Flyers complete comeback in ‘B’ Division with three consecutive victories
By Pat Payton
It’s proven to be a deadly combination for the Tribe. They can hit for power from top to bottom in their batting order, and they also play solid defence.
They’re two good reasons why this powerful team has lost only one game in the last two St. Marys Men’s Slow Pitch League seasons.
The hard-hitting Tribe captured the ‘A’ Division playoff title for the fourth consecutive year last Tuesday night with a 19-16 victory over the Marauders at Rotary Field. The win gave the Tribe a 3-0 sweep of the best-of-five final. They scored a total of 49 runs in the three games.
“We just believe in each other,” the Tribe’s Owen Penney replied when asked why his team wins so much. “It doesn’t matter if we get down or up, we just keep hitting and keep it simple. We’ve played together for years, so I think that helps us, too. It feels good to win again.”
Teammate Trevor Ward agreed: “We just play ball and have fun. Everybody gets along, always. You never get tired of winning. I think we’re setting records now,” he added with a laugh.
To their credit, Marauders went down with a fight in Game 3 last Tuesday. Marauders jumped out to an early 5-0 lead. After the Tribe chipped away to take an 8-5 advantage, Marauders regained the lead (11-9) with four runs in the top of the fifth.
Ten runs turns the tide
It seemed to get the Tribe’s attention as they exploded for 10 runs in the bottom of the fifth to charge ahead 19-11. Marauders made it interesting with five runs in the top of the seventh, but that’s as close as they’d get.
Showing their depth, 10 different Tribe players scored runs. Craig Thompson crossed the plate three times for the winners, and Norm Coulthard knocked in three runs with a couple of key singles. Defensive standouts for the ‘A’ champs were shortstop Louie Robinson and pitcher Trevor Ward.
Dan Anderson, Josh Drinkwalter and Jase Doucette scored three runs apiece for the Marauders.
In Game 2 last Monday, the Tribe took a commanding 2-0 series stranglehold with an 18-3 win. Jeff Kennedy scored three times for the Tribe, with Mike Glover, Trevor Ward and Luke Wiffen adding two runs apiece. The previous day, the Tribe claimed the series opener 12-4.
Flyers complete comeback
The best-of-five ‘B’ Division final went the distance. After winning the series opener 12-11, the Desperados moved to within a victory of the championship with an 18-13 win last Monday. However, the first-place Flyers stayed alive with a quick 16-2 victory Tuesday, and then forced a fifth game with a lopsided 24-4 win the following night.
In the Game 4 victory, Eric Burford scored four times for the Flyers, with Will Thomson and Nathan Smith both crossing the plate three times. Smith cracked two inside-the-park homers. Infielder Trent Dundas was a defensive standout for the Flyers.
In last Friday night’s deciding game at King diamond, Flyers completed the comeback with a 16-4 win over the Desperados. In the last three games of the series, Flyers scored a total of 56 runs.
–The Tribe’s only loss this season was 9-8 to the LA Batts in their first game of an ‘A’ semi-final series. They went 20-0 in the regular-season standings, followed by the Marauders (17-3).
–Flyers topped the ‘B’ Division standings with a 21-1 mark. Desperados (17-5) finished second.
–At a meeting prior to the 2019 season, the Men’s Slow Pitch League voted to return to a playoff series format rather than hold a September weekend tournament to decide the division winners.