Guns shoot down Miners at Dustball

REVISED VERSION Three-up, three-down innings don't come along very often in slowpitch. However, one couldn't have come at a better time for Whitehorse's P & M Recycling Guns.


Three-up, three-down innings don’t come along very often in slowpitch. However, one couldn’t have come at a better time for Whitehorse’s P & M Recycling Guns.

With a slim, one-run lead over the Southeast Mine Supply Miners from Juneau, Alaska, in the final inning, the Guns sent three straight batters packing to win the Men’s A division of the Dustball International Tournament at the Pepsi Softball Complex on Sunday. The final score was 23-22.

“You don’t get a lot of three-up, three-down innings in slowpitch, especially against a team that hit us so well the day before,” said Guns first baseman Mike Tuton. “They ran themselves into trouble with the home runs, and I think we managed that part of the game a lot better than they did. You can only be up by two home runs at a time.

“They almost have too many home run hitters.”

Tied 17-17 going into the sixth inning, Guns’ Jessie Ritchie gave his team the lead with a three-run homer to left field. Teammate Doug Roberts then hit a solo home run to make it 21-17.

In the bottom of the inning with bases loaded, the Miners narrowed the gap with a walk forcing in a run before Juneau’s Nick Andrews drove in two more with a line drive to centre field, eventually ending the inning up 22-21.

The Guns then took back the lead on a two-run homer from Rob LaRose at the top of the seventh.

The quick glove of Guns shortstop Craig Claggett closed the book on the game, snatching a line drive in mid-flight for the final out.

“He’s always been a leader on the team,” said Tuton. “He’s one of the best shortstops we’ve ever had.”

The game marked the Guns’ seventh consecutive appearance in the Men’s A final, having won it last year against Chico’s Bail Bonds from Skagway, who finished in third this year. It was the Miners’ first A final, having won the B and C divisions in past years.

“This is probably one of the strongest teams we’ve had in a long time,” said Tuton. “From the 10 guys on the field to the five guys on the bench. When you have a strong bench they can come in and change the game and, I think, that really gave us the advantage.”

Donkeys buck Lynden in co-ed A final

Like the other division A winners at Dustball, the Whitehorse Dental Donkeys had a score to settle with their Juneau competitors in the co-ed A division final.

Just as the women’s and men’s A divisions champs took losses to the Juneau teams they went on to defeat in the final, the Donkeys did the same, downing the Juneau’s Lynden Co-ed 7-3 for the title.

Lynden had won their previous encounter handily.

“They crushed us; it was 14-2 or something like that,” said Donkey’s Derek Baldwin. “We were playing in the rainstorm and just couldn’t get things going.

“Today we played pretty tight defensively. Yesterday we made all kinds of errors and they hit the ball where we couldn’t catch it. It was kind of embarrassing actually.”

The Donkeys trotted into the lead with a three-run homer from Craig Claggett in the first inning and expanded the lead on a two-run shot from Troy Cairns in the sixth.

The Lynden team, which won Juneau’s Wood Bat Tournament earlier this season, finished in second last year under the name Kappler Computers.

“They came back strong and they did well,” said Lynden captain Myria Newport. “We just didn’t string some hits together. It was a good game and we’re happy that we came.”

The Donkeys defeated third-place finisher, Frank’s Auto Detail, 22-13 to reach the final.

Yukon Gold brews fourth straight title

For the fourth consecutive year, Yukon Gold ended Dustball as the top women’s A division team.

The Whitehorse team secured the women’s title with a 13-4 win over Juneau’s YKAK, which included some Yukon players.

“It was a real team effort today,” said Yukon Gold captain Carol Fields. “One of the issues we had when we played them yesterday, we had problems in the outfield, judging the ball. We’d never seen them hit before and we made some adjustments and our outfield ate everything up.

“I don’t think we missed a ball today, including the one the umpire said we did, but didn’t.”

Yukon Gold came through the bottom of the draw after sustaining a 19-13 loss to YKAK on Saturday.

“We were slow starting in the first couple innings and picked it up in the end, but it was too late,” said Fields. “So it was nice to have won last night to meet them in the finals here today.

“We came in knowing we would have to be really intense and from the start of the game we knew we would have to play as hard as we could.”

It was an intense start indeed, with Yukon Gold jumping out to a 7-0 lead by the end of the second and 8-0 by the end of the third.

“They were on their bats, we weren’t,” said YKAK shortstop Neisha Bicudo. “They were hitting the ball and we failed to do so.

“Props to their pitcher.”

Taking third in the division was White Pass from Skagway, Alaska.

Contact Tom Patrick at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Copper Ridge resident clears their driveway after a massive over night snowfall in Whitehorse on Nov. 2, 2020. Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for the Whitehorse and Haines Junction areas for Jan. 18. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Winter storm warning for Haines Junction and Whitehorse

Environment Canada says the storm will develop Monday and last until Tuesday

Maria Metzen off the start line of the Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s sled dog race on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Mushers race in preparation for FirstMate Babe Southwick

The annual race is set for Feb. 12 and 13.

The Yukon government is making changes to the medical travel system, including doubling the per diem and making destinations for medical services more flexible. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Subsidy for medical travel doubled with more supports coming

The change was recommended in the Putting People First report endorsed by the government

Chloe Sergerie, who was fined $500 under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> on Jan. 12, says she made the safest choice available to her when she entered the territory. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Woman fined $500 under CEMA says she made ‘safest decision’ available

Filling out a declaration at the airport was contrary to self-isolation, says accused

Yukon University has added seven members to its board of governors in recent months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New members named to Yukon U’s board of governors

Required number of board members now up to 17

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

The Fish Lake area viewed from the top of Haeckel Hill on Sept. 11, 2018. The Yukon government and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced they are in the beginning stages of a local area planning process for the area. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local area planning for Fish Lake announced

The Government of Yukon and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced in… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Fire damage, photographed on Jan. 11, to a downtown apartment building which occurred late in the evening on Jan. 8. Zander Firth, 20, from Inuvik, was charged with the arson and is facing several other charges following his Jan. 12 court appearance. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
More charges for arson suspect

The Inuvik man charged in relation to the fire at Ryder Apartments… Continue reading

The grace period for the new Yukon lobbyist registry has come to an end and those who seek to influence politicians will now need to report their efforts to a public database. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Grace period for new lobbyist registry ends

So far nine lobbyists have registered their activities with politicians in the territory

Most Read