Last year, the Sooke Loggers left the NAFA Open-Holm Classic with slumped shoulders after a deflating 9 – 8 loss in the final game against the Circle Tap Dukes. This year, after five undefeated games, the Loggers clinched the sixth for the ultimate victory, emerging as the new Classic title holders.
The championship was played over two days, Saturday, June 15 and Sunday, June 16.
On Saturday, the Loggers played three games, starting against the Kegal Black Knights followed by the West Fargo Knights and later that afternoon against Circle Tap.
In their first game, the Sooke Loggers faced the Kegel Black Knights. The Loggers clocked their first three runs in the first three innings and the Black Knights matched their score by the sixth. The Loggers won, 4 to 3 in the second extra inning (inning 8), with Blake Hunter nailing the game-winning hit.
Their second game, which immediately followed their first victory, the Loggers played up against the West Fargo Knights, and soundly jousted them with an 8 – 0 win in five innings. Coach Len Banner writes on Facebook that Scott Lieph pitched a no-hitter for the win.
Their third game, played at 2 p.m., they squared up against the Circle Tap. Starting strong with four runs in the first inning, five in the second, and the final clincher in the fourth, the game was called in the fifth inning. The Loggers clear cut that game with a 10 – 0 sweep. Again, Banner provided the details on Facebook: “Rich Haldane with the win throwing a two hitter. Dan Whiteford with the only home run of the day for Sooke.”
Sunday was a new day, with the same level of success. A 10 a.m. repeat match against Circle Tap saw a 10 – 2 victory for the Loggers due, in part, to a very successful fourth inning that brought home six runs.
The morning win pitted the Loggers against the Randy A’s. With the A’s leading at the bottom of the third, the Loggers bounced back with three runs in both the fourth and the fifth inning for a final score of 7 – 4.
The final championship game was played against the Minnesota Angels with the Loggers securing three runs by the third inning and holding on to that lead for a 3 – 1 final. Logger pitcher Lieph threw the winning pitch, striking out Angels batter Roman Foore, a USA National Team Player, for the win.
Two Loggers received recognition. Honours were award to Scott Lieph as the Most Valuable Pitcher, and Kris Walushka as Most Valuable Player. Outfielder Blake Hunter, designated hitter Dan Whiteford, and pitcher/hitter Rich Haldane were selected to the All-World team.
Loggers consist of Brian Banner, catcher, outfield, Sooke; Chad Bryden, infield, Langford; Kyle Cowick, outfield, Sooke; Ben Edgington, outfield, Sooke; Rich Haldane, pitcher Vernon; Blake Hunter, outfield, infield, Cedar; Scott Lieph, pitcher, Sooke; Andrew Medwedrich, infield, Sooke; Nick Medwedrich, outfield, Sooke; Adam Schnarr, infield, Sooke; Kris Walushka, infield, outfield, Langford; Dan Whiteford, infield, catcher, Duncan; Len Banner, field manager, Sooke; John Bishop, coach, Victoria; and, Joe Medwedrich, coach, Sooke.