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SoCal Player Collapses, Dies at Spring Worlds

June 1, 2013 – Ross McCulligan

MESQUITE, NV/ST. GEORGE, UT – For many teams, the Spring World Championships has traditionally served as the unofficial start of the 2013 season. This year, 83 teams made their way to the desert for the seventh annual Spring Worlds, March 19th – 24th.

Competition on the ball field was fierce, however the tournament will be remembered for a tragedy on Friday afternoon.

Rudy Flores, a player for So Cal 55’s, slid into second for a double. After being replaced by a courtesy runner, Flores suddenly collapsed in the first base coach’s box.

Field director, Ron Grassi, immediately rushed to Flores with a defibrillator to try and revive him while they waited for the ambulance to arrive. Efforts to revive Flores were unsuccessful and he was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

So Cal 55’s decided as a team to continue the tournament with heavy heart’s in Rudy’s honor.

They hung his jersey in the dugout and fought their way into the championship game.

They were ultimately defeated by Top Gun III in the championship, 19 – 8, but not for lack of determination.

“It was an emotional weekend for everyone and they put up a gallant effort in Rudy’s honor,” said Ron Grassi, “watching the team present his children with his jersey brought tears to your eyes.”

The 50 Major division was chalk full of great softball. The championship game pitted 1-seed, Rated Athletics against 2-seed, RM Thunder. RM thunder fought to force an “If” game 22 – 18, but was then defeated, 32 – 21, as Rated Athletics seized the championship.

Jaxx/Bret took the 50AAA division with a 21 – 12, win over Top Gun 50’s.

The 50/55AA division played a mixed seeding round before breaking into separate divisions for the weekend. Mountain Men took the championship for the 50’s, by defeating Robinson Transport, 17 – 11. The 55 division was conquered by Lights Out, 22 – 17, over Scrap Iron Coyotes.

In an exciting conclusion to the 55AAA division, Desert Dawgs 55’s clawed their way out of the loser’s bracket to knock off Baker Boyz, 18 – 17, and then edge out a victory in the “If” game, 16 – 14, for the championship.

Timberworks Construction took the title from Greco/Arizona Hitmen, 16 – 7, in the 60 Major-Plus division.

Number 3-seeded, Old Dawgs, won the 60 Major division with four consecutive victories, including a 22 – 14, victory over Top Gun 60 for the championship.

Eight teams comprised the 60AAA division as the OC Mustangs reigned supreme with a 13 – 4 victory over BRL 60 in the finals.

Modesto O’s took the crown in the 60AA division defeating Git-R-Done, 20 – 9, in the championship game.

Omen 65 edged out a victory over Tharaldson’s, 21 – 20, to claim the 65 Major-Plus division.

The 65AAA comprised the largest bracket of the tournament with 11 teams. The number 2-seeded Marauders defeated the Mustangs, 24 – 18, in the championship game.

Scrap Iron Classics crushed Git-R-Done, 18 – 3, to take the division championship in the 65AA bracket.

In the 70 Major-Plus division, Streamline Circuits ran off two consecutive wins to defeat Stark Street Pizza for the championship, 28 – 4 and 18 – 10, respectively.

Scrap Iron Legacy defeated Thousand Oaks Panthers, 11 – 2, in the 70 Major division.

The 70AAA division was won by El Paseo Bank as they defeated Top Gun 70 II, 17 – 13, in the championship game.

The 70AA division, also comprised of two teams, was claimed by The Zone, 15 – 12, over Scrap Iron Force.

The 1-seeded San Francisco Seals showed tremendous resiliency after losing their opening bracket game to Top Gun 75, 20 – 19. They would rattle off four consecutive victories to eventually defeat Top Gun 75 in an “If” game, 27 – 21, for the championship.

Git-R-Done defeated the Slammers in two straight games, 20 – 19 and 20 – 16, to claim the 75AAA division title.

The Spring Worlds utilized two complexes in Mesquite: Pioneer Park and Hunter Park, as well as the 7-field Canyon’s Complex in St. George. Senior Softball-USA would like to thank Frank Pati for his tremendous efforts in bringing the Spring Worlds to Mesquite.

