SoCal Alliance and Cal-Showtime Meet in Championship Game
Tournament MVP Eric Harryman of SoCal Alliance posted a .883 OB% and played sparkling defense to earn the honor.
The NorCal Choir Boys played host to their first ever Ba$h for Ca$h tournament in the Sacramento suburb Lincoln, Ca. Tournament director Alan Case had high hopes for a large draw because he was offering the largest cash prize since the advent of the www.policesoftball.com website. The prizes were based on a minimum of 16 teams with payouts of $2500 going to the A-flight champions and $1000 going to the B-flight champions. Unfortunately the lucrative booty could not overcome the growing trend of dwindling tournament numbers. On this weekend, only 10 teams participated which was a sharp decline from previous years. Those who did participate were treated to a jam packed day of softball at the Foskett Regional Park complex.
The event was once again a provided bat format so when it came to equipment, the playing field was level for all teams. Brett Helmer of Easton Sports supplied an arsenal of the new line of Stealth & Synergy model bats which seemed very popular with the participants. Top Easton bat research and development specialist Trevor Anderson visited the tournament to see his product in action and seek feedback from the players. A special thank you goes out to Easton for their continued support of the police softball circuit.
Participating teams with their current Policesoftball.com Ranking:
SoCal Alliance #1
Cal Showtime #5
Concord Combo #7
West Coast Aftershock #10
NorCal Choir Boys #15
NorCal Elite #19
El Dorado Cartel #24
NorCal Shockers #25
Sac Probation unranked *2006 World Series Small Market Winners
Although there were only 10 teams, the tourney was loaded with talent including 4 of the West Conference Top 10 ranked teams and 9 of the 10 ranked in the Top 25. The format was round robin into a double elimination playoff and with just 10 teams there was no B-flight. This gave teams who were considered “Gold” level the opportunity to play David to the Goliath’s in the “Majors” division. Bracket winners included: Concord Combo, West Coast Aftershock and SoCal Alliance.
Once the playoffs began there were some really good games played throughout the afternoon. It took some 7th inning magic to get SoCal Alliance past the West Coast Aftershock. Meanwhile the NorCal Shockers and Stanislaus were slaying dragons and sending teams packing. Showtime looked particularly impressive and advanced to the undefeated game against the SoCal Alliance. This was the first meeting between the two teams but many of the players had played against each other numerous times before. Same guys, different jerseys. SoCal defeated Showtime, but since it was Showtime’s first playoff loss they still had a shot at the dance. The hottest team in the morning hours was Concord Combo, but they did not sustain it into the afternoon and settled in tied for 5th place. The team that gave SoCal a big scare West Coast Aftershock also looked poised to advance deep but also checked out tied for 5th. After starting slow, Stanislaus got firing on all cylinders and narrowly missed the top 3. They finished in 4th place. The “shocker” of the tournament was the NorCal Shockers who made it all the way to the semi-finals and gave Showtime a 7 inning battle before they finally were eliminated. The NorCal Shockers had to be proud of their 3rd place finish considering how tough the competition was and how well their fared against the big dogs.
The championship game was set between Cal Showtime and the SoCal Alliance. Being undefeated SoCal was in the driver’s seat and would need to be “double dipped” by Showtime. Showtime’s line-up was chocked full of players who are accustomed to winning big games so it figured to be a great match up. Showtime’s pitcher Matt Boykin did his best to stifle the SoCal bats but SoCal was hitting well all afternoon and as usual their pitching and defense were stellar. SoCal managed to defeat the new West powerhouse Showtime and in doing so SoCal claimed their 4th consecutive tournament title.
Although the tournament was light on teams it was heavy on camaraderie and sportsmanship. The provided bats erased any speculation of cheating. In between games players huddled under whatever shade they could find and swapped war stories from work, softball gossip, or just chewed the fat. For the West Conference the season is now about half over but there are still some big tournaments coming up. We at www.policesoftball.com look forward to the upcoming tournament results and are anxious to see how the rankings will play out as we approach World Series VIII in Las Vegas October 11-14, 2012!