Defending champs on the ropes

Tonight could spell the end of a six-year dynasty.
The Bulldogs—six-time defending Rainy River District Fastball League champs—face elimination tonight in the double-knockout playoffs here tonight as they face Hyatt’s Contracting.
Game time is 6:30 p.m. at the Couchiching diamond.
Also tonight, Big Grassy (2-14), who had lost 8-0 to top-ranked Rainy River on Tuesday, face Big Island (8-8-1) in tonight’s other do-or-die game.
Rainy River hosts Pinewood and Sight and Sound visits Barwick in tonight’s other two games.
While the pressure is turned up a notch, Bulldog co-captain Grant Swire said all they can do is go out there and play.
“We’ll approach this game like any other,” said Swire, whose team went 9-8 during the regular season to finish fourth overall but lost their opening playoff game 5-4 to Pinewood on Tuesday night.
“We’ll give it our all and hope for the best.”
For a team that suffered lack of playing time together, something that cost them a trip to North American Fastball Association Division II World Series this month, Swire had no excuses for Tuesday’s defeat.
“We had our full team out there and [Pinewood] just played better,” he reasoned.
Second-ranked Hyatt’s Contracting (13-4-1) were 2-1 against the Bulldogs in the regular season but is coming off an upset 13-12 loss to Sight and Sound, on Tuesday.
Ranked seventh with a 5-12-2 record, pitcher Leroy Wilson led Sight and Sound on the mound and at the plate (two home runs) in building a 13-0 lead by the middle of the fourth before leaving the game after taking a line-drive off his leg.
Hyatt’s went on to score 12 unanswered runs and threatened to win it in the bottom of the seventh, but Wilson returned to close out the game.
“They had the winning runs on second and on third with only one out [in bottom of the seventh],” said Sight and Sound’s Gary Noga. “We were fortunate to hold on.”
Barwick (12-6-1) beat Sight and Sound 10-2 in their lone head-to-head game during the regular season.
The RRDFL playoffs continue each Tuesday and Thursday night until one team remains alive.

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