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Grose takes runner-up at horseshoe worlds

Throughout the year, people all over the world play horseshoes. Most of those people do it for fun. But, some of those people compete in sanctioned tournaments.

Southern Nevada has three different horseshoe leagues, one of which is a sanctioned league while the other two are non-sanctioned leagues.

The Nevada State Horseshoe Pitchers Association is a sanctioned league that holds tournaments in various locations throughout the southern half of the state.

They welcome pitchers of all different age groups to participate in their tournaments.

In addition to their regular tournaments, the NSHPA also holds a state championship tournament near the end of September or first weekend of October each year.

This year’s tournament will be held on Sept. 30 in Tonopah.

However, before we get that far as it’s still just over two months away, there’s currently another major tournament being held in the horseshoe world.

That tournament would be the 2023 World Horseshoe Pitching Championships held by the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association.

This year’s tournament was held in Lansing, Michigan with 48 states and three countries represented.

Michigan had the most players representing a single state with 129 pitchers. Ohio was the next closest with 76 pitchers.

Nevada had six pitchers participate in the tournament.

Teenager Tom Grose had the best finish of any pitcher from Nevada. He went 8-4 in the preliminary round of the Cadet division to clinch a spot in the tournament’s championship bracket.

In the championship tournament, Grose ended his day with a 6-1 record. His lone loss of the championship rounds came against Eli Sullivan, the eventual world champion from Virginia.

The two pitchers faced off against each other in the final game of the tournament with the title of world champion on the line.

Sullivan would come away with a 45-13 victory.

Grose scored 268 total points and threw 169 ringers in his 250 attempts during the championship matches, giving him a ringer percentage of 67.6%.

His best game came against third-place finisher Landon Morgan of Illinois, where Grose threw 33 ringers on his way to a 44-10 victory.

Neal Schulte had another great performance for the state of Nevada.

He finished the preliminary round of the tournament with an 11-4 record, tied for second place in the men’s E1 group.

Despite winning the head-to-head match in the tournament, Schulte received a third-place finish due to losing the tiebreaker against Evan Pickett of Idaho.

Pickett finished with a ringer percentage of 33.33% compared to Schulte’s 26.5%.

Schulte scored 401 total points and threw 159 ringers in his 600 throw attempts.

In addition to his win over second-place finisher Pickett, Schulte also scored a 41-17 victory over the group champion, Stan Hayward of Missouri.

The only other Nevada pitcher to participate in the men’s division was Mark Morfin.

Morfin finished tied for fifth place in the H1 group.

He ended his preliminary tournament with a 9-6 record. Morfin scored 347 points and threw 131 ringers for a 21.83 ringer percentage, just edging out sixth-place finisher Dave Eversole of Michigan.

Nevada had one representative in the Elders division.

James Hatch participated in the F2 group of the Elders division, finishing the round-robin tournament with a 7-8 record. He tied for tenth place with Jeff Thompson of Minnesota.

Hatch ended his day with 324 points and threw 180 ringers in his 600 throw attempts, giving him a ringer percentage of 30%.

As I’m writing this up on Tuesday afternoon, the men’s division is holding another round of games to find out who will be heading to the championship tournament.

All five divisions – Elder Men’s, Senior Men’s, Senior Women’s, Men’s and Women’s – currently still battling it out for the rights to their world championships will begin their final tournament beginning Thursday, July 27.

The senior men’s and women’s tournaments will be played over the course of Thursday and Friday, while the Elder Men’s, Men’s and Women’s tournaments will be played on Thursday, Friday and Saturday to crown their champions.

The Nevada State Horseshoe Pitchers Association will start back up again this Saturday with a tournament at Lone Mountain Park in Las Vegas.

The Sin City Nights tournament is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. All pitchers should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the tournament to complete the sign-in process.

Contact sports writer/editor Danny Smyth at dsmyth@pvtimes.com. Follow @_dannysmyth on Twitter.

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