Rob Potter | Democrat
The members of the Davis Excavating softball team posted for a picture with their first place trophy after winning the September Classic '09 Softball Tournament on Sunday in Cochecton Center. Kneeling, from left to right, are Brett Hopkins, Chris Teeple, Jake Hopkins, Jimmy Davis, Fred Diehl and John Glassel. Standing, from left to right, are Todd Alexander, Jeff Sayers, Rich Henderson, Andy Dutton, Bob Glassel, Joel Turner, Ken Rizzi Sr. and Kenny Rizzi. Missing from photo is Brian Tierney.
Davis Excavating wins September Softball Classic
By Rob Potter
COCHECTON CENTER Davis Excavating of Tyler Hill, Pa. won the September Classic ’09 Softball Tournament last Sunday at Heinle’s Field in Cochecton Center.
But the team had to rebound from a loss to do so.
As the only team left in the winner’s bracket of the double-elimination tournament, Davis Excavating advanced to Sunday afternoon’s championship game. But in that contest, the team was defeated by Ronny’s Ringers, which emerged from the loser’s bracket, 11-1. The game was called after five innings due to a 10-run mercy rule.
The win by Ronny’s Ringers gave both teams one loss and forced a second title game to determine the winner of the tournament.
In that final game, Davis Excavating scored eight runs in the top of the fifth inning to expand its lead from 6-5 to 14-5. Davis Excavating went on to record a 19-10 victory.
Brett Hopkins began that key inning for Davis Excavating by ripping a double to center field. He scored moments later when Kenny Rizzi singled.
Later in the frame, Andy Dutton hit an RBI double and Joel Turner, Fred Diehl and John Glassel and Chris Teeple, who was celebrating his birthday, each hit an RBI single.
Ronny’s Ringers answered with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Justin Collins started the inning with a double and scored when the next batter, Kyle Rizzi, also hit a double.
Rizzi later scored when Mike Modrovsky hit into a fielder’s choice to make it a 14-7 game.
But Davis Excavating responded by scoring two runs in the top of the sixth and three runs in the top of the seventh. Dutton and Diehl had RBI singles in the sixth, while Kenny Rizzi belted a two-run, inside-the-park home run in the seventh.
Ronny’s Ringers attempted to rally in the bottom of the seventh. Collins and Kyle Rizzi began the frame with back-to-back doubles, which allowed Collins to cross home plate and cut the Davis Excavating advantage to 19-8.
After two outs were recorded, Paul Schwatz and Kory Keesler hit an RBI double and RBI single, respectively, to pull Ronny’s Ringers to within nine runs at 19-10.
Eric Luben then singled to keep the inning going.
But Davis Excavating pitcher Bob Glassel ended the game by inducing an infield groundout.
“It was nice to come back and win the championship after losing a game by 10 runs,” Davis Excavating Player/Coach Fred Diehl said. “We started hitting the ball well and had that big inning where we scored a bunch of runs.
“Bobby Glassel pitched a heck of a game for us today,” Diehl added. “He pitched the last four innings of our game yesterday against Darder Stone Works. He did a great job and we won the game, 22-19, in nine innings.”
Diehl noted that Glassel was voted the tournament’s MVP by his teammates.
“We had a good tournament, but we just ran out of gas,” Ronny’s Ringers Player/Coach Shawn Canfield said. “We lost our first game and had to battle back and win every game to get to the championship game.”
American Electric took third place in the tournament.
The tournament was a benefit for the two children of Julianna Simonet, a 31-year-old Narrowsburg woman who died in a car accident on Sept. 5. Proceeds from the tourney will be used to start a college fund for Simonet’s 7-year-old daughter Jordan Sullivan and 5-year-old son Cameron Sullivan.
“It’s nice to play in a tournament which has a good cause,” Diehl said.
“I hope they raised a lot of money for her children,” Canfield said.
The American Electric team organized the tournament. Team member Mike Popolillo said that originally the event was going to benefit the Town of Cochecton. But after hearing about Simonet’s accident, the team decided to make the tourney a fundraiser for her son and daughter.
As he presented the first, second and third place trophies to the teams, Popolillo thanked everyone for participating.
“It was an awesome tournament,” he said. “All of the teams played great softball for a great cause.”
Jason Simonet, Julianna’s husband, helped out in the concession stand during the tournament.
“It’s a very good tournament,” Jason Simonet said. “It’s fantastic that they would do something like this for Cameron and Jordan.”
A total of six teams American Electric, Callicoon Lanes, Darder Stone Works, Davis Excavating, Ronny’s Ringers and Sutphen East played in the two-day tournament.
Several local businesses made donations to the event, including American Electric, Benji & Jakes Cochecton Oil, Gasko & Meyer, Hughson Excavating, Lake Huntington Garage, Luzon Station, Matsons Deli, Peck’s Markets, Pete’s Mini Mart, The River Reporter, The Sullivan County Democrat and Tony’s on the Lake.