This year’s tournament (or should we say tournaments!) was filled with excitement, competitiveness… and most of all, fun! The morning bracket was comprised of four teams– Lighthouse for the Blind – St Louis, Team Layton (sponsored by Ameren Illinois), Emerson, and Mascoutah Eye Care.

The morning bracket was meant to be more competitive, with all teams having veteran or experienced pitchers and many visually impaired athletes, including MindsEye’s own Gateway Archers. To even the field, the Archers were split among all of the teams. Casey Scott and Jonathan Clemons played for Lighthouse for the Blind – St. Louis. Richie Krussel, Chad Dillon, Orlando Gonzalez, and Head Coach/Pitcher Mike Curtis played for Team Layton. Kim Blumenthal, Mari Blumenthal, Kasondra McDaniel, and Liam McCoy played for Emerson. Kyle Borah and Cory Sturdevant played for Mascoutah Eye Care. The bases were also set to 80 feet, as opposed to the traditional 60 feet for MindsEye recreational tournaments.

First Round Matchups:

Lighthouse Versus Team Layton

In the first inning, Chad Dillon started off the scoring for Team Layton. Richie Krussel was able to put out 2 of 3 Lighthouse batters– and that wouldn’t be his only put-outs on the game– he finished with 5! Richie would also go on to score 2 runs. Lighthouse tried making a late comeback with 2 runs in their last at-bat. Final score: Team Layton 3, Lighthouse 2

Emerson Versus Mascoutah Eye Care

The first few innings were filled with outs until Kim Blumenthal and Thomas scored back-to-back to give Emerson a 2-run lead. It stayed 2-0 until Kyle and Sean Borah both scored back-to-back themselves, tying the game at 2-2. The game would play 2 extra innings, with no one taking the lead. It finally went into a “shootout,” wherein each team chooses 3 batters to attempt to hit the ball into the field of play (with no running or defenders involved.) Emerson got 1 on the board with their turn, but Mascoutah Eye Care and Cory Sturdevant walked it off with 2. Final score: Emerson 2, Mascoutah Eye Care 3

Second Round Matchups:

Emerson Versus Team Layton

Richie Krussel and Chad Dillon started the game off fast for Team Layton with back-to-back runs in the first inning. Richie Krussel would go on to score 2 more, and Chad Dillon one. Ben also scored his first 2 runs of the day– and it was his first time playing BeepBall! Liam McCoy went on to score the lone run for Emerson. Final Score: Emerson 1, Team Layton 7

Mascoutah Eye Care Versus Lighthouse

The Borah brothers started it off with back-to-back runs, and Cory Sturdevant put one up for Mascoutah Eye Care in the first. Sean Borah would go on to get another run in the second. For Lighthouse, Jon Clemons went 2 for 2 with support runs from Casey Scott and Henry. The game would go to a shootout– Mascoutah Eye Care’s second in a row! Kyle scored one in the shootout for Mascoutah Eye Care. Lighthouse got runs from Henry and David to give them the win, and a rematch for the championship game against Team Layton. Final Score: Mascoutah Eye Care 4, Lighthouse 5

3rd Place Game:

Emerson Versus Mascoutah Eye Care

In our first rematch of the day, Emerson came much more prepared to take on Mascoutah Eye Care, getting runs from Liam, Bob, Thomas, and Kasondra McDaniel. Mascoutah Eye Care struggled a bit but had runs from Sean Borah and Erin Frazier. While Mascoutah Eye Care put a ton of balls into play, Emerson’s defense was up to the task with 5 putouts, 3 from Liam McCoy. Final Score: Emerson 5, Mascoutah Eye Care 2

Championship Game:

Team Layton Versus Lighthouse

Team Layton came out of the gate fast with a run by Richie Krussel in the first inning and two more from Richie and Chad in the second. Team Layton would hold Lighthouse off the board through the first 2 innings. Henry and Jon would go on to score 2 runs for Lighthouse but it wasn’t enough– Richie and Chad would get 2 more runs as the game went on. In one memorable moment, Archer Chad Dillon (who has a visual impairment) pitched to Archers Coach/Pitcher Mike Curtis. Although they made big contact and hit 2 balls about 150 feet, they both ended up foul, and the at-bats ended in strikeouts. Final Score: Team Layton 5, Lighthouse 2

2021 Ultimate BeepBall Champions (morning bracket):

Team Layton (Ameren Illinois). Congratulations to Richie, Chad, Nick, Ben, Orlando, Morgan, and Mike.

2021 Ultimate BeepBall MVP (morning bracket):

Richie Krussel

Thank you so much to our sponsors, Lighthouse for the Blind – St. Louis, Ameren Illinois, Emerson Electric, Mascoutah Eye Care, Mascoutah Noon and Evening Lions, Fenton Lions, Lizzie Bobs, Josie the Cat, Sassmaster Mandy and Co., The Sports Angl with Mark Stangl podcast, and Lighting Associates LLC.

MindsEye is a Proud United Way Safety Net Member

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