The spring recreation league softball season came to a close Tuesday night at the Highlands County Sports Complex.
Competing for the top spot this season were Rec A's Beer Bums and McClure & Lobozzo on field D and Rec B's the Crutchfield Crushers and Blimpies on Field E.
At the end of the games, Blimpies and Beer Bums became the new tournament winners for this season.
Blimpie's left fielder Juan Guerrero has been playing for his team for five seasons.
I've been playing since the beginning," he said. "I love getting together with this group of guys and I enjoy the competition. This is a great atmosphere and we play some great games. I am very confident we will win this evening. This hasn't been the best season record wise, but it has been a season of growth. We play as a team and when you play like that, even a loss is a win. I enjoy this complex; the staff is great, the umpires are professional and the facility is top notch. It's clean and open and provides a great atmosphere for family and friends." Juan's confidence paid off and the Blimpies beat the Crutchfield Crushers by a score of 22 - 8.
Another veteran team, the Beer Bums took on McClure and Lobozzo in what turned out to be a very competitive and heated game.
According to Dale Thorlton, second baseman for the McClure team, this is the team's first season together, although many of the players have played together on other teams in the past. The game was pretty close with a four-run lead for the McClure team until the fifth inning, when the Bums got busy and plated a pair of runs.
McClure's had a non- eventful fifth and scored no runs.
But the Bums were raring to go when it was their turn at bat.
The first batter slammed the ball to center field for a base hit, a walk and another hard hit loaded the bases.
It seemed that the Bums couldn't be stopped and they exploded into a fury of good bats and fast runs for a commanding six-run lead at 11-5.
McClure's had their work cut out for them. They managed to get runners on first and second, but they couldn't pull it off and the game ended by a score of 11-7.
Jeff Clogston, coach and pitcher for the Beer Bums was very pleased with the win.
"We only lost two games all year," he said. "All 17 guys showed up for every game; this is a total commitment. We are self-funded and this is the most powerful team we've had so far. Some of our guys leave and then come back. I want to make sure that Mike and the staff here know how much we appreciate them and that this is a well-run facility."
Evan Bauder, shortstop for the Bums, was also quite gratified to be in the top spot this season.
"We've been here a couple years in a row, in the finals, but this time we finished it off," he said. "It was fun. I would like to say that I think the fields here are the best in the state."
All the teams wish to thank their sponsors for supporting them and enabling them to play and compete with other local teams.
To find out about joining a league please call the Highlands County Sports Complex and talk to Bob or Dustin at (863) 402-6755.