Sooke Loggers reaching for top rung in NAFA Open

Written by Bob on June 12th, 2013

FARGO, ND – last year the Loggers of Sooke, British Columbia, Canada, threw their hat into the NAFA arena for the first time, liked what they saw, and are making a return engagement.

Sooke, which finished runner-up to the Circle Tap Dukes in the 2012 NAFA Open World Series with a 5-1 record, are one of ten teams competing for the championship in the 2013 NAFA Open – Holm Classic Tournament in Fargo, North Dakota, June 14-16.

For field manager Len Banner, the NAFA Open is one of two top men’s fastpitch tournaments his No. 15 ranked Loggers will enter this season.

“I told the boys that this may be the best tournament besides the ISC (World Tournament) that we play in this year and our heads will have to be in it from the first pitch till the last out,” said Banner, adding that the Loggers’ strength relies on speed through out the line up along with four or five guys who can hit with power.

    All-World Hitters

Banner is counting on outfielders Nick Medwedrich and Kyle Cowick, and infielder Chad Bryden in leading the way with the bats. The two outfielders made the NAFA All-World team in 2012, with Medwedrich batting .471 with four RBIs and four runs scored. Bryden carried a .444 batting average, drove in two runs and scored five times.

“They have led the way the early part of our season,” Banner said. “At bat we will have to move runners along and get hits at key times. If we do this, it will give us a chance.”

    Complimentary Pitchers

And in the circle, pitchers Rich Haldane and Scott Lieph will be counted on to keep the Loggers in contention. Haldane earned a spot on last year’s All-World team with his arm and his stick. He drove in five runs, scored three times, and in the circle, he was 1-0 in 12 2/3 innings with a 2.21 ERA and 13 strikeouts.

In the 2012 NAFA Open, the Loggers played Circle Tap twice, with Haldane coming out on top in the first meeting, 4-0, allowing four hits with eight strikeouts.

“Both are right-handers and totally different pitchers,” Banner said. “Rich relies on hitting his spots and Scott is more of a power pitcher.”

Like many men’s fastpitch teams, the Loggers are a small budget team, so they try and get as much bang for their buck as possible. And they seem to have found it.

“We look for places to go that are easy to get to and inexpensive, and that has the best line up of teams,” Banner said. “Fargo and the NAFA Open does this for us. We had a great time there last year.”

2013 Sooke Loggers
Brian Banner, catcher, outfield, Sooke, British Columbia
Chad Bryden, infield, Langford BC
Kyle Cowick, outfield, Sooke
Ben Edgington, outfield, Sooke
Rich Haldane, pitcher Vernon
Blake Hunter, outfield, infield, Cedar, BC
Scott Lieph, pitcher, Sooke
Andrew Medwedrich, infield, Sooke
Nick Medwedrich, outfield, Sooke
Adam Schnarr, infield, Sooke
Kris Walushka, infield, outfield, Langford, BC
Dan Whiteford, infield, catcher, Duncan, BC
Len Banner, field manager, Sooke
John Bishop, coach, Victoria, BC
Joe Medwedrich, coach, Sooke

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