No stopping Gary's Pizza

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
Brandon DeClusin of Gary’s Pizza, left, connects for one of his three home runs in last Wednesday’s men’s softball tournament championship game at Skye McKenzie Field in Mount Shasta.

Meet the new boss, much different than the old boss.

Gary’s Pizza rose up from its No. 3 seed to sweep the competition and win the 2013 South Siskiyou Men’s Softball League championship last week.

“I’ve been playing in this league for 24 years and this is the first time I’ve ever won a championship,” said Gary’s pitcher Barry Norton.

A 27-21 victory over the defending champion and No. 1 seed Banquet Boys capped Gary’s perfect postseason tournament run under the lights last Wednesday at Skye McKenzie Field in Mount Shasta.

Brandon DeClusin hit three home runs and drove in 9 as Gary’s rallied from a 16-6 deficit to defeat Banquet Boys for the second time in two days.

Gary’s advanced undefeated into the tournament’s championship bracket with an 18-15 win over Banquet Boys in the final winners’ bracket game Tuesday of last week.

No. 2 seed Bud Boys placed third, losing to Banquet Boys 26-11 in Wednesday evening’s semifinal.

“Pizza party!” some Gary’s players shouted after the game.

“There’s a new King of the Hill,” said third base coach Curtis Smith. “These guys go so quick from first to third and play defense. They can win it all the time.”

“I was feeling it tonight,” said Brandon DeClusin, who picked up some of the power slack left by the absence of his brother, Justin, who was unavailable for the championship game.

Boosted by home runs off the bats of Adam Linebarger and Justin Gerding, Banquet Boys scored 8 runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 16-6 lead.

But that lead didn’t even last three outs as Gary’s Pizza scored 11 in the top of the fifth.

Brandon DeClusin had an RBI single and his second three-run home run of the game in that frame, while Scott Irvine smoked a three-run double, and Matt Norton drove in two with a single to center.

An RBI single by Barry Norton broke a 17-17 tie in the top of the sixth and started another Gary’s offensive explosion.

Before Banquet Boys returned to the dugout, DeClusin connected for a two-run homer, Jake Gordon singled to drive in a run, and Brad Padilla followed an intentional walk to Irvine with a soaring three-run home run to right-center.

Chris Hanson and Linebarger homered for Banquet Boys to cut the margin to 25-21 in the bottom of the sixth, but that proved to be the last gasp of the defending champs.

Also making frequent contributions for Gary’s on both offense and defense in the championship game were Shawn Smith, Reggie Smith, Ryan Mangrum and Matt Rogers.