Slopitch finals start Thursday

Jamie Heap
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IMP’s Ferguson, Reds’ Brown, weigh in on Division I finals

Cumberland Reds’ player and former Amherst Ramblers player Shayne O’Byrne, who won the annual Don Yorke Memorial Slopitch tournament and its MVP Award as a member of the Underdawgs for the 3rd straight year this past Sunday in Parrsboro, pitches the ball during the 27th Annual Don Yorke Memorial Slopitch Tournament. O’Byrne, who has the league title every year he's played in it, and his Cumberland Reds, are looking to win two games tonight against IMP when their best-of-7 series commences at 6:30 pm on Robb’s 1. The Division II finals between Sobeys and the Jager Bombs also starts tonight at 6:30 pm on Robb's 2.

AMHERST-The Cumberland Reds, IMP, Sobeys and Jager Bombs will be taking to Robb’s Centennial Complex tonight at 6:30 pm to begin their league title push.

“This is the first time in the 6 years that I have been back in the league that I have been in the top tier finals,” stated Ferguson, a veteran of the Amherst Men’s Slopitch League. “In my first year back, my team (IMP) won the Tier 2 championship.”

According to Ferguson, who says that he continues to play because he enjoys competing and hanging out with his teammates at the ball field, this year’s IMP team is the most successful team he has ever assembled. IMP went 21-7 during the regular season before sweeping Green Smith 3-0.

“This is the most successful team I have ever put together,” stated Ferguson,“ I owe a lot of our success to my players. They are great group of guys,” he added.

IMP will take on the top-seeded Cumberland Reds (27-1) Thursday night at 6:30. Like IMP, the Reds swept their first round opponets, Atlantic Kia, 3-0.

“It will definitely be a huge test for us to defeat the (Cumberland) Reds,” stated  Ferguson. “They have a talented team for sure, and they proved it during the (regular) season. We will just go out there and give it our best shot,” he added.

Cumberland Reds' player Steven Brown isn’t taking anything for granted.

“IMP has a good team, so it should be a good finals,” stated Reds’ player Steven Brown. “If we hit and field the way we usually do, we will be fine, but, it’s softball, so anything can happen,” added Brown, who, unlike his fellow Reds’ teammate and friend, Shayne O’Byrne, has yet to win a Men’s League title.

O’Byrne, a former player with the Amherst Ramblers, has won the title every year he’s played in the league.

“This is my second year with the Reds,” said Brown. “It’s been great playing with the guys I grew up with playing hardball and hockey with,” he added. “It makes it fun when you are playing with your friends,” he added. “Three years ago, I played with the Underdawgs and we lost in the finals against the Reds,” recalled Brown.

In the Division II finals, the Jager Bombs play Sobeys. The Jager Bombs ousted the Brew Jays 3-1 while Sobeys swept away the Free Agents 3-0

Both series start Thursday at 6:30 pm. Games 3 and 4 go Tuesday, August 6 while Games 5 and 6 go next Thursday, August 8. Game 7, if necessary, will be played on Monday, August 12.

The Division I finals go on Robb’s 1 while the Division II finals go on Robb’s 2.

Organizations: Cumberland, Reds, Sobeys Amherst Men Slopitch League

Geographic location: AMHERST

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