NAPANEE, Aug. 12—Overtime does not seem to agree with Napanee Shoeless Joe’s Express.
For the second time this week, the Express gave up the game-tying run in the seventh inning, and then lost in extras, this time suffering an 8-2 defeat at the hands of the defending Canadian junior champions from Alberta, the Irma Tigers.
Napanee is 3-2 going into the final game of Day 3 at the Softball Canada junior men’s tournament at the Fairgrounds, tonight against the Tavistock Athletics.
Tavistock improved to 4-1 with a 10-5 victory Wednesday afternoon over the other Napanee team here, the Abundant Insulation Express. The Insulators are 0-6, having dropped a 4-3 decision to Newfoundland-Labrador in a game Wednesday morning.
In a rematch of last year’s gold medal game in Alberta, Napanee gave up a first-inning run but tied the game in the fourth, on an RBI double by Mackenzie Pringle, and went ahead in the fifth, when Cole Bolton’s single drove in Michael Jordan, pinch-running for Brandon Blunt, who had walked to lead-off the inning.
Alberta tied the game when Taylor Schubada led off the seventh inning with a home run.
Bolton, who entered the game in relief of starter Eric Morgan to start the eighth, stranded a runner on third base with one out in the top of the eighth, but he quickly got into trouble in the ninth. With one out, Tigers pitcher Carson Soucy drove in the go-ahead run with a double.
After a walk, things appeared under control when Bolton got the second out on a strikeout, but then Ambrose Firkus singled for one run, Riley King singled for two more and Zach Mackay drove home another run with another single. A base on balls and an error had runners on first and third when Bolton finally retired Alberta’s 10th batter of the inning.
Napanee went meekly in extra innings, getting a man to third with two out in the eighth and going in order in the ninth.
On Tuesday, Napanee blew a three-run lead in the bottom of the seventh to send its game with Stratford into extra innings, and then four runs in the bottom of the eighth to walk off the field a 7-6 loser to the No. 1 Ontario team here.
Soucy completed one of the tournament’s more masterful pitching performances by retiring 14 of the last 15 batters he faced. Napanee did not get a base-hit after the fifth inning, and the only man to reach base was one Soucy put there, with an intentional walk. He struck out eight, four of them in the last four innnings.
Schubada and Justin Ganie had two hits apiece for the Tigers, while Bolton had two of Napanee’s five hits.
Abundant Insulation had its best game of the tournament—and the first one in which it wasn’t the victim of the mercy rule—opening the day with the one-run loss to the Kelly's Pub Canadians from St. John's. Trailing 3-0, Napanee tied the game with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Consecutive singles to start the inning from the bottom four hitters in the Napanee order—Luke Severson, Wyatt Fenwick, Shane McNish and Jordan Hunter—chased Newfoundland starter Nic Pittman. An error drove in the final Napanee run, as reliever Eric Healey struck out two of the first four batters he faced.
In the sixth, Newfoundland went ahead for good when Peter Kavanagh poked a two-out RBI single. Napanee got a man on base with two out in the bottom of the seventh, but couldn’t get him into scoring position.
Newfoundland-Labrador pitchers combined to strike 13, with 10 of those strikeout victims in the top five batters in the Napanee order. Of the six Napanee hits, only one came from a player in the top part of the batting order.
Abundant Insulation fell behind in its next game, against the No. 2 Ontario team here, Tavistock, 6-2 going into the bottom of the fourth inning, but a run in the fourth and two more in the fifth, on a two-run home run by Brandon Tucker, brought the home team within a run.
The Athletics scored twice in each of the next two innings, however, with a two-run single by Travis Hyde in the sixth and an RBI triple by Travis Ramseyer in the seventh the decisive blows.
Tucker and Jeremy Martin each had two hits and scored a run for Napanee.