GREENVILLE — In order to repeat as champions of the Greenville Men’s Slowpitch Softball Tournament, Sports Galore would have to win three straight games, including two in the finals.
Team Rowdy allowed them to win one of the two finals games, but then came back from a deficit to take the tournament.
Sports Galore went into the last loser’s bracket game needing to beat the Power Pros to face Team Rowdy, who hadn’t lost in the double-elimination tournament.
Sports Galore came from a 9-4 deficit to win 10-9 and advance to the tournament finals.
“We played hard all day,” Sports Galore coach John Tuinhoff said. “A lot of the guys who I played with are guys I played tournaments with and we had a couple new guys with them who played well.”
Then in the first game of two Sports Galore beat Team Rowdy 8-6.
“It was great,” Tuinhoff said of the win. “We could never get the momentum to swing totally in our favor but we had just enough to keep with them (Team Rowdy).”
Team Rowdy coach Felix Perez gave credit to Sports Galore.
“They’re all good gap hitters,” he said. “You just have to keep playing. That’s what we did today.”
But the second game was different. After getting out to an 8-6 lead Sports Galore wasn’t able to hang on. Team Rowdy scored twice in the sixth to tie the game and got a single and a double from Zac Waldorf to get the championship.
“We got a good hit to start and he got to second base,” Perez said.
“That was tough,” Tuinhoff said. “We had a couple of good swings in the top of the seventh and we had a home run left and guys who could hit it, but they were right at people.”
Because of playing in the Greenville Recreation Department’s men’s league, the players on the two teams are familiar with each other, Perez noted.
“We play them all the time,” he said. “It goes both ways. It’s always good to beat those guys because they’ve been playing here forever.”
Tuinhoff still didn’t mind finishing in second place.
“It’s good,” he said. “We won it last year and this year take second place and get back into it with a couple of wins and try to double-dip them (Team Rowdy) was great.”
This was the second time Team Rowdy had won the tournament.
“We won it a couple of years ago,” Perez said. “It’s nice to come back here and win it again.”