By Rob Potter
CALLICOON June 25, 2002 The Delaware Youth Center Softball Tournament made quite a return this past weekend.
After a five-year hiatus, the tournament returned and gave six local softball teams a chance to showcase their talents.
In Sunday evenings championship game, the team sponsored by Rods Taxidermy of Callicoon defeated the Callicoon Saloon-sponsored squad by a 9-5 margin to claim the first place trophy.
Rods wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard. In the first inning Dave Fleming hit a bases-loaded single to give Rods a 2-0 lead. One batter later, Jake Hopkins made it a 3-0 game when Jeff Meyer scored on Hopkins groundout.
After Callicoon Saloons Mike Weir hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first to make it a 3-1 contest, Rods answered with five runs in the top of the second.
Fleming had a sacrifice fly, Michah Wilcox ripped a 2-RBI single and Hopkins added an RBI single as Rods boosted its lead to 8-1.
An RBI single by Chris Teeple in the third made it a 9-1 game.
Callicoon Saloon put together a rally in the fifth inning, however. After scoring a run in the bottom of the third to close the gap to 9-2, the Saloon scored two runs in the fifth. Brian Kitson scored on an error and Mike Larsen came home on a groundout to make it a 9-4 game.
In the bottom of the seventh, Callicoon Saloon attempted to rally for the win. Larsen stroked an RBI single that brought home Kitson, which made the score 9-5. Glenn Rosenberger and Matt Kitson then followed with singles to load the bases with just one out.
But Rods pitcher Jimmy Davis got the next batter, Chris Reichmann, to pop out. Weir then hit a line drive smash to center field, but Josh Smith made a splendid diving catch to end the game.
To reach the championship game, Rods had to come from the losers bracket and defeat Callicoon Saloon twice. (A 11-10 loss to the Saloon earlier in the afternoon put Rods in the losers bracket.)
After defeating Dicks Auto Sales of Jeffersonville 10-0 to eliminate Dicks from the tourney, Rods got off to a quick start in the first possible championship game and defeated the Saloon, 7-4.
(Since Callicoon Saloon won its first four games of the tournament, Rods had to defeat the Saloon twice to win the championship.)
In the first inning, a sacrifice fly by Jeff Meyer and a Saloon error gave Rods a 2-0 lead. Rods added two more runs in the second, as Boomer Meyer ripped an RBI single and Mike Cole hit a sacrifice fly.
Then in the third inning, Fleming and Hopkins had back-to-back RBI singles to give Rods a 6-0 lead.
Down 7-1 entering the seventh inning, the Saloon rallied for three runs. Rosenberger recorded an RBI single and Buddenhagen then hit a 2-RBI single to make it a 7-4 game.
But that was as close as the Saloon would get.
This was a long time coming, said Rod Smith, proprietor of Rods Taxidermy. These guys played a heck of a tournament.
In Saturdays action, Callicoon Saloon beat Rons Ringers, 13-4; Rods Taxidermy defeated Tompkins Bluestone, 16-12; Rods shutout Sidetracks, 10-0; and Callicoon Saloon knocked off Dicks Auto Sales 12-1.
In the early Sunday games, Tompkins eliminated Rons and Dicks eliminated Sidetracks. Dicks then ousted Tompkins from the event with a 4-2 win.
The tournament raised $1,200 for the youth center.
We want to thank all of the participating teams Rods Taxidermy, Callicoon Saloon, Dicks Auto Sales, Sidetracks, Rons Ringers and Tompkins Bluestone the people who attended the games and everyone who patronized the concession stand, said Kristine Hankins, who is vice president of the Delaware Youth Center. We would also like to thank umpires Ben Chesnick, Claude Davis and Dan Hendrickson, scorekeeper Gail Peake and announcer Harry Fisher.