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Local builders the focus at provincials

Lampman beats Lockwood 13-5 for Maxi Twilite title
Brian Gowen (front row, fifth from right), surrounded by his former Estevan Oilers teammates, accepts the sign that will be placed on Estevan Minor Baseball's Wall of Honour at Cactus Park during Friday's opening ceremonies at the Maxi Twilite Tournament.

By its very nature, the Maxi Twilite Tournament - Saskatchewan baseball's 35-and-over provincials -serves as a tribute to some of those from the sport's past.This past weekend the 2010 host committee in Estevan made sure that theme extended beyond just the on-field events.Friday's opening ceremonies at Lynn Prime Park featured a tribute to Bryan Gowen, whose name will now grace Estevan Minor Baseball's Wall of Honour at Cactus Park.Gowen was recognized for his contributions to both minor and twiliters ball in Estevan from 1981-2006.Friday also marked the official return to life for Met Stadium, which was home to a number of wood-bat games during the three-day tournament.The park was home of 2008 Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame inductees the Ace Mud Mets in the 1960s and 70s but had fallen into a state of disrepair after years of non-use.Met Stadium was cleaned up in time for this year's provincials and the Mets were honoured again last week with the installation of a sign at Met recognizing their club."What I'd say was successful about it was that part of it," said tournament co-chair Lindsay Clark. "That's where the community bought in a lot of times was honouring Bryan, fixing up Met Stadium, doing some of the wood bat stuff. That was a good part of it and that was kind of how the community rallied around it."

Fornwald triple sinks CardinalsProvincials ran Friday through Sunday with the Lampman Legends defeating the Lockwood Braves 13-5 in the championship game at Panteluk Field.As they had in their semifinal against the Coteau Hills Cardinals, Lampman trailed 2-0 early in the title match.But the Legends again bounced back, taking an 8-4 lead into the fifth inning.Leading 10-5 in the bottom of the fifth with the bases loaded, Phil Greenwood cleared the bases with an opposite-field triple to end the game on the tournament's mercy rule.Scoring their third runs of the game on the play were Randy Ulrich, Rod Audette, and Bruce Hutt.It was Lampman's fifth win in as many games. The Legends also beat Sask Alta 17-8, Assiniboia 5-1, Regina 6-4, and Coteau Hills 6-2."We played good ball all weekend and everyone came through," said Greenwood. "We all hit well. We fielded the ball well. I think we just played pretty solid."

Drillers bested in semifinalThe Estevan Drillers came in as one of the pre-tournament favourites and also played well early, beating Parkland 9-3 and Eden Valley 10-1.They then held a 4-1 lead in the fifth inning of Saturday's semifinal against Lockwood but fell victim to some fielding miscues and lost 7-4."To be honest with you we really thought we had a chance to do it, to win at home, and we probably had the team to do it but it just didn't gel," said Drillers manager/coach Dean Chow."We did pretty well the first two games then we just kind of lost sight at the end there. We had some errors and some mistakes and we just didn't come together well."The Drillers' final game was a 14-4 loss Sunday to the Riverhurst Thumpers. Riverhurst advanced to the third-place game where they lost 5-4 to the Regina Drifters in eight innings.Friday's home-run derby was won by Chris Blyth of Standard Hill. Blyth, like his 15 fellow competitors, failed to put one out of the park but was the only contestant to hit one of the outfield targets, winning a new TV with his score of 50 points.The 21-team tournament attracted an estimated 500-600 people to Estevan for the better part of four days and many could be heard raving about the event throughout the weekend."We had the perfect storm," said Clark. "We had great support from our sponsors. We had great volunteers, great weather, and we had a great guy to honour in the opening ceremonies."The ball games were good. The diamonds were perfect. We believe we put on one of the best tournaments around and people were coming up and telling us that."