Fourteen fastball teams, including the Elmira Expos and the Wellesley Juniors, will be in St. Clements this weekend, competing in the Winston Bell Memorial Fastball Tournament.
The tournament gets started on June 2 with a few games starting at 7 p.m., followed by a full day of fastball on Saturday. Sunday is reserved for the championship.
Organizer Ron Woodworth says St. Clements is the perfect place for the fastball tournament, which has been running for about 25 years.
“It is a nice place, and it is ideal for what we want to do. There are the three baseball diamonds and they are very well cared for. They have great people working there as well. The pavilion is ideal for our other sales,” he said.
Alongside the games, the Twin Centre Wildcats will be on hand selling food and drinks for players and spectators this weekend. For Woodworth, it is important to support young athletes with a tournament like this.
“As a team ourselves, we like to give back. All of that money they raise goes back to them. It is all about supporting minor ball. We like to support sports. Everybody supports each other here,” he said.
The Elmira Expos have won the tournament two years in a row, and will be defending their title against teams Woodworth describes as good competition.
“The Elmira Expos are in it again this year, but this year, there are some really good teams in there. They are an excellent team, but we hope that we got them some strong competition,” he said.
The tournament is pretty popular every year, with spectators stopping by to watch teams from the likes of Linwood, Durham, Glanworth and Owen Sound compete for the top spot.
“With the 14 teams alone, there are 200-300 people there. As for spectators, we don’t really keep count, but over the whole weekend I would predict about 1,000 people pass through all together. There is some good support, especially when the weather is great,” said Woodworth.
The tournament starts with the Wellesley Juniors hitting the mound against Linwood and the St. Paul’s Generals going up against the Outlaws at 7 p.m. Elmira defends its title against Resse’s A’s while the Owen Sound Juniors compete with the Glanworth Gaters at 9 p.m.
Saturday’s games start at 9:30 a.m.
For a full schedule, visit www.alsfastball.com.