The Sooke Loggers fastpitch players entered their first seasonal tournament swinging explosively, and delivering decisively. They won the 2014 Kelowna May Days tournament, and as was reported by Al’s Fastball (alsfastball.com), this win earned them a berth at the 2014 World Tournament.
The Kelowna tournament took place from May 17 to 19. In total, the Loggers played six games, of which they won five. Their one loss was against South Hill Giants (in their second game), and they revisited this team in both their fifth and sixth games.
The Loggers won their first game against the Kelowna Rangers with a 10-0 win. Andrew Medwedrich and Adam Schnarr each had home runs.
Second up was a game against the South Hill Giants, which they lost 0-4. Pitcher Scott Leiph threw 10 strikeouts in that game.
Their third game — which began the knockout/playoff round — was against the Calgary Sox. The Loggers won 9-1 with pitcher Tyson Barkman. Home runs where hit by Schnarr and Kris Walushka.
Their second playoff game (game 4) was against the Randy A’s, and again the Loggers walked away with win, 6-0.
Game 5 saw the Loggers face down the South Hill Giants again (who they lost against in Game 2), but this time they turned it around with an 8-4 win. Pitchers for both teams (Jeff Farion for the Giants and Tyson Barkman for the Loggers) each went all nine innings. Ben Edgington batted in two runners with a single hit in the ninth inning. Tim Scaber hit a home run, and pitcher Barkman delivered nine strikeouts.
In the finals, the Sooke Loggers once again squared up against the Giants (who beat Randy’s A’s in the semi-finals and won the right to go up against the Loggers for the deciding game). It was tight, but the Sooke Loggers ultimately won this final game — and the series — with a 6-5 victory. Logger home runs were hit by Ben Edginton and Blake Hunter (#12).
Logger pitcher Tyson Barkman won the Top Pitcher award. Three Loggers received Top Hitter awards: Chad Bryden (3rd, .429, 4 runs batted in aka RBI and two home runs), Kris Walushka (6th, .389, 8 RBI, and a home run), and Blake Hunter (8th, .368, 4 RBI and a home run).
As Walushka said in an email, “These tournaments are qualifiers to get into the ISC. We are now qualified and the rest help the rangers decide where we should be placed in the rankings for the ISC tournament.”
The 2014 World Fastball Tournament happens from August 8 to 16 in Kitchener, Ontario.
With notes from Logger Kris Walushka