Wolves chew up Warriors
Beef’s Warriors learned on Tuesday to never wake a sleeping pack of Wolves.
After falling behind 4-0 before even getting to the plate, the Sight & Sound Wolves manufactured a massive 14-run second inning and coasted from there to a 19-5 victory at VanJura Park to prevent the Warriors from moving on in the Rainy River District Fastball League playoffs.
The Wolves got that all back and more, though, in a second inning which saw them send 16 men to the plate.
Cole Kaemingh’s innocent-looking infield hit was followed by an Aaron Caul groundout.
That was the precursor to the next 11 batters reaching base, with the key play coming on a double steal with the game tied 4-4.
After Kurtis Wepruk’s single put runners on first and third and Desaulniers at the dish, Wepruk broke for second, with Pagee motoring for the plate upon the throw to second being made.
The toss back home arrived in catcher Ryan Windigo’s glove well ahead of Pagee. But the Wolves runner twisted his body around the attempted tag and was ruled safe to put the Wolves up 5-4 despite a torrent of protest from the Beef’s defence.
Warriors starter Rob McGinnis then walked Desaulniers, gave up an RBI single to Duane Carlson and walked Kaemingh before removing himself from the mound and moving to third base.
Tyson Williams took over, only to give up three consecutive RBI singles to Caul, Mike Bodnarchuk and Matt Cheetham, who had two such hits in the frame.
Wepruk capped the onslaught with a soaring three-run homer to center.
The Warriors got one back in the fifth, but lost their cleanup hitter after McGinnis was ejected for arguing being called out at home as he tried to score from third on Romyn’s grounder back to Desaulniers.
In the sixth, Sight & Sound tacked on five more runs, even though many of their at-bats were done in haste as they tried to get to the final inning before darkness set in.
Williams only got one out in the frame before Kaemingh’s RBI single led to shortstop Shelby Nosan switching to the mound, where she struck out Caul and induced Jamie Woolsey into a groundout to halt the offensive outpouring.
Desaulniers recovered exceptionally well after his first inning difficulties, allowing only one run over the final six innings and finishing with 13 strikeouts while walking nobody and allowing 10 hits in his complete-game outing.
McGinnis was charged with the loss, allowing nine runs on seven hits in his inning and a third of work, walking two and striking out one.
Williams threw five innings plus one batter, allowing 10 runs on 11 hits, with one free pass and five punchouts.
Desaulniers and Cheetham each went 3-for-4 for the Wolves, while Cheetham, Wepruk and Pagee each drove in a team-high three runs.
Romyn (2-for-3) and Nick Hunter (2-for-4) were the only Warriors with multiple hits.
Sight & Sound travels to Oltsher Field in Barwick tonight for a 6:30 p.m. semifinal matchup with the No. 2-rated Barwick Blue Knights (weather permitting).
The winner heads to Big Grassy and will need to beat the top-ranked and two-time defending champion Big Grassy Braves twice to take the title.
That’s because the Braves are the only team left not to have lost in the double-elimination playoffs so far, meaning they only need one win to clinch a three-peat.