The goal entering any tournament is simple: Survive and advance.
Jerry Bevel and the royal blue team got the job done Thursday in the first round of the end-of-season spring tournament in the 55-and-over Rockets league in Huntsville Senior Softball.
Bevel belted a three-run homer as royal blue beat maroon, 12-11 on field 2 at Brahan Spring Park. Royal blue advanced to play top-seeded navy blue in the semifinals July 12. Maroon was eliminated.
“Great defensive game on our part,” royal blue player/coach Bob Thomson said.
In Thursday’s nightcap, defending champion red eliminated green, 22-15. Red advanced to play second-seeded gray in the other semifinal July 12. The semifinal games are 6 p.m. on fields 2 and 1, followed by the final at 7:30 on field 2.
Bevel went 3-for-4 with six runs batted in and a run scored for royal blue (10-8). Mike Keyser and Derek Santiago had four hits apiece. Thomson and Brian Yarger added two hits apiece. Pete Mitchell pitched all seven innings for the win.
Moto Miller hit a three-run homer while player/coach Chris Maggio had a two-run shot for maroon (7-11). Miller, Maggio and David Allen had three hits apiece. Tim Lawter, Mark Hoffman, Ken Valine and Yogi Guess had two hits apiece. Denny Reasner took the loss in the circle.
“We were very lazy tonight. Played lazy,” Maggio said. “It was a defensive game.”
Red 22, green 15: Freddie Childs hit a grand slam and Kirk Wickizer had a three-run homer for red (10-8).
Childs and Yogi Guess had four hits apiece. Randy Bastin, Wickizer and Phil Shriner had three hits apiece. Mike Panko, Dave Hahnemann, winning pitcher Steve Robertson, player/coach Phil Haas and Rena Campbell had two hits apiece.
“Defense came back. We lost it a game there,” Haas said. “And we played well as a team. One hit after another was the approach. And then we had two monster home runs to put us over.”
Tom Fickling hit a two-run homer for green (3-15). Vince Smith, player/coach Billy Cooley and Moto Miller had three hits apiece. Scott Piro, Fickling, Ragnar Opiniano, Jerry Bevel and Derek Santiago added two hits apiece. Cooley took the loss in the circle.
“We hung in there till the sixth inning and then we didn’t hit the ball the last two innings,” Cooley said. “And that was the difference in the game.”