1961 Tournaments     

Prince George Tournament

(July 2)  Maple Ridge won the Prince George Baseball Tournament for the second straight year Sunday defeating Maillardville 6-1 in the final. Larry Walker pitched a six-hitter, hit two singles, batted in a run and scored one for the winners who took home $700 in prize money.

Saskatoon Exhibition Tournament

(July 24)  Unity Cardinals rode a four-run fifth inning to a 6-4 victory over Delisle in the opening game of the 1961 Exhibition Tournament. The big inning gave Unity a 6-1 margin which Delisle reduced with two markers in the 7th and another in the bottom of the ninth before Erwin Doerksen came on with two on and two out to relieve Ross Stone and fanned Bev Bentley to end the game. Cardinals punched out 14 hits, four by centre fielder Johnny Repin. Stone held Delisle to eight hits, three by Max Bentley.

Stone (W), Doerksen (9) and J.Fahl
Gartner (L) and Wanner

(July 25)   North Battleford spotted Asquith a run in the first inning then scored four in the fifth to post a 4-1 decision and advance to the semi-final round of the tourney.  Roy Rowley surrendered just five hits, fanned nine and walked one. Losing hurler Lew Hobson rang up 15 strikeouts, but walked five and allowed nine hits. Dave Hallis, the Beavers' first baseman, drove in two runs with a double to deep right-centre while Don Drummond and Barney Krake singled in the other scores.  Bev Brooks knocked in Elmer Walker with the lone Asquith marker on an infield out. 

Hobson (L) and Brooks
Rowley (W) and Krake

(July 25)   Ted Richardson was outstanding in pitching Neilburg to a 5-0 shutout over Govan. The little left-hander yielding just two hits while setting down 16 via the strikeout route. He walked three. As in the previous two games in the tournament, one big inning accounted for the victory as the Monarchs plated all five runs in the fourth inning. Veteran Pete Prediger, playing in his 28th Exhibition Tournament, cracked out two doubles for Neilburg and drove in two runs. 

Stroeder (L), M.Danbrook and Strueby
Richardson (W) and P.Prediger

(July 26)  First sacker Don Laube powered Melville to an 11-3 triumph over Kindersley. Laube knocked in three runs with a homer, double and single and scored three times as the Millionaires pounded out 15 hits while Cliff Mein held the Klippers to just three while racking up 14 strikeouts.  Barry Trapp added a triple and single for the winners.

MacEwen (L), Richard (5) and Flanagan
Mein (W) and Boyle

(July 27)  Erwin Doerksen hurled Unity Cardinals to the final of the Exhibition Tournament Thursday. The 20-year-old right-hander twirled a three-hitter and whiffed a dozen as Unity topped North Battleford 5-1. Cardinals collected 13 hits off Jackie McLeod, recruited from Swift Current for the tourney.  Third baseman Don Stewart led the attack with four singles in five trips. Doerksen helped at the plate with three hits.  Both drove in a pair of runs.

Doerksen (W) and J.Fahl 
McLeod (L) and Krake

(July 28)    Pete Prediger drew a bases-loaded walk in the tenth inning for the winning run as Neilburg won a berth in the final edging Melville 4-2.  Fred Hodgson led off the frame reaching on an error and Erwin Boehm followed with a bunt single.  Neil Urlacher's bunt also went for a hit to set the stage for Prediger. Pete's 20-year-old son Ivan then hit a sacrifice fly to deep centre to score an insurance run. Ted Richardson allowed just four hits before leaving in the ninth inning when hit by a pitch. Hodgson didn't allow a hit in his two innings of work.  Cliff Mein, who came in for starter Joe Stroeder in the fourth inning with the bases loaded and none out, was the tough-luck loser. He gave up just three hits while racking up 14 strikeouts in his seven innings of mound work.

Richardson, Hodgson (W) (9) and P.Prediger
Stroeder, Mein (L) (4) and Boyle

(July 29)   Unity Cardinals nipped Neilburg 3-2 to win top prize of $575 at the Exhibition Tournament. In a well-played final, Rusty Devine tossed five-hit ball for eight innings for the Cardinals before Erwin Doerksen came on in the ninth. Devine fanned 13 and walked two.  Unity took the lead in the third inning when playing coach Irl Flanagan, who had singled, scored on a long sacrifice fly by Johnny Repin. Neilburg evened the count in the fourth as Ivan Prediger doubled to score Charlie Orr who had reached on an error. Two runs in the fifth proved decisive for the Cardinals.  Chuck Ratley doubled down the left field line and moved to third on a passed ball. Don Stewart singled to plate Ratley and Repin drove in Stewart with a long single which took a bad bounce and gave Larry Flecik trouble in centre field.  Monarchs got a run in the eighth and had two base runners in the ninth but couldn't score.  Fred Hodgson surrendered just seven hits in taking the loss.

