INNERKIP — The Walkerton Wild, Tavistock A’s and St. Marys Steelworkers Juniors all picked up berths in the ISC (International Softball Congress) Under 21 tournament in Midland, Michigan, Aug. 16-18, by placing first, second and third in a tournament at Innerkip July 13-15.
With a championship-game victory over Tavistock, Walkerton also qualified for the 2013 ISCs set for Quad Cities, Iowa.
The Steelworkers Juniors went 3-2 in the preliminary round of the tournament, but lost out to Tavistock in the semifinal. The A’s and Wild were the only teams the Steelworkers had lost to in the opening round.
“The boys played really well all weekend,” commented St. Marys coach John Urquhart. “It was a very solid tournament, and we’re looking forward to competing in the Worlds.”
In the qualifying tournament semifinal — which pitted the No. 3 (St. Marys) and No. 2 (Tavistock) seeded teams from the opening games, in a contest to see who would take on undefeated Walkerton — the teams were even in terms of earned runs, with Steelworkers pitcher Ty Sebastian and A’s counterpart Brady Wagler only allowing one each. But St. Marys put themselves in a hole by allowing three unearned runs, sending them home with a 4-1 loss.
Wagler gave up three hits and one base on balls, to go along with three strikeouts. Sebastian allowed five hits and six walks, while striking out five.
On Tavistock’s earned run, Danny Innes picked up the RBI after Tim Rushton blasted a triple. The St. Marys run came on an RBI double by Andrew Pearn, which allowed Brett Kraemer to cross home plate.
Rushton also provided a highlight-reel play on defence; the A’s left fielder gave it all in a great catch, running all out toward the sideline, crashing the fence, catching the ball, then bouncing off the fence and hanging on for the out.
The semifinal provided a similar result to the opening game of the ISC qualifying tournament. In that game, Tavistock prevailed over St. Marys 5-2. Andrew Van Dyke and Jarris Yantzi both went 2-for-3 at the plate, with Van Dyke picking up three RBIs, to lead the A’s offence. Wagner was the winning pitcher, while Matt Eidt took the loss on the mound for St. Marys.
Other Steelworkers results from the opening round were a 3-1 loss to Walkerton, a 6-1 victory over Staffordville, a 7-4 win over Elmira, and a 13-5 decision over Alvinston.
The opening round match-up between Tavistock and Walkerton, meanwhile, featured a tight game, with the lead changing hands more than once before the Wild prevailed by a close 7-6 count. Wagner took the loss on the mound, with Walkerton’s Brendon Roach emerging as the winning pitcher. Van Dyke was again strong at the plate for the A’s, going 2-for-4 — as did Jeremy Tribe, Danny Innes and Collin Zilke. Yantzi ripped three singles in his four at-bats. For Walkerton, meanwhile, Roach was one of the top players offensively as well, going 3-for-4 with one RBI.
Urquhart notes the top three teams from the Innerkip tournament were given berths in the Aug. 16-18 Under-21 ISC world event. He added there may be additional invitations sent out to other teams that were involved in Innerkip.