As the two top-ranked teams took to the field, neither was facing elimination, but they were playing for a cushy ride to the finals.
In the first playoff game for the Whitehorse Fastpitch League at the Pepsi Centre on Sunday, the top-seeded Roadhouse Pirates rallied for a 9-7 win over the second-seeded Casa Loma Jays, earning a spot in next Sunday’s final.
“We had a slow start getting the bats going the first innings,” said Pirates pitcher Mike Tuton. “(I) was having a tough time finding the zone, but we managed to get out of those innings only giving up five runs. Then we started chipping away for the rest of the game.
“My first two pitches were two pretty good hits for them and they eventually scored those two runners. They loaded up the bases, but we got out of a jam there.”
The Pirates found themselves in a 5-0 hole by the start of the third inning, but managed to tie the game 5-5 in the bottom of the fourth when Corey Anderson stole home on a wild pitch.
“They’re a veteran team with real good hitters,” said Jays second baseman Jarred Tuton. “Maybe the first couple innings they weren’t hitting off the pitcher that well but then they’ll catch up with him, find his speed and start hitting.”
The Jays regained the lead in the top of the fifth, when Jarred sent a grounder up the middle to score Arlo O’Riordan. Another run was thrown on the pile when Mike Beauchamp made it home on a right-field blooper to go up 7-5.
But Jays pitcher Matt King got off to a bad start in the bottom of the inning, walking the first three batters to load the bases. Pirates’ Nathan Thomson then tied the game with a line drive to right field before Shawn Burris also found right field to put in two more and give his team their first lead.
The Pirates’ only loss of the season was a 14-6 loss in the season opener. However, the rivalry between the teams goes deeper than that, said Jarred.
“They have us as a rival because we play together in Dawson and we all know each other so we all want to beat the other guys pretty bad,” he said. “We have brothers playing against each other and best friends playing against each other, so we try to play well against these guys—more so than against other teams.”
Despite the loss, the Jays are far from out of the running. Next Sunday the Jays will face the Chilkoot Steel Oldtimers to play for a spot in the finals against the Pirates in the following game the same night.
Oldtimers advance with Cardinals forfeit
Birds of a feather flock together. However, some Cinderwood Cardinals failed to flock to the Pepsi Centre on Sunday, forcing the team to borrow a couple players from the Casa Loma Jays, thus forfeiting their chance to play in the finals next weekend.
As a result the Cardinals get tagged with a 7-0 loss in the record book but on the field managed to down the Chilkoot Steel Oldtimers 10-9 in what was nothing more than an exhibition game.
“It would have been good to play a real game but it was still fun,” said Oldtimer’s Chris Saunders.
Tied 9-9 in the bottom of the fourth (which the umpire declared as the final inning after the third), the Cardinals’ Currie Dixon drove in the winning run on a line drive up the middle with the bases loaded.
Up next, the Oldtimers will be playing the Casa Loma Jays on Sunday for a spot in the finals, a fair accomplishment considering the team joined the league mid-season.
“We only got four games in the regular season and then this game here,” said Saunders. “Everybody else started about a month ahead.”
The Oldtimers beat Casa Loma Jays 6-5 in their last regular season game. However, that game was the reverse of Sunday’s game with the Oldtimers borrowing players and thereby received a loss in the record book.
Next weekend’s final games will take place Sunday at the Pepsi Centre with the Oldtimers-Jays game starting at 5:30 p.m. followed by the finals at 7:30 p.m.
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