The 2010 International Softball Congress (ISC) men’s world fastball tournament in Midland, Mich., featured star turns by many of the 13 Newfoundland natives who participated.
None shone brighter than Sean Cleary.
The Harbour Main native, playing for the Pennsylvania Power, was a perfect 4-0, with two no-hitters at the ISC tourney and was named the first team all-world pitcher.
Cleary, who plays locally for the Kelly’s Pub Molson Bulldogs of the St. John’s senior league, registered his no-nos in a 15-strikeout win over host Midland Mickey’s Sleds and a 17-strikeout, 7-1 win over the Port Huron Shawn Chiropractic.
Overall, Cleary allowed seven hits, 14 walks and two earned runs over 31 innings, giving him a tournament-best 0.45 ERA while striking out 64. At the plate, he hit .313, scored three runs and had a pair of RBIs.
The Jarvis Travelers, whose roster includes St. John’s natives Sean and Robbie O’Brien, won the ISC crown, defeating another Ontario-based team, the Kitchener Rivershark Twins, 4-1 in Sunday’s championship game.
Sean O’Brien scored and drove in a run in the title match and was named the all-world second team catcher.
The O’Briens have lived in and played out of Ontario for a number of years, however Sean will play as an import for 3 Cheers Pub/Bud Light, one of two Newfoundland entries for the 2010 Canadian senior men’s softball championship, which begins in Charlottetown, P.E.I., later this month.
Brothers Brad and Blair Ezekiel of Harbour Main played for Kitchener, as did Darrell Joy, yet another native of that Conception Bay Central community.
Blair Ezekiel was selected a first-team all-star after hitting .450 and driving in five runs. Also named a first team all-star selection was outfielder Stephen Mullaley of Freshwater, who scored four runs and drove in four more for New York/Chicago Fastpitch.
Other Newfoundlanders competing in Midland included Jason Hill (New York/Chicago Fastpitch), Ward Gosse (Albaugh Inc.), Geoff Evely (Saskatoon Diamondbacks Fastpitch Club), Mike Noftall (Quyon Combat Flyers), Sean Whitten (Taylor Farms California A’s), and Ryan Boland (Minnesota Angels).
Hill, Brad Ezekiel, Evely, Gosse and Mullaley will also be playing for 3Cheers in Charlottetown, as will Whitten, who is considered an import as he now resides in Calgary.