The men’s division A defending champs, the P&M Guns, fell short of a three-peat Sunday at the Dustball in Whitehorse.
Outmatched at the plate, the local team fell to Juneau’s Imperial, losing 22-16 in the finals.
“The last two years we met them in the final and we took it to them,” said Guns coach Craig Tuton. “I wasn’t surprised, they brought some hitters this time and they were zeroed in … They played really well.”
Despite a steady flow of runs throughout the game, the Guns couldn’t overcome the deficit after dropping 14 runs in the second inning.
“Everyone started hitting,” said Imperial captain Geoff Whistler. “You catch a fire and everyone just keeps it going.”
Wasting no time, Imperial’s John Workman started off the second by sending the first pitch his team faced over the fence to bring his team within three runs at 7-4.
Then, after a pair of singles, Randy Quinto evened the score with a three-run shot to centre field.
Five runs later, after a pitching change, Imperial ended the inning with a three-run homer by Jesse Boudreau and a two-run shot by Workman — his second of the inning.
“If you think back to that inning, they hit every hole in the field,” said Tuton, speaking of the mish-mash of hits that brought in five runs between the homers in the second.
“As we went into this game we knew they were going to hit it long and hard. So our defense in the outfield, we pushed them back to the fence, thinking we would cover more ground. And they recognized what we did right away and they started putting everything in front of the fielders. As soon as we moved in, they started taking them off the fence again.”
Going unbeaten in the tournament, Imperial had already taken down the Guns twice, beating them 18-8 in the round robin part of the tournament and 17-13 in the double-elimination round.
The Crew regains
division A title
Four years ago, Whitehorse’s The Crew last won the women’s division A title.
Now, the drought is over.
Overcoming a five-run deficit, The Crew won the title Sunday with an 18-10 victory over Whitehorse’s Chilkoot Chillers.
The Crew lost in the finals the previous three years.
“We knew it would come down to hitting,” said one of The Crew’s co-coaches, Terri Cairns. “Both teams are really good.”
After a pair of relatively quiet innings at the start of the game, the Chillers produced their biggest inning of the game, scoring five runs in the top of the third to go up 8-1.
However, The Crew answered back in a big way, scoring 12 runs in the bottom of the fourth to go up 15-8.
“We just picked it up. We were a little bit nervous going into that game — everybody just needed to calm down a bit,” said another of The Crew’s co-coaches, Marcie Stanzig. “We know how to hit the ball and that’s what we started doing.”
Having brought in four runs on hits by Diane Stewart, Annette King and Gail Gardener, pitcher Michelle Massie tied the game, bringing home Gardener from third on a hit to right field.
“We played these guys yesterday and pounded the crap out of the ball,” said Cairns, who batted 4-for-5 in the game, referring to the The Crew’s win Saturday. “So we knew we could do it.”
Tlingit holds on to
lead to take finals
Coming off a 13-8 win over the Fairbanks’ Morris mechanical, Whitehorse’s Tlingit Electric repeated the feat in the finals of the co-ed division A finals, beating them 23-11.
Much like The Crew in the women’s division A, Tlingit last won the tournament years ago, but had come up short in the finals in the last couple of years.
“We’ve been playing together for seven years,” said Tlingit captain Rob Fordham. “The core of us have been playing together more than 15 years.”
The big decider in the game was the second inning, in which Tlingit opened the floodgates and put 14 runners over the plate to take a 14-0 lead.
“We just hit the ball,” said Fordham. “We caught fire.”
Kevin Chowen started the rout.
Up 4-0 with the bases loaded, Chowen made a towering grand slam to centre field.
Then, two batters later, Andy Brewster hit a two-run shot to left field to put Tlingit into double digits.
With two more big innings under its belt, Tlingit took the win after the mercy rule truncated the game in the middle of the fifth inning.
However, as Morris scored its five final runs in the top of the inning, some extra drama was added to the game as a mean-hit grounder collided with Tlingit’s second baseman, Taylor Doonan.
“It was a pretty routine hit going to second and I just went to play it and as I got my glove down the ball took a bad bounce, hopped up and got me right in the neck,” said Doonan, who went 3-for-4 at the plate. “It was instant. I dropped and I just couldn’t breathe — I was pretty out of control there on the ground.”
Results of finals
Coed division A: Tlingit def. Morris;
Division B: Road House def. Chilkoot;
Division C: Carmacks LSCFN def. Whitco
Women’s division A: The Crew def. Chilkoot;
Division B: Whitepass def. Foggy Babes
Division C: Papa Bear def. Co-operators’ Raiders
Men’s division A: Imperial def. P&M;
Division B: Miners def. MVFD
Division C: Pioneer def. Coates
Division D: RH Reds def. Canada Flooring