It took an athletic catch in the bottom of the seventh inning to win the 2018 Ice Breaker Slo Pitch Tournament for Frank’s Auto on May 13.
Six teams participated in the tournament which took place at the baseball fields outside the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre from May 11-13. The annual round-robin tournament is a way for Prince Rupert’s softball teams to find their swings at the beginning of the season.
In the end, Frank’s Auto defeated the Diamond Devils 12-11 in a closely contested final game to win bragging rights for another year, thanks to a diving catch by Rob Lafferty which ended the game with a tying runner on third base.
“It was a good tight game both ways,” said Trevor Girbav, captain of Frank’s Auto. “They had better sticks for most of the game, but at the end we had some key plays to help us seal the win.”
The Diamond Devils took an early lead in the first two inning of the game, scoring three runs in the first and adding an extra to build a 4-2 advantage in the second.
However, Frank’s Auto came on strong in the third, scoring a maximum fives runs in the inning and holding the Diamond Devils scoreless to take control of the game 7-4.
Frank’s Auto was able to maintain a three-run 9-12 lead going into the bottom of game’s seventh and final inning, and after getting two early outs, looked to be firmly in control. However, the Diamond Devil’s bats came alive one last time, scoring back-to-back runs to bring the game within one run with a tying run on third base.
The Diamond Devil’s Quinn Leighton stepped up to bat and ripped a high drive through centre field, but shortstop Rob Lafferty made an athletic diving catch to end the inning and win the game for Frank’s auto.
Girbav said the tournament went well, crediting good weather competitive spirit from the teams.
“We can’t complain, we usually play in the rain,” he said. “It was a good weekend, and it was good for everyone to come out and get warmed up for start of the season.”