Sooke Loggers victorious in Manitoba tournament
Sooke’s own Loggers men’s fastball team are the Western Canadian Senior Fastpitch champions.
Returning home last week from the four-day event at Quarry Park in Stonewall, Manitoba, the team lost only one game at the tournament on their way to the top.
“We were pretty confident—there’s four really good teams and it just worked out, we just got hot and played really hot,” said player manager Brian Banner.
Play was a round-robin format with nine teams, with every team playing six games. The loggers won all but the last game against the Bruno Merchants from Saskatchewan, losing to them 9-2. They would have a chance to even the score, however, facing them twice more in the playoffs with victories of 9-1 and then 2-1 in the gold medal game.
“Our last game was good—we had just a couple tough outs (and) didn’t get the balls where we wanted to. (Then) we got a couple runs and we held them,” he said.
“Our defence basically won us the game, it was outstanding.”
The Loggers had to find a way to win without pitcher Scott Lieph, who was away playing in the U23 Men’s Canadian Fast Pitch Championship in Ontario. They picked up a pitcher from Kelowna, Rich Haldane, who plays for the Invermere Braves.
Haldane was “unreal” going 5-0 in the tournament.
“I think he had 43 innings pitched, he had like 47 strikeouts.”
The final on Sunday against the Merchants was a nail biter. The Loggers went into the seventh inning up 2-0, then the Merchants scored a run. They had runners on first and third base with two out, then hit a fly ball to centre field caught by Nick Medwedrich that ended up winning the game.
Notable mentions: the strongest hitters were second baseman Chad Bryden and shortstop Andrew Medwedrich, who scored the first run and, fittingly, drove home the winning run, said Banner. Nick hit a double in the fifth inning going two for three at the plate.