The Canadian Native Fastball Championships wrapped up early Monday morning as two teams defended their titles, while another was crowned after falling one game shy last year.
The Invermere A's and the B.C. Arrows-in the senior men's and masters divisions-captured the championship for the second straight year, while the Red Nation Jets took first place after coming in as the runner up last year.
"It was excitement all the way around in every division." said tournament organizer Dean Martin. "We had good crowds, great ball, great weather and that's the formula for just a good time."
The tournament was a tribute to Dean's son, Randy, who passed away earlier this year. Randy had taken the lead on organizing the event, however, Dean stepped in to shoulder the duties in his honour.
The championships are an annual event that rotates between provinces in Western Canada. The A's and Arrows defended their title after winning it last year in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The A's won it in dramatic fashion by coming from behind in extra innings to beat the Westbank Cardinals 4-3 late Sunday night as the game stretched into Monday morning.
With two out and Westbank in the lead by one, the A's had a decent hitter at bat who smoked a double, which scored two runs and ended the game in the ninth inning, according to Dean Martin.
The Cardinals couldn't walk the hitter because Robert Hawk Martin was next in line for the A's-a hitter who had nailed four homers, batted 0.420 over the weekend and captured the tournament MVP, Martin said.
"You couldn't write a better script," said Martin.
The tournament kicked off with an emotional ceremony as Martin and his extended family honoured Randy, which ended when his young son, Gage, threw the opening pitch.
Dean said the championship means a lot to him and the family members connected to Randy.
"Having our whole family come together there for something that Randy had wanted for so long," said Martin, "and when I talk about family, I talk about immediate family and our ball family, which is almost one the way we acted."
The Invermere A's-which were also known as Randy's A's throughout the tournament-won't get much rest as they'll head down to California for the North American Native Fastball Championships later in the month.