Combat Sports was thrilled to once again play a major role in this year’s ASA Border Battle held at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, OK on July 24. The Canadian Men's National Slow Pitch Team took on the USA Men's National Slow Pitch Team in the ultimate softball game, which was televised on ESPN and TSN2. Half of the players in this year’s game were swinging Combat bats; including the returning Gear Afflicted as well as Combat’s newest additions, the Rusty BUMGARDNER Anti Virus Reloaded, and the Scott BROWN 98 Gear which were launched at the event. These new bats were swung by softball superstars Rusty Bumgardner, Johnny McCraw, Jason Kendrick and Scott Brown (Team USA) to name a few. On Team Canada, team members Franck Henry, Ryan Wood, Jeff Zanolli and Jeff Gare also were swinging Combat’s latest ASA slowpitch offerings.


The Results

The Canadian team dominated the top of the first inning, scoring 11 runs to take a big early lead. Feeling the pressure USA came back and scored 3 runs after one inning to make the score 11-3. The second inning proved to be more exciting then the last, Gallichen managed to add two more runs with a homerun. USA took advantage of that by scoring 6 runs in the bottom of the inning, highlighted by a single, a triple, a double and another single to score 3 runs, and a three-run homerun by Rusty Bumgardner to cut the lead to 13-9.
Canada’s defense continued to dominate in the bottom of the sixth, as Dave Boldt made a beautiful sliding catch and Jeff Gare made an amazing diving catch on a low line drive at second base for the two first outs of the inning. However, Team USA scored 2 runs after back-to-back doubles, followed by a two-run homerun by Scott Kirby. Canada was able to get out of the inning with a 28-25 lead.

USA put 2 more runs on the board in the top of the seventh, as Jeff Zanolli hit an RBI single and Canada scored a second run on an errant throw on a double play that could have ended the inning, going into the bottom of the seventh with a 30-25 lead. USA fought back hard, as Brett Helmer hit an RBI triple, JD Genter hit an RBI single and Johnny McCraw hit a two-run homerun to cut the lead to only one with no outs and no homeruns left. Rusty Bumgardner and Rick Baker then hit back-to-back singles, but Scott Kirby and Scott Brown both hit homerun outs, and Ryan Robbins grounded out to the pitcher Higginbotham who ran over to second base himself for the force out to end the game, giving Canada the 30-29 win. 

The USA outhit Canada 35-32 in the game, but Canada came up with several great defensive plays to hold the USA where they were, holding on for the win. Jeff Gare led the way for Canada with five hits, while Brian Higginbotham, Franck Henry and Jason Gallichen all had four. Dave Boldt, Todd Cadenhead and Ryan Caley had three hits each, while Jeff Falardeau and Jeff Zanolli chipped in with two each. James Kelly and Ryan Wood also contributed one apiece.

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