Slow start for slo-pitch league

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION - BY BILL BOW­MAN

Soft­ball ac­tion got off to a slow start for the Car­bon­ear Mol­son Men’s Slo-pitch League this sea­son.

The first game did not get played un­til last week, largely due to the fact grass on the soft­ball pitches at the Car­bon­ear Re­cre­ation Com­plex had not been cut and the fields were not ready for play.

The fo­cus of the Car­bon­ear re­cre­ation depart­ment’s at­ten­tion on get­ting the Car­bon­ear Swim­ming Pool back in op­er­a­tion af­ter five months of down­time has been cited as the main rea­son for the de­lay in hav­ing the soft­ball fields ready for use ear­lier this year.

That puts the league al­most a month be­hind sched­ule, ac­cord­ing to the league’s statis­ti­cian Ger­ard Grif­fin, who told The Com­pass, “ This is the lat­est start for the league in its 34-year his­tory.”

The vet­eran soft­ball player and league ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber, who has been with the or­ga­ni­za­tion since its be­gin­nings, said nor­mally they start play­ing their first games af­ter the May 24 week­end.

The league is made up of ap­prox­i­mately 50 adult male soft­ball play­ers from Bryant’s Cove to Bay de Verde. They play for three teams— West Side Char­lies, Butt’s ESSO and Rock Hard Con­struc­tion.

Sea­son opener

In the first match of the 2011 sea­son played last June 23, West Side Char­lies edged Butt’s ESSO 16-15. West Side took the game on the strength of five hits each from Keith Ped­dle and Jody Doyle, who led the way for the win.

One of Doyle’s hits was a home run. They were among the top bat­ters for the win­ning team, along with Chris Parsons and Mike White­way with three hits each. Two of White­way’s hits were home runs. Sam White and Jeff Parsons had two hits apiece in help­ing with the win.

White tossed the win on the mound for the win­ner, while Ger­ard Grif­fin suf­fered the pitch­ing loss.

Top bat­ters for the los­ing team were Luke Ho­gan with four hits, in­clud­ing a home run, and Andrew Butt with four hits, two of which were home runs. Ger­ard Grif­fin had three hits. Ryan Dean had two while Bren­don Mc­Carthy had one in a los­ing cause.

Grif­fin said they had hoped to play a dou­ble-header on open­ing night, but a late start to the first match com­bined with poor weather forced them to scratch the sec­ond match.

With two dou­ble-head­ers sched­uled to be played Mon­day and Thurs­day evenings through­out the sea­son, the league spokesman said “ev­ery­body gets to play at least two games a week.”

Mike White­way is league pres­i­dent with Gord King as vice-pres­i­dent; Stephen King as um­pire-inchief and Chad Parsons, trea­surer.

Soft­ball ac­tion was sched­uled to re­sume Mon­day evening, June 27 with Rock Hard meet­ing Butt’s ESSO.

Grif­fin said be­fore that match, they plan to have all play­ers line up on the field to ob­serve a minute of si­lence out of re­spect for the late Gord Dean, who served as um­pire for the league for 32 years. Dean was a lead­ing sports fig­ure in the area who passed away ear­lier this year.

Mean­while, Grif­fin said de­spite this year’s late start, they ex­pect to get in all their games be­fore the end of Septem­ber when the lights are shut off for the sea­son.

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