august2007

2006/2007 ISC & ISC II - by Dave Birnie

August 20, 2007

Kitchener, ON


Kitchener / Cambridge, Ontario
 
In 2006 I was invited by the ISC II Commissioner, Blair Setford to be an ISC II Game Controller.
I accepted his offer and had one of the most enjoyable fastball experiences of my life.
I never thought I would ever attend an ISC World Tournament except as a paying spectator.
This year, the ISC were in need of a few teams to complete the 32 team field and invited a few ISC II
caliber teams to move up in class to play in the ISC World Tournament. When they contacted our team, the
Peterborough Murphy Windmillers, we gladly accepted. I can't thank Blair Setford and Ken Hackmeister enough
for the invite and the prestigious honour of playing in the best fastball tournament in the World. I'd also like to thank
the Peterborough management team of Wayne Wells, Jeff Murphy and of course the legendary Sylvia "Sparky" Ryan
for allowing me to tag along for the ride.
 
There were several notable performances over the last 2 years .......
 
ISC II pitcher Gord Scott, how in the heck does he do it ? I made a comment to one of the Waterdown Hammer
players that "I could hit off Gord Scott," The Hammer player said " that's what everyone thinks watching from the stands."
He said "trust me Dave it's a whole different story when you actually step in the batters box."
Gord Scott made the All Tournament Team in 2006 and paced the Palermo Athletics to a 2nd. place finish and had another tremendous tournament in 2007 helping the team to a 5th. place finish.  Jeremy Tracey and Jay Herr for South Leb. TNT had monster performances as they led their team to the 2007 ISC II ToC Title. The Waterdown Hammer, considered an average ISC II team by some proved they can compete with any ISC II level team. The Hammer defeated the # 6 ranked Ottawa Team Easton Thunder, # 9 Port Elgin Blue Devils and
the # 12 ranked Kitchener Outlaws. Fifty year old Rod Fevreau picked up the 6-2 win over Port Elgin throwing 5 solid innings allowing 3 hits.
Craig Buttar of the Ottawa Team Easton Thunder saw double duty playing for Ottawa in the ISC II ToC and also playing for Peterborough in the ISC WT.  Peterborough squeaked out a 3-2 win over the Bloomington Stix with Buttar belting a dramatic ninth inning walk-off bomb. Peterborough's other win came against the unranked Scarborough Royals, a junior team. Peterborough's 2 losses were ugly and both ended via the mercy rule. Vancouver and All World Pitcher Nick Underhill reminded us that we were an ISC II caliber team as the won 7-0, Underhill allowed only 2 hits. Our other loss was to the surprise team of the tournament, the Innerkip Eagles. The Eagles hit us hard and often in a 9-1 mercy win.  Dan Skillings was the big stick going 3x3 with a home run and 3 runs scored and 2 rbi. Jamie Simpson twirled a nifty 2 hitter with 7 K's in the 5 inning game. Eagles Skipper Jeff Whetstone had his team firing on all cylinders and I think the Eagles finished in 8th place bowing out 3-2 to the Orillia Riversharks. Jeff Wilson playing for the Ashland Mets was injured in his first game but quickly recovered to hit his way on to the All Tournament Team. How about the Legendary Darren Zack ? Some say he is done,  just ask Broken Bow if he is done.
Zack gave the Gremlins all they could handle as Zack's Horse Lake Thunder team hung with the big boys before BB scored their lone run in the 6th inning and then hung on for the 1-0 win. It's a shame Zack was not able to pitch again after this game due to an injury.
Karl Gollan really impressed with the arm and the stick. Other notable / weird games, the big come back by the Jarvis Merchants scoring 6 runs in the bottom of the 7th. against Midland, Vancouver exploding for a 17-0 win over Quad City Sox.
 
What's up with California teams ? Although they didn't win a title they had the SoCal Bombers in the ISC Final and the California Lumber Kings in the ISC II Final with another Cali team in the ISC II Semi Final, the A1 Taylor Farms. California well represented in 2007 !
 
The tournament itself was top notch World Class all the way, talk about volunteers, they were everywhere, I think the volunteers had volunteers.
To the cities of Kitchener & Cambridge and all the people who made it work so great for the last 2 years a big heartfelt thank you.
 
One last note, how fitting that Al Doran will be inducted to the ISC Hall of Fame in 2008.
 
Dave Birnie
Coach
Peterborough Murphy Windmillers
ontariomasters(at)hotmail(dot)com
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