They were close this time. Very close.
A slo-pitch team comprised of Fort Frances council and town employees settled for a 12-12 tie with their International Falls counterparts in a spirited 14th edition of their annual challenge here Monday night.
Led by Mayor Glenn Witherspoon, the Fort team brought along some youth to the field, thanks to the recruiting efforts of recreation director Megan Ross.
The hometown crew jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the first inning and even held a 12-9 advantage after six innings--with victory squarely in their sights.
But Falls Mayor Harry Swendsen belted a key inside-the-park home run in the seventh to cap the game-tying rally. The teams then shook hands rather than play extra innings.
After going 2-11 in the last 13 contests, Mayor Witherspoon said they’ll gladly take a tie.
Despite the team’s vast improvement, the mayor admitted there won’t be future challenges issued to Thunder Bay Mayor Ken Boschoff or any other of the region’s big wigs.
“Our career consists of one game a year,” Mayor Witherspoon had stressed days before the big challenge, which is held annually in conjunction with Fun in the Sun.
“Plus, we can’t get travel expenses for it,” he noted.