The Parksville Red Sox fastball team has had a good start to the season, winning the Smart Alecs Fastball Tournament held in Lillooet May 28.
There were seven teams in the money tournament, coming from 100 Mile House, Shuswap Lake, Ashcroft, Vernon and Lillooet.
Red Sox player Gord Alberg said they have a good team this year consisting of young players they have recruited from the area. They also have a pitcher from Alberta and one from Australia. They went 4-0 in the double-knockout tournament and went on to take home the top prize money of $1,800.
The Red Sox had some close games particularly against the host team Lillooet in the semifinals and in the title match.
In the semifinals, the game was scoreless for seven innings until the Red Sox broke the deadlock with two runs to win 2-0 and earn their spot in the final.
The Red Sox faced Lillooet again in the title game and it was another nailbiter. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Lillooet intentionally walked Kent Miller, who went 2-for-2 on the game. Alberg was up next and he hit a line-drive single into the centre field to give the Red Sox a slim 3-2 win. In the top of the seventh, pitcher Craig Pidcock struck out the side as Parksville earned the title and prize money.
“It was pretty epic those two games,” said Alberg. “There was a huge crowd, probably over 300 people in the stands. They were really loud. This was our first money tournament of the year and we’re happy we did well.”
Three Red Sox players: Vance Seiber, Hammy Troup and Alberg, were named in the tournament’s all-star team.
Alberg said they enjoy going to tournaments in the Interior where a host of fastball events are held.
The Red Sox regularly play in the Nanaimo Men’s Senior Fastball League.
The team consists of Alberg, Pidcock, Seiber, Troup, Miller, Clint Anderson, Brad Anderson, Dan Cheetum, Ryan Andro, Brayden Burr, Chris Crawford, Scott Dean, Thomas Dick, Mitch ‘Mittsy’ Sudyko, and Cranny Quint.
Alberg said they are dedicating the season to their longtime coach Kenny Kimmel, who passed away last year. They bear his initials KK on the sleeve of their new jerseys.