After a regular season filled with laughs, good plays, and the occasional adult beverage, the six teams of the Bowen Island Co-Ed SloPitch league were fired up for playoffs—and the day did not disappoint.
Coach of the Year Iain Mitchell and his first year team, The Blu’s, took the field against the Mad Batters in the 9 a.m. game. The Blu’s play was unrecognizable compared to the start of the year. To a player, their game was excellent. They played the Mad Batters to a very respectable 14-12 loss and, deservedly, walked off the field with their heads held high. You can bet that Most Valuable Player Rachel Klingler and her crew will be ready to do some damage in 2020.
Considered by many to be the best precision hitting team in the league, the Mad Batters came to play and had a fun time doing it.
Led by the fielding of Gillian Drake, the speed of Bruce Lyne, the highlight reel catches of Andrew Monaghan, and the shrewd coaching of Jay Cottrell, the Batters had the 4 p.m. championship game in their sights all day long.
The 10:30 a.m. game saw the Cruisers take on the Loggers. As a nod to the injured, Most Sportsmanlike, lead singer of Ginger 66, and all around badass Michelle Harrison, the Cruisers sported faux black eyes as they took on a Loggers team many considered the strong favourite.
Led by the Most Fun Couple, Scott and Sheana Stevenson, and the Most Outstanding Pitcher, Ben Sunderland, the Loggers enjoy their well-earned reputation as the most lubricated and vocal team in the league. They treated the Cruisers to an incredible back and forth battle that ended in a “walk off” home run. Though disappointed by a season cut short, the Loggers took up residence in the bleachers and channelled their energy into boisterous cheering.
The Sluggers, perennial regular season champions, finished second in the overall standings this year and faced the lower-ranked Mad Batters in the 12 p.m. game. The veteran squad, led by Most Valuable Player Spencer Grundy and coached by league president George Zawadzki, gave the Mad Batters all they could handle for the first few innings but started squeezing the bats a little too tightly as the game approached the seventh. The Batters prevailed in the second upset of the day.
Led by the dynamic and Most Dedicated duo of Jared Brown and Andrea Layzell, the Phoenix were regular season champions and the only team to play five women and five men in every game—a trend they continued in the playoffs. The Phoenix took on the underdog Cruisers in the 2 p.m. game. Lead off hitter and crowd-favourite Daniel McGregor started the Cruisers off with a bang but Phoenix ultimately prevailed in a hard-fought contest.
The 4 p.m. game was the Batters versus Phoenix for the whole she-bang. Tight defence from both teams yielded a low-scoring affair that saw both teams get blanked in one inning…and run up five runs in another. The game ended in a 12-11 nail-biter. The Phoenix became the league’s first back-to-back champion.
The league accurately proclaimed this the “best season ever” and it ended with the best “wrap-up party ever.” Some hard work from a hardworking executive (including Bowen Superstar Casey Grundy) enabled players to eat tasty tacos at Doc Morgan’s while watching video montages assembled by Clive John Scarff. In a surprise twist, President George announced that he was stepping down and proposed league Treasurer, Chief Umpire, Most Sportsmanlike Player, and off the charts good guy Lee Vincent to step into the role. Will he accept? Only time will tell.
As the party took off, Ginger 66 rocked the house with a well-curated set of bangin’ cover tunes to the delight of a packed dance floor. At the end of the night, six teams of weary ball players found their way safely home. One can’t help but be comforted by the wisdom of the Bad News Bears: “there’s always next year.”
Do we really have to wait that long?