Rolla played host to the Men's Class D North Slow Pitch State Championship on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 4-5. Evil Empire, a local team from St. James, made an excellent run through the bracket to win the championship.
Evil Empire started their run with a dominant 13-2 win over Konfuzed. That was followed by an absolute slugfest against Limitless/Riot Sports. Evil Empire mashed in 27 runs on their way to a 15 run margin of victory. They slowed down their pace in their next game, but still had a comfortable 10-5 win over Dirty Bird Nation. That wouldn't be the last time those two teams would face off.
The St. James team ran into their only bump in the road in their semi-final game against Rayszn Cain. Evil Empire held onto a 5-4 lead through the first two innings, before tacking on another run in the third. Rayszn Cain cut the deficit to one in the fifth, before the runs really started flying in the final two innings. Rayszn Cain scored six runs in the sixth to take an 11-6 lead with an inning left to play. Evil Empire punched back with seven runs of their own in the top of the seventh to take a 13-11 lead, but Rayszn Cain wrapped up the game with a walk-off home run to give Evil Empire their only loss.
After the loss, Evil Empire went to the loser's bracket, where they had a rematch with Dirty Birds. Evil Empire took a 3-1 lead through an inning of play in the second matchup, before extending their lead to 6-3 through the third. Dirty Birds tied the game with a three run fourth, before taking the lead with three runs in the fifth. After that, it was all Evil Empire. The local squad scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth, before holding Dirty Birds off the board in the seventh to win 10-9 and earn a spot in the championship.
Because of the first loss to Rayszn Cain, Evil Empire had to win twice to take the State Championship. They started with a 13-8 win that was powered by a six-run second and a five-run fifth. The revenge tour was capped off by an excellent championship game where they cruised to a 16-9 win. They scored six runs in both the first and third innings on their way to a dominant win and the Men's Class D North Slow Pitch State Championship.
The win will give Evil Empire the chance to play in the USA Softball Slow Pitch Men's North Class D National Championship Aug. 31-Sept.2 in Evansville, Indiana.