Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ready

Great day at the ball park today. The Men's Fastpitch League tournament wrapped up with the final two games of the tourney played this morning and then the semis and the finals played this afternoon. In the first game, the Diggers miscalculated the amount they needed to win by and let up on the Celtics who squeezed into a playoff spot as a result. The Cruisers cruised to a victory over the Shakers and the semi finals were set.

Game one saw the Celtics playing the Firemen. The Firemen had a good start but their bats went cold in the second and third innings allowing the Celtics to catch up. They never fully caught them though and the Firement rallied well in the late innings to win. In the other semi, the Cruisers made a valiant attempt against the Twins, but no to no avail and the game ended on a mercy rule.

Going into the final the Twins were the favourite over the Firemen, who have won the last three years in a row It was a tight game early on, even tying up at one point, but errors killed the Firemen. They made four errors in the game, all of which scored runs, and the Twins fielding was impeccable. Other than catcher Zak Ma letting a runner advance to third in the last inning, they played perfect ball. There were a lot of homeruns, the traditional streaking incident (this year by the Blomberg and Thompson ne'er do wells) and the Twins pitching was great, playing the umpire's wide strike zone to great effect. The Twins walked away with it after a couple of five run innings and the Firemen were left out of gas, despite a final inning rally in which the made 5 of the eight runs they needed. A great final altogether.

Bowen Island baseball is one of the treats of a Bowen summer. The season starts in May and concludes in August with the tournament. The games are played on a gorgeous field in the Cove, kids are paid a quarter for every foul ball they return (or 50 cents for a homerun ball). It's free, it's local, it's non-toxic and it's community building. All the right requirements for perfect summer entertainment. The league has been around forever and many kids have grown up with dreams of playing for one of the six local teams. It's all volunteer, from the commisioner to the scorekeepers, enjoys great support and, despite the occasional outburst, the games are tough fought between good sportsmen.

(More photos from Graeme Campbell)