Travis Kunz will pitch for the host Kelowna All-Stars at this weekend’s May Days International Men’s Fastpitch Tournament. -Image: Douglas Farrow

International flavour at annual Kelowna tourney

National team members from 8 nations to play in Kelowna’s International Men’s Fastpitch Tournament.

Some of the world’s top fastball players will be on display this weekend at Kelowna’s King’s Stadium.

Beginning Friday night, the Kelowna Major Men’s Fastball Association is hosting the annual May Days International Men’s Fastpitch Tournament.

National team members from eight different countries—Canada, Argentina, Mexico, United States, Australia, New Zealand, Guatemala and Great Britain—will take to the diamond over the course of the four-day event.

“This is as good as it gets when it comes to fastball,” said tournament organizer Rich Haldane. “A lot of these players compete regularly against other top players in the world, so the caliber is very high.”

The eight-team tournament features Vancouver’s South Hill Giants, Portland-Columbia River Brewers, Westbank Cardinals, Irma Tigers, Grand Prairie Pirates, Abbotsford Builders, Sooke Loggers and Kelowna All-Stars.

The South Hill roster features Nick Shales, one of the world’s top hitters and a member of the Australian national team, as well as Team Canada pitcher Justin Schofield and Argentinian hurler Juan Potolicchio.

The Sooke Loggers feature five members of the Canadian national team’s 40-man roster, including pitcher Scott Lieph.

Haldane, who will pitch for the Portland-Columbia River Brewers, is also a member of Great Britain’s national team.

The Kelowna All-Stars will led by Travis and Trent Kunz, Kyle and Chad Blanleil and Cole Leimert, among others.

The action starts Friday at 7 p.m. when Kelowna takes on the favoured South Hill Giants.

Round robin games run all day Saturday, the playoff round starts Sunday, with the finals set for Monday at 11 a.m.

“Obviously, we’d love fans to come out and see what this level of ball is all about,” Haldane said. “I think there are a lot of fastball fans out there, some of them don’t even know we have a league here, so it’s a matter of

Tickets for the tournament are $5 per day or $10 for a weekend pass.

• The Kelowna All-Stars schedule:

Friday, 7 p.m. vs South Hill Giants

Saturday, 10:15 a.m. vs Grand Prairie Pirates

Saturday, 5:15 p.m. vs Westbank Cardinals

Meanwhile, the Kelowna Major Men’s Association regular season is well underway with four teams competing—Andre’s Athletics, King of Floor’s Installers, Kelowna Brewers and the Kelowna Bombers.

KMMFA games run weekly on Tuesday and Thursday at 6:45 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


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