BROOKLYN -- The Gremlins got in the way of Hill United Chiefs’ mission of repeating as champions of the AAU National Men’s Fast Pitch tournament last weekend in Orlando.
© Journal Pioneer file photo
Jeff Ellsworth from Brooklyn, P.E.I. plays for the Chiefs and batted nine for 20 in six tournament games. The longtime Team Canada outfielder registered three homers in the tournament but was hitless in the Chiefs’ quarter-final loss to the New York Gremlins.
It was the Gremlins that the Chiefs beat 2-0 in the tournament final last year but the New York team exacted their revenge with a 5-2 win in Saturday’s quarter-final.
Ellsworth said the Chiefs had essentially the same team as last year, less Alberton pitcher Mitch Hardy who couldn’t attend due to work commitments. They picked up pitcher Donnie Scott from Ontario and mid-fielder James Todd Hunter from Australia.
In the quarter-final two of Ellsworth’s Team Canada teammates hit home runs for the Gremlins early in the game and they held on for the win.
The Chiefs started off tournament play in a scoreless pitching duel with a team from Venezuela and posted a 2-0-1 (won-lost-tied) record in pool play. They went into the 32-team elimination round ranked ninth. The Venezuelans ended up winning the tournament, beating the Gremlins 4-3 in the final.
“I thought I had a good week,” Ellsworth said of his own performance. Like many in the tournament it was their first game action since September. It starts off another busy year of ball for the Holland College Sport and Recreation instructor. He will be suiting up with the Chiefs for tournaments throughout the summer and will play for the Charlottetown Fawcetts when they host the Canadian Men’s Fast Pitch championship in late August. As well, he will attend a 28-player Team Canada camp in June, hoping to make the 17-player cut for a tournament in Argentina in November, and he will co-coach with his wife, Lori, the P.E.I. U18 women’s team that will be attending the nationals in Saskatoon in early August.