On Saturday at Shepherd Stadium in Colonial Heights, the $2 cost of admission got attendees about six games of baseball.
Much-needed rain descended on the area at the same time as the 53rd annual BIB tournament, and rainouts affected three days worth of games. But, this treated fans and parents alike, as the schedule was packed with portions of the quarterfinals, semifinals, finals and consolation game to be played on Saturday.
The BIB, or Boys Invitational Baseball, tournament, hosted by the Optimist Club of Colonial Heights, is no stranger to success. The tournament has six major league alumni, including former World Series winner and Chesterfield resident Johnny Grubb and All-Star Mets third baseman David Wright.
This year’s installment of the BIB saw two no-hitters pitched in the opening round, one of which came at the hand of Chesterfield Baseball Club Nationals pitcher Tanner Fuller against Staunton. It was a first for both Fuller and manager David Revels.
“It was a major accomplishment and very exciting for the team,” said Revels. “These guys can all throw and it’s really a testament of the talent we have in the CBC.”
Chesterfield would go on to defeat Tidewater before the rains came, and their Friday tilt with Williamsburg was rescheduled for Saturday afternoon.
Tanner Ramsey took the mound for CBC and didn’t disappoint, as he pitched six innings of shutout baseball, striking out nine and walking two as Chesterfield went on to defeat Williamsburg 10-0.
CBC struck early as leadoff man Vinny Pasquantino scored on a Williamsburg error off the bat of third baseman Ryan Irby. Tanner Fuller cAme around to score on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jacob Long to make the score 2-0.
The offensive output would continue in the second inning, as Nicholas Butts blasted a Luc Lipcius pitch to deep left center, scoring Pasquantino and Fuller. CBC led 5-0 at that point. They tacked on another in the third on a Joshua Barber single; Barber also doubled home a run in the fourth. CBC added three more insurance runs in the fifth as
Fuller singled home Josh Desper, Bryce Fitzgerald drove in a run and Pasquantino scored again on a Williamsburg error.
The 10-0 victory knocked off the defending BIB champs and set a date in the tournament final with Southampton-Sussex, who defeated the Colonial Heights Optimist Club, the tournament hosts, in the semifinals.
This game was different for CBC, as it was a pitching duel from the start. Sussex starter Hunter Peck came out dealing, striking out the first two batters he faced in a scoreless top half. Butts took the mound for CBC and responded by striking out the side.
After giving up two hits to lead off the second inning, Sussex manager Mark Pierce made the call to the bullpen, ending Peck’s night after just one inning, and calling on Payton Holdsworth in relief. Holdsworth walked Christian Hague to load the bases, but was able to wiggle out of a bases loaded jam with no outs that ended in a close play at the plate as Tanner Ramsey was tagged out at the plate after a wild pitch.
“We wanted to start them off against a left-hander and let him go a couple innings,” Pierce said of Peck. “He got in a little trouble and I made the switch then.”
Butts continued to deal, as well, but Sussex left fielder Tay Tay Holloman caught a change-up and belted it over the wall for a solo shot that gave Sussex the lead at 1-0.
Later in the inning, Peck doubled for Sussex and came around to score on an error, giving Sussex the 2-0 advantage.
CBC fielded a few base runners as the game progressed, but it was Holdsworth who continued to pitch well, with an overpowering fastball and a great change-up. He didn’t allow a hit in five innings of relief, striking out 10 batters. Sussex added an insurance run in the fifth as Holloman came around to score on a Holdsworth single, but CBC couldn’t muster any offense against the Sussex hurler and fell by a margin of 3-0.
“Both of these teams are great ball teams,” said Revels. “They got a break through and got some hits there, we also left some people on base. My hat’s off to Sussex for taking the win.”
Sussex was able to win its first BIB tournament in only its second year of participation. Holdsworth was named the tournament’s most valuable player, as he didn’t allow any runs in any of his pitching appearances. A CBC team last won the BIB in 2008.
“It was a big effort,” said Pierce. “We hit the ball and we got good pitching. We made a few adjustments along the way, changing positions that players played and at the plate. The pitchers seem to be throwing a lot harder this year.”
Journalists, BIB enthusiasts and Optimist Club members all took time to remember a fallen colleague and friend in Terry Sisisky who passed away on July 22 after a short battle with cancer. He had been the voice of the BIB tournament for the past 15 years.
CHAMPIONSHIP BOX SCORE
1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Chesterfield 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1
Southhampton-Sussex 0 0 2 0 1 - 3 3 1
2B: Jacob Long
Nicholas Butts: 5.0IP, 2ER, 12K, 2BB
2B: Hunter Peck
HR: Tay Tay Holloman
RBI: Payton Holdsworth, Tay Tay Holloman
Payton Holdsworth: 5.0IP, 10K, 2BB
Hunter Peck: 1IP, 2K, 2BB