Plaza Tire posted a 17-5 win in seven innings.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

The host Plaza Tire Capahas bounced back from their tough loss to Tradewater (Ky.) earlier Saturday day and emerged from the losers bracket in the National Baseball Congress Mid-South Regional at Capaha Field.

The Capahas rolled past the Cape Girardeau Riverdogs 17-5 in Saturday night's losers bracket final. The contest ended after 6 1/2 innings by way of the 10-run mercy rule.

In the first of Saturday's three games, the Riverdogs eliminated the Pine Bluff (Ark.) Braves 5-1. The Capahas then fell 3-1 in 10 innings in the winners bracket final.

Plaza Tire and Tradewater will square off at 1 p.m. today in the championship round. A win gives the Pirates their second straight regional title, while the Capahas need to beat Tradewater twice in order to capture the crown.

"They're a good team, and it's going to be a tough day for us," Capahas manager Jess Bolen said. "But we're also a good team, and it might be a tough day for them.

"If anybody in this tournament does have the pitching depth to come back and win, it's us. That's not to say we'll win it, but we have the pitching to do it."

The Capahas (18-6) hammered out 14 hits in cruising past their Cape Girardeau rivals. The Riverdogs (8-13) managed just seven hits.

Josh Eftink continued his red-hot tournament with three hits and two runs batted in. Eftink has seven hits and nine RBIs in three tourney games.

Lance Seasor, Rick Mundy, Tom Bolen and Seth Hudson each added two hits for the Capahas. Bolen doubled twice and had four RBIs, while Levi Olson also tacked on four RBIs.

"Any other year with our team, we have never had the pitching depth to come back out of the loser's bracket," Tom Bolen said. "But this year, with our quality arms, I think we can do it.

"It won't be easy. Tradewater is a good team, and it should be a good day of baseball."

Chad Bogenpohl pitched all seven innings for the Capahas. The right-hander allowed two earned runs while striking out 10 and walking three.

Billy Palmer and Josh Ivy both had two hits for the Riverdogs. Ivy delivered two RBIs. David Mathis was the losing pitcher.

Riverdogs 5, Braves 1

In Saturday's opener, the Braves were the first squad to be eliminated from the four-team event as right-hander Steve Fowler pitched a nine-inning complete game. He allowed seven hits while striking out 14, walking none and hitting one batter.

"It's been a while since I racked up that many strikeouts," Fowler said. "They had trouble with my curveball and that's usually the kind of teams I like."

The Riverdogs also had seven hits, the big blow being a three-run home run by Ivy in the fifth inning that opened a 4-0 lead. The Riverdogs had scored an unearned run in the first inning. Palmer led the Riverdogs with two hits.

Manny Reynolds doubled twice and Dee McNealy added two hits to lead the Braves.

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