McMinn double dips Freeman to win his first 2023 event at On the Snap Tour’s season opener

Clint Freeman, Justin Espinosa and Shane McMinn

They were both looking for their first 2023 event victory. Oklahoma’s Shane McMinn and Louisiana’s Clint Freeman battled three times in On The Snap Tour’s $1,000-added, 2023 season opener last weekend (Feb. 25-26). Freeman claimed the hot seat and McMinn returned from the semifinals to defeat him twice in the true double elimination finals. It was McMinn’s first (recorded) win in two years, since he claimed title to the Smokin’ Aces Show Me Classic in Poplar Bluff, MO (Feb. 2021). This most recent event drew 41 entrants to Rusty’s Billiards in Arlington, TX.

After being awarded an opening round bye, McMinn opened his campaign against Ruben Adame, who’d won Stop #2 on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Tour a week ago. McMinn allowed him only a single rack and then gave up only two to Tommy Tokoph, which set him (McMinn) up for a double hill battle against Friday Abismo. McMinn advanced, to a winners’ side semifinal against Tony Top. Freeman, in the meantime, after his opening round bye, sent Ramon Mendez, Mike Rountree, and Ryan Braselman to the loss side to face Rick Stanley in the other one.

McMinn moved on to the hot seat match after defeating Top 7-2, as Freeman was busy sending Stanley to the loss side 7-4. In what proved to be his last win, Freeman claimed the hot seat 7-4.

On the loss side, Top picked up Greg Sandifer, who’d lost his opening match to Terry Shackelford and gone on a five-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently eliminated Braselman 7-5 and in their double-hill rematch, Shackelford. Stanley drew Justin Espinosa, who’d lost his fourth winners’ side match in a double hill battle against Top, moved west to take out Christian Young 7-2 and then, double hill, defeated co-tour director, Jeff (“Sully”) Sullivan.

Espinosa defeated Stanley 7-5 and in the quarterfinals, faced Sandifer, who’d knocked Top out of the running 7-2. Espinosa ended Sandifer’s loss-side winning streak at six with a 7-2 win in those quarterfinals.

McMinn was relentless and accurate in the semifinals against Espinosa that followed. He didn’t give up a rack in his bid for a rematch against Freeman, waiting for him in the hot seat. With that oft-noted momentum boost of a strong semifinal, McMinn took the opening set of the true double elimination final 7-4 and claimed the event title with a 7-2 win in the second set.

Tour representatives – Jeff and Ileana Sullivan, Rick and Alicia Stanley, Jacky Halper, Michael Roundtree and Nicole Hall – thanked the ownership and staff at Rusty’s Billiards for their hospitality. The tour also thanked sponsors Diamond Billiards, Aramith, Simonis, On The Snap Billiards Apparel, Jeff Tucker Custom Cues, JB Cases,, Stixx and Stones Billiards, Dallas Heating and Air Conditioning. Outsville. TeamStraightpooleye. Cowboy Roofing and Remodeling. Rolling R’s Tack and the Embroidery Shop.

The next stop (#) of the On The Snap Tour (#2), scheduled for next weekend (March 11-12), will be hosted by Tailgaters (formerly Snookered) in Frisco, TX.

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