Everybody wins at Closson Classic tourney in Cowichan

Dogpatch won the championship, and the Spartans took home the massive trophy for finishing last, but the biggest winners at the Gord Closson Fall Classic fastball tournament last weekend were Dan Whiteford and the Dragon Divas, who will share the proceeds from the Classic and the All Chicks tournament a week earlier.

"Everybody was there for the right reasons: helping somebody out there who’s going through a tough time," said Joe DiLalla, manager of the Gord Closson Forest Products Fastball Club, which organized both tournaments.

In the open division playoffs, second-seeded Dogpatch eliminated the third-ranked Gord’s Geriatrics in one semifinal, while the first-seeded Rangers got by fourth-ranked Palladian in a nine-inning thriller.

The final saw Dogpatch top the Rangers 4-0. Craig Snyder pitched a four-hit shutout with 14 strikeouts, and helped himself out at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Marty Steen went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI, Corey Vey was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and Dennis Young was 2-for-3 with a run. Bricklen Anderson, who pitched two excellent games for Dogpatch during the tournament, was 1-for-4 with a run as the designated hitter in the final.

The tournament opened on Friday evening with a much-anticipated game between the Rangers and Geriatrics, with Rick Smith and Korrey Gareau – both star chuckers for the Gord Closson Forest Products Fastball

Club in the Nanaimo Senior Men’s Fastball League – pitching. Smith struck out 20 of the 21 hitters he faced, with Gareau’s pop-up to third the closest thing to a blemish on his record. Gareau, had 16 strikeouts of his own, with only Scott Hayer and Tod LeSergent scoring runs against him.

In the masters division of the Classic, the semis saw second seed Baker Supply beat the Spartans 9-2 and the top seeded Gators get by Beacon Hill 6-0. The final was tied 8-8 in the sixth inning before Baker Supply scored two unanswered runs in the top of the seventh.

Team MVPs were Blake Hunter (Rangers), Dom Mansueti (Gators), Cam Martin (Spartans), Shane McLachlan (Baker Supply), Mike Peters (Palladian), Barry Ronningen (Geriatrics), Craig Snyder (Dogpatch), and Theo Vandenberg (Beacon Hill).

The Chris Dame Memorial Award for the most positive person went to Dan Whiteford’s wife, Erin; the Wilky Weekend Warrior went to Gord Alberg of Dogpatch; Richard Jones was named Favourite Umpire; the Ron Dill Memorial Award for most sportsmanlike player went to Dennis Young of Dogpatch; and the Mr. O’Keefe Memorial Award went to Chris McCormick of the Rangers. The Rangers also won the team participation award.

The tournament benefitted from $350 in gift certificates and cash donations from White Spot, while $1,250 worth of pizza, all donated by Moo’s, was sold, and a car worth $8,000 was donated by BowMel and raffled off.

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