The kings are dead–and the Couchiching Raiders hope to be the next to wear the crown.
A four-homer assault by the second-ranked Raiders fuelled an 8-1 win over the third-seeded Sight & Sound Wolves in the East Division semi-final of the Rainy River District Fastball League on Tuesday evening at the Rodrick and Telford Bruyere Ball Field (Couchiching).
With the loss, the defending RRDFL champs were ousted from further contention.
Faron Morrisseau had two of the big flies–belting a solo shot over the centre-field fence off Wolves’ starter Murray Armstrong with two out in the first inning.
He later pounded reliever John Desaulniers’ offering in the fifth for a two-run shot to left that made it 7-1.
Wade Johnson hit a solo homer in the second while Jesse Morrisseau added a two-run bomb in the third.
Ryan MacDonald, meanwhile, was a thorn in the Wolves’ side all night–beating out two infield hits and eventually scoring both times.
Jesse Morrisseau added his third RBI in the seventh when he singled home Sheldon Kelly Jr.
Matt Dunne provided the only offence for the Wolves with a solo dinger in the first.
Kelly looked like he did in his strong playoff run a year ago–throwing a five-hit complete game to avenge Couchiching’s elimination a the hands of the Wolves in last year’s East final.
The Raiders next will try to boot the top-seeded Fort Frances Braves from the post-season for the second-straight year when the two teams square off in the East final beginning Tuesday (the time and site still to be determined).
If the Braves lose for the first time in this year’s playoffs, the two teams will play again next Thursday (Aug. 24).
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Over in the West Division, the top-ranked Dawson Tigers staved off elimination by edging the third-seeded Stratton Eagles 5-4 in the West semi-final in Pinewood.
Jeff Morrison got the win while Guy Arpin was tagged with the loss for the Eagles, who also went out in the West semi-final last season.
Dawson now will visit the second-seeded Barwick Blue Knights, the defending West division champ, on Tuesday for the first of two possible games.
If the Tigers win, a second game will be held Aug. 24.
The division winners then will meet in the best-of-three final tentatively slated to start Aug. 29.
A version of the Wolves, with some other RRDFL stars mixed in, begins play today at the NAFA ‘A’ World Series in Fargo, N.D.
Sight & Sound will take on the KC Indios (Kansas) in its first game at 4 p.m.