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Slo-pitch thrills captivate crowd
Spectators on the edge of their seats in semi-finals

Mark Rieder
Northern News Services
Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Midnight Sun Slo-pitch tournament had a lot of highs and lows, with some games in the finals bringing the crowd to their feet and honking their horns.

NNSL photo/graphic

Mike Krengnektak with the Rockin' Robins, left, is out as Travis Gordon with the Native Yankees catches the ball at second base during the Midnight Sun Slo-pitch tournament's final game on Aug. 2. - Mark Rieder/NNSL photo

Both teams in the final, the Native Yankees and Rockin' Robins, played a solid game. But an early lead, helped in part by an out-of-the-park hit by the Native Yankees' Kyle Kuptana seemed to set the tone for the rest of play. The Native Yankees went on to win the game 21-10.

"We had some struggles, but Sunday we came together as a team," explained Scott Ross, the Native Yankees' coach.

Ross said there were moments when they were not sure if they would advance.

"We were a little bit nervous, but I knew this is the team that could make it happen," he said.

"We had a rough start - we lost our first two games by one run each."

Ross explained that many of the team members have been playing together since their early teenage years.

He said the time when everything changed and they began playing solid ball again was during the round robin.

"In our last round robin game, we just all got together and said, 'We need to go' and we ended up mercying the other team," said Ross.

And that is also when a lot of other teams changed, making the tournament come alive with possibilities.

In the game between the Rockin' Robins of Tukyoyaktuk and Just Call Vince, the team from Tuk brought in a near miraculous from-behind win in the final inning. With 10 runs behind and almost ready to be mercied, the Rockin' Robins rallied and brought in enough runners to take the win.

Though arguably the most impressive turn around in the tournament, it was not the first.

On the second day of the tournament, a lot of teams were surprised that only one team from the A division ended up advancing to the playoffs.

Team Just Call Vince and Aklak Air Falcons took third and fourth place.

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