Stewart took the $25 prize for most hits in the tourney, seven.  Ted Richardson of Neilburg won $25 for the most strikeouts in a single game, 16.

Devine (W), Doerksen and J.Fahl
Hodgson (L) and P.Prediger

Lacombe : (July 27)  Curly Williams led the Medicine Hat Meridians to top prize money of $1,100 in the annual Lacombe tournament.  Williams had three hits in each of the semi-final and final games, scored the winning run in the final and belted a homer, triple and double in the semi-final  In the 1960 tournament, Williams reached base 14 times in 15 plate appearances. 

Alton Arnold went the distance as Meridians shaded Lethbridge 3-2 in the final before 3,500 fans. Williams scored the first run when he slid home forcing catcher John Bartholomew to drop the ball in the collision.  The winning run scored in the sixth when left fielder Gerry King belted a towering homer to drive Williams home in front of him.

Arnold and Milano
Warren, McDonald (7) and Bartholomew

Meridians beat Edmonton 8-5 in the semi-final as Williams drove in four runs with his homer, triple and double. He also scored twice.   King's two-run homer in the 6th inning proved to be the winning blow. Manager Cliff Pemberton and Mick McNamee each had three hits for Edmonton. 

Reuter, Jones (2), Neal (8) and Campise, Henkel (8)
Rebelo and Milano

Lethbridge upset Saskatoon 2-0 in the other semi-final as Willie Walasko fired a five-hitter. Saskatoon came into the tournament as the league leaders in the four-team WCBL.  Jim Lester led the Sox with three hits.

Walasko and Garrett
Sutherland, Heise (7), Peters (9) and Herrington

Saskatoon's Tim Cullen was the hitting star of the opening day. The Commodores third baseman drove in eight runs with consecutive grand slam homers in the 3rd and 4th innings as Saskatoon trounced Edmonton's Big Seven All-Stars 14-2.  Winning pitcher Cliff Goodrich and outfielder Bob Levingston also had homers for the winners.  Dave Kosteniuk and Gord Labossiere poked homers for Edmonton.

All four Western Canada League teams advanced as Lethbridge beat Notre Dame Hounds 7-4 as reliever Jerry Burcher stopped a Hounds' rally in the 6th and batted in the winning runs in the 8th.  Burcher and starter Pete Kinney combined for 15 strikeouts.  Medicine Hat blanked Calgary Orphans 5-0 and Edmonton edged Philadelphia Stars 2-0 as Cliff Pemberton went 3 for 5 and drove in both runs for the Eskimos.  Edmonton had scored another four runs in the 7th, all on walks, but the game was called because of darkness and the score reverted to the last complete inning. 

Medicine Hat's Dick Dyer and Eskimos Jerry Merz were the pitching stars.  Each tossed a four-hit shutout.  Dyer had 11 strikeouts. Wayne Clark's homer was the big blow for the Meridians. 

Saskatoon 14 Edmonton 2
Goodrich and Herrington, Tuggle (5)
Currie, Labossiere (4) and Waddle

Calgary 0 Medicine Hat 5
Casanova and Saville, Blaskin (8)
Dyer and Milano

Edmonton 2 Philadelphia 0
Merz and Campise
Drummond, Dawson (7) and Stanfield

Lethbridge 7 Notre Dame 4
Kinney, Burcher (6) and Garrett
Beard and Ross

Lethbridge : (July 30)  Meridians whipped Edmonton Eskimos 16-4 to win the 11th annual Lethbridge Rotary International tournament.  Mike Jauregui went the distance for the Meridians who took advantage of 14 bases on balls from Eskimo hurlers. Mick Mousalam knocked in five runs with a double and two singles.  Mickey McNamee's homer was the lone highlight for Edmonton.   Jim Johnson, first of four Edmonton pitchers was the loser. 

Jaurequi and Milano
Johnson, Neal (1), Jones (1), Reuter (7) and Campise

Edmonton, with Cliff Pemberton at the helm, ripped Lethbridge 10-1 to win a spot in the final. Casey Jones paced the Eskimos with a homer, two doubles and a single.  Chico Slaughter allowed just four hits in gaining the win. 

