Happy’s Islanders captured the B event championship at the 2013 Canadian National Oldtimers Baseball Championship, held Aug. 1-5 in Edmonton.
The Islanders edged Dufferin-Simcoe Rockers 12-11 Monday morning to claim the title in the 50+ age group. But they made themselves work for it.
“We grabbed an 8-1 lead after two innings, only to fade away and trail 11-8 entering the top of the seventh,” reports Kevin Dobbelsteyn. “We scored four runs to take a lead into the bottom half, then shut them down. What a game! Tim McDonald was game MVP.”
The Komoux Masters Real Baseball League-based Islanders began play Friday morning with a heartbreaking 6-5 loss to Pleasant Valley Lakers from Alberta. Carrying the lead for most of the game played in the wonderful Telus field in downtown Edmonton, the Islanders made a couple of fielding mistakes that made the difference in the game.
Later Friday at 3 p.m., Happy’s was up against Provost, Sask. out west of Edmonton at the Stony Plain ball complex. With Provost playing back-to-back games on a hot day, coming off a victory over a Saskatchewan team, the Islanders played steadily and dominated in a 4-1 victory.
Saturday dawned with the reality of having to win both games that day in order to be assured of a shot at the A side championship. With that in mind, the team played a steady game out in Spruce Grove, just east of Stony Plain. But again, after leading for most of the game and appearing to have the victory in hand, the boys booted a couple and the game was lost in the bottom of the seventh, 7-6.
Now sitting at 1-2, the new reality was that another loss Saturday afternoon would have the Valley team finish last in the division and be done for the tourney – not a pleasant thought after all the work and effort and training that went into making the trip to the City of Champions!
But finally, the big bats came to life and the defence sparkled. Playing the Saskatchewan Spartans, the feel of a mercy win was in the air! Te Spartans scored the first run, but the Islanders reeled off the next 12 runs and finished the game off in four-and-half innings, final score 12-1.
The result of the two group, five team per group division was that the Islanders finished in third place in one group – to play for the B side championship, but with no way to get to the A side.
Sunday morning saw an all B.C. semifinal, with the Valley boys taking on the BC Capitals from the Lower Mainland. Again giving up the first run again in the first inning, Happy’s slammed the door on their B.C. neighbours. Taking advantage of some timely hitting and a couple of fielding errors, Happy’s scored early and won 5-2.
– Happy’s Islanders