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Local fastballers drop openers

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It was not the Rainy River District’s day to shine on the mounds of Moline.

Both squads from this area lost their first games at the 2015 North American Fastpitch Association ‘A’ World Series in Moline, Ill., yesterday to drop into the losers bracket.

The Sight & Sound Wolves were blanked 7-0 in five innings by Meister Dairy FP (Wisconsin) in the kickoff to the tournament.

Meister notched three in the first, two in the second and one each in the fourth and fifth to trigger the seven-run mercy rule.

Kyle Rienenmapp went 2-for-3 with two runs scored to lead Meister offensively, while Larry Cushman pitched a three-hit shutout with one walk and three strikeouts to get the win.

Pearse Jackson, an add-on player to the Wolves lineup from the Barwick Blue Knights, was the only Sight & Sound hitter to reach base multiple times in going 2-for-2 while Cole Kaemingh had the other Wolves hit.

Bert Ford suffered the loss, giving up seven runs (only three of them earned) on six hits with one walk and two strikeouts.

The Wolves were slated to play the Walcott Merchants (Iowa) this morning, with the score unavailable as of press time.

Regardless of the result, Sight & Sound was scheduled to play its next game at noon today (score unavailable).

Later yesterday, the Northwestern Ontario Selects were doubled 6-3 by ZOLO-Mullett Lake Marina (Michigan).

The Selects started strong by taking a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, only to watch ZOLO respond with four of their own in the bottom half of the frame.

Single runs in the second and fifth put ZOLO up 6-2 before the Selects scratched out one of their own in the seventh, but could not finish the comeback despite out-hitting ZOLO by an 11-3 margin.

Ben Schley was 1-for-2 with a solo home run and two runs scored to pace ZOLO offensively.

Mike Balber battled his way to the complete-game win on the hill, as he gave up just one walk and notched seven strikeouts.

Linden Indian of the Rainy Lake Pirates wielded the most potent bat for the Selects, going 3-for-4 with two RBI, while Myron Armstrong (Stratton Eagles) was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Jacob Jack (Pirates) was also 2-for-4 with a double.

Rainy Lake right-hander Jaden Gustafson was saddled with the loss after he balanced out his bursts of brilliance (10 strikeouts) with control issues that translated into six walks through his six innings of work.

Of the six runs he gave up, though, only two were earned.

The Selects are set to do battle in an all-Canadian matchup with Redmen Fastball today at 2 p.m.

Win or lose, Northwestern Ontario will have its next game tomorrow at 8 a.m.

The tournament concludes on Sunday.

A third local team gets rolling today in the 2015 NAFA Men’s 23 & Under World Series in Moline.

The Northwestern Ontario Juniors begin Pool ‘B’ play at 5:30 p.m. against Young Bucks (California).

Next up for the Juniors will be a 9:15 p.m. encounter with Mid American Advertising (Illinois).

Northwestern Ontario will have its last preliminary-round game tomorrow at noon against Eggen 23, AZ (Booneville, MO).

All teams will make the playoffs, which wrap up on Sunday.

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