Farmers Insurance Are Sun Division Champs

Larry Wolfe

The number one-seeded Farmers Insurance team, managed by Ron Carmichael and sponsored by the Frank Margiotta Agency, lived up to their billing by winning the Sun Division’s Winter Tournament Championship; however, they had to fight their way back through the losers’ bracket to do so.

Here’s a wrap-up of the three-day, six-game tourney:

Number four-seeded Leckner Realty, managed by Sam Giordano, upset Farmers Insurance in the opening game by a 21-17 score. The Realtors scored five runs in the final inning to pull off the upset. Kim Whitney and Don Scoggins had four hits each to lead the Realtors to victory. Bob Wicks and Tom Chilton added three hits and a homer each to aid the cause. Paul Gayer had four hits, including a home run, for the Farmers, while Phil Gutterman, Mike Lebet, and Kurt Carmichael also homered, but it was not enough to top the spunky Realtors.

There was another upset in the second contest, as the third-seeded Spooner PT team beat the second-seeded Brenden Financial Planners 19-6. Dan Melosi and Kurt Carmichael both went 4 for 4 for the winners. Melosi, Reyes Gonzales, and Jerry Hester all “went yard.” Dean Messier homered for Manager Sam Giordano’s Planners.

In a real nail-biter, Manager Randy Neumann’s Spooner PT squad eked out an 18-17 win over Leckner Realty. The Therapists scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to secure the victory. Phil Gutterman with four hits and Reyes Gonzales with three hits, including two long balls and a walk, led the Therapists. Kelly Anderson, Eli Romanchych, and Steve Schaider added three hits each. In a well-balanced attack, five Realtors had three hits each (Kim Whitney, Jack Martin, Jim Leckner, Sam Giordano, and Mike Gloyd). Kim Whitney, Bob Wicks, and John Castro homered.

In the loser’s bracket game, Farmers Insurance eliminated the Brenden Financial Planners in another close encounter, 14-13. Steve Hilby and Kim Whitney paced the Farmers with four hits each, while Mike Lebet and Kurt Carmichael homered. Dave Platt had four hits for the Planners; Tom Stephens hit two out of the yard, while Mike Otman and Bobby Farmer also homered for the Planners.

On the final day of the three-day tourney, Farmers Insurance eliminated Leckner Realty by a 16-12 score to earn the right to face Spooner PT in the Championship Game. Mike Lebet led the charge for the Farmers with five hits. He was aided by five teammates who had three safeties each: Steve Hilby, Ron Carmichael, Bobby Farmer, Dick Bleich, and Bill Corso. Bob Wicks and Sam Giordano had four hits each for the Realtors. With the wind blowing in, no one hit any four-baggers.

In the Championship Game, the Farmers continued their comeback from their game one defeat by outlasting Spooner PT by a 21-12 score. Spooner jumped out to an 8-0 lead, but the Farmers came back quickly and coasted to victory. Mike Lebet went 5 for 5 for the second straight game, while Doug Freisen and Dave Lingen also had five hits for the Farmers. Phil Gutterman and Kurt Carmichael added four hits each, while Steve Hilby smashed two long homers for the winners. Tom Schneider had three hits, including a “big fly,” for the Therapists.

Congratulations to the Farmers Insurance team for their hard-fought victory!