The Cinderwood Hitmen did not make the finals of the Whitehorse Men’s Fastball League last year, but this season they already look like the team to beat.
The Hitmen overcame a seven-run deficit in the semis to reach the championship game of the first ever Bob Park Invitational Fastball Tournament, where they defeated the Dawson Dingbats 16-5 on Sunday at the Pepsi Centre.
“We just came out hitting, early and often,” said Hitmen captain Currie Dixon.
After missing an opportunity to force a mercy-rule victory in the fifth, the Hitmen got it in the sixth. Up 11-4, Hitman Logan Freese put in three runs with a triple before teammate Brian Power drove in two more with a line drive to right field. The Hitmen then shutdown the Dingbats in the bottom of the inning to truncate the game through the mercy rule.
Powers, who was also a goalie for the Whitehorse Huskies AAA men’s hockey team last season, was awarded the title of Tournament MVP for his work at the plate and on the mound.
“He pitched in every game we played – so all five games – and just gave good, consistent play the whole tournament,” said Currie. “He’s a clutch guy.”
Both teams reached the finals with come-from-behind wins in the semifinals.
Playing the Roadhouse Pirates – also from the Whitehorse league – the Hitmen closed a seven-run gap en route to a 10-9 win. After scoring six runs in the fourth, Paul MacDonald scored on a single by Freese to tie in the fifth. Powers then gave Freese passage home with a double.
On the other side of the draw, the Dingbats reached the championship game with a 9-8 win over Team Inuvik from NWT.
Getting credit for a weekend of putting balls over the outfield, Inuvik’s Glen Tingmiak was awarded Top Batter, hitting three homers in the tournament, including a grandslam and a three-run shot.
A total of six teams competed at the Bob Park, including the four local teams from the Whitehorse Men’s Fastball League plus the Dawson and Inuvik squads. With the win, the Hitmen received $2,400 in prize money – three times the entry fee – while the Dingbats took in $1,200 and the Pirates, who beat Inuvik in the third-place game, had their expenses covered with $800 in cash.
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