The floodgates opened early on for the Fort Frances Braves and it’s all the league leaders needed.
The Braves erupted for seven runs in the first inning and never looked back as they cruised to an 8-2 win over the Northwest Bay Chieftains in Rainy River District Fastball League action last Thursday night at VanJura.
It didn’t take long for the Braves (11-0) to jump on Chieftains’ starter Brayden Smith as Cole Tymkin drew a leadoff walk.
After Jaden Gustafson flew out, Chris Bourgeois was able to get aboard after the Chieftains’ first baseman misplayed the ball.
Logan Jackson then ripped an RBI single to cash Tymkin in before another single by Parisien brought Bourgeois home to put the Braves up 2-0.
Jackson scored on a wild pitch before Brett Man reached safely on a throwing error.
Tim Archie then lined out but Marcus Hunter was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
A two-run single followed by a single from Tymkin then put their side up by six.
Jaden Gustafson then clubbed an RBI single to cap the scoring in the frame.
The Braves looked like they would pad their cushion in the second as Jackson smacked a leadoff double, but he was stranded as Smith was able to get Parisien, Mann, and Archie to all ground out.
Northwest Bay got two men aboard in the top of the third off Tymkin, but weren’t able to cash the home.
But the Chieftains finally broke through in the fourth as they scored a pair of runs off a bases loaded two-out single to trim it to 7-2.
But showing their resilience, the Braves salted the game away in the fifth.
Mann smacked a leadoff single before moving up on a bad throw.
Hunter then unloaded an RBI single to cash him home to plate the Braves’ eighth and final run.
Fort Frances did get a pair of singles from Gustafson and Jackson in the sixth, but was unable to further its lead.
The Chieftains did load the bases with just one out in the seventh on Tymkin, but he rebounded with a strikeout and a groundout to end the game.
Tymkin allowed just two runs in a complete-game victory while Smith was charged with all eight runs to take the loss for the Chieftains (2-10).
In other games last Thursday night, John Desaulniers pitched well to pace the Sight & Sound Wolves (7-4) to a 7-1 win over Windey’s Warriors at Couchiching.
Marcel Pagee suffered the loss for the Warriors (6-7).
Cole Allan homered to pace the Barwick Blue Knights to a convincing 13-4 win over the Sabaskong Goldeneyes.
Tanner Smith garnered the win for the Blue Knights (9-4) over Darryl Beacham of the Goldeneyes (2-9).
The Rainy River Royals doubled the Stratton Eagles 10-5.
Myron and Tony Armstrong both went deep for the Royals, who improved their record to 7-4.
Myron Armstrong also earned the win over Jackson Arpin of the Eagles (5-7).
Matt Godin homered but it wasn’t enough as the Dawson Tigers suffered a 12-1 setback to the Sabaksong Lakers.
James Yerxa garnered the win for the Lakers (6-6) over Carl Big George of the Tigers (6-6).
And Mike Jourdain homered to lead the Couchiching Raiders to a rout of the Manitou Thunderbirds.
Jourdain also nabbed the pitching win for the Raiders (8-5) over Dan Servello of the Thunderbirds (2-9).
Last night’s games, the outcomes of which weren’t known as of press time, pitted the Lakers against the Eagles, Barwick made the trip to Rainy River, the Goldeneyes welcomed the Tigers, the Braves battled the Raiders in Couchiching, Manitou hosted the Warriors, and the Wolves squared off against the Chieftains.
Tomorrow and next Tuesday (July 23) will serve as make-up game nights.
The first round of the playoffs then is slated to kick off next Thursday night (July 25).