2015 STATE Singles Qualifying Rounds
By Pat Snelgrove
With this being the first year (in over 20 years) that
the State Singles was NOT held on Labor Day weekend, the
VaHPA Council was fairly concerned about how the attendance
for the event would turn out. This was also the year that
the VaHPA decided to award CASH as prizes (in response to
members? requests) so we were curious to see if that had an
impact. As sign-up-cut-off approached, we realized that we
were getting a good rate of participation.
As it turned out, we had 67 pitchers sign up ? which is
49% of our membership this year!! AND we were glad that the
weather didn?t give us any surprises, leaving us with the
opportunity to get the event worked through in 2 days.
The Stuarts Draft Club had been hard at work sprucing up
the courts prior to the event, and the pitchers really
appreciated the nicely edged walkways, and how pliable the
clay was. WHEW! With the heat spell we?d been going through,
keeping the clay in working condition is always a big job.
And from the host?s perspective, seeing the results makes
the efforts worth it.
Kevin Snelgrove provided food for the event, cooking up a
storm. His potatoes and sausage for dinner was a rave!!
Thank you Kevin!! You?re hired for ANY tournament Stuarts
For the qualifying rounds, ?short distance? pitchers and ?full distance? pitchers are set up in classes that mix their pitching categories. So in the short-distance classes there is a mix of Elders, Women, Jr?s and Cadets. In the full-distance, Sr.Men play against the younger folks. All qualifying games are 40 shoes ? ties stay ties.
For the Full-Distance (40? classes):
In A Class, Charles Walker faced off against Jerry Colyer in the 1st round. Jerry was in the lead at shoe 28, 26-17. Charles kept closing the gap, until shoes ran out with the score 33-32, Jerry?s favor. Jerry must have been thinking ?oooh I squeaked that one out ! ?.. close game. Also in the 1st round.. Jimmy Campbell vs. Randall Weakley. Randall had the lead 20-12 at shoe 22. Then Jimmy turned on the guns. Randall could only cover his ringers, but Jimmy earned single points, and that?s what won him the game !! two POINTS at 40 shoes. 28-26 Jimmy 40.
B Class had such tight seeding, entry stats went
from 42.7 to 39.8. Winning would be straight up. In the 3rd
round, Randy Rickard faced off against Jim Hartman. Rickard
squeaked out a win 26-20 in that game. In the 3-way playoff
rounds, Rickard put Branson Miller off the chart, trouncing
him 41-17. Was Rickard eager to get on with the next game?
The winner would be made in the game of Rickard vs.
Hartman.. It was a very tight match. Rickard started in the
lead. Harman tied the score 10-10 at shoe 18. Hartman in the
lead. Rickard tied 26-26 at shoe 34. Rickard scored, Hartman
scored. They ran out of shoes !! Rickard was only 1 point
behind !! Hartman took it 29-28!! Heart breaker with the
shoe limit this game.
C Class had another one of those games where the lead
went back and fort. In the game of Herman McCarthy vs. David
Cowan, Cowan started out in the lead, and held it through
shoe 30. McCarthy tied the score 19-19. Cowan scored,
McCarthy tied again. Cowan Scored, McCarthy tied again. This
went back and forth. However, at shoe 38, McCarthy threw a
double for six points. Cowan only scored 1 ringer on the
return throw, leaving McCarthy in the lead to win the game
Horace Phillips and Larry Morris vied against each other
in the playoff for C class. With the score tied at shoe 30,
21-21, it was anyone?s game. But Morris hit 3 ringers with
Phillips only scoring for 1. Morris took the game 31-26
D 40 class had no fewer close matches. In the 1st round,
Edward Thompson faced Mike Baden. Baden had the lead at shoe
34 with 24-13. Then he got stuck there. Thompson kept
pounding the stake!! Baden?s lead held all the way to shoe
38!! Then Thompson scored a double that Baden didn?t cover,
letting Thompson win the game 25-24.
In the 4th round, Michael Toye faced Edward Thompson. It
was almost a repeat of the Baden game! Toy had the lead all
the way to shoe 36, but it was a close one with 23-21. Then
Thompson scored three live ringers in the next 3 frames,
Toye only score 1 point. Thompson took that game 27-24.
When Baden and Toye played against each other in the last
round, the game was so evenly matched, they tied the score
all the way to the end. Baden scored 1 extra point somewhere
along the line, ending the game 19-18.
E Class, 1st round, Terry Sparks must have been glad
there was a shoe-limit on the game when he played against
Mickey Gillespie. Terry had the lead 21-10 at shoe 30. He
got stuck there and didn?t earn anything else, while
Gillespie scored almost every throw. Shoes ran out, and the
game ended 21-19 Spark?s favor.
In that class, Jeremi Skillman was having a good day. His
only loss of the day was against Eddie Gregory in round 3.
As the day went on, Gregory also had a good day, earning
only one loss to set up a playoff against Skillman. They are
pretty evenly matched, however Jeremi scored a double,
single and a couple of points on shoe 6-8-10, giving him a
10 point lead that he held for the whole game. Eddie could
never overcome that lead. The game ended in favor or Jeremi
For the Short-Distance Classes (20 & 30 foot pitcher
30 E qualifying rounds was an interesting class all in itself. It pitted our OLDEST pitchers against two of our YOUNGEST pitchers. When our oldest pitcher at the even - Richard Horvath (6?3? tall) - faced off against our youngest pitcher at the event ? Parker Dean ( 4? 2? tall) ? and they shook hands to start the game, I completely missed the photo op. The class pitched twice through the round-robin, and Richard encouraged Parker all the way through. It was heartwarming to watch. Parker was thrilled to have actually won a very close game ? against the other cadet in the class ? Virginia Tolbert ? 18/16.
30 D class was a real mix. One woman ? Wanda Baden ?
against two Elders, two Jr Boys and one Cadet. Wanda was
seeded #1 going in, and played very well, ending the day
with 44.5 overall. She had a really hot game of 62.5%
against Jonathan Payne. Good pitching everyone!!
In the 30 C Class, John Cummings stormed the class with
4-0, ending the day with a 40.63%. HOT pitching!!
A playoff was the result of some tight competition in the
30 B Class. Gail Walker faced off against Kirk Adams and
Chuck Hansen. She had the highest percentage, so got a ?bye?
for first round. Chuck won against Kirk, so then he faced
Gail. It was a tight match up until shoe 30, then Chuck lost
steam and Gail kept comin? on. She won the playoff 34/22.
In the 30 A Class, Kelly Campbell tried her best to take
on #1 seed Glen Barlow. That didn?t work, so she went all
out in her game against Carrie Flowers. Carrie took the game
in a very tight competition, winning 23/22. They BOTH scored
70% in that game !! Great pitching!!
With the qualifiers taken care of, we could get on with Championship rounds. THANKS to Kevin for cooking up a storm for the crowd. Good eatin?s. And a whole hearted round of applause for my own club members who were there from start to finish, doing every-and-anything to keep things rolling along smoothly.
See you at the Championships tomorrow. Pat