for the day.
A playoff was forced in the 40’E class (3 way) between Michael Otten, Gary Martin and Scott Fencil. Gary&Scott had just played against each other in their final game of regular round robbing. In the playoffs, they faced each other again. “Re-match” was on their minds. Scott won that game, then he faced Michael. Michael started strong and ran with it, finishing the game 40-14, with his best game of the day – 32.5% . Great pitching guys!
Sherwood Brown hasn’t had a lot of play-time on the courts this year. He must have been resting up, because he took the 40’ F class by storm, winning 4-0. He never let his opponents score more than 16 points per game. He was really pleased – holding his 1st place patch, said “I haven’t won one of these in a long, long time!”
Another playoff was held in 40’ G, between Charles Payne and Cyril Coleman. Their class played through the round-robin twice. In their first face-off, Cyril beat Charles 16-41. In the second round, Charles beat Cyril 33-23. They tied for wins/losses, and had to face each other again for the play off game. This game was really tight. Charles took the lead early, but nearing the end of the game, when he got “stuck” at 22 points for 5 innings, Cyril kept pounding the pin. When they reached the 40 shoe mark, the score stood Charles 24, Cyril 21. Charles took the 1st place spot in the class.
This was the final game of the entire day, and the fellas had a full line-up of spectators along the fence and in chairs on the courts. As they shook hands, they got a round of applause. The tuckered club members could finally close up the remaining few courts.
We sincerely thank Kevin Snelgrove for jumping in and providing food for all the pitchers and personnel all weekend. A last minute cancellation of the pre-arranged food vendor forced us to go to “Plan B”, and Kevin reigned supreme in the kitchen !!
As we headed home that evening, we were already full-steam ahead to be back on the courts Sunday for the Championship rounds.