ST. CROIX, N.S. — The stands were at near capacity and the parking lot was overflowing as the opening ceremonies of the Canadian Sr. Men’s Softball Fast Pitch Championships got underway Aug. 29.
A total of 10 teams are competing in the Aug. 29-Sept. 2 tournament. They are: Ontario (two teams) Saskatchewan (two teams), Nova Scotia (two teams — the defending national champions, the East Hants Mastodons, and another team from Guysborough), Alberta, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia and Newfoundland.
Darrell Lyttle, the tournament chairman, was pleased with the first day of games. Lyttle, who is no stranger to hosting the prestigious event, said the best of the best are in Hants County for the weekend.
“I don’t think you could stand here right now and say there was a clear winner of this thing,” said Lyttle while the Mastodons warmed up before their evening match. “Every team has been very competitive in their games today and I expect that is going to continue.”
After the first day of play, the East Hants Mastodons were 1-1. Pitcher Justin Schofield, of White Rock, pitched both games, losing the first 8-3 to British Columbia and winning the evening bout against the Ontario-based Wiarton Nationals 2-0.
The East Hants team, which is also comprised of players from West Hants, are scheduled to play two games Aug. 30, one at 12:30 p.m. against the 0-2 Bulyea Saskatchewan Rustlers and the other at 9 p.m. against the 0-2 Saskatoon Angels.
Alberta, Newfoundland, British Columbia and the Elmira, Ontario Expos were all 2-0 after the first day of play.
Lyttle said the championship has turned out to be a really good community event.
“There’s people here to see people that they haven’t seen for years. I noticed people in the stands with newspaper clippings from back in the 60s sharing them with each other,” said Lyttle.
“It’s kind of a whole community event that’s really happening here — and the highlight of it is watching the best fast pitch ball players in the world play.”
The championship concludes on Sept. 2.
To learn more about the host team, the East Hants Mastodons, and the schedule, visit: http://www.hantsjournal.ca/sports/baseball/east-hants-mastodons-hoping-to-become-repeat-champions-at-national-fast-pitch-championships-in-st-croix-237285/.
— with files from Dan Boyd