Saturday, July 31, 1999

Metro still trying to fight heat


Watanabe keeps rolling through Major division

BY SCOTT MacGREGOR
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[softball]
Greg Roesel of Genes Auto Sound/Worths, left, protests being called out after the tag by Baps/Shropshire Donald Garrett.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
| ZOOM |
        Heat has forced game delays and postponements for the second consecutive day at the Bud Light/Metropolitan Championship Softball Tournament, with afternoon games today moving to the evening session.

        Today's 10a.m., 11:10a.m. and 12:20p.m. games will start as scheduled at Rumpke Field. But afternoon games have been moved to the evening, beginning with scheduled 2p.m. games starting at 7p.m.

        Games scheduled for 3:10p.m. were moved to 8:10; 4:20 to 9:20, 5:30 to 10:30 and 7 to 11:30. All non-Major games scheduled to start after 7 tonight have been moved to Sunday.

        The Major division winners' bracket has been left alone, with semifinals tonight and the finals as scheduled Sunday. But all four of the other divisions will play their finals Monday.

        “We can't have people playing out there in 102-, 103-degree heat,” Metro executive director Danney Saylor said.

        The heat has had at least one other consequence, some players say. “It's cut down on home runs. The ball's not traveling as well,” Dry Dock Saloon's Larry Morcum said.

        MAJOR DOMINANCE: Wilhelm Lumber was expected to give defending champion Watanabe Optical a challenge in the Majors, but Watanabe proved its dominance.

        Watanabe scored eight runs in the top of the first, but Wilhelm countered with five in the bottom half in a late Thursday game. It stayed relatively close until the fourth, when Watanabe pulled away to a 29-17 win to advance to tonight's 10p.m. semifinals in the winners' bracket.

        “There's a reason they're ranked No.1 in the city and (12th) nationally,” Wilhelm manager Don Hoog said. “They played a good game, and we didn't meet the challenge. If they play their average game and we play our average game, we're probably going to get run-ruled.”

        Said Dry Dock's Morcum of Watanabe: “Anybody can be beaten on any given day, but we'd have to play no-error softball.”

        DRY DOCKING: Perhaps the most interesting story of the Majors was how Dry Dock Saloon, winner of “A” in 1998 and “B” in 1997, would adjust to another new division. Because it won “A” last year, Dry Dock had to be promoted.

        It was a baptism by fire in the first game, with Dry Dock losing to Perkins 13-2. But Dry Dock had won two in a row in the losers' bracket going into a late Friday game against Parker Softball.

       



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