Phillies fall in Kiwi Cup final
A Portage Philly batter lays down a bunt during the team’s semifinal match against the visiting New Zealand squad. The Phillies were victorious in the game, cruising to a 10-0 victory to advance to the tourney finale. (Brian Oliver/The Graphic)
The Portage Phillies came up short in their bid to hoist the Kiwi Cup.
The La Salle Bullets overpowered the competition, including a 4-0 blanking over the Phillies in the Kiwi Cup finale Sunday afternoon at Republic Park in Portage la Prairie to win the Mens A Fastpitch tourney without a blemish to their record.
“We were just a little over matched in the finals,” admitted Portage Phillies’ Jay Dewis. “I thought overall the weekend was good, we hit the ball well and Tanner (Waldvogel) threw well.”
The Phillies opened the tourney Saturday morning against Team Manitoba and squeaked past the province’s representatives at the upcoming Canada Summer Games with a 13-11 victory.
The Phillies cruised past Peguis FC 10-3 in a Saturday afternoon affair before finishing the day with a perfect 3-0 record thanks to an 8-3 win over the New Zealanders.
“We thought we could be competitive. We were short staffed pitching-wise. We actually had a pitcher that didn’t show up for us,” said Dewis. “So I thought (Waldvogel) especially did a good job to work through that.”
Portage was back at it bright and early Sunday morning to finish off the round robin portion of the tourney where they fell 10-0 to the Bullets, however the Phillies’ 3-1 record was good enough for a second place finish and an invitation to the playoff round for a semifinal rematch with New Zealand.
Despite the cool and wet conditions, the Phillies’ bats remained hot in the semifinal and powered the Portage squad to a 10-0 victory over the guest’s of honour to earn a spot in the championship before ultimately falling to La Salle.
“We don’t get (too many) opportunities to host events like this,” Dewis added. “Fastpitch is a dying game and it’s nice to host these events. I thought we had good fan support despite the cool weather.”