Darren Zack leads Gators to improbable 1995 ISC World Tournament championship

November 16, 2013

Sioux City, Iowa - 1995
Written by Bob Otto

Darren Zack leads Gators to improbable 1995 ISC World Tournament championship

   Original article by Bob Otto


The Toronto Gators raise their 1995 ISC World Tournament championship trophy. The team included Sponsor Jack Fireman, Brad Underwood, Bruce Casselman, Chuck Hendricks, Frank Cox, Darren Zack, Terry Wallin, Mark Bendehan, Bob Green, Brian Paton, Don Burnett, Terry Baytor (head coach), Bill Green, Ken Kivell, Ray Tilley, Craig Crawford, Rod Wetherell, Chris Baytor (bat boy), Brad Baker, Terry Challis, Chris Jones, Adam Smith, Todd Idenouye (asst. coach), Chick Kennedy, (asst. coach), and Bob Baird (trainer). Photo By BOB OTTO



SIOUX CITY, IOWA – There’s not a sane man that would have wagered that the Toronto, Ontario Gators would win the 1995 ISC World Tournament Championship after dropping their first game of the 48-team tournament, held Aug. 11-20, at Diamonds of Champions in Sioux City.


A 3-2 loss to the South Surrey BC Ravens and pitcher Dean Holoien, who held the Gators to five hits.


But then again, betting against pitcher Darren Zack can be a risky proposition. Zack proved the naysayers wrong in hurling his ball club to the title over the 10-day event. And what a performance he turned in. One that many fastpitch experts say will never be topped.

After the loss to South Surrey, Zack pitched the Gators to a remarkable 11 victories; starting the last nine and finishing all but two.


And on the final day Zack and the Gators beat Salt Lake City Larry Miller Toyota twice in the double elimination event, 8-0 and 3-0 in 11 innings. In the finale, Zack and Salt Lake’s Peter Meredith battled through 10 scoreless innings. Then in the top of the 11th, the Gators bunched four hits together to score three runs.

The game-winner coming on Adam Smith’s triple that scored Brian Paton (Most Valuable Player), and Chris Jones, both who singled with one out. Bruce Casselman brought home Smith with the final run. And then Zack set down Salt Lake in order, getting two more strike outs to finish with 20 for the game.


Darren Zack set several records in hurling the Toronto Gators to the 1995 ISC World Tournament championship.Photo By BOB OTTO

“You’ve just got to tip your hat to him,” said Larry Miller Manager Brad Barrup at the time. “At this level, it just amazes me. I mean, he’s going against the best in the world.”


When it was all said and done and the stat people totaled up Zack’s numbers, here’s what the then 34-year-old righthander who was selected the Most Outstanding Pitcher accomplished in a record-setting way:

  • Zack finished 10-0, allowed one earned run on 18 hits, seven walks, with a 0.10 ERA
  • He pitched 71 2/3 innings
  • Over the final 69 1/3 innings he didn’t allow a single run
  • He struck 150 of the world’s best hitters
  • His 10 wins topped the eight-win mark he he set in 1993

Zack has since gone on to win a “few” more games in the World Tournament. As of 2013, he has 56 wins, which places him No. 3 on the Most Wins list, trailing only Michael White, who leads with 70 wins, and Peter Meredith with 60.

The Gators also won the World Tournament in 1993 and finished runner-up in 1994.


And after a lengthy layoff at the Open division of men’s fastpitch, the Gators have reformed and will make a run for the 2014 ISC World Tournament championship in Kitchener, Ontario. And Zack will return as a coach. But it’s also probable that he will find some time in the circle.

But can the new Gators ever top what the original version accomplished in 1995?



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