One-Pitchers swing into fun in Model City

George Thwaites • Jul 14, 2009 at 12:00 AM

KINGSPORT — The thing about Plant Maintenance is that it just keeps right on maintaining.

The three-time defending Fun Fest One-Pitch men’s industrial champions stayed on the winning track Tuesday, mounting a comeback to beat AGC 28-19 in Fun Fest One-Pitch Softball Tournament action at Eastman Fields.

Plant Maintenance, aka Brickey’s Cleaning Crew, will face RacersReunion.com today at 6 p.m.

“This bunch has been together for a long time. We’ve won three Fun Fest One-Pitches in a row and we’re going to quad-peat,” said Nathan Light, who inherited the coach’s spot this season.

“These guys hit it. We got down a little bit. Never gave up. With these guys, it never matters how far behind they are. We’re so old, we’ve been down before. We just keep on coming back.”

Plant Maintenance no longer competes in regular league play, but reunites yearly to defend its Fun Fest One-Pitch crown. The team has picked up a few young players to help keep the tradition going.

Leadoff hitter Dustin Light went 5-for-6 with a double for Plant Maintenance. Matthew Tipton and Toby Lett had two homers apiece while Shane Brickey tripled.

RacersReunion.com hammered Team Monster/ Food City 28-5, collecting quite a few long balls along the way.

Andrew Cox belted three home runs, while T.J. Blakely gave it a ride twice. Derek Williams and Josh Littleton both smacked homers, while Jeff Hinkle had two triples.

Reunion — a collection of Eastman employees and contractors — gave itself a wide margin for error with its offense. But the defense spoke for itself.

“We’ve got a pretty decent pitcher and we’ve got a lot of good 21- and 22-year-olds in the outfield, they can cover a lot of ground. And we’ve got a good shortstop with a good arm,” said Reunion player-coach Anthony Bacon, who was looking forward to seeing Plant Maintenance today.

“Those are the guys we want to beat, because they’ve put us in the loser’s bracket two or three years in a row in the first game,” he said.

In women’s open action, Team Storm held off a late rally to take a 4-3 win over Blue Ridge Physical Therapy.

“We knew it was coming. It was a matter of time,” said Storm coach John Usary. “In a one-pitch tournament, any team can win any game.”

Marcie Haynes, Kelly McMurray and Jen Collett each cranked out multiple hits for Team Storm.

In other women’s open winner’s bracket action, Mark Freeman Associates posted a 12-7 upset victory over the River Cats.

Lorie Crawford, who went 3-for-4, gave MFA the boost it needed with her three-RBI triple in the seventh inning.

Tammy Hartgrove had multiple hits for Freeman Associates while Jen Rogers had a double.

“This is our first win against them,” coach Lisa Dickenson, who said her team enjoys the one-pitch tourney as a change of pace from usual league play.

“We enjoy it. It’s more pressure because you only get one pitch. But we like it.”

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