Eastern Ontario Fastball Blog

A blog dedicated to news about the Greater Ottawa Fastball League and other happenings in the world of fastball / fastpitch softball in eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with occasional stories featuring Mrs Fitzroy Fastball, Fitzroy Fastball Junior and the Caveman. If you have info to send on, send me an email at fastball[at]fitzroyharbour.com. Follow @fitzroyfastball on Twitter.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Sudbury Star article on Men's B Provincials

From the Sudbury Star.

North Stars fall in tournament final

Monday, August 20, 2012 6:28:55 EDT AM

The Sudbury North Stars wanted to showcase their Northern talent at the All- Ontario B/C Intermediate Fastball Championship.

Despite a 5-0 loss to Fitzroy Harbour in the B Division final Sunday at Terry Fox Sports Complex, they believe they accomplished what they set out to do.

"We showed we do belong," North Stars third baseman and coach Junior Ilnitski said after the game. "We left it all out on the field and drained the bag. But we just fell short to a better team today."

Playing in a double knockout format tournament and with Harbour having a perfect record heading into Sunday's action, Harbour took a bye into the finals, leaving the North Stars with the task of having to defeat the Harbour twice in order to claim the championship title. But because the Harbour defeated the North Stars on Sunday, a second game did not have to be played.

"That could have been us in that situation instead," Ilnitski said, speaking of the North Stars' 5-3 loss to Harbour in round-robin action Saturday.

Though the North Stars lost 5-0 in the final, the score didn't tell all of the game story.

Up to bat in the bottom of the second, after giving up a run in the top of the first inning, the North Stars were able to put two men on base, one on second and one on third with only one out, but Harbours pitcher Steve Cavanagh struck out two batters in a row to end the inning and the threat. Cavanagh struck out 11 batters in the game.

"We missed out on our chances," Ilnitski said. "We couldn't find a way to cash in our guys on base."

Cavanagh believes it's his variety of pitches that helped give him an edge against North Stars batters.

"We had good defence," Cavanagh said, trying to share the spotlight with his teammates. "I threw a lot of change-ups. I don't try to strike out everybody. I like mixing it up and I know that because I don't throw that hard, I have to be smarter, I can't try to throw it past everybody. The drop-ball and changeup are my two best pitches and they were working for me today."

Those two pitches certainly helped Cavanagh all game long, as he earned the shutout, only allowing five hits.

"We didn't hit the ball enough in the finals, but we hit it enough throughout the tournament to get us here," Ilnitski said. "We're used to heat and he (Cavanagh) came in with a strategy to out-pitch us and he stuck to it and he won. We got hits, had men on base and didn't capitalize on those chances. He pitched a heck of a game."

After his back-to-back strike-outs in the bottom of the second helped keep his team up by one run, Cavanagh got some insurance on the scoreboard, when, in the top of the fourth inning, with two men on base, Harbour's Kevin Shonfield hit a triple and reached home on an error on the throw to home plate. Harbour added another run afterwards.

"That definitely helped my confidence," Cavanagh said of his team's four-run inning. "I knew I had our team's offence supporting me."

After giving up the runs, North Stars starting pitcher Brad Matheson was relieved of his duties and replaced by Jordy Dahlvick.

"I'm still proud of our team," Ilnitski said. "Obviously, we're disappointed with the outcome. We would have liked to come a little closer than what it was, even though the score doesn't indicate what the game was. But we had a good showing at this tournament and proved that we have good talent here in the North."

The Pickering Panthers won the C Division title.

In other fastball news, locals Chad St. Cyr, Joel Belanger and Todd Parsons, all players from the Rick Macdonald Fastball League, suited up for the Parry Island Hawks at the 2012 ISC World Championship. They were joined by Heikel Espinosa and Matheson of Elliot Lake. The Hawks won the Division 2 title.



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