North West Combat Captures USSSA “B” World Title
By Fred Myers
Seattle, WA. - To win a USSSA “B” World title is an amazing feat in itself, but to go undefeated (5-0) is simply spectacular. That’s what Northwest Combat from Seattle, WA. accomplished at this years 2009 USSSA B Men’s World Championships.
“We came into the tournament at full strength and we were playing very well at the time,” Said Northwest Combat Manager George Phillips. “Because we have a talented group of players and the fact that we were all swinging Combat bats we were very confident that if we got on a row we could bring home the “B” World title.”
The boys from Seattle started their journey to capturing the “B” world title off with an impressive 22-7 victory over Detroit’s Own/Tire Shop.
Combat veteran Shane McCullough set the pace for his teammates as he blasted two home runs deep to centerfield to spark his team to victory.
Game two would be a critical game as Combat faced one of their toughest opponents of the tournament as they were challenged to match hit after hit and run for run against Fence Brokers from Conway, AR.
Combats defensive MVP third baseman Jeff Gare and their all tournament short stop Jon Oram teamed up for two rally killing double plays to pace their team to a 7-5 victory.
Against PRI from Cincinnati, OH. Combats catcher Seth Stephens was perfect at the plate as he led his offense with a 5-for-5 performance and 5 RBI and one home run to lead his team to a 22-7 victory.
In the winners bracket finals against Blitz Watanabe of Cincinnati, OH. Combats Tournament MVP pitcher Derek Warren led the way for the Seattle based team. “Without hesitation this victory belonged to Derek he single handedly held their team to just one run for the entire game,” said Phillips. “He did a remarkable job on the mound and he kept their hitters off stride all game long and our entire defense played flawless ball.”
On the offensive side of the ball Combat’s last three hitters in their line-up Josh Fulton, Ryan Goodman and Brian Plenkovich combined for a perfect 9-for-9 at the plate.
In the championship game the two “B” powerhouse teams matched up again. At stake for Blitz Watanabe was a chance to redeem themselves from their one sided defeat and for North West Combat, the entire USSSA “B” world title was within their grasp.
Combat would not be denied of their destiny as they used their golden bats to explode for six runs in the top of the first inning and they continued to light up the scoreboard with six more runs in the second and six additional runs in the third inning. Just to seal the deal Combat scored four more runs in the top of the fourth. Blitz spread out six runs over four innings before yielding a 22-6 victory to North West Combat.
“Our players had worked very hard this season,” said Phillips. “Each player on the team truly contributed to winning this World title. I can’t say enough great things about this group of guys.”