Decatur Braves 11, Atlanta Giants 3
Submitted by Phil Ellis, Tournament Director
A total of seven teams competed in the 55+ Divisions of the MSBL 2021 Rocket City Classic (RCC) Labor Day Tournament. The teams were randomly matched up to execute three pool games, then rolled into semi-finals, and a championship game.
Through pool play, the Atlanta Giants were untouchable, accumulating 48 runs over their three games while only giving up two runs! The Decatur Braves were on a path to challenge the Giant’s record until their third pool game opponent was not able to field a team. The Kentuckiana 55s were hit with key injuries just days before making the trip south to participate in the RCC. After two games in the Alabama sunshine, their roster was decreased down to an unsustainable level, and had to depart the tournament early. The Braves took their 2-0 record, giving up only four runs, and secured the #2 Seed for the Semi-Finals.
The Southeast Royals, Bluff City White Sox, and Mid-West Pirates all secured their 1-2 records in hopes of making the Semi-Finals. Due to the head-to-head tiebreaker, Bluff City was slightly edged out and played the Huntsville Stars in the Consolation game. The Mid-West Pirates once faced the Decatur Braves. While they improved over their first showing, they were no match for the bats on Decatur’s team as Decatur moved into the Championship game with a 17-5 win.
The Southeast Royals honored the loss of one of their own by bringing the Southeast “Bob Bartlett” Royals into the Semi-Finals and facing the #1 Seed Atlanta Giants. The Giants combined smoking bats, solid defense, and strong pitching to shut out the Royals and move on to the much-anticipated Championship Game vs the Decatur Braves.
The 55+ Championship Game featured the only two undefeated teams in the tournament. Combined, the teams brought in a 7-0 record, scoring 137 runs, and giving up only 15 runs over their seven games. The Brave’s pitching and defense were able to stem the tide of the Giants Run Machine, holding them to just 3 runs. The Braves also faced their best pitching, scoring their fewest runs in any game, managing to put up 11 on the Giants and secure the Championship.