Sight & Sound pull off ‘three-peat’

The Chicago Bulls accomplished it in the early 90s. The Toronto Maple Leafs did it in the early 60s, while the Oakland Athletics attained the footnote in the early 70s.
And with their 8-5 victory over Rainy River last night, Sight & Sound accomplished the rarely seen “three-peat.”
“I personally wanted to see it end on a good note and at home, and so we got to see that happen,” said Sight & Sound’s Duane Carlson.
At 8:02 p.m., the lights at VanJura Stadium came alive and so did Sight & Sound, as their starting pitcher, Harvey Flamand, sat down three straight Rainy River batters and got his team on the scoreboard first in the top of the second inning after stepping across the plate from a triple from Marcel Pagée.
Sight & Sound, who came into the playoff as the third seed, didn’t look back, but moved forward by scoring two runs in the bottom of the third and a Gary Noga moon shot made the score 5-0, as his homerun also brought in Pagee, who once again reached base from a triple.
“I squared for the bunt and Murray [Armstrong—Rainy River’s starting pitcher] threw it to the outside, and Murray had it in his head that I was going to bunt, and I thought, ‘It’s not to often that I get into Murray’s head,’” Noga recalled on the play.
Rainy River got on the board in the top of the fifth when Flamand mistakenly hit Blight, which brought in Cam Hanson, who occupied third base for a bases loaded scenario for Rainy River.
Things didn’t look good for Flamand, as the bases were still loaded with nobody out. But Carlson made a nice grab at third base off of a Chorney grounder and then fired a bullet to his catcher, Grant Swire, to tag out Rainy River’s Matt Bartlett.
Marty Armstrong would then pop up a ball into foul territory that was snagged by “Beeker” Watson, who came over from his shortstop position to make the second out. Flamand would cease a single tally after a throwing error brought in Gouliquer to make the score 5-2.
But Flamand would settle down and strikeout Murray Armstrong to end the inning and put Sight & Sound to the batter’s box. It was in the bottom of the fifth where they essentially sealed the win and showed that even when things looked bleak they can turn up blissfully positive.
Vold was up first and made it third base, but only after a mishandle from Rainy River catcher, Gouliquer, who dropped the ball after a strikeout swing from Vold, who geared it towards first base and made it to third after a throwing error.
Swire would strikeout, but Watson was able to put a sacrifice pop-up to right field that would enable Vold to tag up on and score, and then strode Carlson to the plate.
Having already notched two homeruns in the playoffs, Carlson was looking for his third and got it in dramatic fashion when his line drive went over the left field fence and struck a passing car on the driver’s side door, which garnered applause from a good crowd that had assembled under the lights at VanJura.
“I got a bigger cheer out of hitting the car than I did from hitting the homerun,” said Carlson, who would watch Derek McKinnon notch a homerun in the next inning to give Sight & Sound their eight runs.
Added Vold: “I’ve played out there for how many years and I always wondered, ‘What’s going to happen if we ever hit a car?’ You see cars drive by all the time, and in a big game like this to do that was just unreal.”
The car belonged to Roger Whitehead, who had ironically played a sparse amount of time for Sight & Sound, and was sitting in the stands watching the game. He realized it was his car only after his wife had cleared the bend and parked behind the bleachers.
But the dent was miniscule compared to the one Sight & Sound gave to Rainy River’s chances of disrupting their shot at garnering the “three-peat” even though Rainy River three runs in the seventh inning, but it was too little too late.
“We were missing a couple of our key guys,” said Murray Armstrong, who mentioned Donnie Gall, an all-star catcher, and Matt Ashworth, both of whom had to work.
“When Donnie’s in he call’s the game and when somebody else is behind there then I usually call it. But I didn’t feel too bad other than a couple of homers that gets a guy down, but I should be used to that with these guys by now. It seems every game they get a couple off of me,” added Armstrong, who had four strikeouts in the game.
Flamand would suitably end the game with a strikeout, which was his 12th in the game, and it was the last strikeout the 26-year fastball veteran will make.
“It’s been a great career, but I’ve had enough. You get to a certain point and you know it’s time,” said Flamand, who is 42-years-old. “It was just time. I knew it was time to go.”
Also stepping back will be McKinnon, who is a 22-year veteran, and was given a farewell shower that rendered him motionless after his teammates sneakily poured a Gatorade jug of water over his head while a team picture was being organized.
“I didn’t realize anything, and when it goes down your neck you get frozen and you can’t even move after that,” said McKinnon, who says he will play from time-to-time next season.
And one person who had thought he was retiring, but was unsure after last night’s win was Vold, who played a partial schedule this year in what was his 25th season.
“Tonight is a bad night to ask me [if I’m still retiring],” said Vold. “Everybody likes to go out on the high side, and I was talking to Dick and after this do you actually think we can pull the pin?
“I love this game to much just to leave,” he added.
And if there’s one good reason not to leave, it’s this: Getting a “three-peat” is a rare thing and has been accomplished by a few teams, but there is something that is even rarer and even less garnered.
The answer? A “four-peat.”