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  • Local athlete’s slo-pitch team places fourth in 2019 Alberta 55 Plus Summer Games

    Local athlete’s slo-pitch team bruce pennock pic 1

    Chestermere slo-pitch athlete Bruce Pennock and his team the Big Country Drifters placed fourth during the 2019 Alberta 55 Plus Summer Games in Medicine Hat from July 4 until July 7. The Big Country Drifters played strong defense, however, struggled with consistently hitting well, which hurt the team. Despite not playing as well as Pennock had hoped, getting to see everyone he knew and play slo-pitch with old friends was a great experience. Photo submitted by Bruce Pennock

    Chestermere resident and avid slo-pitch player of 42 years, Bruce Pennock’s team, the Big Country Drifters, placed fourth in the 2019 Alberta 55 Plus Summer Games in Medicine Hat Alta.

    From July 4 until July 7, Pennock and his team of life-long friends played six slo-pitch games.

    “It was terrible. We lost four out of six games,” Pennock said.

    He added, “Our hitting was very sporadic, that’s primarily what slo-pitch is all about, is hitting.”

    Although the Big Country Drifters played defense well, hitting consistently hurt the team in the long-term.

    “If we were more consentient, we would have done a lot better,” Pennock said.

    “Consistency comes from practice and playing more games. To me, we had a strong competitive team, and it really showed on Saturday by the way we played,” he added.

    On Saturday the Big Country Drifters were in a must-win situation in order to make the playoffs the following day.

    “We won both of our games on Saturday, which was important for us. We ended up being the silver medal champions on Saturday,” Pennock said.

    Despite the team not playing to their full potential, Pennock has made many memories during his time spent at the 2019 Alberta 55 Plus Summer Games.

    “It was a lot of fun making old acquaintances, meeting up with people from out of town that I knew, and watching them play,” he said.

    Pennock first began his slo-pitch career by entering into a small league, and eventually advanced to play for a plus 40 team, a plus 50 team, and now a plus 55 team.

    Throughout the last four decades Pennock has won
    the World Seniors Games, various provincial titles, the Western Canada title, and has come second in Nationals.

    To qualify for the games, Pennock was required to participate in a series of try-outs, an evaluation process, and was drafted by the team coach and manager.
    Moving forward, Pennock is now preparing for an upcoming Calgary slo-pitch tournament in late July.

    To prepare for tournaments, Pennock plays slo-pitch all year, five days in the winter, and at least once a week in the summers and on the weekends for a minimum of three hours.

    “I’m going to keep playing and keep trying to do better,” he said.