KELSO -- Vandalia GAF won the 19th Annual Kelso Klassic over the weekend, beating Nokomis Bud Light in Sunday's championship game, 7-4.
The annual fastpitch tournament experienced heavy rains on Friday night, pushing games as late as 5 a.m. on Sunday morning. All teams came back later on Sunday afternoon to finish up the tournament as scheduled.
"The tournament went very well," said Klassic director Rick Heuring. "We've come to expect rain. Of the 19 tournaments we've had, 15 of them have had rain at least one day. We thought it was going to rain on Sunday, but the rain stayed away. Everybody hung with us and understood we would have played all night if necessary to finish up."
Vandalia GAF (Guaranteed Air Freight), from Vandalia, Ill., finished the tournament with a record of 5-0. The winning pitcher in Sunday's championship was Alan Meinhart, who recorded five strikeouts and issued four walks. Nokomis' Mike Rappe was charged with the loss.
Vandalia scored three runs in the first inning, two in the second and two in the fourth. Nokomis plated two in the first, one in the second and one in the sixth.
Rich Well was Vandalia's most prolific hitter, batting 2-for-3 with a home run and five RBIs. Brian Buscher was 3-for-3 with a run scored.
For Nokomis, Brad Johnson was 3-for-4 and Brett Tuetken was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Nokomis finished the tournament with a record of 3-2, with both losses coming to Vandalia. Vandalia also defeated Nokomis in the winner's bracket final, 5-1. Meinhart also picked up the win there and Nokomis' Steve Mitchell took the loss.
The Memphis Dawgs took third place in the tournament with a record of 4-3. The Memphis squad lost their first two games of the tournament, but finished strong to claim third.
T-Town KC took fourth place with an overall record of 3-2. The local teams didn't fare as well in the tournament, all struggling to score runs.
Kelso Connection went 1-2, Kelso Fastpitch was 2-2 and the Kelso Travelers finished 1-2.
Meinhart was named the Most Valuable Pitcher in the tournament. And for the first time, two players were named Most Valuable Player, with Vandalia's Rich Well and Greg Bellaver picking up the honors.
"(Vandalia) got two or three players from Nokomis this year," explained Heuring. "They were a good team before, then they added Meinhart and Dave Scott, and it was just enough to put them over the edge. Today, Vandalia was definitely the better team."