Greystoke/Rustlers trim Rocky Top for title

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR CORRESPONDENT

   Glad that I'm not on old Rocky Top down at the softball field. Ain't no Devil, Jarfly or Bod on Rocky Top, guess there never will.
   Once there was a team playing Rocky Top which like to hit it long, hard and often swing the bat. Rising to the occasion and knocking it over the fence, Greystoke/Rustlers had an impressive attack.
   Greystoke/Rustlers sang the same sweet tune of repeating as champions of the Park and Recreation Open League tournament on Monday night, edging a worthy opponent, Rocky Top, by a score of 22-21.
   "Like I've already said, Team LHO will prevail, and we beat 'em hitting it long, hard, and often," said Jarfly Dugger Jr.
   In the top of the first, Rocky Top grabbed a 3-0 lead after Ryan Cloyd crushed a homer to center filed that drove in Greg Fleming and Neil Church.
   Greystoke responded in the bottom of the frame with a hit from Robbie "the Beast" Holt to score Scott Scalf and "The Devil" Jerry Rouse.
   "I was trash today, but we beat them like the trash they were," Rouse joked. "They were one step below me, and I don't believe Iris Glenn would have even accepted them."
   A triple up the middle from John Campbell brought home Holt, and a sacrifice fly by Adam Lloyd scored Campbell to give Rustler's a 4-3 lead after the first.
   Rocky Top stormed back in the second frame by scoring seven runs off of five hits.
   The game became tied in the top of the second when David Mackley knocked a single to right, driving home Mickey Hartsock.
   Rocky Top was able to regain the lead when a hit from Fleming knocked in Ed Mullins and "Speedy" David Harrison.
   A home run from John Ushery scored three more runs, giving Rocky Top a 10-4 advantage.
   Greystoke came on in the bottom of the third to reassume the lead 11-10. A three-run homer to right by "The Bod" drove home David Bowers and Jarfly Jr.
   Rocky Top tied the contest in the bottom of the fourth when Church ripped a home-run shot that bounced across 19-E.
   They were able to pull ahead in the top of the fifth with nine runs off of nine hits.
   Rocky Top got on a roll after Mackley smacked a hit up the middle, which gave them lead with Mullins crossing the plate.
   After finding themselves trailing by nine with two and half innings left, "Team LHO" started climbing their way back to the top.
   "As the famous legend says, You've got to hit 'em in the mouth, and make them pay," said Jarfly Jr.
   Adam Loyd started off with a solo homer to left, followed by back-to-back doubles from Jarfly Jr. and David Bowers.
   "Once again this Rustler's/Greystoke team came out on top with a solid performance, and the best thing we do is always hustle," said Bowers.
   Then like a man on a mission, "The Bod" stepped up to the plate to crush his second homer of the game.
   "It felt good. We needed a run, and I got lucky to hit most of our home-runs tonight," said "The Bod."
   LHO had pulled themselves within five heading into the sixth frame, as they were coming with the juice.
   "You never count us out, for we always rise to the occasion," said Bowers.
   In the bottom of the sixth, Greystoke continued its march toward the front with a two-run shot from "The Beast."
   Two more runs were scored, with Campbell and Lloyd crossing the plate, and a hit to left-field from Justin Hyder tied the game with Bowers coming home.
   In the final inning of play, Rocky Top managed to score just one run off of a home-run by Ushery.
   This was not enough to stop the hard hitting LHO club, as they began to taste a victory with the end drawing near.
   "We came out and kicked some," said Holt.
   With "The Devil" on first, "Rhino" Larry Absher stepped up to the plate to hit a game-winning homer that sailed over the right-field fence.
   "I dedicated that one to Jack Campbell, and give thanks to my team for putting me in the position to win," said "Rhino."
   "The Bod" received the MVP award on his effort by going three-for-four with two roundtrippers.
   "We don't sing it, we bring it," said "The Bod."
   And "The Devil" is still styling and profiling, as he enjoys his fourth consecutive Open League title.
   "I'm racking up more records than the Beatles, and to be the man, you have to beat the man," said "the Devil."
   The Rustler's/Greystoke team gives a special thanks to Mick Peters and Russ Kaufield for their sponsorship, Andrew Mckeehan for coming and bailing them out in several games this season and to their faithful fans.
   Rocky Top 29
   C&K/Milligan Grocery 11
   Rocky Top Carpet was able to advance to the championship round on their dismantling of C&K Auto/Milligan Grocery by final of 29-11.
   In the first inning, Rocky Top jumped out to a 2-0 lead after an error by the first-baseman enabled David Harrison to score, and a hit by Ryan Cloyd drove home Neil Church.
   Church became injured in his slide to second, which seemed to plague him for the rest of the night.
   Rocky Top increased its margin to 9-0 in the top of the third, as this frame became a story of hits and errors.
   C&K was able to pick up two runs in the bottom of the frame with a hit from P.J. Cruz that scored Jimmy Townsend, and a fielder's choice from Bobby Brockwell which drove home Billy Matherly.
   Rocky Top continued its assault in the fourth and fifth frames by ringing up a total of 20 runs in the two innings of play.
   This was too tall of an order for C&K to fill despite a grand slam by Cruz in the fourth, and an in-field homer by John Robbins in the fifth.