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Napanee on verge of elimination at Canadian junior fastball
Posted: August 16th, 2014 @ 5:16am
Napanee Express is one game away from elimination at the Canadian junior fastball championship, after it was whipped 16-7 Friday night by the Irma, Alta., Tigers in the first game of the playoff round at the tournament in Irma.Napanee must now win three straight games to get back to the final on Sunday. The Express will play at 2:30 p.m. EDT Saturday against an opponent to be determined in other first-round playoff contests Saturday morning.The Express, now 5-4 overall at the competition, scored in each of the first four innings of the ball game and led 5-0 when Irma scored six times in the bottom of the third. The Express took a 7-6 lead with two in the top of the fourth, the Tigers tied it with a run in the home half of the inning and they then blew it open with five runs in the bottom of the fifth.Carson Soucy's grand-slam home run with two out in the bottom of the sixth capped a four-run rally that led to the mercy rule being invoked.Neither starter Brandon Sands nor relievers Cole Bolton or Erick Morgan could stem the Tigers' 17-hit tide. Soucy, who struck out seven in five innings for the pitching win, was 4-for-5 at the plate, with a pair of home runs and six runs batted in.Ambrose Firkus had three hits, one of them his sixth home run of the tournament, and he scored four runs for Irma.A run-scoring double by Ty Sebastian in the first inning, a solo home run by Tyson Zehr in the second and a three-run home run by Sloan Creighton on a 3-2 pitch with two men out in the third, staked the Express to its five-run lead.Brett Larson led off the Irma third with a home run and one out later Firkus hit his homer. Sands gave way to Bolton, who retired the first man he faced. There were two out and a man on first when the Tigers suddenly came to life, scoring four more runs on a single, double, triple, and a passed ball.Taylor Brown belted a two-run homer for Napanee in the top of the fourth to put the Express back in front,s 7-6, but it was for naught as Irma scored 10 runs after that. In the fifth, a single by Firkus and Soucy's first home run each drove two men home. In the seventh, again with two out and just a man at first, a single and a hit batsman preceded Soucy's game-ending grand slam.Sebastian and Jarrett Williams had two hits apiece in Napanee's eight-hit attack.In Friday's other playoff game, the Owen Sound Selects blanked the Saskatoon Diamondbacks 3-0. The Diamondbacks join Napanee on the B side of the playoff bracket, while Owen Sound will advance to play Irma Saturday afternoon.LinescoreNapanee 113 200 - 7 8 0Irma, Alta. 006 154 - 16 17 1(six innings, mercy)Brandon Sands, Cole Bolton (L,2-2), Erick Morgan (5) and Cody Brooks; Carson Soucy (W,4-0), Steven Normand (5) and Taylor Schubada. HRs: Nap - Taylor Brown (2), Sloan Creighton (1), Tyson Zehr (2); Irma - Brett Larson (2), Ambrose Firkus (6), Carson Soucy 2 (5).
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