STOREY’S BEACH — In order to fill out an all-men’s team for the “orthodox” softball format in last weekend’s Indian Summer Tournament, Load ‘em Up manager Steve Clair had to do some recruiting.
He obviously made the right selections.
Jordan Campbell and Curtis Martyn, a pair of regulars on the Port Hardy Cubs baseball squad, had no trouble keeping up with the faster pace as they drove in five runs apiece to help Load ‘em Up to a 27-12 romp over Cowboys and Indians in the A final of the Port Hardy Slo-pitch Association’s season-ending tournament at Beaver Harbour Park.
Campbell had a grand slam home run in the second inning as Load ‘em Up tied the game 8-8, and his RBI triple in the third gave the club the lead for good at 10-9 as it pulled away over the final four innings.
“Some of us play hockey together,” Clair said of Port Hardy Bulls teammates Campbell, Martyn and Barney Wilson. “It never hurts to ask, and they seemed keen to play.”
The newcomers, along with pitcher Len Miller, joined the other male members from the co-ed Load ‘em Up team that had already won the 2011 OrcaFest A Final and reached the A Final of the Fred Donaldson Memorial in Port Alice on Labour Day weekend.
“It’s nice to end with another win,” Clair said.
Miller, who homered and drove in four runs, scored five times, as did Campbell. Jim Johnson scored four runs, Mitchell Blackmore had three runs and three RBIs, and Martyn homered and doubled among his five-hit performance. Tony Knighton also homered and Cory Henschke drove in two runs.
Jake Colbourne and Brayden Demoe, teammates of Campbell and Martyn with the Cubs baseball squad, each homered for Cowboys and Indians.
In the orthodox format, pitchers may throw as low and fast as they wish, as long as they do not go to a full slingshot windup. The game also features base-stealing and live plays at home plate rather than the safe line used in co-ed slo-pitch.
“It’s a little quicker of a game,” said Blackmore, a member of the original Load ‘em Up lineup. “I thought it was pretty sweet. It was a pretty good tourney.”
Steve Dugas, who was named tourney MVP, blasted a pair of long home runs and drove in three runs for Cowboys and Indians. From his defensive spot behind the plate he also kept up a constant stream of heckling and trash talk with opponents, fans and umpire Tom Baker.
The Rez claimed third place, the Bush Rats were fourth, the Ballerz were fifth, the Hardy Buoys Smokers placed sixth and the Aces finished seventh.
Load ‘em Up’s Johnson was named Most Sportsmanlike Player.