| || || COMBAT TAKES ON NORTH AMERICA: THE ASA BORDER BATTLE CANADA VS. USA IN THE ULTIMATE SHOWDOWN! |
Combat Sports was thrilled to have played such a major role in the recent ASA Border Battle at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, OK, on Saturday, July 18. The Canadian Men's National Slow Pitch Team took on the US Men's National Slow Pitch Team in the ultimate softball game, which was televised on ESPN and TSN2. Over half of the players were swinging Combat; including Combat’s newest addition, the Gear Afflicted, which was launched at the event. This new bat was swung by softball superstars Johnny McCraw, Rusty Bumgardner and Jason Kendrick (Team USA). On Team Canada, team members Franck Henry, Jason Gallichen, Rob Staples and Brian Higginbotham to name a few, were also swinging the Gear Afflicted. Dexter Avery of Team USA, and Shawn Wallace, Mike McKittrick of Team Canada were swinging the Virus Morphed.
In total, 50% of the players at this game were using COMBAT bats!
When Team USA was losing 16 - 8 going into the bottom of the fourth inning, some people probably wondered what was going on. Team USA scored 17 runs on 17 hits in the bottom of the fourth to turn the game around and move into a 25 - 16 lead. Canada then went scoreless against USA pitcher Andy Purcell (Naples, FL). Losson White, (Omaha, NE) pitched the final two innings for USA to earn a save.
But in the fourth, Team USA took seven balls out of the yard with Jason Kendrick’s three-run blast over right field, tying the score at 16 - all. The big inning proved to be the difference as the USA added four more runs in the sixth and didn’t have to bat in the bottom of the seventh as Canada scored three in the sixth and four in the seventh. Losing pitcher Brian Higginbotham (Orleans, Ontario) went four-for-four and had three of his team’s eight homers, driving in six runs.
All of the USA starters had at least two or more hits. Brett Helmer (Cicero, NY) had six RBIs on three homers. JD Genter (Chickamauga, GA), Rusty Bumgardner, (Gastonia, NC) and Dennis Rulli (Moorpark, CA) all had four hits each for Team USA. Rick Baker (West Harrison, IN), had a three-run shot in the fourth, and finished with five RBIs. Team USA took the victory with a 30 - 23 win.
Some people might have figured the USA would roll over Canada, considering they had beaten the USA 17 - 1 in an earlier exhibition game. Team Canada assistant coach Jeff “Bug” Seguin (Windsor, Ontario) knew what Canada faced playing the USA. "We knew we would have to play a perfect game to beat them," said Seguin. “The fourth inning was the difference. If we had held them to only seven or eight runs in that inning, it might have been a different game. And we didn’t make an error in that inning. The game showed people that we (Canada) play a pretty good game of slow pitch. We aren’t there yet with the USA, but we can play a good game.”