BARBERTON, OHIO – THEE 2014 SPA BUCKEYE CLASSIC, although down from the 2013 total of 82 teams, still made sweet music with 76 teams attending the Nation's Largest AA and AAA only senior softball tournament.
“We were down a little from last year,” CO-TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR RED BOLE said, “We had a few last minute drops but actually it worked to our advantage allowing us to complete each day earlier and not running into city league games.”
In the last five years since joining SPA, THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC has drawn 362 teams. In the previous eleven years as a SSUSA tournament it drew a total of 330 teams.
“Going with SPA was the best thing for us,” BOLE said, “All you have to do is look at the difference in attendance to see that.”
With teams from SIXTEEN STATES plus ONTARIO PROVINCE, THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC crowned champions in SIXTEEN ROUND ROBIN FORMAT BRACKET play..
The tournament got underway JUNE 2 with the 80's DIVISION playing at WADSWORTH'S MEMORIAL PARK and the FIFTEEN three division 75 BRACKETS participating at the BARBERTON SPORTS COMPLEX.
PROHEALTH (WIS) easily took the 80's DIVISION TITLE going 4-0 against HAMEL'S 80's (MD)(2-2) and AKRON,OHIO 80's (0-2).
PROHEALTH 75's duplicated their “elder bothers” winning the 75's SCARLET DIVISION. The WISCONSIN team and the ANTIQUES OF KC both finished with identical 5-1 marks but won on the head-to-head tie-breaker. Others in the SCARLET group were INDY CROWNS (3-2), CHICAGO GEEZERS (3-2), PEACHTREE (PA) RESTAURANT (2-5), MICHIGAN LAKERS (1-4) and BACK OFFICE (MA)(0-5).
The 75's GREY BRACKET also went to a tie-breaker, a 3-way tie-breaker. When the dust cleared the JERSEY JAGS (5-1,2-1) stood on top of the heap followed by NEW YORK STATESMEN (5-1,2-1), AKRON 75'S (5-1,2-1) and PFEIFFER'S AUTO (3-3,0-3).
Not wanting to break tradition, the 75's GOLD BRACKET also went to a tie-breaker as NAMI (NJ) CONSTRUCTION (2-3,2-1) edged out both runner-up LOUISVILLE (2-4, 2-1) and INDIANA SILVER FOXES (2-4,2-1). MICHIGAN MILLERS (0-6,0-3) rounded out the bracket.
The GOLD 70'S BRACKET saw MICHIANA MERCHANTS run the table (4-0,4-0) to take the title. COSSA (OHIO) was close behind at (4-1,3-1) followed by PITTSBURGH GOLD (3-3,2-2), JOB CENTRAL (IND)(2-3,1-3) and NEW JERSEY MASTERS (1-4,0-4).
BRANTFORD NISSAN (4-2,4-0) went home to CANADA with the suitcases a little heavier after winning team and individual awards in winning the 70's GREY DIVISION with an impressive (4-2,4-0) record.
Second place went to AKRON BRENNAN'S (4-1,3-1) followed by DORCHESTER CANADIANS (2-3,2-2), HAMELS (MD) 70'S (1-4,1-3) and BROOKHOUSE (NY) RESTAURANT (0-5,0-4).
FRICKERS SPORTS BAR/SYLVANIA,OHIO took the 70's SCARLET BRACKET with a (5-1) mark but the runner-up spot went to INDIANA CLASSICS (4-2) on the head-to-head tie-breaker with the MISSISSAUGA (ONT,CAN) LEGENDS (4-2). COLUMBUS SILVER STICKS (3-3), OLDE D'S (2-4) and GREEN DIAMOND GRILLE (0-6) made up the rest of the bracket.
INDIANA'S US DOT JOBS went undefeated at (6-0) to claim the 65's SCARLET BRACKET. SPICER PROPERTIES (MD)(4-2) nosed out NEW JERSEY MASTERS (4-2) on a head-to-head tie-breaker for the runner-up spot.
BRANTFORD NISSAN (3-3), MICHIGAN LAKERS (2-4), ROCHESTER CLASSICS (1-5) and NEO SENIORS (1-5) filled out the rest of the field.
The GREY BRACKET top prize went to undefeated MAGIC CITY SPORTS CARDS (OH) (6-0) while SYLVANIA (OH) 65's took home the AA trophy at 4-2. STAHL POST #30 (DE)(4-2), MISSISSAUGA (ONT,CA) LEGENDS (2-4), DAYTON (OH) LEGENDS 65'S (1-4) and ROCHESTER (NY) ROYALS (0-5) rounded out the bracket.
The 60's SCARLET BRACKET title was claimed by the SYRACUSE MERCHANTS (6-0,3-0) with the OHIO SILVERADO'S taking runner-up honors at (4-2,2-1), Also in the four-team bracket were GOLDEN VIPERS (MICH)(2-4,1-2) and the WINDSOR (ONTARIO,CAN) CHIEFS (1-5,0-3).
The MINUTEMEN/PEPCO/SFS (OHIO)(6-0,3-0) beat the BRICKYARD (IND) CLASSICS)(3-3,2-1) in the deciding game to win the 60's GREY BRACKET. PRONIO SPORTS (OHIO)(3-3,2-1) and CAVCO (ONTARIO,CAN) (0-6,0-3) finished behind the leaders.
FRANCHELLI ENTERPRISE/ROADHOUSE BLUES (PA)(6-0) edged UNIVERSAL MECHANICAL (OHIO)(5-1) to finish on top in the 60's DIVISION SILVER BRACKET while the UNIVERSAL team took second place.
Others in the bracket were THE BOMB SQUAD (MICH)(4-2), BRANTFORD (ONTARIO,CAN) NISSAN (2-3), RIVERSIDE/LONGSHOTS (MD(2-4), 60AA CHAMPS MISSISSAUGA LEGENDS (1-4) and DAYTON LEGENDS DIAMOND DOGS (0-6).
In the rain shortened 55 BRACKET ALLSHRED SERVICES (OHIO) (3-0) won the tie-breaker over BANKER AND MANN SOFTBALL CLUB (IND)(3-0) to win the title.
Rounding out the group were WINDSOR (ONTARIO,CAN) CHIEFS (1-2), GOLDEN VIPERS (MICH)(1-2), BSN/DECLAIRE/PMB (OH)(1-2) and RIVER ROOM POKER CLUB (OH)(0-3).
Michigan's PDC 50's (3-0) won the 50's SCARLET bracket followed by BUCKEYE CLASSICS (OH)(2-2), CAPP STEEL (OH)(1-2) and DURHAM (ONTARIO,CAN) SILVER STICKS (1-3).
FLYTIME flew down from MICHIGAN to go (4-0,1-0) and win the 50's GREY BRACKET. Finishing behind in second place was WINDSOR (ONTARIO,CAN) FOG DEVILS (1-3,1-1) followed by BOMANIA SPORTS RESEARCH (OH)(2-2,1-0) and COMPUTER TIME (OH) (1-3,0-1).
Prior to the start of the tournament THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC joined with SPA in awarding a $1,000 college scholarship to BARBERTON HIGH SCHOOL graduating senior, TYLER OWEN.
All scores from THEE 2014 SPA BUCKEYE CLASSIC may be found at the tournament's web page http://theebuckeyeclassic.com/