Braves advance to final

Summer reporter
Marc Stuempfle

Sight & Sound came out with a bang but the Fort Frances Braves were able to settle back down to advance to the Rainy River District Men’s Fastball League championship defeating the Wolves 6-1 in the east final.
The Wolves’ John Desaulniers pelted a home run off of Jaden Gustafson during the first at-bat of the game.
Gustafson brushed off the opening home run getting out some of his nerves and finding his groove, striking out the next two batters.
In the second inning, Gustafson struck out the side and totaled 11 strikeouts during the game.
The Braves defence was smothering only allowing the Wolves to muster six base runners over the seven innings.
Brian Hook blasted a solo home run to centre-field for the Braves.
Hook went three for three at the plate and added two RBI’s.
Later in the bottom of the second Wolves pitcher, Murray Armstrong was struck by a hit leaving a sizeable welt on his arm.
With the bases loaded, Armstrong remained in the game and was able to get Travis Tom to fly out to centre-field for the third out.
Midway through the fifth inning Armstrong decided to be relieved of his pitching duties and was replaced by Desaulniers.
With the score 4-1, a play at third appeared to have the runner tagged out but the umpire call was safe and was not overturned even as the Wolves protested the call.
After the non-call, the Braves were able to score two runs in the inning which secured the win and the East Division title.
In the West playoff action, Stratton met in a rematch against the Barwick Blue Knights.
Stratton was looking to avenge an earlier loss to Barwick as they defeated both the Dawson Tigers and Sabaskong Lakes to reach the finals.
In another close game between the two sides, Barwick was able to again edge out Stratton with a narrow 4-3 win.
Guy Arpin hit a home run during the game for Stratton but was matched by Ryder Woolsey inside the park home run.
The two top teams from both the east and west division will now meet in the league final.
Barwick and the Braves will meet in a best-of-three series to decide the League Championship starting with game one tonight at 6:30 p.m. in Barwick as the Braves will go for their third-straight title.
The series will then come back to Fort Frances for game two and game three if necessary.