Woodstock Sentinel-Review story -- Innerkip's run ends

August 19, 2007

Kitchener, ON

Eighth in the world

By Cory Smith
Sports reporter
— On paper, the Innerkip Eagles didn’t belong.
Here was the 20th-ranked team at the ISC World Fastball Tournament,
hanging with the likes of the Broken Bow Gremlins, SoCal Bombers, The
Farm Tavern and Orillia Riversharks on the tourney’s penultimate day.
Coming into the tournament, some fastball observers might have
dismissed Innerkip as just another wannabe in a sport where most
championships are purchased.
But the sponsorless Eagles, who were knocked out Friday afternoon in
a 3-2 loss to the Riversharks, nickel and dimed their way to a 5-2
record over seven days.
“It’s disappointing,” Eagles manager Jeff Whetstone said of Friday’s
loss. “The first game and this game we didn’t get many hits, but you
look back and our hitting was strong all week.
“If we beat those guys, we would have got Broken Bow next.”
The Eagles would have been in tough against the top-ranked team, but
after knocking out the No. 11 and No. 7 seeds, the idea certainly
wasn’t as far fetched as once thought.
“It’s our best finish,” Whetstone said. “You look at our two losses,
The Farm and Orillia, two teams that could go on and win the
Orillia was eliminated by Patsy’s of New York City later Friday, but
The Farm cruised to an 8-1 win over the Bombers in Saturday’s
Against the Riversharks, Innerkip took a 2-1 lead in the top of the
fourth after Steve Running’s solo homer. The Eagles were 12 outs away
from the final four before Orillia flexed its muscle and tied it in
the bottom of the inning on Ian Fehrman’s home run.
Fehrman singled to start the sixth and scored on Tim Macumber’s two-
out single up the middle.
Just like that, the Eagles’ impressive run hit a wall.
“It was going to be a low scoring game,” Whetstone said.
It was a team effort in every sense, as the Eagles overcame a
tournament-opening shutout to post five straight victories.
It started on the mound where Dan Skillings, Jamie Simpson and Jeremy
deBelleval gave Innerkip the solid pitching it needed, sometimes in
the same game.
In the field, Bill Ebel’s circus catches in centre will be talked
about for years.
At the plate, Skillings, who was named to the ISC first team all-
stars, tied a tournament record with 15 RBI, many of them coming off
his four homers.
Running, who was named to the second team all-stars, also caught fire
in the cleanup spot, swatting a few home runs and sparking several
big innings.
Nick Dambrosio and Tyler Sammy didn’t resemble No. 8 and 9 hitters,
and no one will soon forget Jamie Robinson’s bases loaded walk-off
single to eliminate the No. 7 Minndak Millers Thursday.
“Hopefully next year they’ll know we can play with anybody,”
Whetstone said. “Hopefully our ranking will be better to start the
year going into the worlds than this was.
“Not too many teams play on Friday at the world tournament.”

Darryl Smart
519-537-2341 ext. 258


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