Slaughter and xxx
Jerry MacDonald, Burcher, Warren, Kinney (6) and xxx

In a contest which infuriated the Commodores, the Meridians were awarded a 3-2 victory in a semi-final contest although Saskatoon had erupted for six runs in the 8th inning to take an 8-3 lead.

Barry Arnett's single drove in a run in the bottom of the seventh to give Lloydminster a 3-2 lead.  In the top of the 8th, the Commodores began to roll.  Before reliever Dick Dyer could put out the fire the Commodores had plated six runs.  In the bottom of the inning, Gene Graves, a meticulous and painfully slow workman was on the hill for Saskatoon.  He walked Curly Williams and got Jerry King to pop out.  With darkness approaching, plate umpire Tom Edwards headed for the Rotary Rules Committee for consultation. Edwards announced the game had been called because of darkness and thus the score reverted to the last complete inning and the Meridians escaped with the win. Darrell Read grabbed the win.  Lefty Dan Schneider was the loser.

Darrell Read and xxx
Schneider and xxx

In opening action, Lethbridge's Dave Dowling struck out 18 batters, a tournament record,  as the White Sox beat Regina Red Sox of the Southern Baseball League 3-0.  Dowling allowed seven hits without issuing a base on balls. White Sox were victims of a triple play in the 5th inning, the second against Lethbridge this season.  

Dowling and xxx
Arnie Floyd and xxx

Edmonton shutout Calgary Orphans 8-0 before rains washed out the rest of the opening day games.  Tommy Taylor pitched a four-hitter and fanned 14 to lead Edmonton to its shutout win over Calgary.  Edmonton had 13 hits off starter Al DyckRichie Johnson had four hits for the Esks.  Stan Beard was on base five times on three hits and a pair of walks.  Casey Jones belted a two-run homer for the winners.

Taylor and xxx
Dyck and xxx

Saskatoon and Missoula, Montana, Highlanders had their game stopped in the top of the 9th with the scored tied 1-1. Former major leaguer Curt Barclay held the Commodores to one run over eight innings while Floyd Thionnet and Gene Graves allowed just one tally to the Highlanders.  Barclay had spent a season with the Medicine Hat Mohawks in 1951.

The contest was completed on Saturday.  Missoula pushed across a pair in the 13th inning to take a 3-1 lead on a single, hit batter and three walks.  But Saskatoon roared back in the bottom of the inning to grab the win.  Midge Fazio drew a walk to lead off and Mike Bellas and Tim Cullen followed with singles.  Pinch hitter Jim Tuggle walked to force in a run and Mickey McDermott also drew a base on balls to knot the count at 3-3.  With the sacks full and none out, Charlie Moore relieved Doug LeBrun.  On Moore's first pitch, Lyle Olsen blasted one over the left field barrier, his 6th hit in seven appearances, to give the Commodores a 7-3 victory. 

Barclay, LeBrun (9), Moore (13) and xxx
Thionnet, Graves (8), xxx and xxx

Medicine Hat Meridians edged Philadelphia Stars 4-2, holding off a 9th inning rally by the Stars.  Tom McKenna went the distance for the win giving up seven hits.  He struck out eight.  Wayne Clark had a double and single to lead the offense.

Jake Hagin, John Dawson, Charlie Drummond and xxx
McKenna and xxx

Peace River :  The hometown Stampeders dumped Donnelly Cubs 6-1 in the final of the Peace River tournament.

Yorkton (Aug 27, 1961) :  D'Arcy Loster pitched Stenen to top prize of $300 in the Yorkton tournament. Loster allowed just one run in 15 innings, including a five-inning one-hitter in the final, a 2-1 victory over Melville.  Stenen had earlier downed the Combines 4-1, Hohenloe 7-0 and Kihaly 4-0.  A crowd of 1,350 watched the final. 

Stenen 4 Springside-Theodore Combines 1
Hohenloe 9 Calder 6
Kihaly 2 Yorkton Red Sox 1
Kronau 4 Yorkton Phillies 0
Moosomin 12 Weekes 8
Melville 7 Donwell 2

Stenen 7 Hohenloe 0
Kihaly 6 Moosomin 3
Melville 2 Kronau 1

Stenen 4 Kihaly 0

Stenen 2 Melville 1