PORT HARDY––A late rally wasn’t enough to save the Blue Sox as Load ‘Em Up cruised to an 18-8 victory in the A final of the Father’s Day Classic slo-pitch tournament last weekend.
A field of 22 teams played it out over the weekend to line up the games for Sunday’s finals and a share in the $4,500 prize pool.
Another lightning start from Load ‘Em Up saw them race up 16-0 in four innings, leaving the Sox facing an uphill battle.
The Blue Sox weren’t about to go down without a fight however, and they found their form in the home stretch.
Pitcher Kale Henschke started them off with a base hit to centre field. Brandon Cheetham then cracked a single to right field, bringing Henschke home to open the Sox’s account. A tag up and an RBI double made it three before Henschke went to work on the mound, holding Load ‘Em up to one.
A tag-up in the sixth saw Load ‘Em Up take the inning 1-0 and set a tough target for the final inning.
Back-to-back two-RBI hits from Jeff Cowles and Cheetham added to an earlier score to give a glimmer of hope, but a strikeout followed by a mishit allowed Load ‘Em Up to close the door.
A spectacular diving catch from Load ‘Em Up shortstop Jim Clair helped his side blank the Sox in the first before Mitch Nelson smacked one over the fence for a two-RBI hit to get the game started.
Then, in the second, an RBI homer from Ryan Handley was followed by Tony Knighton’s two-RBI hit over the fence at left field as Load ‘Em Up racked up the score.
By the time Nelson added a two-RBI triple in the fourth- this one staying inside the park – the game was already approaching out of sight.
Most sportsmanlike awards for the final went to Aaron Miller and Tony Knighton.
Earlier in the day the Woodchuckers beat out the Dustmen to claim the B title.
Father’s Day Classic Slo-pitch Tournament
Storey’s Beach Diamonds
1. Load ‘Em Up
2. Blue Sox
3. Bush Cats
4. Master Batters
Most Sportsmanlike: Aaron Miller, Tony Knighton
Most Sportsmanlike: Greg Fox, Jaqueline (Woodchuckers)
3. Purple Cobras
Most Sportsmanlike: Barb Colbourne, Kelly Jones
2. Bad & Naughty
Most Sportsmanlike: Mel Nelson, Colin Hunko
4. Storm & 1/2
Most Sportsmanlike: Kyle Jones, Bobbi Ball
1. Port Alice
Most Sportsmanlike: Brittany Johnny, Jason Holmes