PORT HARDY — Ivan Hall and Nick Russell of the Port McNeill Dustmen spent much of Father’s Day battling through the bracket to reach the A final in the annual WWI Slo-pitch Tournament at Beaver Harbour Park.
Instead of a little well-earned R&R after their 14-10 win over Port Hardy’s Canadian Eh’s in the championship final, the two were sent right back onto the field by their kids for some more running.
Russell doubled and drove in three runs and Hall was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored Sunday as the Dustmen overcame a sluggish start to overtake the Eh’s with a combined 11 runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
After watching the Eh’s close the gap on seventh-inning home runs by Bubba Nelson and Albert Brotchie, the Dustmen finally closed the door.
Right after the teams shook hands, Hall was challenged to a race to the outfield fence by son Bryson and Russell was conscripted to run interference on a run around the bases by daughter Chelsie.
The tournament drew 21 teams and was the largest on the North Island so far this season.
The Canadian Eh’s had the best of the early going in Sunday’s final, building a 5-1 lead through three innings behind extra-base hits from Kenny Nelson and Mitch Nelson and run-scoring singles by Bubba Nelson and Brotchie.
But the Dustmen erupted for six runs in the bottom of the fourth, capped by Melissa Allen’s RBI single, and never trailed again.
The Dustmen added five runs in the fifth as Keith Balcke had a two-run single and Reed Allen followed with a two-run double.
The Eh’s bats, meanwhile, went quiet. The squad scored just two runs over a four-inning stretch before Bubba Nelson and Brotchie cleared the fence in the final inning. The two each finished with three RBIs.
Reed Allen had four RBIs for the Dustmen, who outhit the Eh’s 17-14. Ryan Rushton went 2-for-2 with an RBI and a pair of runs.
In other finals, the Master Batters topped the Generals in an all-Port Hardy B final; Port McNeill’s Sporstman downed the Port Hardy Bulls in the C final; Load ’em Up beat The Rez in a D final meeting of Port Hardy rivals; and the Bandits defeated the Alkes in the E final.