Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart
October 31, 2021, Victoria, BC – What a fitting finish to the fall finale!
Team Black, who were just one out from defeat in the top of the ninth inning, found a way to tie the game, then scored four in the top of the 10th and hung on to come away with a nail-biting 14-13 win over Team Gold in the deciding third game of the Victoria Golden Tide Intersquad World Series Sunday afternoon at Wilson’s Group Stadium in Victoria.
The game was a see-saw battle throughout and in the first two and a half innings, the teams exchanged the lead no less than four times with team Black holding a 5-4 lead after that time frame.
Cue the first potential hero of the game in Team Black pitcher Haldon Craig, who came in for early relief of Team Black Starter Cameron Dunn and proceeded to shut Team Gold out for three straight innings, allowing his team to build an 8-4 lead after five and a half innings.
Team Gold would not back down though and in the bottom of the sixth, would finally get to Craig for three runs, narrowing the score to 8-7 before Team Black’s Brett Paterson came in to get out of the inning without further damage.
Things looked even better in the seventh, as Team Black would push the lead to 9-7 and then Paterson would keep Team Gold off the board in the bottom of the frame, but after Team Gold reliever Brady Wilson kept Team Black off the scoreboard in the top of the eighth, the first time Black had not scored in their half of the inning in the entire game, there was sense in the stadium that a possible turning point was near.
Sure enough in the bottom of the frame, with one run already in and after a double from Jordan Bond, a hit batter and an intentional walk, the second potential hero of the game, Parker Harris, lofted a 2-RBI single to centre, giving Team Gold their first lead since the second inning and sending them to the top of the ninth ahead 10-9.
In the ninth Team Black’s Kai Gray would lead off the inning with a single off Wilson and then move to second on an error. A sac fly moved him to third and after another strikeout, Austin Gurney hit what looked to be the game ending ground ball toward the gap between first and second. It would turn out to be a tough play and Gurney beat it out for an infield single, scoring Gray and tying the game at 10-10.
In the bottom of the frame, the third candidate for hero of the game, Team Black pitcher Ethan Dean, retired Team Gold in order, sending the game into extra frames.
In the 10th, special extra inning rules applied and Team Black began the inning with runners placed at first and third base. They quickly cashed one of those in on a wild pitch and then after an intentional walk and a hit batter, found themselves with the bases loaded. After Wilson struck out the next batter, he would walk another making the score 12-10 Black before being replaced by Ryder Green.
Green would then give up another walk and an RBI single to Brandon Green before getting out of the frame with Team Black now holding a 14-10 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, with runners starting on first and third, Team Gold quickly loaded the bases on a leadoff walk to Bond. Dean then induced an RBI double-play groundout, cutting the score to 14-11 before hitting a batter to put runners on first and third.
An RBI single by Parker Harris cut the lead to 14-12, bringing up Bret Czarkowski who lashed a double to the left field fence scoring one run, with a second, in Will Podmoroff, who had gone in to run for Harris, looking to be on his way to tying the score. However Team Black did a good job to get the ball in quickly and Podmoroff was held at the last minute, leaving the tying and potential winning runs in scoring position and third and second base respectively.
After everyone took a big breath, Dean then got Myles Wall to hit into a groundout to the shortstop, preserving the 14-13 win and sending Team Black out to the mound to mob Dean, who took credit for the win in relief.
The game marks a great end to what has been an exciting inaugural fall season of Golden Tide baseball. The team and all the players have all worked hard to develop under the guidance of Head Coach Curtis Pelletier and his staff and that development shows in games like today, as well as the fine showing the team had at the CCBC Fall Championship Tournament in Kelowna.
The Tide will now head indoors for the winter, working out at the Edwards Family Training Centre on Cook Street in preparation for their first official CCBC season which begins in April of 2022.
Stay tuned for details on the spring schedule, as well as all things Golden Tide and Victoria HarbourCats related at www.harbourcats.com , as well as on Facebook, Twitter and other social media for both teams.
TIDAL WAVES: Team Black, in addition to bragging rights, now wins two nights in the Wilson’s Transportation Group Suite at a Victoria Royals game thanks to their victory. The win by Team Black overshadowed an impressive offensive performance by Team Gold’s Jordan Bond who had two singles, two doubles, a walk, two RBIs and scored three times. Congratulations are extended to players Colton O’Brien (Luck Charms leprechaun), Jordan Bond (Superhero) and Dexter Stoiber and Noah Charlton (Thing 1 and Thing 2) who won Sunday’s Halloween batting practice costume contest.