Local fastball talent gives Aussies a challenge

Sports Jul 19, 2017 by Dan Polischuk Waterloo Chronicle

Prior to embarking for the Yukon and the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship in Whitehorse, the Aussie Steelers concluded their 10-game exhibition pit-stop in Milverton with a game against the Kitchener Fastball League all-stars this past week.

Despite a final score of 12-0 in favour of the senior men’s national team, the offensive tally certainly wasn’t indicative of the challenge the 16-member KFL squad presented for more than half the game.

With zeroes on the scoreboard for both teams after three innings, the group of all-stars got solid starting pitching from Doug Hoffman of the Bell Cartage Outlaws, who only allowed three hits to go along with two strikeouts.

Having been out of the league for the past two years and returning in 2017 with an opportunity to face the fifth-ranked team in the world was “the kind of competition that makes me better as a pitcher.”

“I’m glad that I got the opportunity to come,” said the 40 year-old veteran player. “You need a decent catcher to help you too, and we were on the same page and able to do something for the first three innings.

“We were able to make plays as a team too,” he added.

With Hoffman out of the game in the fourth though, the wheels came off for the KFL as they would find themselves down 4-0 after the fourth and 7-0 an inning later. The Aussies would end up supporting the stellar performance of their starter Harrison Peters with four home runs when all was said and done.

“There’s not a weak player on the team. I didn’t know they were ranked #5; I would have ranked them higher than that,” said Hoffman after the game, having come back in to stop the bleeding in the seventh inning.

“My hats go off to them. I hope they do well in the Yukon.”

Mike Brown, chosen as a representative from the Selects and who also serves as league President, commented how “the guys were having fun with (the experience),” while also noting that the closest deficit the Steelers encountered in their first nine games was a 6-2 win over the Elmira Expos.

“Obviously the final score isn’t what we wanted,” he said, adding, “I don’t think anyone here on our team expected to win, but it was pretty nice to be giving them a competitive game and maybe put a bit of doubt in their minds - for a little bit anyway.”

The Aussie’s expedition to Milverton has evolved into a bit of an annual tradition for Head Coach Laing Farrow, who emigrated from the small town (located 40 minutes outside of Kitchener) to Australia with his family back in 1986 after his dad got a coaching job with Softball Canberra.

Having followed his father’s footsteps in becoming the bench boss of the men’s program while becoming an inductee into the International Softball Federation Hall of Fame after a stellar playing career, Farrow reflected how “the community just looks after us so well” as a reason for returning for a third straight summer. Visiting with aunts, uncles and cousins is also a personal bonus.

Finding themselves in the same pool as fourth-ranked Canada at the Worlds, Farrow feels “fortunate enough to be around (this team)” and experience playing against some of the best ball players in the world.

“And we have some of the best in the world.”

While confident, he conceded that winning it all will require “the guys coming together as a team, because it’s always important when you get to these tournaments, that guys are working hard together for each other.

“If we can handle that, we’ll give ourselves every chance to be there that final day.”

Local fastball talent gives Aussies a challenge

Sports Jul 19, 2017 by Dan Polischuk Waterloo Chronicle

Prior to embarking for the Yukon and the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship in Whitehorse, the Aussie Steelers concluded their 10-game exhibition pit-stop in Milverton with a game against the Kitchener Fastball League all-stars this past week.

Despite a final score of 12-0 in favour of the senior men’s national team, the offensive tally certainly wasn’t indicative of the challenge the 16-member KFL squad presented for more than half the game.

With zeroes on the scoreboard for both teams after three innings, the group of all-stars got solid starting pitching from Doug Hoffman of the Bell Cartage Outlaws, who only allowed three hits to go along with two strikeouts.

Having been out of the league for the past two years and returning in 2017 with an opportunity to face the fifth-ranked team in the world was “the kind of competition that makes me better as a pitcher.”

“I’m glad that I got the opportunity to come,” said the 40 year-old veteran player. “You need a decent catcher to help you too, and we were on the same page and able to do something for the first three innings.

“We were able to make plays as a team too,” he added.

With Hoffman out of the game in the fourth though, the wheels came off for the KFL as they would find themselves down 4-0 after the fourth and 7-0 an inning later. The Aussies would end up supporting the stellar performance of their starter Harrison Peters with four home runs when all was said and done.

“There’s not a weak player on the team. I didn’t know they were ranked #5; I would have ranked them higher than that,” said Hoffman after the game, having come back in to stop the bleeding in the seventh inning.

