Braves roll into West Division final


The Fort Frances Braves are looking like a well-oiled machine with championship aspirations on its mind.
Travis Tom homered twice to pace the top-ranked Braves to a 11-3 romp over the second-seeded Sight & Sound Wolves in Rainy River District Fastball League third-round East Division playoff action at VanJura.
With the win, the Braves advanced to the West Division final that’s slated for tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. at VanJura.
The Wolves were to face the fourth-seeded Windey’s Warriors in a loser’s side matchup last night, with the score unavailable as of press time.
After a scoreless first inning, Logan Jackson led off the bottom of the second with a double.
Jackson then advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a infield single later in the inning to give the Braves a 1-0 lead.
But Sight & Sound struck back in the top of the third, scoring a run off a pair of singles followed by a double down the third base line to knot it at 1-1.
Wolves’ pitcher John Desaulniers then cashed in another run with a single to stake his squad to what would be its only lead of the night.
But the Braves showed exactly why they finished as the top team in the regular season in the bottom of the third.
After Cole Tymkin led off the inning with a single and then stole second, Tom came through with his first round-tripper of the night with a towering shot to left-centre field that put the Braves back on top 3-2.
The Braves then cashed in two more runs with three-straight singles later in the frame to push it to 5-2.
Sight & Sound managed to get one back in the top of the fourth off a triple and a bunt single to trim it to 5-3, but the bottom of the fifth ultimately proved to be its demise.
Jackson led off the inning with a solo shot to deep centre field, before a double and a pair of singles extended the Braves’ cushion to 8-3.
Tymkin then cashed in another run with a sacrifice fly to make it 9-3 and hand the Braves their second four-run frame of the night.
The Braves then capped the scoring with Tom’s second homer of the night to lead off the bottom of the sixth followed by a bloop double and a run-scoring groundout.
Jaden Gustafson earned the win for the Braves, surrendering just three runs while racking up six strikeouts over six impressive innings.
Desaulniers was tagged with the loss in allowing all 11 runs over six innings while recording seven strikeouts.
Elsewhere, the Warriors eked out a 5-4 win over the third-seeded Couchiching Raiders in a East Division loser’s side matchup.
Robin McGinnis earned the win while Tanner Smith suffered the loss.
In the West, James Yerxa pitched a complete-game shutout to pace the third-seeded Sabaskong Lakers to a 2-0 victory over the Stratton Eagles in a loser’s side matchup.
Guy Arpin was saddled with the loss for the Eagles.
Sight & Sound and Couchiching were slated to play each other last night in a loser’s side matchup, with the winner advancing to face the Braves in the East Division final tomorrow night.
In the West, meanwhile, the second-seeded Barwick Blue Knights hosted the third-seeded Lakers, with the winner advancing to face the top-ranked Dawson Tigers in the West Division final tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m.
All results were unavailable as of press time.