July2013

Hill United see silver lining

July 1, 2013

Jarvis, ON
by Darryl G. Smart, Brantford Expositor


ORIGINAL STORY by Darryl G. Smart - with photos

JARVIS - A loss can sometimes be a great learning tool, and it's something Larry Lynch hopes can be a little fuel for the Hill United Chiefs.

 

Despite being short-staffed and hobbled up, the Chiefs kept fighting back, before running out of gas in a 3-1 loss to the New York Gremlins in the final of the North American Fastball Challenge in Jarvis.

 

“I told them not to be satisfied with losing but we're all banged up and a pitcher short this weekend, so look at the positives,” said Lynch, the Six Nations-based team's coach. “We fought back in the championship game and the difference was basically one hit, a home run.

 

“That's what you want to do, to put yourself in the position to win a championship,” he said. “From there it can be a coin toss. We hung in there until the very end, and considering we were so banged up and short-handed, that's all you can ask for.”

 

Sunday's loss in the final was the first time the Chiefs, the No. 2 ranked team in the world, dropped a championship game since they were beaten by the Jarvis Travelers during last season's International Softball Congress World Tournament.

 

In Sunday's final, the Gremlins jumped out to a 1-0 lead before the Chiefs' Brad Ezekiel responded with a solo home run. But a two-run shot was all the Gremlins needed, as they relied on the arms of Sean Clearly and Andrew Kirkpatrick, who stymied the Chiefs throughout the game.

 

Despite a great effort, Adam Folkard, who pitched all three games Sunday, took the loss on the mound for  the Chiefs.

 

With slugger Jeff Ellsworth and pitcher Mitch Hardy not able to  make the trip for the tournament, Lynch knew it would be tough sledding to pull out a third-consecutive tournament championship to start the summer.

 

Despite that, the Chiefs showed plenty of grit, having to come back in every game Sunday.

 

After a 1-2 record Saturday, they got down 5-0 to the Jarvis Hallman Twins Sunday morning. The Chiefs showed its power, cranking out eight runs to win  8-1.

 

In the semifinal, the Chiefs had solo home runs from Ryan Thompson and Nick Shailes in the sixth inning to battle back for a 3-2 win over the Scarborough Force.

 

To start the tournament, the Chiefs, with only 10 players, beat the PA Power 8-3, before losing 8-1 to the Gremlins and 5-4 to the Force.

 

“We showed a lot,” Lynch said. “Everybody was banged up and we kept coming back. We had to come back from 5-0 this morning, and then we had to come back again in the semifinal to get to this game. Even in this game we kept fighting back. You can pull a lot of positives from this weekend.

 

“This is a good character builder for us,” he said. “We know we'll have to beat the Gremlins to get to where we want at the end of the season. It's pretty positive when we're this banged up and they only beat us by one hit.

 

darryl.smart@sunmedia.ca

 

twitter.com/darrylsmart1

 

 

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