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Rock Run wins USA men's softball championships

Topeka-based Rock Run Industries captured top honors at the USA Men’s Softball Class E Slow-Pitch Northern National Championship over the Labor Day weekend in Evansville.

Rock Run won its first four games in the tournament, which did not allow any home runs. Their initial four victims were Illinois S.O.S (14-8), Wisconsin Palermo’s Pizza (1-0), Michigan Diamond Kingz (12-6) and Illinois Beechy’s Construction (22-3).

The local hitters fell to West Michigan Storm (9-8) in the finals of the Winner’s Bracket. Rock Run then beat Beechy’s Construction again (7-2) in the Loser’s Bracket decider to earn another shot at West Michigan Storm in the Championship Round.

Lavon Hochstetler’s two-out base hit in the seventh inning earned Rock Run an 8-7 triumph in the first title tilt. The Topeka club then wrapped up the crown with a 12-6 victory in the second championship game.

Rock Run second baseman Jerry Slabach of Millersburg was voted the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Pitcher Derek Lehman of Shipshewana posted the team’s top batting average (.714) in the event.