Dino's, Cundy record wins; Rocky Top season champs

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR STAFF
mbirchfield@starhq.com

   The lights were turned out in Open League softball after the first inning of play, as Dino's crushed the Cundy Merchants by a final of 28-7 on Wednesday.
   After accumulating 26 runs in their first time at bat, Dino's put on the cruise control for the next frame and a half to seal up second place on the season.
   The Merchants opened the game with three runs in the top of the first, when a double to right-center field from Chad McKinney drove home Robbie Turbyfield and Nick McKinney.
   A single by Adam Heaton that brought in Chad McKinney scored the last run for the Merchants, but this was as close as they came for the remainder of the night.
   Dino's was relentless at the plate from start to finish in the bottom of the first, as a triple from Larry Absher scored Carter Co.'s most eligible bachelor, the "Bod" Jeff Hutchins and teammate Jerry Rouse.
   "I'm thinking of going and playing for NAPA next year," said Hutchins. "I put all the right parts in all the right place, bringing the smiles to all women's faces."
   A two-run homer to right field from Tim Morgan gave Dino's the lead, and another one from Jason Hyder kept the momentum in full swing.
   The same bug that has bitten Herb & Metal all year long took its toll on the Merchants, as they were having trouble fielding the ball, which resulted in six errors for the first.
   A sacrifice fly by Justin Hyder scored David Bowers for the last run of the frame, and after batting through the entire lineup three times, the Merchants finally captured the third out with a deep pop fly from Lance "Jarfly" Dugger.
   The Merchants added just one run in the second frame with a sacrifice-fly from Jimmy Street to drive in PJ Moody.
   A fielder's choice by Robbie Holt scored the last run of the night for Dino's, as Rouse strolled his way in across home plate.
   Rouse was pleased with the win, but adamant about his displeasures and what he felt was needed improvement for the league.
   "They build us a press box and don't even finish it," said Rouse. "The league does a respectable job, has pretty good participation, but this is the worst softball field in Upper East Tennessee and I've played on all of them. The city of Elizabethton should be ashamed of having people play on it the way it is."
   After having the first two batters retired, the Merchants came back to score three runs in the final frame, but it was not enough to avoid the slaughter rule.
   Cundy Merchants 15
   Milligan Grocery 12
   The Cundy Merchants held on after earning 15 runs in the first three innings to defeat Milligan Grocery in a 15-12 final.
   Getting just one hit in the final three frames, the Merchants almost squandered an 11-run lead after dominating the first half of the contest.
   The Merchants grabbed the early lead, when a double by Chad McKinney drove home Robbie Turbyfill and Nick McKinney.
   They continued to add to their lead in the top of the second, as a sacrifice fly by Tim Buchanan brought home Adam Heaton.
   Milligan Grocery captured its first run of the night in the bottom of the second, when Brian Hughes smacked a double to bring home Bill Matherly.
   The deficit was cut to 15-8 in the fourth frame, as a double by Matherly scored Spencer Goodwin.
   "Money" Jimmy Townsend made his presence felt in the bottom of the fifth, as he connected on a hit to drive home Buchanan to keep the Milligan Grocery comeback alive.
   Two runs were scored for the Grocery in the final frame to cut the lead to three runs, but three consecutive flyouts ended Milligan's hopes of victory.
   After winning the regular season title, Rocky Top was faced with two games on Wednesday, but both resulted in forfeit's with neither of the teams they were scheduled to face showing up.
   Even Herb and Metal made a brief appearance, but disappointedly did not play, as they showed more courage than either L.A. Wire or Larry's Muffler.
   The two forfeits wrapped up the season title for Rocky Top, which made a clean sweep of Dino's on the year with a 27-25 victory earlier in the week.
   "We had a great season, but we had some bad officiating also," said Ab Harrison. "We had three bad calls the other night, which gave them some runs, but still were able to win by two."
   The controversy with the umpire started over the meeting for the top spot on Monday, and it was still unsettled come Wednesday.
   "I didn't talk to him the other night, because I was mad and didn't want to say too much," said Harrison. "I tried to talk to him tonight, but you can't talk to a fool."