100 Mile House Men’s Fastball League has come to an end after a fantastic final playoff game between the Sanford & Dillman Hornets and the Shuswap Defenders on July 20.
It was a hard-fought game with both sides giving it their all, but in the end with the Hornets defeating Shuswap 5-3.
The game attracted the largest turnout of the season as many excited fastball fans came out to watch this championship game.
The cheering was constant to the very end.
The game started off with a bang when Defender Mark Boyce slammed a home run off of Hornet pitcher Reg Hooper on the second pitch of the game.
This shook the Hornets, but they recovered quickly by getting three of the next four batters out.
Then it was Sanford & Dillman’s turn at bat and they scored two runs off a solid hit by Rob Sandrock.
It was at this point that both teams put their defensive focus into high gear.
Shuswap pitcher Kevin Neufeld was hot on the mound and was backed up by stellar infield play from the rest of the team.
Only 12 Sanford & Dillman players got to bat from the second to the fourth inning.
Shuswap was able to slip in one run in the third inning on a double Jerome “Stumpy” Boyce.
Defensive ball was the key as Shuswap also only had 12 players up to bat from the second to the fourth inning.
Mark Boyce got the crowd roaring once again with another home run in the top of the fifth.
The Hornets were able to bring in a run in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a suicide bunt by Sandrock.
With the game tied at three, Shuswap tried to make a push for the lead in the top of the sixth, but three quick pop flies made short work of the inning.
After pulling Neufeld off the mound for Stumpy Boyce, Shuswap got two quick outs and looked to close the inning early.
Then came the shot heard “around the Cariboo” as Hooper slammed a home run that brought in Bill Estabrooks, giving Sanford & Dillman a two-run lead.
Shuswap had to gain two runs and Danny Gilbert and Derrick Walters had solid hits, but were thrown out at first.
Down to their last out, Defender Steven Daniels hit a line drive towards right field, but Hornet first baseman Sandrock made a great catch and the game was over.
Sanford & Dillman captain Rob Sanford says he was happy for the victory and enjoyed how the game played out.
“It’s been a long time coming. It was a great game. There was a lot of fans and it was a 3-3 tie game going into the bottom of the sixth. You can’t ask for more than that.”
Shuswap captain Stumpy Boyce complimented the umpires and remarked on an enjoyable season.
“The game was OK in spite of the weather. There were good calls on the umps. It was a really close game. It was a good season.”
The 100 Mile Men’s Fastball League will return in May 2017.