With a throw of the ball and a crack of the bat, the season has begun for the South Perth Men’s Fastball League.
The Elmira Expos and the Wellesley Midget Wildcats faced each other on Tuesday night in Wellesley for their first game of the season.
The Expos finished in first place in the league last year and placed 12th out of 48 teams at the International Softball Congress World Tournament.
“We were happy with it,” said Travis Martin of the Expos.
“This is the second time that we’ve won our league. We’re usually pretty competitive in that and then that’s our second best finish that we’ve ever had at the ISC World Tournament. I think four years ago we finished ninth.”
He says this year’s team is pretty much the same group of guys as last year, with one or two new players. Most of them are from Elmira and Linwood.
This year’s ISC World Tournament is in Quad Cities, Illinois.
“Our goal is definitely to come top 10 out of the 48 teams,” Martin said.
He says they manage to stay competitive year to year because of good pitching and solid defense.
This will be the first year for the Wellesley team to compete in the league.
They’re not the only addition to the league though. There were seven teams last year compared to 10 now.
Martin welcomes the league’s growth.
“You get more games and you don’t have to play the same team so many times. It’s nice playing different teams,” Martin said.
The three teams joining the league were done playing minor ball and were looking for a league to continue the sport competitively.
“It’s good for the game if there’s all these young kids still playing,” Martin said.
They’ve been out for a week practicing for the start of the season. He doesn’t expect there to be a rivalry with Wellesley despite being so close in distance. But he does expect they’ll be young and eager to win.
The Elmira Expos play at home on Thursday nights at the Elmira Industrial Diamond, and they get good crowds out in the summer.
“It’s actually been pretty decent now that we’re back playing in Elmira the last couple of years. Word of mouth has got around and I think there’s still a lot of people in town that like watching good, local fastball,” Martin said.
The Expos face the Mitchell Mets tonight (May 19) at 8:30 p.m. The Wellesley Midget Wildcats play at home on Tuesday nights at the ball diamond behind the Wellesley arena. They’re up against the Sebringville Sting on May 24 at 8:30 p.m.