Tourney MVP Eftink leads Capahas' potent attack

Monday, July 7, 2008
FRED LYNCH ~ flynch@semissourian.com The Capahas' Josh Eftink was congratulated after blasting a three-run homer in the sixth inning Sunday at Capaha Field. Eftink was 4-for-4 in the championship game and earned the tournament's MVP award.

The Plaza Tire Capahas broke out the bats Sunday afternoon.

Leading the hit parade was Josh Eftink, who earned most valuable player honors of the National Baseball Congress Mid-South Regional.

Eftink went 4-for-4 with a home run, a double and five RBIs during the Capahas' 15-0 title-game rout of the Pine Bluff (Ark.) Braves.

Despite going hitless in the host Capahas' tournament opener — Saturday's 5-1 victory over Pine Bluff — Eftink did more than enough Sunday to clinch the MVP award.

"That's a pretty neat deal. I put a good game together," said a smiling Eftink, the Capahas' third baseman.

With just three teams in the tournament this year, the Capahas wound up playing only two games after receiving a first-round bye.

Plaza Tire's normally potent bats were somewhat silenced in Saturday's matchup with Pine Bluff as the Capahas had just five hits, although four were doubles.

The Capahas exploded at the plate Sunday to turn the title contest into a rout as it was stopped after seven innings by the 10-run rule.

Pine Bluff would have needed to beat Plaza Tire twice Sunday in order to win the double-elimination event.

"Most of us came out early and took some extra batting practice," said Eftink, a former standout at Notre Dame High School and Central Missouri State who is the head boys basketball coach at Woodland High School.

Maupin also honored

Anthony Maupin received the other major individual award from the regional as he was named the outstanding pitcher.

Maupin went all nine innings of Saturday's game with Pine Bluff. He allowed five hits and an unearned run while striking out 11 and walking three as he improved his record to 6-0.

"He threw great," Plaza Tire manager Jess Bolen said. "He's been throwing really well all season."

Phillip Riley, Sunday's starter, might have made a strong case for the top pitcher award had the contest not turned into such a blowout.

Riley (5-1) gave up just an infield single while striking out nine and walking three before he was pulled after five innings.

"That's a pretty good one-two punch for us," Bolen said of Maupin and Riley.

Not the end of the road

Although Sunday's victory earned the Capahas an automatic bid to next month's NBC World Series in Wichita, Kan. — it will be their 27th straight appearance — there is plenty left to Plaza Tire's regular season.

The Capahas are scheduled to play 14 more games prior to Wichita, including doubleheaders.

That stretch features six home contests, starting Friday when the Charleston Riverdogs visit Capaha Field for a 7:30 p.m. first pitch.

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