Shade squeaked past the Spuds 14-12 in a close ‘A’ final of the first slo-pitch tournament of the season in Devlin last weekend.
The contest between the two Fort Frances teams was tight in the late innings, with both teams trading leads in the sixth and seventh innings.
Shade pitcher Mike Bazylewski belted a clutch home run in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 12. Then the team added two more runs to cap off a five-run inning and take the lead for good.
Earlier in the inning, the Spuds got a three-run homer from Darrel Scott to break a 9-9 tie.
Then with two on in the top of the seventh and a chance to take the lead again, Scott hit a deep fly ball that Laurie Walsh snagged to secure the win.
The Spuds had opened up a 6-0 lead after the first two innings, leaving Shade to play catch-up for most of the game. Bazylewski’s homer was the first time the game had been tied.
In other tourney action, the Young and the Reckless beat the Blue Zones 11-1 in the ‘B’ final while Up North upended the River Rats 18-7 in the ‘C’ showdown.
Twelve teams, including four from here, took part in the event, which got underway last Wednesday because there’s only one diamond at Devlin.
It also was all for a good cause. The tourney raised some $4,400 for the Crossroads community rink committee, whose goal is $40,000 for a new outdoor rink there.
The total cost of the rink would be $80,000.
“It was a huge success,” noted organizer and Devlin resident Joe Bodnar. “Thanks to everyone who supported us and came out.”