Story and Images by Erich Eichhorn ( ISN )
June 29,2013 Victoria, BC (ISN) – The MacDonald Park Men’s Fastball League is hosting the Doug Smithson Memorial Fast Pitch tournament this long weekend at MacDonald Park.
While most people have migrated to their favorite long weekend spot to soak up the sun, ten men’s fastball teams are playing off for top honors in James Bay this weekend. The tournament is fielding six local teams, and 4 teams from the mainland.
If you might have thought that this is just beer another beer league tournament, witness to the caliber of play and the players participating and you would quickly erase those thoughts. Many players taking the field for their teams are currently provincial, or past national team members.
Victoria Masters pitcher John Bishop takes form before delivering a blinding pitch during a game against the Victoria Merchants – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
National alumni player Bricklen Anderson would record the win in a tight 3-2 contest in a noon game versus the Victoria Masters – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
With all the elements of some semi-professional play, the tournament is sure to bring free family entertainment this weekend to those that decided not to brake the busy highways and campsites.
The tournament runs Saturday, June 29th – Monday, July 1st at MacDonald Park in Victoria.
Victoria Merchants over Victoria Masters 3-2
In one of three noontime games, the Victoria Merchants hung onto a slim 3-2 win over the Victoria Masters.
Merchants Justin Levins fouls this Bishop pitch off the top of his bat – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
The Victoria Masters would get on the bats a little too late as a seventh inning comeback falls just short– Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
With both teams aligned first and second place in their league standings, the game was guaranteed to be a tight, entertaining game. The Merchants, holding the first place spot in league play, put their ace pitcher Bricklen Anderson on the mound to dual against his Masters counterpart John Bishop. Both teams would pitch out a stalemated first few innings, as both pitchers have control of their strike zone. Victoria Masters player #14 Jim Cayse would be the first for both teams to reach base in the second on a single off of Anderson, but a tough merchant infield would keep him from rounding the bases. Anderson, with international experience, would shut down the rest of the Masters side.
Merchants batter digs this Bishop pitch out from knee height to stay alive for a chance at another chance to get on base – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Masters 3rd baseman Neil Regimbal throws out the batter running to first base – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
The Merchant bats would start to heat up in the 26-degree afternoon sun, starting to put the ball past the Masters infield defensive crew. By the top of the seventh inning the Merchants had opened up a 3-0 lead highlighted by a first-pitch home run hit by #7 Chris Amos.
Victoria Masters batter is thrown out at first base on a close call – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
MacDonald Park Mens Fastpitch League hosted the Doug Smithson Memorial Fast Pitch Tournament this long weekend at MacDonald Park . John Bishop of the Victoria Masters eyes up his catchers glove mid-pitch – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
The Masters would battle back in the bottom of the seventh, as Victoria Merchants pitcher Anderson, perhaps showing some fatigue, would load the bases. The Masters, sensing an open door would find their bats to make a game out of it, knocking in two runs to make it close, however with too little too late, Anderson would shut the door, striking out the final batter to chalk up the complete game, and a Merchants 3-2 victory.
Play continues all weekend at MacDonald Park.