Hard Hitters win 2013 Wooden Bat Polar Bear tournament

From staff reportsNovember 12, 2013 

Members of the Hard Hitters team are, from left, kneeling, Dwayne Askew, Timmy Haswell, Eric Lupper, Ryan Carey and Brian Graley; and standing, Scotty Haswell, Brian Mills, J.D. Broderick, Jeremiah Feilen, Scott Graley and Brandon Ray. Not pictured are Thomas Edmondson, Tyler Hicks and Josh Lindsey.


— The Hard Hitters team hit hard, outscoring its opponents 38-10 en route to the title in the eighth annual men’s Wooden Bat Polar Bear Softball Tournament.

The Wendell Parks and Recreation event took place at Wendell Park Nov. 2, with temperatures in the 70s preventing the tournament from living up to its name.

The tournament requires players to use wooden bats that make deep shots less common than they are off an aluminum bat. For the first time in the history of the Polar Bear, none of the players was able to produce a home run.

Four teams competed in the double elimination tournament, called by umpire Don Young for the eight straight year.

Hard Hitters, coached by Brian and Scott Graley of Knightdale, had competed in the Polar Bear several times before but had never won until going 3-0 this year.

The team won 18-3 over B&B in the first round, 10-7 over Assassins in the second round and 10-0 in a rematch against the Assassins team in the title game.

Assassins finished 2-2, opening with a 10-0 win against the Sandbaggers team and later defeating B&B 10-7 to emerge from the losers bracket for the championship appearance.

The B&B squad posted a 1-2 record, having topped Sandbaggers 9-2 in the first game of the losers bracket. The Sandbaggers bowed out after opening with a pair of losses.

Athletics Program Supervisor Kelley Connolly encourages those interested to sign up a team for the next run of tournament, planned for Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014.

For more information, call Wendell Parks and Recreation at 919-366-2266.

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