The Sunshine Coast Fastpitch League ended their season last weekend on the beautifully revamped Hackett Park in Sechelt.
On Sunday, teams played off in the backdoor of the playoffs to see who would play in the finals against Lon’s Gun Show, who had won their two games on Saturday to earn a spot in the finals. The first game Sunday set the tone for the day, with an exciting battle between Custom Flooring and The Big Deals. Custom jumped out to an early 5-0 lead when Josh Gray crushed a homerun over the road in centrefield. The Big Deals would not lie down though and battled back to take a 6-5 lead going into the final inning of play. In the bottom of the final inning with a runner on, Tyler Craig hit a two-run walk off homerun, which then set up the next game, a semi-final between Custom Flooring and the Raiders.
This game featured two of the league’s up and coming pitchers, Josh Gray and Brad Kohuch. It proved to be a back and forth slugfest, with multiple lead changes, and kept fans on the edge of their seats from the opening pitch. Custom would start off the scoring in the first and jump out to a 3-0 lead, but the Raiders’ potent offence was able to put runs up in bunches, with homeruns from Kohuch and Brett Trefry, allowing them to take an 8-3 lead after the second. Custom battled back and chipped away at the Raider lead with Tristan Tidder hitting a homerun to bring the game back into reach 8-7 in the top of the fourth. Rob Dixon would add to the Raider lead with a homerun to make it 9-7 after four innings. Custom would take the lead back in the fifth inning with a homerun from Nate Petzold to make the score 10-9, but again the Raiders would answer back and carry a 12-10 lead in the top of the seventh and set up an exciting finish to a great game. With two out and a runner on second, Gray would come up to the plate and tie the game with a rope over right centrefield that barely got higher than six feet off the ground. Going into the bottom of the seventh with the game tied 12-12, Trefry would end the game with the exclamation point it deserved, by hitting a walk off homerun to send the Raiders into the finals.
The Raiders would get a short break with The Bears and The Big Deals playing in the Beer Cup before the final game. The Big Deals would prove to be too much for the Bears and would go on to win the Beer Cup.
The final was now set and would see a familiar match-up between Lon’s Gun Show and the Raiders. While the semi-final had two of the league’s young pitchers, this game would see two of the league’s veteran pitchers, with Bill “Stick” Stockwell taking the mound for the Raiders and Mike Sopow pitching for Lon’s Gun Show. The game was a close battle that lacked the polish of previous match-ups between these two teams, as most of the runs in the game were scored on errors. In the end Lon’s Gun Show would prevail with a 6-4 win to earn the three-peat championship.
The league would like to thank all of the fans and umps: Ernie, Pat, Jim, Landon, Rob, Brady, and guest ump Avery, for all of their support during the playoffs and season.