Bridesmaids Again At Goodfish
Posted July 8, 2013
For the fourth year in a row the Milleteers strolled into the annual Goodfish Lake Treaty Days Tournament with a skeleton crew poised to take on some of the better AA teams around. First up was the perennial NCABL contenders the Edmonton Blackhawks led by Stanley Cup champion Randy Gregg. The Blackhawks came into the game as the defending tournament champs as they nipped the Milleteers 1-0 in the finals last year.
The Milleteers had revenge on their mind however as they pounded out twelve hits off Blackhawks pitcher David Schneider. The offense was led by emergency pickup Ryan Olson from the Combine Pilots as the Milleteers could only muster up eight bodies for the game as he went three for three out of the nine hole. Milleteers starter Steven Pahl went the distance picking up eight strikeouts. After struggling early Pahl found his groove and mixed his pitches well as he put up zeroes the rest of the way.
Next up was a noon engagement with the Combine Pilots on Sunday with the winner going straight to the final as the two squads were the only undefeated teams left in the draw.
The Milleteers managed to scrounge up nine players for this one and they handed the ball to hard throwing Brad Engel. Engel was effectively wild as he would walk six and bean three, but only gave up four hits. The Milleteers made two costly errors that led to three unearned runs that ended up being the difference as they made a late comeback bid and stranded the tieing and go ahead runs in scoring position after the Combine Pilots made the call to the bullpen. With the comeback coming up short the Milleteers would have to play an extra game to earn their spot in the final.
In the semi final the Milleteers drew the Edmonton Indians, winners of two of the last three Goodfish tournament titles. The Milleteers were the better squad in this one though as they pounded the Indians pitching to the tune of eleven runs and seventeen hits. Even the outs were hard hit balls. On the defensive side the Milleteers went with their ace Jon Anstey as he blew the Indians away the last time he faced them. He got off to a rough start as he gave up two in the first, but then he settled in and kept them at bay the rest of the way as he racked up ten strikeouts in his complete game victory to put the Milleteers in the final.
Waiting in the final for the Milleteers were the hard hitting Provost Combine Pilots. The Milleteers just simply ran out of gas in this one as they had no arms left for their third game in a row, while the rested Combine Pilots had their ace ready to go. The Milleteers started with Anstey, but he didn’t have much zip after already throwing a complete game on the day as the Combine Pilots struck for three in the first. Anstey then settled down and the defense held tight as he soldiered on for three innings.
The Milleteers got one back in the fourth, and then turned to lefty outfielder Gregg Zilkie, who hadn’t seen the mound in two in a half seasons. Zilkie pitched a clean fourth, then was looking good to start the fifth when he beaned the leadoff hitter on an 0-2 count. That seemed to rattle him a bit as the Pilots struck for two runs, but then he righted the ship and got the Milleteers out of the inning, then pitched a clean sixth as well to give his squad a chance to comeback.
That chance came in the sixth with the meat of the order up as Jon Anstey leadoff with a line drive single as the Milleteers finally started to look like they had solved the Combine Pilots ace. Trevor Pahl, who had been 6 for his last 7 at that point then stroked the first pitch he saw for another single, but Anstey got a bad read on the ball as the center fielder decoyed him and then threw him out for the force at second. Steven Pahl then ripped a hard grounder up the middle but the second baseman snared it and the Pilots turned a nifty double play to end the threat and take the wind out of the Milleteers sails.
The Pilots would add three more off reliever Josh Johnson in the seventh after Johnson did a Mitch Williams belly flop and winded himself on the first batter he faced as he lost his footing on a pitch, and it took him awhile to recover as he gave up a few hits. The Milleteers threatened with two on in the last bat, but the failed to capitalize and the Combine Pilots took the championship 8-1.
It was a great weekend for ball and the tournament was well run as always. They even had a home run competition at the end which the Milleteers Steven Pahl won by a score of 1.5 to 1 versus the Combine Pilots Shawn Pilgaard as there was some confusion as to whether one of Pahl’s hits was a homer or a ground rule double. He also had the advantage of the right field fence being 44 feet shorter then left field, but when you get old you need every advantage you can get.