All Tournament Selections

Men’s 50 Major – Rated Athletics – Keith Thompson, Ramone Ruelas, Jimmy Ferguson, Carl Nichols, Freddie Rivas; Scrap Iron Rocky Mountain Thunder – Brad Edginton, Jack Donnelly, Barry Morten; Las Vegas D’s – Hank Adams, John Livingston

Men’s 50AAA – Jaxx/Bret – Mike Conatser, Bart Hubbard, Russell Kad, Scott Allington, Jim Hansen; Top Gun 50’s – Matt Kraemer, Rich Cruz, Chuck Yaeger; Sugamele Golf – Paul Steven Fletcher, Paul Gutierrez

Men’s 50AA – Mountain Men – Kent Listul, Jon Gibbs, Scott Winger, Ed Barnett, Dave Litchfield; Robinson Transport – Kim Robinson, Scottie Griffin, Jim Sanders

Men’s 55 Major – So Cal 55 – Rudy Flores, Curtis Akers, Jose Alonso, Anthony Baltazar, Ryan Blanchard, Jack Doty, Edward Jones, Russell Kester, Peter Oriarte, Eric Prevost, Paul Richardson, Ray Robles, Robert Sewell, David Vackar, James Villareal Sr.; Top Gun III – Clyde Phillips, Steve Sin Curek, Mickey LeBlanc, Jim Poags, Larry Peterman

Men’s 55 AAA – Desert Dawgs 55 – Paul Ortiz, Mike Muto, Bob Eyre, John Coombs, Mike Bortz; Baker Boyz – Rusty Williams, John Rhonemus, George Morales; Dan Wiebold Ford – Cliff Boxer, Steve Abo

Men’s 55AA – Lights Out - Bill Dazalla, John Benedict, Ralph Hernandez, Tony Vasquez, Pete Gilmore; Scrap Iron Coyotes – Charley Mylander, Ron Duneman, Dave Hernandez

Men’s 60 Major-Plus – Timberworks Contruction - Dennis Barrett, Gary Shelley, Gary Garcia, Steve Hillman, Doug Robbins, Don Hayashida

Men’s 60 Major – Old Dawgs - Bryan Lowry, Steve Grimm, Chris Dayak, Dan Kibbe, Steve Kenner; Top Gun 60 – Paul Lederman, Norm Coe, Steve Grassbaugh; Ryan’s Way – Larry Larson, Steve Boyle

Men’s 60AAA – O.C. Mustangs – Doug Peterson, Dan Hill, Bob Westphal, Jerry McIntyre, Al Gingerelli, BRL 60’s – Stan Miller, John Corwell, Johnny Anderson

Men’s 60AA – Modesto O’s – Richard Hutton, Les Kincannon, Dan Castanon, Dan Snow, David Lee; Git-R-Done 60 – Ed Gestine, Ron Martel, Bob Belcher; Scrap Iron Diamonds – Tim Reynolds, Jerry Bost

Men’s 65 Major-Plus – Omen 65 – John Dorsett, Dave Sells, Chip Morton, Jim Montero, Mike Rittenhouse, Mike Baldonado

Men’s 65AAA – Mauraders – John Costley, Ray Fly, Tony McIlroy, Prentiss Byrd, Steve Adams; Mustangs – Frank Coppa, John Melvin, Rich Ponce

Men’s 65AA – Scrap Iron 65 Classics – DuWayne Pillard, Glenn Bradford, Steve Haslam, Art Kaun, Gayton Albarano; Git-R-Done 65 – Gregg Archer, John Redner, Ray Robinson

Men’s 70 Major-Plus – Streamline Circuits – LeRoy Gallardo, John Chacon, Bill Wilson, Bill Nevis, Terry Nafziger, Goroy Bell; Stark Street Pizza – Dave Myers, Dan Minnick, Jim Peacock, Bob Gregorich

Men’s 70 Major – Scrap Iron 70 Legacy – Don Pierson, Jimmy Brown, Larry Patrick, Dave Cox, Terry Jordan, Jim Contreras

Men’s 70AAA – El Paseo Bank – Gordon Johnson, Paul Jones, Norm West, Bill Hopkins, Harold Brown, Sal Argo

Men’s 75AAA – Git-R-Done – Michael Wiemer, Will Lane, Tom McAleer, Lynn Brown, George Beardsley; Slammers – Ned Myers, Larry King, Rich Harmon, Bill Weaver

Men’s 75 Major – San Francisco Seals – Bill Enos, Vic Madden, Steve Salter, Jim Douglas, Dick Bryson; Top Gun 75 – Dave Duarte, John Fisher, Red Simmons; AZ Cardinals – Buzz Gilbreath, Caroll Shook

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