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TEAM approach pays off on ball diamond

There's certainly no 'I' in TEAM.

There's certainly no 'I' in TEAM.

Before they even arrived on the field at Freeman Park for the School District 57 Alternate Education softball tournament, they knew they had strength in numbers and enough collective talent to bring home the competitive title.

The name of their school program -- Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM) -- pretty much sums up what they accomplished on the ball field Thursday. It took a collective effort from the students in the final as they hung on to beat the Duchess Park Condors 9-8 and claim the championship plaque.

"We knew we were going to win it, we wanted to go for that gold bat, it's like the our Stanley Cup," said TEAM captain Dallas Moore.

"A couple players I didn't expect to do well, played really well. One kid who doesn't even play baseball -- Lorne -- hit a home run in our third game. He's a good player and he really shined."

The TEAM batting order was bolstered by the addition of heavy-hitters Chase Webb, Cody Umpherville and Clayton Mindel, all of whom play senior fastball in the Spruce City Men's League. Webb got to third base in the sixth inning and brought home the winning run.

TEAM built an 8-3 lead in the second inning and thought they were well on their way to locking up the title. The Condors obviously had other ideas and rallied to tie it up in the sixth inning.

TEAM finished with a 2-2 record in the round-robin and needed some help to qualify for the final. That need was fulfilled when Duchess Park beat PGSS in the final round-robin game.

The Condors had won the competitive title the previous five years.

"We were doing good until about the middle of the innings and they started hitting home runs and smashing it on us," said Condors catcher Robby MacRae.

The Condors also went 2-2 in the round robin and their long-ball hitting was what got them to the final. Kevin Fry had seven home runs and Wayne Calliou hit three over the fences.

"We thought we had it won, right to the very end," said MacRae. "It was a great game."

See Friday's Citizen for more