You could have called it the Rainy River District “Longball” League championship.
The Emo Bulldogs slugged five home runs last night, including a grand slam, to clobber the Barwick Blue Knights 14-2 to claim their third-straight RRDFL title.
The teams had met last Thursday but the game was called in the bottom of the seventh inning due to darkness with Barwick leading 7-6.
Clearly, the Bulldogs wanted this one over quickly—and said so with their bats.
Emo’s first dinger came in the second inning when Grant Swire took Barwick pitcher Greg Wilson deep with Dennis Mounk on first to erase an early 1-0 deficit.
Then with two out and Wayne Strachan on first, Jake Allen hit a high hopper to shortstop Jock Gemmell. He had an easy force at second but opted to throw to first to end the inning.
But Allen was called safe and the next batter, Donald Copenace, doubled home both runners to make it 4-1. Then after Sean Taggart doubled to score Copenace, first baseman George Oltsher replaced Wilson on the mound.
Oltsher kept it close until the fourth when Allen and Copenace cranked back-to-back homers to make it 7-1.
The Knights completely fell apart in the fifth. A grand slam by Wayne Strachan after three-straight singles made it 11-1 and it was 12-1 by the end of the inning.
Meanwhile, Emo pitcher Warren Voth stymied the Barwick hitters all night—striking out the side in the fourth inning.
In the sixth, Barwick second baseman Kent Ogden put one out of the park to make it 12-2 but that was as close as they would get. Barwick went down 1-2-3 in the seventh against Voth, who finished the game with 13 strikeouts and giving up just one earned run.
“That first run should have been enough to get us going but they were just mean with the sticks,” Greg Wilson said afterwards.
There was some reminiscing about their called game.
“The opportunity was there. It would have been nice to finish [that one] in the daylight,” said a dejected Oltsher.