“My hats go off to them. I hope they do well in the Yukon.”

Mike Brown, chosen as a representative from the Selects and who also serves as league President, commented how “the guys were having fun with (the experience),” while also noting that the closest deficit the Steelers encountered in their first nine games was a 6-2 win over the Elmira Expos.

“Obviously the final score isn’t what we wanted,” he said, adding, “I don’t think anyone here on our team expected to win, but it was pretty nice to be giving them a competitive game and maybe put a bit of doubt in their minds - for a little bit anyway.”

The Aussie’s expedition to Milverton has evolved into a bit of an annual tradition for Head Coach Laing Farrow, who emigrated from the small town (located 40 minutes outside of Kitchener) to Australia with his family back in 1986 after his dad got a coaching job with Softball Canberra.

Having followed his father’s footsteps in becoming the bench boss of the men’s program while becoming an inductee into the International Softball Federation Hall of Fame after a stellar playing career, Farrow reflected how “the community just looks after us so well” as a reason for returning for a third straight summer. Visiting with aunts, uncles and cousins is also a personal bonus.

Finding themselves in the same pool as fourth-ranked Canada at the Worlds, Farrow feels “fortunate enough to be around (this team)” and experience playing against some of the best ball players in the world.

“And we have some of the best in the world.”

While confident, he conceded that winning it all will require “the guys coming together as a team, because it’s always important when you get to these tournaments, that guys are working hard together for each other.

“If we can handle that, we’ll give ourselves every chance to be there that final day.”

Local fastball talent gives Aussies a challenge

Sports Jul 19, 2017 by Dan Polischuk Waterloo Chronicle

Prior to embarking for the Yukon and the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship in Whitehorse, the Aussie Steelers concluded their 10-game exhibition pit-stop in Milverton with a game against the Kitchener Fastball League all-stars this past week.

Despite a final score of 12-0 in favour of the senior men’s national team, the offensive tally certainly wasn’t indicative of the challenge the 16-member KFL squad presented for more than half the game.

With zeroes on the scoreboard for both teams after three innings, the group of all-stars got solid starting pitching from Doug Hoffman of the Bell Cartage Outlaws, who only allowed three hits to go along with two strikeouts.

Having been out of the league for the past two years and returning in 2017 with an opportunity to face the fifth-ranked team in the world was “the kind of competition that makes me better as a pitcher.”

“I’m glad that I got the opportunity to come,” said the 40 year-old veteran player. “You need a decent catcher to help you too, and we were on the same page and able to do something for the first three innings.

“We were able to make plays as a team too,” he added.

With Hoffman out of the game in the fourth though, the wheels came off for the KFL as they would find themselves down 4-0 after the fourth and 7-0 an inning later. The Aussies would end up supporting the stellar performance of their starter Harrison Peters with four home runs when all was said and done.

“There’s not a weak player on the team. I didn’t know they were ranked #5; I would have ranked them higher than that,” said Hoffman after the game, having come back in to stop the bleeding in the seventh inning.

“My hats go off to them. I hope they do well in the Yukon.”

Mike Brown, chosen as a representative from the Selects and who also serves as league President, commented how “the guys were having fun with (the experience),” while also noting that the closest deficit the Steelers encountered in their first nine games was a 6-2 win over the Elmira Expos.

“Obviously the final score isn’t what we wanted,” he said, adding, “I don’t think anyone here on our team expected to win, but it was pretty nice to be giving them a competitive game and maybe put a bit of doubt in their minds - for a little bit anyway.”

The Aussie’s expedition to Milverton has evolved into a bit of an annual tradition for Head Coach Laing Farrow, who emigrated from the small town (located 40 minutes outside of Kitchener) to Australia with his family back in 1986 after his dad got a coaching job with Softball Canberra.

Having followed his father’s footsteps in becoming the bench boss of the men’s program while becoming an inductee into the International Softball Federation Hall of Fame after a stellar playing career, Farrow reflected how “the community just looks after us so well” as a reason for returning for a third straight summer. Visiting with aunts, uncles and cousins is also a personal bonus.

Finding themselves in the same pool as fourth-ranked Canada at the Worlds, Farrow feels “fortunate enough to be around (this team)” and experience playing against some of the best ball players in the world.

“And we have some of the best in the world.”

While confident, he conceded that winning it all will require “the guys coming together as a team, because it’s always important when you get to these tournaments, that guys are working hard together for each other.

“If we can handle that, we’ll give ourselves every chance to be there that final day.”