Jarvis Travelers capture third consecutive ISC World Tournament Championship

Written by Bob on August 19th, 2012

“We have a great bunch of hitters. I’m so excited to have this chance for the championship.” – Paul Koert, Jarvis winning pitcher

MIDLAND, MI – The Jarvis Ontario Travelers dreamed it, craved it, and finally got it, a third consecutive ISC World Tournament Championship.

But it was far from easy.

Jarvis had to survive a tense, eight-inning slugfest, and an early 3-0 deficit. But they prevailed in beating Six Nations Ontario Hill United Chiefs 8-6 at Currie Stadium, Saturday night.

The joy of winning a world tournament championship was sweetened even more as Jarvis tied a 55-year old ISC record. Matching the Mary Star All-Stars (Calif) who won three consecutive ISC World Tournament titles from 1952 to ’54.

    HALE SHATTERS RBI RECORD

But another record fell as well. Donnie Hale, Jarvis’ designated hitter, set an all-time RBI record with 17; breaking the old mark of 14 set in 1998 by Steve Price of Ballston Lake, NY.

Hale (2-3) drove in three runs – one in the second inning on a single, and two in the fourth on a home run deep over the right field fence that helped Jarvis to a 4-3 lead.

“I’m happy for our team to create history with a three-peat that hasn’t been done for 55 years,” Hale said, who was selected the Cleo Goyette Most Valuable Player for his .579 batting average (11-for-19) and 17 RBIs. “I was just happy to do my part.”

The win also vindicates an earlier 3-1 loss to Hill United that knocked Jarvis into the losers bracket.

    HOMER-HITTING BASHERS

As the score indicates, the hitters dominated. Jarvis pounded out 13 hits, and Hill United had eight. Both lineups went long ball, belting six home runs – three by each team.

Nick Shailes (2-4) gave Hill United a 3-0 advantage in the first inning, with a three-run homer off Sean Cleary. And Jeff Ellsworth (2-3) made it 4-1 in the third by bashing a solo homer over the centerfield fence.

With Adam Folkard (4-1) toeing the rubber, Hill United appeared to be rolling toward the championship. But Jarvis refused to back down from Folkard, who pitched his former teammates to the title in 2010.

    HALE AND BOLAND IGNITE COMEBACK

The Australian right-hander was roughed up in the fourth when Hale and Ryan Boland blasted two-run homers. Hale’s shot cleared the right-field fence, and Boland (2-4) hit an outside pitch over the left-field fence, pushing Jarvis in front, 5-4. And it seemed to set a tone: These Travelers weren’t going down without a fight.

Brad Rona (3-4, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) added a solo homer in the fifth, pushing Jarvis’ lead to 6-4, but Mark Arsenault’s solo homer in the sixth pulled Hill United within 6-5.

“This is unbelievable,” Jarvis Manager Steve Kooser said. “The guys fought hard all day, but we knew we had the guys to do it.”

    NOT A PITCHERS KIND OF GAME

As for Folkard and the Jarvis’ Cleary and Paul Koert, this was a game of survival. Folkard went the distance and took the loss, giving up all eight runs on 13 hits, while striking out nine. However, Folkard was Hill United’s ace all tournament. And he was rewarded by being selected a first-team, All-World pitcher.

Cleary lasted three innings, surrendering four runs, all on homers; Shailes three-run bomb in the first, and Jeff Ellsworth’s solo shot in the third.

Cleary appeared to tire and was relieved by Koert (3-0) in the fourth who picked up the win. The two shared the circle throughout the tournament. And that was just fine with Cleary.

    PITCHING PARTNERS

“Paul had my back all week,” said Cleary, who was selected a first-team All-World pitcher along with Folkard and Lucas Mata of PA Power. “You couldn’t ask for a better pitching partner. This was a team effort from a never-say-die squad.”

Koert (3-0) finished the final five innings giving up two runs on five hits with six strikeouts. And in the seventh he came within one out of nailing down a 6-5 win. But a wild pitch allowed Kyle Ezekiel to scamper home from third with the tying run. Jason Sanford opened the inning with a single, and Ezekiel pinch running, moved to third on a sacrifice and fielder’s choice.

Now with the score tied 6-6, Jason Hill came to bat. Nick Shailes stood on second after reaching on a single and moving up on the wild pitch. Hill drove a deep fly ball to the base of the right-centerfield fence.

    TERKELSON SAVES THE GAME

Centerfielder Freddie Terkelson and right fielder Ben Enoka both raced toward the ball. And then they hesitated. Who should take it? Finally, just before the ball could hit the ground with the potential winning run on second, Terkelson stuck his glove out, bobbled the ball, and then squeezed it for the final out of the inning.

Terkelson’s catch sent the game into the eighth. And this time Jarvis would prevail. With one out, Ryan Wolfe doubled down the leftfield line. But Horne popped up, putting Folkard in the same spot as Koert: one out away from escaping damage.

    ENOKA AND RONA’S GAME WINNERS

But Brad Enoka and Rona wouldn’t let him wriggle free. They both drilled back-to-back doubles plating two runs for the 8-6 lead. Now it was Koert’s turn. And he toughened, closing out Hill United on a fly ball and two strikeouts. Then the celebration began with hugs, high fives and smiles all around.

“We have a great bunch of hitters,” said Koert, selected a second team, All-World pitcher. “I’m so excited to have this chance for the championship. This feels great.”

After losing to Hill United, 3-1, in the winners bracket, Jarvis won three straight to finish 7-1. And though a tiring ordeal, the battle back through the losers bracket is a feat that Brandon Horne (2-5) will long remember.

“It was harder this way and took everyone to do it,” Horne said, who was named a first team, All-World infielder. “But it was a little more fun and we had the pitching to do it.”

Though the loss was disappointing, Hill United manager Doug Eidt made no excuses, and praised his Chiefs and Jarvis.

“All year we were able to come back,” he said. “We showed (fighting) spirit, but hats off to Jarvis, they are the best team in the world right now.”

Jarvis totals: Ryan Wolfe 1-5; Brandon Horne 2-5; Ben Enoka 1-5, RBI, run; Brad Rona 3-4, 2 RBI, 2 runs; Ian Fehrman 1-4, run; Donnie Hale 2-3, 3 RBI, run; Frederik Terkelson 1-3, run; and Ryan Boland 2-4, 2 RBI, run.

Hill United: Brad Ezekiel 1-2, run; Jeff Ellsworth 2-3, RBI, 2 runs; Nick Shailes 2-4, 3 RBI, run; Mark Arsenault 1-4, RBI, run, and Jason Sanford 2-3, run.

Jarvis pitching:
Sean Cleary, 3 innings, 3 hits, 4 runs, 3 earned runs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts.
Paul Koert W, 3-0, five innings, 2 runs, 2 earned runs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts, 1 wild pitch.

Hill United pitching:
Adam Folkard L, 4-1, 8 innings, 13 hits, 8 runs, 8 earned runs, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts, 2 wild pitches.

For a play-by-play of the game, go to: ISC Jarvis vs. Hill United

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