‘Dirtbags Comeback Secures One-Run Championship Game Victory’
Submitted by Phil Ellis, Tournament Director
A total of eight teams competed in the 40+ Divisions of the MSBL 2021 Rocket City Classic (RCC) Labor Day tournament in Huntsville, Alabama. The teams were divided into two 4-team divisions. As the Tennessee Dirtbags and Chattanooga Cookouts were in the finals of the last RCC (2019), they were separated during pool play. The other six teams were randomly placed in one of the two divisions.
For Pool Play, each team played each of the other three teams in their division. At the end of Pool Play, the top two teams in each division moved into Semi-Finals and the bottom two teams were provided an opportunity to play a fourth, Consolation Game.
The Tennessee Dirtbags maintained a perfect 3-0 record through Pool Play in the “Red” Division just slightly edging out the Kentuckiana 40s with a 2-1 win in their closest pool game. Kentuckiana took 2nd Seed in the “Red” Division and also moved to the Semi-Finals.
The Clearwater Scorpions were a new team to the tournament this year and were strong through Pool Play, losing only to the Atlanta Giants in a close 8-10 loss. Final Pool Play in the “Blue” division resulted in a 3-way tie between the Clearwater Scorpions, Atlanta Giants, and Chattanooga Cookouts. Based on the second tiebreaker of ‘runs allowed’ (1st tiebreaker was “head-to-head”) the Scorpions took the first seed in the “Blue” division (giving up 18 Runs) and the Chattanooga Cookouts secured the second seed in the “Blue” division (giving up 23 Runs) while the Atlanta Giants gave up 29 runs during Pool Play and fell into a Consolation Game with the local Huntsville Havoc.
In the first semi-final game, a re-match of the 2019 RCC 40+ Championship Game, the Tennessee Dirtbags secured a 6-2 win over the Chattanooga Dirtbags.
In the second semi-final game, the newcomer Clearwater Scorpions won 9-5 over the Kentuckiana 40s.
In the 40+ Championship game, the Dirtbags had to battle back from a 3-2 deficit for the final 6-5 win over the Scorpions.