PORT HARDY—It took only four innings of Sunday’s A final for the Port Hardy Blue Sox to clinch the championship of the annual Umpire’s Icebreaker Slo-pitch tournament at Beaver Harbour Park.
But their opponents had a little more than pride left to play for.
Richard Nelson’s RBI single in the seventh inning capped a $60 rally by The Rez, which claimed second place and a bit of balm to the sting of coming up short in the championship final in the “skins” format tournament.
The three-day, 12-team tourney featured two rounds of pool play to establish teams into Sunday’s playoff brackets. The semifinals and finals were then played with cash awarded for each inning a team outscored its opponent, meaning four “wins” in the seven-inning game equaled a victory for the game.
However, a tied or scoreless inning caused the prize to be carried over to the following inning, which made for some entertaining results in the semifinals.
Thanks to carryover innings, the Rez need 12 innings to prevail over the Salmon Kings in the A semifinals, while Hi Vis of Port McNeill required nine innings to outduel the Smokers in the B semifinals.
In the A final, Brian Texmo reached base and scored in his first three plate appearances, and Len Miller, Bean Demoe and Janey Henschke each scored twice as the Blue Sox swept the first four innings, scoring a minimum of three runs in each frame.
After finally shutting out the Sox in the fifth, the Rez needed just two batters to claim their first payoff, with Steven Nelson’s one-out home run winning the inning. Both teams scored five runs in the sixth to force a carry-over, which Richard Nelson clinched when his one-out single drove home J.C. Hunt in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Blue Sox finished with $400 in winnings for the playoffs. The Bandits, who topped Hi-Vis in the B final, earned $360, and The Rez totaled $310 for their runner-up finish.
The Bandits topped Hi-Vis in the B Final, winning six of seven innings. The Bush Rats won the C Final and a $250 payout by claiming five innings to two over the Ballerz.
2012 Umpires Icebreaker Classic
at Beaver Harbour Park
1. Blue Sox ($400); 2. Rez ($310); 3. Load ’em Up ($80); 4. Salmon Kings ($120).
Female MVP: Jen Nelson, Rez. Male MVP: Brian Texmo, Blue Sox.
1. Bandits ($360); 2. Hi-Vis ($160); 3. Canadian Eh’s ($90); 4. Smokers ($90). Female MVP: Janine Braun, Hi Vis. Male MVP: Graeme Wiggins, Bandits.
1. Bush Rats ($250); 2. Ballerz ($200); 3. Aces ($40); 4. Marine Harvest. Female MVP: Jen Hunchuk, Bush Rats. Male MVP: Jim Paul, Ballerz.