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McClure leads Brown Sox to Sunshine Days softball title

The wins just keep piling up for the KFC/A&W Brown Sox men's softball team.

Ryan McClure, named the MVP this past weekend, led this year's Lower Valley Men's Softball League champs to the Sunnyside Sunshine Days Softball Tournament championship. The local men's squad posted a 6-1 record in the Sept. 18-19 tourney, staged at SunnyView Park.

The Brown Sox got off on the wrong foot Saturday morning, as they were upended in their opener by Auto Max of Yakima, 21-18. The Brown Sox trailed by nine runs in the seventh inning, but rallied to tie the contest and force extra innings. Down the stretch, though, Auto Max eked out the victory.

The Sunnyside club rebounded in game two Saturday, edging Professional Painters of Sunnyside by a 17-16 score. Professional Painters opened the game by plating 13 runs in the first inning, only to watch as the Brown Sox outscored them by a 17-3 margin in the final six innings.

The eventual tourney champs closed out Saturday's play with an 8-3 victory over Safari Restaurant of Sunnyside.

The Brown Sox gave a hint of things to come with their 16-0 win over a club from the Tri-Cities Sunday morning. The Sunnysiders followed up the shutout with a tight 14-13 decision over We're Back, a squad from the Sunnyside-Grandview areas.

"We're Back was one of the toughest teams in the tournament," said Brown Sox Manager Bob Sarmiento Sr.

In Sunday's semi-final tilt, the Brown Sox avenged their only tourney loss, knocking off Auto Max by a whopping 20-8 score. The win advanced the Sunnyside team into the tourney championship against an all-star squad from Moses Lake.

"It was a very excellent played game, which we won by a score of 15-14," Sarmiento said.

"What a way to close out the season," he added.

Sarmiento was quick to note, though, that his team is still trying to put together the funding to make the trip to the World Series event in Las Vegas the weekend of Oct. 8-10, which they qualified to compete at earlier this month.

In addition to McClure getting named MVP of the Sept. 18-19 Sunshine Days tourney, the Brown Sox had four players named to the tournament all-star squad. They included Chris McCallum, Kevin McClure, Joe Gutierrez and Scott Perkins.

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