Local Teams win the gold at the National Senior Games
SENIOR (OVER 75 YEARS OF AGE) BALLPLAYERS REPRESENT THE PIEDMONT IN CLEVELAND, OH
MOCK-BEROTH BOMBERS BRING HOME THE GOLD
Senior athletes from Forsyth County traveled to Cleveland, OH the last week of July to take part in the National Senior Games. The Mock-Beroth Bombers men’s 75+ and the Wannabees women’s 60+ softball teams both qualified in the NC State Senior Games in 2012. Players, spouses and family made the 500 mile one-way trip in a parade of cars.
Bombers Make Impressive Plays
Over three consecutive days, the Bombers were on the diamond for a total of six games, facing teams from Tennessee, Iowa, Maryland, New Jersey and a team from Wilmington that they have battled in the NC tournaments for several years. It was actually a 19-14 victory against their arch nemesis from Wilmington that got the Bombers on track for the remainder of the tournament.
One of the bigger hits of the tournament was delivered by Gene Nail in the Championship game won by the Bombers over the New Jersey Naturals 20-8. With the bases loaded Gene stepped to the plate and delivered a rocket that got by the outfield, resulting in a bases clearing triple to break the gold medal game open. Unfortunately the triple came with a price as Gene was put on Injured Reserve after the tournament. The triple took a toll on his knee which he had surgery to replace upon his return from Cleveland. He is now going through rehab and hoping to be ready for the NC Senior Games tournament in September of this year.
Other memorable plays included Mackie Cockerham’s “not to be denied” base running as the look of determination on his face encouraged his base coach to send him around third base to beat a close play at the plate. Bobby Key stepped in to pitch and held a high powered New Jersey team to only eight runs in the Championship game.
Initially Glen Motsinger was not going to make the trip, but with the encouragement of his son-in-law he joined the team. Glen had a great tournament. The crowd erupted when Glen made a circus, running, juggling, trap-it-on-your-chest catch worthy of the “play of the day” on SportsCenter.
Wannabees Battle On Rain Soaked Fields
With the first game scheduled for 8 am, overnight and morning rain postponed the start. The long wait and wet conditions made for a slow start for both the Wannabees and their opponent from Connecticut. Finally in the third inning the bats for the Wannabees awoke. With the score tied at 2, the Bee’s scored in every inning to win going away by the score of 22-2.
Game two was two hours later against Grey Power from Canada & NY, a team that was an early favorite to win. The game stayed close from the beginning with Grey Power holding a 6-0 advantage heading into the bottom of the 4th .The Bees finally managed to put some runs on the board to take a 9-6 lead in the 6th innning. Grey Power struck in the top of the 7th and scored 4 to take a 10-9 lead. After the first 2 batters in the bottom of the 7th made outs, the Bees managed to get the next 5 batters on base and with the 5th batter getting a hit, the winning run crossed the plate. This was one of their biggest hits in the tournament and proved to be critical in positioning themselves to win in the medal rounds.
Day 2 of the tournament was another wet day on the fields as steady rain fell all morning. The Wannabees faced a team from New Mexico and appeared to be on their way to a win, but lost 12-11 in the last inning. Next up was a team from Ohio. The Bee’s lit it up at the plate and made this appear to be a win 18-0. The next (fifth) opponent was a team from Michigan, a pre-tournament favorites and they played like it. The game stayed close but the Bee’s ended up on the short end of a 11-8 score.
Day 3 continued to be wet with showers on and off; conditions were not very good for playing ball. At this point another loss would knock them out of the tournament. Fortunately the day started against their first opponent from Connecticut, resulting in a solid 17-2 win and putting them in the gold medal game against a team from El Paso. As the game began it was obvious that the women would not be satisfied with a silver medal, and the effort and quality of play bore this out. This was the best all round game that the team played, resulting in a 17-12 victory and a GOLD MEDAL!
This was a total team effort and without the player’s commitment, our fan’s support, and the help of great managers (Robbie Jackson, Jim Morgan &Terry Woody) it is almost certain that the Wannabees could not have accomplished such a great achievement.
Thank you to the men and ladies for representing the Piedmont community, the Piedmont Plus Senior Games and the State of NC in such a positive way. We are proud of you!