Braves repeat as district fastball champs


It was Travis Tom who shone the brightest under the lights at Couchiching on Tuesday evening.
The Fort Frances Braves’ pitcher was a double-threat, tossing a no-hitter and clubbing a pair of homers to help pace his squad to an 11-0 drubbing of the Dawson Tigers in the deciding game of the Rainy River District Fastball League championship series.
Fort Frances had taken the opener of the best-of-three final by a 3-2 margin last Tuesday night.
Tom’s gem gave the Braves their second league crown in a row and also was their second since moving to Fort Frances at the start of the 2015 season.
The Braves defeated the Barwick Blue Knights in three games last year and previously won three-straight titles as the Big Grassy Braves from 2012-14.
Tigers’ starter Jeff Morrison started the game off well on Tuesday, striking out both Dakota Andy and Jaden Gustafson.
But his fortune quickly changed as he followed that up by allowing back-to-back homers to Tom and Chris Bourgeois as the Braves took a 2-0 lead.
Tom then staked his squad to a four-run cushion in the top of the third with a deep two-run shot to centre field for his second big fly of the night.
The Braves then had a bat-around inning in the top of the fourth, tacking on four more runs to push the game out of reach at 8-0.
Tom took it from there, letting the Tigers’ hitters know he wasn’t going to be touched on this night and struck out the side in both the fifth and seventh.
Mike Parisien smacked a deep two-run bomb to left before an RBI single from Gustafson capped the scoring in the top of the seventh.
Tom finished the game with 10 strikeouts and allowed just two walks in the most dominant performance by any pitcher in the RRDFL this season.
Morrison was saddled with the season-ending loss for the Tigers, allowing eight runs and striking out six in four innings of work.