Plant Maintenance takes fourth Fun Fest softball title

George Thwaites • Jul 15, 2009 at 12:00 AM

KINGSPORT — Just call them the Captains of Industry.

For the fourth consecutive year, Plant Maintenance — otherwise known as Brickey’s Cleaning Crew — collected the Men’s Industrial championship in the Fun Fest One-Pitch Softball Tournament at Eastman Park on Wednesday.

“Luckily my prediction came through for the quad-peat,” said Nathan Light, who filled in for Shane Brickey as the team’s coach this year. “We’re happy and we had a good time. It’s Fun Fest and its all about having fun. But it is a lot more fun when you win.”

Brickey wasn’t without a role in this year’s championship run, which came to a head in Wednesday’s 18-15 win over RacersReunion.com in the finals. He went 4-for-4 with two doubles, and also made a terrific catch in right field to end the sixth inning and hold Reunion to a 15-13 lead.

Plant Maintenance also turned a timely double play that frame.

“We didn’t hit it as good, only 18 runs. But we played some defense and made a couple of good plays at the end,” Light said. “Like I’ve said. We’re so old, we’ve been down before. We just battle back and battle back.”

After scoring five runs to regain the lead in the bottom of the sixth, Brickey’s Crew came through with another big defensive inning, holding RacersReunion.com to a stranded infield single in the seventh to seal the victory.

Claude Harless went 3-for-5 with a home run for Plant Maintenance, while Keith Mullins went 2-for-4 with a home run and a triple/ Gary Morelock went 4-for-4 with two home runs. Rodney Hutchins went 3-for-5 with two doubles, while Alan Parker also went 3-for-5.

Plant Maintenance sent RacersReunion.com to the losers bracket in a 43-33 win earlier Wednesday. Hutchins went 5-for-6 with a grand slam in that one, while Harless and Mike Marshall each collected a pair of home runs. Matt Tipton went 6-for-6 with three homers.

AGC, the Men’s Industrial League regular-season champion, was unhappy with its third place trophy after losing a scorebook protest lodged by archrival RacersReunion.com. AGC beat Reunion 32-7 on the field, but the eventual runner-up had already filed its protest with the scorekeeper before the game started.

AGC was compelled to forfeit the loser’s bracket finals to Reunion when it was determined that AGC failed to file its official roster with the tournament director. RacersReunion placed $50 at risk when it filed the official protest.

In other action Thursday, Team Storm beat Blue Ridge Physical Therapy 20-11 in the women’s finals, avoiding the need for a second game.

The championship marked the first Fun Fest One-Pitch championship for the Storm.

“They hit the ball well. Basically, they hit it like they should. They didn’t freak out in the championship. They played good sound ball,” coach John Usary said. “They played good defense and it was a really good team we beat, so that makes it even better.”

Moon Tuxdeo captured the Men’s Open title with a 37-35 win over TN Thunder. Avoca Christian claimed the Men’s Church title via a 37-17 defeat of Gravely Baptist on Tuesday night.

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