Sunday, August 06, 2000

Metro Softball Tournament

Watanabe loses in Majors upset

By Jeff Carlton
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Watanabe/Perkins had been crushing all comers in its pursuit of a third straight Metro title. That changed late Saturday night.

        EMR/Meiners Cafe/Worth beat Watanabe, the No.1 seed in the Majors Division, 33-29 to reach the championship game.

        Watanabe, ranked No.1 in Ohio and No.9 in the world rankings, rallied for 14 runs in the seventh inning, but it wasn't quite enough. Watanabe moves to the losers bracket.

        The losers bracket schedule: Days Estate plays Wilhelm Lumber; the winner of that game faces B&A Sports Bar; the winner of that game draws Watanabe in the losers bracket final.

        Whichever team emerges from the losers bracket would have to beat EMR twice today to claim the Metro championship.

        Before Watanabe's surprising loss, it had been left to B&A to provide a bit of excitement in the Majors Division.

        On Saturday, B&A Sports Bar ran into H&W Sports and B&A enjoyed its first breather since winning 29-10 four games ago. They rolled over H&W 23-8.

        “We've caught a few breaks, no doubt about it,” Gary Nelson said.

        The team is a close-knit bunch that tends to close Rumpke Park every Wednesday night, staying well after their league games end to hang out near the bar. “They drink more beers than they hit home runs,” said Danney Saylor, commissioner of the Cincinnati ASA.

        Against H&W, the spark was provided by Nelson, who joined the team four weeks ago. He pitched all seven innings and hit two home runs, including a three-run shot.

        “We'll make a few plays in the field, but mainly will try to outscore everybody,” Nelson said.

        That proved to be true Saturday as the team used their maximum of 12 home runs and the game ended after six innings because of the 12-run mercy rule.


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