One bad inning cost the Coors Cardinals Friday at City Diamond.
The master fastball team entered the bottom of the sixth inning with a 3-2 lead but would not get to play the seventh, as the Charlottetown John Grille Fawcetts batted around en route to a 10-3 victory.
“Hitting is contagious,” said Fawcetts left-fielder Jamie MacDonald. “When you struggle everybody seems to struggle. You put pressure on yourself trying to hit home runs and stuff, but once the ball starts rolling, it’s usually a landslide.”
The opening game of a four-team weekend tournament drew more than an estimated 120 people to City Diamond. Action continues today at City.
Mike Bishop no-hit the Fawcetts through 4 2/3 innings before leadoff hitter Tyler Doucette’s hard hit ball bounced over the third baseman to score Seth Hood, who had walked. Doucette would score on the play too as the ball was misplayed in left field.
The Fawcetts scored twice to take the lead in the sixth off Jeff MacLeod on an error, a walk, a Mike Craig single and a ground out.
With two outs, Doucette and MacDonald singled, Chris Craig tripled, Dustan Jones reached on an error and Josh McKinnon ended it with a two-run home run to right.
“We play from behind quite a lot, so we don’t get too worked up,” said Mike Craig. “We all know that the bats will eventually be there.”
He and MacDonald both said patience at the plate made the difference late in the game.
Bishop stymied the Fawcetts’ offence, keeping them off balance with his drop ball.
“It feels good. There’s some good sticks over there,” said the 39-year-old Winsloe resident. “I was just trying to throw strikes and not walk a whole bunch of guys.”
It didn’t surprise the Fawcetts’ hitters, who have played with and against him in the past.
“Bishy’s been known to do that,” MacDonald said. “Give him credit, he pitched a great game.”
Bishop opened the scoring with a solo homer off Chris Craig in the second. They added another run in the fourth when Bishop walked and Jamie Diamond and Joey Smith singled.
Bishop drove home the third run with a two-out single in the fifth after Paul McKinnon and Shannon Ellis had started the rally with back-to-back walks.
“You never know with these masters, they’ve been around the ball park quite awhile, they may have a few tricks up their sleeve yet,” said Mike Craig.
Chris Craig went the distance for the win while MacLeod was tagged with the loss.
Both teams will be hosting national championship during the last week in August at Central Fields in Charlottetown. The senior men’s tournament is Aug. 26 to 31 while the masters will be from Aug. 29 to 31.
NO ONTARIO ENTRIES
No Ontario teams have signed up for next month’s Canadian senior men’s fastball tournament in Charlottetown.
Seven teams from six provinces declared their intentions by the June 7 deadline. Teams can still attend, but would have to pay a $500 late fee.
Mike Branchaud, Softball Canada’s manager of national teams and Canadian championships, said they are still hopeful more teams, including Ontario, decide to attend the tournament.
“They’re having some issues down in Ontario with players and a lot are playing at the ISC Worlds in Kitchener,” he said.
The International Softball Congress tournament will take place Aug. 8 to 16 while the Canadian championship is slated for Aug. 26 to 31.
Ontario is home to many of the country’s top softball players. Thirteen are on Team Canada’s 40-man player pool. Four of the 13 are playing with the host Charlottetown John Brown Grille Fawcetts at nationals.
While there is no requirement for those players to attend either the nationals or the ISC Worlds, Branchaud said, they are the two main events the national scouting and coaching staffs will be evaluating.
Canada is preparing for the Pan Am championship in October and November in Argentina while 2015 will see Saskatoon host the world championship and Toronto the Pan Ams.
Branchaud said he has seen teams added to a national tournament about two weeks before the championship.
There are two teams from Newfoundland and Labrador and one each from Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.
“We’re excited this year because of the representation from B.C. and Saskatchewan,” Branchaud said. “It’s the first time in three or four years that we get the full blown team from a specific western province.’’