Len Miller of Port Hardy's Blue Sox dives to rob Load 'em Up's Mike Cox of a base hit in center field Sunday during the final of the Umpires Icebreaker Slo-pitch Tournament in Port Hardy.

Load ’em Up says pay ’em up

PORT HARDY - Local team takes home top payday thanks to skins format used in Umpires Icebreaker Slo-pitch Tournament

PORT HARDY — Len Miller of the Port Hardy Blue Sox dominated the highlight reel. Load ’em Up was happy to settle for the cash.

Mike Cox and Jim Johnson each had three hits and drove in four runs Sunday as Load ’em Up outdueled the Blue Sox 5-2 in the A final of the annual Umpires Icebreaker Slo-Pitch Tournament at Beaver Harbour Park.

The tourney was played in a skins format that awarded a $60 payout for each inning won. Load ’em Up claimed $300 for its five winning innings, along with another $150 earned during its semifinal victory over the Master Batters earlier in the day.

Load ’em Up took control of Sunday’s final by claiming three skins in the critical fourth inning. After Miller’s three-run home run in the bottom of the first inning gave the Blue Sox the first skin, the teams tied both the second and third innings and carried over those skins to the fourth.

Jake Colbourne’s RBI double scored Justin Gelinas with a single run in the top of the inning, and Load ’em Up made the run stand up by shutting out the Blue Sox in the bottom half.

The Blue Sox closed to 3-2 with a skin in the fifth inning as Brayden Demoe tripled and Jordan Campbell and Leigh Deans provided run-scoring singles.

But Load ’em Up clinched the victory by winning the sixth inning on Jim Johnson’s two-run single, and added the final skin for good measure on run-scoring doubles by Gelinas and Cox and another RBI single from Johnson.

Needing four runs to force a carry-over inning for the final skin, the Blue Sox got three of them on Carla Wagner’s two-run single and Miller’s second sacrifice fly of the game. But with runners on the corners and just one out, the Blue Sox ran into a game-ending double play and settled for a $120 runner-up payout.

The Blue Sox had a particularly tough time when the sun came out in the third inning. Several fly balls were lost in the sun by fielders over the final five innings and dropped safely to the turf as Load ’em Up baserunners advanced.

Miller got the game off to a rousing start by racing to his left in center field and diving to rob Cox of an extra-base hit. He then came up in the bottom of the inning and lofted a towering shot over the fence in right center with two runners aboard.

Miller finished 2-for-2 with five RBIs for the Blue Sox. Teammates Campbell and Demoe each went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and Wagner was 3-for-4 with three RBIs.

Colbourne went 4-for-4 with three runs and an RBI for Load ’em Up.


In the B final, the Bush Rats downed the Bulls 5-2 to claim a $300 prize. Each of the finals was worth $60 per inning, while other playoff games had varying smaller prize amounts.

Umpires Icebreaker Tournament

At Beaver Harbour Park

A Division

Final: Load ’em Up 5, Blue Sox 2

Semifinals: Load ’em Up 5, Master Batters 2; Blue Sox 7, Salmon Kings 0.

Consolation: High-Vis 4, Port Alice 3

B Division

Final: Rats 5, Bulls 2

Semifinals: Bulls 6, Bandits 1; Bush Rats 7, Eagles 0.

Play-in: Bandits 6, Ballerz 1.



Just Posted

People’s Party of Canada plan to have a candidate in the North Island-Powell River riding

Elections Canada formally recognized the North Island—Powell River PPC Association

NVIATS takes over NIEFS space in Thunderbird Mall

“We were approached by NIEFS, they’re going to be downsizing”

Port Hardy Reigns compete in Nanaimo at Island Championships

“We are very fortunate to have this opportunity for our youth in Port Hardy”

Derina Harvey Band – Heartfelt, Energetic, Celtic rock comes to Port Hardy

Front-woman Derina Harvey leads this Celtic-rock act, who offer an authentic east-coast experience.

OPINION: Urgent care room will cost lives

“Seniors, of any demographic, are the most vulnerable to the loss of emergency care.”

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

WATCH: South Vancouver Island shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident, say police

One person in custody, another fled following shooting and crash on West Shore

Woe, Canada: Bruins down Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7

No Canadian teams left in Stanley Cup playoffs

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man accused in daughters’ murder

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

Should B.C. parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

New survey looks at public opinion around government’s role in forcing immunizations

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Pug life: B.C. town boasts waggish list of dog names

Freedom-of-information request lists most ‘pupular’ dog names registered in White Rock

Most Read