Brandt's NAFA State recap

June 6, 2008

Springfield, IL

Brandt’s Takes 2nd in NAFA State Tourney
After taking Memorial Day weekend off, Brandt’s
(Springfield, IL) was back in action on May 31-June 1
in the Springfield Franny’s Invitational, which also
doubles as the NAFA Southern Illinois State
Tournament. As the defending champions of the event,
they were looking to continue their hot start and get
more players on the field.
With heavy rain and storms on Friday night, all of
the Saturday games were pushed back and the format was
changed from a 9 team NAFA bracket to 3 pools of 3
which would seed into a single elimination tournament
beginning on Saturday night. The pools were only
relevant for seeding on Sunday.
After their two pool games on Saturday, Brandt’s
entered into a single elimination tournament on
Saturday night against the host team Springfield
Franny’s, who featured Brandt’s ISC II pitcher Mike
Reis. Brandt’s was able to get the win 7-3 and advance
to Sunday for the final four of the event. Brandt’s
hurler Brad Sturdy chucked all 21 innings on Saturday,
but would get some help on Sunday.
On Sunday morning, the semifinal matchups were set,
as Pete’s Blues would take on Cerro Gordo and Brandt’s
would take on the Belleville Stallions. The Stallions
have had a strong year so far, already winning the
Teutopolis Memorial Day Tourney and beating some of
the top teams in Illinois. Mark Brayfield would see
his first action of the year for Brandt’s, throwing 4
1/3 solid innings before yielding to Sturdy. Brandt’s
would hold on for the 7-6 win and advance to the
championship game. Brandt’s star hitter Tim Hopkins
saw his first action of the season as well, and was a
welcome addition to the lineup. Cerro Gordo would
defeat Pete’s in the other semifinal game.
In the title game, Cerro Gordo pitcher Brent
Stevenson and Sturdy would hook up in a classic
pitcher’s duel. Brandt’s led 2-0 before the Broncos
tied it with 2 runs in the bottom of the 7th inning,
and it would remain tied until the bottom of the 11th
inning, when things got strange. Brandt’s lost two
players prior to the championship game due to travel
concerns, and had used their bench up during the game.
After losing a player in the last inning they would be
down to 8 and had to forfeit the title game to Cerro
Gordo in the 11th inning.
Stevenson won 4 games in the tournament and earned
the Most Valuable Pitcher Award, while Larry Moffett
won the Most Valuable Player Award for Cerro Gordo,
who finished the tournament 5-0 to take the title.

brad sturdy