Last season the Daryl Robbins C.G.A. Athletics won the inaugural Happy’s Source for Sports Invitational in the bottom of the seventh inning – this year their defence was on display as they snuffed out a late rally in the bottom of the seventh to win it all again.
The six-team men’s (age 19+) baseball tournament was played at Highland Field in Comox this past weekend.
The first game had the Dependable Lawn Care Rockies losing 9-5 to the Investors Group Blue Jays. The second game featured the host Happy’s Reds against the Temprite Climate Solutions Orioles. The Reds’ pitching staff of Scott Judson and Adam Berkenstock proved too tough for the Orioles in a 12-0 Reds’ win.
For the late game Friday night the Athletics were up against the Hyde Creek Hillbillys. The Hillbillys took the early lead till the third inning when the potent Athletics’ offence woke up with eight runs, led by a Bobby Cripps’ home run. Final score was 9-2 for the As.
Saturday morning the Reds played the Hillbillys. The Reds’ pitching was dominant again and the Hillbillys were not able to muster a hit till the fifth inning. The Reds’ bats were hot, leading to a 10-0 win.
The next game had the Athletics defeat the Rockies 8-2. The Saturday afternoon game had two evenly matched teams in action, with the scrappy Orioles knocking off the undefeated Blue Jays 4-3.
The Saturday final pitted the defending champion As against the Reds. The same two teams played for last year’s tournament title, with the Athletics winning on a base hit in the bottom of the seventh to break the Reds’ hearts.
With redemption on their minds, Reds’ ace Judson silenced the Athletics’ fans with three quick outs in the top of the first. The Athletics tossed their top pitcher as well, and Brad Aitken proved just as tough on the mound as the Reds couldn’t muster much offence for the first few innings.
The As’ bats came alive in the second inning with a Cripps’ single followed by a Joe Robbins’ double and an Andy Stewart single to take a 2-0 lead. The starting pitchers settled down from there: Judson (3IP, 2ER, 6K) and Aitken (3IP, 0ER, 3K).
The As’ bats came alive again in the fourth inning with three runs to open a 5-0 lead. With the Reds’ backs against the ropes they got a spark: Dallas McDonald started the inning with a single followed by a Jake Dojack single that sent McDonald to third.
With two out McDonald did what would make every coach cringe – stole home to get the Reds on the board. The As tacked on two more runs in the top of the sixth to make it 7-1, but the Reds smelled blood.
In the bottom of the sixth the Reds loaded the bases, then Jeff Meija and Bob Atwood hit consecutive singles to score four runs to make it 7-5 going into the final inning.
Reds’ closing pitcher Dojack shut down the Athletics in the top of the seventh to ensure the Reds a shot at a comeback win. In the bottom of the frame, the Reds’ Berkenstock started the inning off and eventually scored to make the game a 7-6 nail biter, and the Reds proceeded to load the bases with two outs.
Redemption was not on the minds of the baseball gods as As’ pitcher Joe Robbins got the last Reds’ batter to pop out to end the valiant rally and secure a second straight tournament win.
“Many thanks to the KMRBL’s Jake Plante, Dale Green, Kurt Macdonald, Ray Vandermark and Tim McDonald for helping make this tournament a success,” a spokesperson said.
– Happy’s Source for Sports Invitational