WINNIN’ CREW: Woody’s Wreckers, C division Shootout champs.

With state bragging rights on the line, the Dallas Woody’s Wreckin’ Crew won the "C" division at the Texas Shootout in Austin, May 3-4. Of the 28 teams in the "C" division, 24 hailed from the Lone Star State, including 11 from Houston, eight from Dallas and five from Austin.

The Wreckin’ Crew opened the tournament with back-to-back shutouts in pool play to secure the No. 2 seed entering the double-elimination portion of tournament.

In its first game, the Wreckin’ Crew posted a 13-0 run-rule victory over Justice League of Houston. With the help of some solid defense Wreckin’ Crew pitcher Mark Keerbs tossed a no-hitter in the win.

The story was similar for the Wreckin’ Crew in its second pool play game where it defeated Houston Budlight 10-0 in five innings. Keerbs and the Wreckin’ Crew defense were solid once again allowing only three hits in the game.

The Wreckin’ Crew entered the double-elimination portion of the tournament as the No. 2 seed overall and rolled into the championship game with four consecutive wins. In its first game of bracket play, the Wreckin’ Crew run-ruled the Dallas Crush, 14-4, and then took down the Houston Clippers, 10-6, to move on in the winner’s bracket.

On Sunday morning, the Wreckin Crew advanced to the winner’s bracket finals with an 11-3 win over Chicago Bazil Hayden Buzz — but the win came at a price. In the top of the first inning, Crew outfielder Jimmy Honea was injured attempting to catch a short fly ball to left field. He was taken to a local hospital by paramedics and it was discovered that he had broken both the tibia and fibula in his left leg.

The team refocused and made a commitment to win the championship for their injured teammate.

In the winners bracket finals, the Wreckin’ Crew scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to knock off the Dallas Voice Drillers, 10-9, to advance to the championship game.

The Drillers emerged from the loser’s bracket to earn a spot in the championship game where it needed to beat the Wreckin’ Crew twice for the title. In the first championship game, the Drillers came out swinging and knocked off the Wreckin’ Crew, 11-3, to force the "if" game.

In the "if" game, the Wreckin’ Crew scored in the bottom of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead, which would be all they needed to take the title. The Wreckin’ Crew defense stepped up to the challenge, turning four double plays and allowing only three hits in the shutout win.

During the tournament, the Wreckin’ Crew outscored its opponents 73-33 over eight games and held them to an average of four runs a game.

The team had six players who batted over .500 during the tournament. Jimmy Honea led all hitters before he was injured, going 5-for-7 (.714 average): He was followed by Craig Clifton (.642), Chris Lawson (.608), Ruben Castillo (.555), Jeff Kirk (.538) and Brian "Bama" McCall (.529).

With five teams finishing in the top 10, Dallas was well represented in Austin in the "C" Division. Those teams were Dallas Woody’s Wreckin’ Crew, 7-1 (1st), Dallas Voice Drillers, 6-2 (2nd), Hidden Door Aftershock, 3-2 (t7th), J.R.’s SWAT, 3-2 (t7th) and Dallas Crush, 2-2 (t9th).

Dallas’ Uptown Vision TKO won the "B" Division in Austin while the Buli Boy’s placed fourth in the "D" Division.

— Submitted by Brian McCall,

Woody’s Wreckin’ Crew outfielder

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 15, 2009.
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