Tim Jacobs went 4-0 to lead the Durham Bulls to the 2015 ISC Legends Tournament Championship. Jacobs was selected the Most Valuable Pitcher of the 12-team event that features some of the most talented teams, over age 50, in North America. Photo Courtesy of Dave Birnie
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Despite reaching a stage in life known as Quinquagenarian – a fancy title for a person between 50-60 years old – the Bulls of Durham, Ontario, Canada, proved they still have the skills to play fastpitch softball.
Especially swinging a bat.
Powered by a strong-hitting lineup of ISC Hall of Famers and former All-World players, the Bulls defeated the Toronto Gators, 10-3, to claim the 2015 ISC Legends Tournament at Belleville Softball Park, Saturday.
The 12-team tournament featured some of the most talented, age 50-over teams in North America. But the Bulls were the cream of the crop. They bullied their way through the competition winning six consecutive games and outscoring their opponents 54-32.
In the championship, the Bulls outhit the Gators 16 to 6, led by Rick Minton, who drove in three runs on two hits with a home run and a single.
Paul Walford (1995, 2000 ISC All-World) and Jody Hennigar (2011 ISC Hall of Fame) gave the Bulls a 2-0 lead to start the game on a hit and sacrifice fly. Then in the second, shortstop David Boys (2013 ISC Hall of Fame) singled in a run and Minton launched a two-run bomb over the left-field fence for a 5-1 margin.
But the Gators had a few players of lore on their side as well. Including cleanup hitter Steve Price – an All-World player in 1998 – who drilled a home run over the left-centerfield wall with Terry Challis (2015 ISC Hall of Fame inductee) aboard in the third to trim the Bulls’ lead to 5-3.
Though Bulls’ pitcher Tim Jacobs gave up Price’s home run, he was steady throughout the game, walking one and scattering six hits with eight strikeouts.
The left-hander mixed in a sharp-breaking drop that he spotted on the corners, along with changing speeds and a rise ball that he had hitters chasing above the letters, or freezing them at the knees.
The win improved Jacobs to 4-0, and he was a worthy pick for the Most Valuable Pitcher award.
The Bulls gave Jacobs all the runs he would need in the sixth, when Ken Sherman led off with a double, and Minton, Walford, and Brian McGuire (3-for-4 to lead the Bulls) all hit safely driving in three more runs.
And in the seventh, Rob Ellis homered over the left-field wall, and Boys ripped a double to the centerfield fence, driving in Chris Giamou (2-for-3), who rapped a two-out single, to get aboard.
BULLS PATH TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP
The Bulls reached the championship by defeating the Gators earlier in pool play, 7-1. They also beat the Bay Merchants, 10-6, Waterloo Legends, 18-15, Rogers Masters, 7-6, and Eagle Pack, 2-1 with Jacobs outdueling Kevin Kammueller to get the Bulls into the title game.
Meanwhile, the Gators finished 4-2. They beat Ohio Battery, 7-0, in their opener, then lost to the Bulls, but finished on a three-game win streak, downing Rogers Masters, 8-0, Waterloo Legends, 7-4, and the Midland Legends, 3-0.
Along with Jacobs’ post-tournament honor, Boys was the RBI Leader with nine, and Walford was selected the Most Valuable Player for his .500 average (12-for-24), 8 runs, 8 RBI, two doubles and two home runs.
And Jeff Weaver of Eagle Pack was chosen the All-World Designated Hitter, batting .533 (8-for-15), including a double and home run, and 4 runs with 4 RBI.
(It was difficult to hear the announcer, so I couldn’t get all of the All-World player names. Rather than leave anyone out, please check the ISC website for those results.)