Yakima, WA JRW & Associates update

Yakima, WA – JRW & Associates finished third in the 1st Annual Les Schwab Invitational played at the new Gateway Sports Complex in Yakima, Washington. It was the first fastpitch tournament played at Gateway since its opening in 2005. Temporary fences were set at 265 ft and the temperature reached 108 degrees.

JRW was 2-1 in Round Robin Pool Play on Saturday. The team was in the ISC type Upper Pool with all teams going forward to SE play on Sunday. Despite losing the first game to eventual Champion, Cleon’s Auto of Tacoma, WA, JRW defeated the Boise Clippers 3-2 and CR/Adidas of Portland 11-6 to advance as the # 3 seed based on fewest runs allowed for teams tied at 2-1.

Against Cleon’s, JRW gave up 3 unearned runs in the first 2 innings. After allowing a 4th run in T4, JRW scored 3 in B4 on Catcher Casey Johnson’s 2 run homer and CF Tim Fischer’s RBI single. Starter Bryan McKitrick pitched well for the first 5 innings, allowing only one earned run. Mgr Jim Williamson elected to finish with ace Dave Drotzmann, but JRW couldn’t push across any more runs off Pitcher Tom Tungsvik.

In the second game, Dave Drotzmann and P John Clark of the Boise Clippers hooked up in an old fashioned pitcher’s duel. Drotz got the best of it with 7 K’s and 2 walks in a 3-2 victory. JRW got an unearned run in B3 and two more runs in B5 on consecutive singles by SS Tim Arndt, DP Rick Cowles, C Troy Grow (RBI) and CF Tim Fischer (RBI).

In the third game, JRW faced their 2006 nemesis, CR/Adidas of Portland. JRW Lefty Bryan McKitrick was pitching well using a variety of change-ups until one hung and CR 3B Josh Agnew crushed one for a 3 run homer. That tied the game at 5. JRW had scored 5 runs in the first two innings on a RBI single by SS Tim Arndt, a 2 RBI single by CF Tim Fischer and a 2 RBI double by LF Don Cawthron. In the next two innings, the teams swapped runs with JRW SS Tim Arndt getting another RBI single and C Troy Grow’s RBI double, his first of 5 extra base hits and 9 hits for the tournament. JRW’s 13 hits came off Rose Cup MVP Kevin Rasmussen who pitches when he is not catching the Big Boys with CR/ Portland. Dave Drotzmann entered the game in T6 and JRW put the game away in B6 with 3 runs off 1 hit and some costly CR errors for a 11-6 victory.

In the quarter-final of SE play Sunday morning, JRW beat host team and league foe Les Schwab 10-3, again getting 13 hits. These hits came off LS pitcher & Tournament Director Mark Seward. The 108-degree heat got to Mark and the game had one stoppage for Mark to get some liquids. RF Jesse Sizemore led the attack with a 2 run homer in a 7 run B3 inning. C Troy Grow had 3 doubles and 1 RBI and LF Don Cawthron broke out of his slump with a 3-5, 2 RBI effort. JRW P Dave Drotzmann struck out 6 and allowed 4 walks.

In the semi-final, the heat finally got to Dave Drotzmann. But Country Insurance of Lynden, WA’s pitcher Stan Thiessen felt the heat also. Both pitchers had thrown 11:00 AM victories in the 100-degree hit. JRW got to Stan early with 5 runs in the first four innings, mainly on 3B Jason Grow’s RBI double and RF Jesse Sizemore’s second 2 run homer on Sunday. Jesse was 2-3 with 3 RBIs. Country Pitcher Stan Thiessen’s 3 run homer and C Ryan Diephuis’s 2 run homer put Country back in the lead. Stan only allowed one run in the final three innings to outlast Drotzmann for a 9-6 victory that put Country in the Championship game.

footnote: ” Dave Drotzmann was so drained from the two back-to-back games in the 108 degree heat that he to go to the hospital on both Monday and Tuesday for IV’s”

Country pitcher Stan Thiessen tried for a third victory in a row. But, he also wilted in the heat. Champion Cleon’s of Tacoma got to him early, scored 8 runs, and then hung on for an 8-7 victory.

JRW & Associates improved to 20-15 overall.

The All-Tournament team included three players from JRW & Associates – Right Fielder Jesse Sizemore, Catcher Troy Grow & SS Tim Arndt.

JRW & Associates is off this weekend, but both JRW pitchers – Dave Drotzmann and Mike Egerdeen — probably will be picked up to pitch in the Vancouver, BC Challenge this weekend.

A tentative 4 game series is set for the next weekend against Rose Cup Champion and ISC # 17 CR/Portland.

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