Hay River’s Carter’s Crushers rallied late, but were unable to overcome an early deficit in the B Division final at the Summerslam Slo Pitch Tournament in Grande Prairie, Alberta over the weekend.
The Crushers headed into the final hot on the heels of a 32-14 win over Grande Prairie’s Humm Dingers in the semi-final. The Crushers’ opponents in the final were the Ghostbusters. Both teams had finished second in their pool with identical records of two wins and one loss.
A strong start had become the Crushers’ trademark throughout the tournament and the final proved to be no different. The team took a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but left a runner at third base.
The Ghostbusters responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first and scored two more in the second after holding the Crushers scoreless.
The teams then each scored a run in the third inning, before the Ghostbusters increased the lead to 7-3 by the end of five.
In the sixth the Crushers scored one run to inch closer. In the bottom half of the inning, the Ghostbusters scored two runs to take a 9-4 lead into the final inning. After a one out single, the Crushers rallied for three quick runs but watched as the rally ultimately fell short.
Team member Glenn Smith said he thought the team competed well throughout the tournament and was proud of their performance.
“It was certainly close,” he said. “I think it was a good balance of good ball and good times. It was a good weekend all around.”
Smith said the entire team’s performance impressed him, though the play of 15-year-old Brett Power stood out. Power went 15 for 23 in the tournament – including an inside-the-park home run in his first at bat.
“It was kind of fun to watch him play,” Smith said. “He’s so fast (and) he’s got some power.”
Tournaments tend to bring the best out in teams, Smith said.
“In my mind that’s where you get better – at tournaments, when you’re under a little bit of pressure.”