Coming together over the Canada Day long weekend were twelve fantastic menís hardball teams from across Saskatchewan and North Dakota to take part in the Big Moose 2012 baseball tournament. Teams from Carlyle, Regina, Carnduff, Beulah, Marysburg, Kenosee, Arcola, Saskatoon, Lampman, and Estevan all took part in the four day tournament.
Beautiful weather each day led to a successful weekend of play in Carlyle and Kenosee, with one round between Estevan and Lampman played in Lampman on June 29. The games were seven innings a piece and cash prizes could be won. It was $100 that could be won during round robin play, $200 for a quarter-final win, $300 in the semifinals, and $400 for winning the final.
The games started at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, June 29. Through hard fought battles in the round robin play and tough competition in both the quarter-finals and semi-finals, it was Marysburg and Carlyle that saw action in the final. By 3:30 on July 2, the final was well underway and a heated game developed.
The Carlyle Cardinals played back to back on Monday, winning their semi-final against the Regina Aís in a fantastic match. After a short break to get the diamond in proper order for the start of the final they took on the Royals.
No hits in the first three innings saw two runs taken by Carlyle in the top of the fourth. That was when the Royals answered with three of their own runs. After a hard fought match Marysburg came out on top, winning 10 to four.
Claimed as a renowned hard ball tournament by some the winners went away with a little money and bragging rights.
Fans in the stands were disappointed in the loss by the home team in the final, but were extremely supportive and happy to have the opportunity to take in the great ball that was played throughout the weekend. Some even exclaimed that the semi-final was a better match, but with playing back to back in such hot weather it was understandable that the Cardinals were unable to claim victory. They played hard throughout the tournament and final, which the fans were quick to point out.
Saturday evening, after the games for the day finished, a home run derby was held. There was a Calcutta for people to buy a hitter making the action even more exciting for the fans. In the end it was Blaine Kovach who walked away as the winner.
A lot of work went into the tournament with sponsors, volunteers, players, and fans that partook in the tournament. Strong support was shown for the teams and the Big Moose was a great success.