Clear Prairie ended up taking home the Keith Broadhead Memorial tournament with a 14-3 win against the Hay River Pirates over the weekend.
The final was a rematch of the semi-final between the two teams, which Clear Prairie ended up winning 7-4.
After the final loss Terry Rowe, team manager for the Pirates, said the pitcher for Clear Prairie was the big difference maker.
“I thought we’d come out better against Clear Prairie. We played against them earlier today and it was a way better game, but we just didn’t get the sticks going,” said Rowe.
Heavy rain on the Saturday meant that the format of the tournament had to be changed at last minute. Clear Prairie and The Pirates ended the round robin with two wins and no losses, which meant they played a modified semi-final with the winner getting a by to the final.
The Hay River Heat managed to win the other semi-final game against Nahanni to get a crack at the final.
After losing their semi-final game, the Pirates faced off against the Heat. That game was fairly evenly matched until it was paused for rain delay at the bottom of the second, with the bases loaded and no outs for the Pirates.
After the 15-minute break, the Pirates managed to score 11 unanswered runs before the inning was over. The score remained 12-0 until the fifth inning, when the mercy rule came into effect, ending the game.
According to tournament rules if a team is winning by at least 15 runs after three innings or 7 after the fifth, the game is over.
While the mercy rule got the Pirates into the final it would end up costing them the title.
In the final, Clear Prairie got off to a strong start, retiring the first three batters without allowing any runners on base.
During their first at bat they managed to bring home seven runs without any outs. A couple of strong defensive plays allowed the Pirates to prevent the game from getting even more out of hand, but by then most of the damage had been done.
Clear Prairie ended up putting two more runs on the board in the second inning
The Pirates found themselves shut out yet again in the third, while Clear Prairie was able to put another two on the board.
In the top of the fourth, the Pirates managed to get on base for the first time. With runners on second and third, Jeff MacDonald smashed a home run into centre field to get his team on the board, making the score 11-3.
With a few defensive blunders in the bottom of the inning, the Pirates ended up giving up the advantage they had gained with the score being 14-3.
That set up the fifth inning, in which the home town team would have to score at least four runs to avoid getting mercyed.
They managed to get a runner on third after a wild pitch allowed him to steal a base. But they were unable to capitalize which meant Clear Prairie won 14-3.
Rowe said the Pirates managed to beat Clear Prairie at a tournament in Yellowknife earlier this season but they couldn’t put together enough hits to compete on the weekend.
“I guess this is just a little payback for us,” he said. “You can’t win ’em all.”