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July 22, 2010
Men's 60
78 posts
Our team, Greco Hitmen, recently competed in the SPA Nationals in Georgia, finishing 3rd behind High St. Bucs (MD) and Texas Legends.

Congratulations to all the 55/Major teams who attended, especially to those who finished ahead of us...with a special tip of the cap to the defense BOTH teams showed during the tournament.

There is a strong tendency to say "we didn't hit" as an explanation for losing...and I suppose if you could guarantee 25-30 runs every ballgame you probably would win more than your share.

The problem is teams rarely, if ever, hit consistently all weekend long. And, unless you make the plays you are given the opportunity to make, you will not win those games when the offense is underperforming.

Such was the case for us last weekend. Our failure to make even one of the 3 routine doubleplay chances we had on Sunday morning spelled the difference in a close, 23-22 loss...and elimination from contention.

Our opponents, on the other hand, made the plays they were given the opportunity to make...and that is why they played the for the championship instead of us.

It's always tempting to put the blame for defeat squarely on offense because there is so much of it in slowpitch...but the old adage, "Offense wins games, BUT DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS" was never more apparent than last Sunday in muggy Dalton, GA.

Once again, congratulations to SPA National Champs, High St. Bucs, who played better than we did on Sunday, overcoming a 9-run deficit, and winning with a dramatic 2 out, 3-run walk-off in the bottom of the 7th. And to the Texas Legends, who beat us twice and held our potent offense to 16 runs TOTAL in those two games....WITH OUTSTANDING DEFENSE. You guys were terrific. Hope to see you again soon.

Dennis Dalton
Mgr/Greco Hitmen
July 22, 2010
Men's 55
248 posts

Thanks for the kind words about the Bucs. You and your whole team are a first class organization. It was a pleasure to compete against such highly competitive teams, because that made winning all the more memorable. It just worked out for us that the guy we would want to come up most in that situation, came up, and came up big. You guys had us where you wanted us. In close games like that, one small mistake can be huge. So, a tip of the hat to your team, Greco Hitmen, and also to another classy group of ballplayers, Texas Legends, and the rest of the 55 Major teams who competed in the SPA National Championship in Dalton, Georgia.

Greg #8
High Street Bucs 55's
July 22, 2010
Men's 50
3114 posts
Dennis, Colonel Suh,
it's Lieutenant Rinaldi.
Well said, Suh.
You did your unit proud
both on and off the field.
Greco Hitmem, Suh?
Derive that name for us
if you dare.
July 22, 2010
Men's 50
3114 posts
Congratulations, Greg and
way to go.
July 22, 2010
Men's 55
248 posts
Thank You Joe, And Congratulations on your Championship also. I just knew those team mates of yours would eventually get there.That was a lot to overcome but you guys did it, great job!
July 22, 2010
Men's 60
1711 posts
Let's not fool ourselves. It takes both.
July 22, 2010
328 posts
""""Such was the case for us last weekend. Our failure to make even one of the 3 routine doubleplay chances we had on Sunday morning spelled the difference in a close, 23-22 loss...and elimination from contention.""""

I wouldn't be so quick to pin the loss on whoever blew the DP's in question. These are just memorable "what if" moments that stand out to you.

What about that those two runners left on base in earlier innings? What about that one decision to be agressive that cost an out? what about that time thhe base coach wasn't paying attention and could have sent the runner to score?

This was a one run game and can be equally attributed to any number of offensive or defensive plays throughout the game. Hell, it could have been a simple coaching decision that *might* have made the difference.

Although it is catchy, the old "defense wins championships" thing doesn't really hold true IMO.

Glad to hear you had a good time and are still kickin Dennis.
July 22, 2010
Men's 60
99 posts
I agree with DD. Bats get hot and bats go cold. But if you consistently play solid defense and take the outs when they preset themselves, you will have an opportunity to win most games (and Championships).
July 23, 2010
Men's 65
2237 posts
Great points here, guys. When we won 55AAA in Reno, it was consistent defense that kept us in the games we did not hit well in.The artificial turf there gave the truest bounces we have seen in many years and we made very few errors for the weekend. In what turned out to be the pivotal win for us, an 8-7 'head scratcher' (my term for unbelievable), great defensive plays on both sides set the tone early-diving catches in the outfield, great infield plays, guys thrown out on the bases (2nd baseman for R&R has a sniper for an arm) and a couple double plays, and then the 'pucker factor' set in and we have an 8-7 game between two very good offensive teams. Even in the era of 'lively bats forever', defense does indeed win championships. (but 30 runs a game helps).
July 23, 2010
Men's 50
3114 posts
I couldn't agree with the Colonel
more about the importance of defense
in winning competitive games.
Rick Cady pitched the best
I'd ever seen him pitch for MTC
(and we've won
tournaments together before)
in SPA
with his toughness, savvy and
low trajectory balls thrown
from the back of the rubber
with dart-like accuracy
and was the primary factor
in our win.
Defense is spear-headed by the pitcher
in every level and Rick was on the money, sonny.
Way to go, Ricky providing ample,
I say, ample evidence of the Colonel's
point, Suh.
July 23, 2010
Men's 50
3114 posts
Another case in point.
I saw Dave (Mango) Meggison
and Mickey Hughes just after they
won the 50 major plus and
the first thing
Dave told me was
Mickey threw donuts
in the last 2 innings of their championship game.
Way to go Mick and the Mavericks
and that's what we mean about
the importance of "D".
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