Boone County wins Bama Bash 35'
|The Boone County Braves, managed by Ralph Lewis (far right) claimed the 35-and-over title at the 2012 Bama Bash.
By David Krival, MSBL On-Line
The Boone County Braves of the Cincinnati MSBL won five straight games in the 2012 Bama Bash, a popular MSBL regional tournament, taking the championship game 11-4 over the Chicago Giants.
Most of the Braves are former teammates of manager Ralph Lewis in the Memphis MSBL. The Braves dedicated their efforts in the tournament to a former teammate, Charles Worthington, who was killed by a drunk driver two weeks after competing in the 2011 Bama Bash.
Boone County rolled through the round robin as Jeff Hunter, Chris Harris and Heath Cantrelle pitched complete games. Rick Miller had a no-hitter through 8.1 innings of the semifinal. He threw a one-hit complete game as the Braves defeated the Birmingham Yankees, 4-0. Ryan Hendricks and Earl Williams each drove in two runs with a single and a double.
In the championship game, which directly followed, the Braves committed four errors behind Miller, who had stayed on the hill following the semifinal. Miller departed after four, having yielded four unearned runs. Jeff Hunter, who relieved Miller, pitched five scoreless innings on two hits to win his second game of the tournament. Drew Hicks hit a two-run homer in the fourth. He drove in three runs on two hits during the game.
Carl Cottingham (4/5, 1 R), Ryan Hendricks (2/4, 1 R, 3 RBI) and Earl Williams (2/4, 3 RBI) all had a hand in the Braves' victory. Skipper Ralph Lewis chipped in with a pinch-hit run-scoring single. The Braves selected four men to share MVP honors: Jeff Hunter, Carl Cottingham, Ralph Hendricks and Earl Williams.
Tom Herr threw a complete game, as Chicago edged the Tri-State Titans, 6-5, to advance to the championship game after winning all three of their round robin games. The Giants won the semifinal in the ninth when Joe Zeko followed two singles and a walk with the game-winning hit. Zeko had two hits and two RBI in the semifinal and ten hits in thirteen at-bats and ten RBI in the 2012 Bash.
Don Zeko (10/18), Kal Tate (10/19) and Jeff Messacer (11/22) hit the ball hard throughout the tournament. With only ten men on their roster, the Giants had to get whatever innings they could out of their pitchers. Herr and Tate both threw two complete games for the Giants.