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Lee’s Bar sweeps Men’s Masters state tourney

By Staff | Aug 2, 2019

Submitted photo Lee's Bar Men's Masters 35 and Over Division Division 3 State Softball Tournament Champs are: Back row (left to right): Eric Zietz, Ray Uhlenkamp, Garett Irey, Lance Zietz , Brian Olson, Steve Mueller.   Front row: Travis Risovi, Toby McCabe, James Brossart, Chad Hauck.

A team sponsored by Rugby’s Lee’s Bar reclaimed a title not held for more than 30 years last weekend in Mandan when they swept the Men’s Masters 35 and Over Division 2 State Softball Tournament.

USA Softball of North Dakota sponsored the slow-pitch, double-elimination games last Saturday and Sunday.

Player Ray Uhlenkamp told the Tribune Lee’s Bar sponsors both a recreation league team for men of all ages, and an “old pro” team. “They call it “masters” now, but it’s technically ‘old pro,'” Uhlenkamp said with a smile.

Even though the players sometimes refer to themselves as “old,” Uhlenkamp said they don’t dial down the intensity of their play.

“As you can see, there were some close games (along the way) 9 to 8; 11 to 10; 11-9, and then the championship was 13-7,” Uhlenkamp noted, pointing to a chart of the tournament’s brackets.

Rugby’s march to the champion title began with a 9-8 win over the Bismarck Moose Lodge. Next, Viking Insurance of Mayville fell to Lee’s 10-11. A Minot team sponsored by Spartan Firearms and Nola’s Lounge fell to Lee’s 9 runs to 11 before Lee’s faced their final challenge of the day: Barcode Bar and Grill of Fargo.

Lee’s outscored Barcode 13 to 7 to finish undefeated.

“We had some really close and intense games,” Uhlenkamp said. “You lose on that first day, (teams have to play more games to get back into contention). I know the team we played in the championship, the championship game was their fifth game already. So, it was very crucial to keep winning so you didn’t get worn out.”

“It was a very intense softball tournament. There were a lot of stressful moments.”

Uhlenkamp said he was glad to bring the champion title back to Lee’s Bar. “We haven’t won a championship title since at least the early 1980s,” he estimated.

Lee’s Bar will play in another tournament with players both under and over 35 August 10-11 in Bismarck.

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