All signs are indicating that the Fort Frances Braves will be the ones to beat yet again this season.
In an all-out blitz of power, the two-time defending champions slugged six homeruns en route to a 16-2 thrashing of Windey's Warriors in Rainy River District Fastball League action last Thursday night at VanJura.
Jaden Gustafson went yard twice while Cole Tymkin, Mike Parisien, and Brett Mann also rounded the bases to pace the Braves' onslaught.
Gustafson also pitched five strong innings, only allowing two runs, four hits, and a walk to go along with 10 strikeouts.
After a scoreless first inning, Gustafson struck out the side in the top of the second.
The Braves' offence came alive from that point on.
Mann then drew a one-out walk in the bottom half on Warriors' starter Rob McGinnis and came into score on an RBI single.
Tymkin hit into a fielder's choice to double the lead and stole third base after a poor throw.
Gustafson then crushed a double off the fence in left to score Tymkin and came into score himself on a passed ball later in the frame to push it to 4-0.
After two more Braves runs had scored, Mann capped the inning by cranking a three-run shot over the fence in centre to stake the Braves to a commanding 9-0 lead after two innings.
The Warriors trimmed it to 9-1 with a trio of singles in the top of the third but Tymkin and Gustafson responded in the bottom half with back-to-back big flies.
A Mann RBI single then pushed it to 12-1.
After the Warriors trimmed it to 12-2 in the top of the fifth, Travis Tom took over the pitching rubber for the Braves in the top of the sixth and proceeded to strike out the side.
Gustafson and Parisien then each clubbed two-run homers in the bottom of the sixth to cap the scoring.
Tymkin pitched the top of the seventh, giving up a pair of singles and a walk but did keep the Warriors from cutting into the deficit to preserve the Braves' (2-0) second win of the season.
Gustafson earned the win while McGinnis was charged with the loss for the Warriors (1-1).
In other games last Thursday night, Ryan Redford smacked his first career homer to pace the Barwick Blue Knights to a narrow 3-2 win over the Sabaskong Lakers.
Brandan Pratt garnered the win for Barwick (2-0) while James Yerxa suffered the loss for the Lakers (1-1).
The Dawson Tigers (1-1) rolled to an 8-2 win over the winless Stratton Eagles (0-2).
Kevin Gemmell nabbed the win while Jeff Woosley was tagged with the loss.
Faron Morrisseau and Chris Morrisseau both went yard to pace the Couchiching Raiders (1-1) to a 12-2 romp over the Northwest Bay Chieftains (0-2).
Mike Jourdain was the victor with a strong outing while Brayden Smith was tagged with the loss.
The Rainy River Royals (2-0) rolled all over the Sabaskong Goldeneyes (0-2) in a convincing 18-1 decision.
Myron Armstrong earned thw win while Darryl Beacham was tagged with the loss.
And the Sight & Sound Wolves (1-1) picked up their first win of the season in cruising past the Manitou Thunderbirds (1-1) 7-2.
John Desaulniers pitched well to earn the win while Jeff Morrison was saddled with the loss.
Last Tuesday saw the Lakers roll to a 12-1 rout of the Goldeneyes in an all-Sabaskong battle in the RRDFL's opening night of games.
James Yerxa nabbed the win while Darryl Beacham took the loss.
The Royals managed to eke out a narrow 7-6 win over the Tigers.
Myron Armstrong homered and garnered the pitching win while Kevin Gemmell suffered the defeat.
Matt Goodin also homered for the Tigers.
Jason Landry pitched brilliantly to pace the Blue Knights to a 2-0 shutout of the Eagles.
Guy Arpin took the tough-luck loss for Stratton.
Logan Jackson and Mike Parisien hit round-trippers to help the Braves dispatch the Wolves 9-3.
Travis Tom was the winner while John Desaulniers suffered the loss.
The Thunderbirds edged the Chieftains 3-2.
Jeff Morrison garnered the win while Brayden Smith took the loss.
And Rob McGinnis hit a big fly to pace the Warriors to an 11-7 victory over the Raiders.
Matt Comegan earned the win while Sheldon Kelly Jr. was tagged with the loss.
Last night's games, the outcomes not known as of press time, saw the Royals welcome the Lakers, the Goldeneyes squared off against Stratton, Barwick played host to the Tigers, Manitou tried to hand the Braves their first defeat, the Wolves battled the Raiders, and the Warriors tangled with the Chieftains.
Tomorrow's games, which all start at 7 p.m. (weather permitting) will see the Blue Knights travel to Sabaksong to take on the Goldeneyes,
The Tigers will battle the Lakers in Pinewood, the Royals will square off against the Eagles, the Wolves playing host to the Warriors, the Braves heading to Northwest Bay to square off against the Chieftains, and the Raiders welcoming the Thunerbirds.