Down but not out.
So was the mentality of the West division as it rallied late to snatch a 4-2 win over the East division in the Rainy River District Fastball League's annual all-star game on Thursday night at Manitou Rapids.
The night didn't start out so smoothly for Team West as Rob McGinnis (Windey's Warriors) led off the bottom of the first with a double before Cole Tymkin (Fort Frances Braves) crushed an inside-the-park homer off of JJ Landry (Barwick Blue Knights) to centre field to put Team East up 2-0.
Team West had a great chance to knot it up in the second, but were only able to get an RBI groundout from Cole Allan (Blue Knights) to trim it to 2-1 after Guy Arpin (Stratton Eagles) and Landry had led off the frame with a single and a walk off of John Desaulniers (Sight & Sound Wolves).
Jeff Morrison (Manitou Thunderbirds) took over for Landry on the pitching rubber in the third inning and kept it a one-run game until the seventh.
With Travis Tom (Braves) coming into replace Desaulniers for Team East, it seemed to spark Team West's stagnant offence.
Morrison doubled before Kyle Copenace (Sabaskong Lakers) singled to get two runners aboard.
Mike Anderson then came through with a one-out single that cashed in both Morrison and Copenace as Team West took its first lead of the night.
Tom then lost some of his control as he plunked both Kevin Gemmell (Dawson Tigers) and Guy Arpin with pitches later in the frame, but he was able to keep any further runs from crossing the plate.
Guy Arpin then took over on the mound for Team West in the bottom half and neatly recorded a clean 1-2-3 inning—punctuated by a pair of strikeouts.
His squad responded by salting the game away in the eighth.
Jaden Gustafson replaced Tom on the rubber for Team East and was welcomed by a leadoff double from Jackson Arpin (Eagles) before rebounding to strike out Allan.
Jackson Arpin then stole third and came into score later on a single as Team West went up 4-2.
James Yerxa (Lakers) then pitched the final frame for Team West, allowing just a single to Marcel Pagee (Warriors) while striking out Tom and Chris Morrisseau (Couchiching Raiders) to preserve the win.
Morrison garnered the win for Team West over Tom of Team East.
Second-round RRDFL play was slated to kick off last night with six games on the slate (scores unavailable as of press time).
The Goldeneyes welcomed the Lakers in an all-Sabaskong showdown, the Rainy River Royals took on the host Tigers, the Eagles made the trip to Barwick to take on the Blue Knights, the Wolves battled the Braves, the Thunderbirds travelled to Northwest Bay to take on the Chieftains, and the Raiders tangled with the host Warriors in an all-Couchiching affair.
Tomorrow's games, which are all 7 p.m. starts (weather permitting), will see the Eagles welcoming the Tigers, Barwick will travel to Sabaskong to take on the Lakers, the Royals will battle the Goldeneyes, the Raiders will lock horns with the Chieftains, the Warriors will host the Braves, and the Wolves will square off against Manitou.