2018 Denver Host Committee Wrap Up Letter
Denver was thrilled to host the 40th annual International Jewish Men’s Slow-Pitch Tournament. With games at pristine Christopher Fields and the host Westin hotel walking distance away, 11 teams descended upon the Mile-High City for this high altitude showdown.
The weekend started off with a home run derby in which our sluggers took advantage of the thin air to put on a show. 18 bombers entered the competition with four making it into the final round. In the end, Rocky Mountain Chai’s Ryan Richardson took home the championship belt with 34 total home runs between the preliminary and championship rounds. He edged out Danny Weiss of the Motor City Hit Men, Yari Berkowtiz of Chicago Waste Management, and Victor Dudcyk of the Toronto/Winnipeg Gamblers.
Come Saturday, it was time for the main event. The revamped Saint Louis Rise put the rest of the tournament on notice with a perfect day and a plus 22 run differential. The Mile High Mashugunas finished the day in 2nd, a respectable showing in their first ever IJMST. With Rocky Mountain Chai and Motor City Hit Men right on their tails, nothing was decided going into Sunday.
Day two of the round robin did not disappoint. As the standings were juggled by the game, the day was defined by one of the final contests of the afternoon. With the #1 playoff seed on the line for both teams, the Saint Louis Rise TIED the Motor City Hit Men pushing the Rise to the top overall playoff seed.
When playoff time rolled around, it became apparent that a high seed was anything but a security blanket. Three out of the four underdogs advanced out of the quarters including the #8 Montreal Royals toppling the previously unbeaten St. Louis Rise. The #3 Motor City Hit Men fell to #6 Chicago Waste Management while the 4th seed Chicago Mitzvah boys were knocked off by the hometown Mashugunas. Only Rocky Mountain Chai survived as the home team with a win over the #7 St. Louis Riverdawgs.
Montreal almost struck gold twice in the semis against Rocky Mountain Chai. With two outs in the top of the 7th, Tony Beugen delivered a single to centerfield only to see the tying run thrown out at home plate on a laser throw from Ryan Richardson. It was enough for the two-time defending champs to squeak through, while Chicago Waste Management made quick work of the Mashugunas on the other field, setting up a rematch of the 2017 championship game.
The finale saw Rocky Mountain Chai jump out to a 7-0 lead and never look back. Waste Management made multiple runs throughout the affair but could never regain the advantage. Rocky Mountain Chai finished it out with a 19-15 final to lift the trophy for the 3rd consecutive year.
We sincerely want to thank all the participants and fans who traveled to our city for this special tournament. Special shout out to Tony Beugen for nabbing the Weberman award at the Sunday Night Banquet. See you all in Detroit in 2019!
Loren Knaster and the IJMST Host Committee
2018 Denver Tournament Wrap Up Stats
|QUALIFYING ROUND STANDINGS|
|St. Louis Rise||5||0||1||11||+27|
|Denver Rocky Mountain Chai||5||1||0||10||+38|
|Detroit Motor City Hit Men||4||1||1||9||+33|
|Denver Mile High Mashuganas||4||2||0||8||-8|
|Chicago Mitzvah Boys||3||3||0||6||+4|
|Chicago Waste Management||3||3||0||6||-8|
|St. Louis RiverDawgs||2||4||0||4||-4|
|CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFF ROUND RESULTS|
|Montreal Royals||17||St. Louis Rise||16|
|Denver Rocky Mountain Chai||21||St. Louis Riverdawgs||6|
|Chicago Waste Management||13||Detroit Motor City Hit Men||12|
|Denver Mile High Mashuganas||14||Chicago Mitzvah Boys||12|
|Denver Rocky Mountain Chai||16||Montreal Royals||14|
|Chicago Waste Management||15||Denver Mile High Mashuganas||7|
|Denver Rocky Mountain Chai||19||Chicago Waste Management||15|