Wolves can win crown tonight

Dan Falloon

A win here tonight gives the Sight & Sound Wolves their second-straight Rainy River District Fastball League title.
A loss and the Fort Frances-based squad will have to travel to Barwick on Tuesday (Aug. 31) in a winner-take-all showdown with the Knights.
Although Barwick finished atop the standings with a 15-3 regular-season record, they’ll be in tough against the third-place Wolves, who have not lost since an 8-4 setback to the Big Grassy Braves back on June 17—a span of 12-straight wins, including the playoffs.
“To beat them guys, we’re going to have to be on the top of our game,” Barwick manager George Oltsher stressed.
“They have good, strong pitching and we’d like to be able to go after their pitching and be consistent at the plate,” he noted.
The Wolves, who prevented a Barwick “three-peat” with a 9-0 win in last year’s RRDFL final, acknowledged the Knights are a threat each and every year, and will have to try to counteract their speed in order to win tonight at VanJura Park and avoid a second game. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
“They’re aggressive on the basepaths and they’ve got a lot of good hitters,” said Wolves’ manager Derek McKinnon.
“It’ll be a quick-paced game.
“They don’t just sit around,” he added. “They’re always trying to get a run in.”
Sight & Sound will have to shake off some rust, too, having not played since Aug. 10 when they dumped Barwick 7-1 to advance to the final.
McKinnon stressed a mistake-free defence is of the essence, but a consistent offensive attack will be the key to victory.
That doesn’t necessarily mean trying to slug the Knights’ hurlers all night, though.
“If everybody hits like they should, the rest will take care of itself,” he reasoned.
“Once we get a few baserunners, you can maybe try bunts or steals or things like that.
“[We need to] just get a guy on the bases first before we worry about anything else,” McKinnon conceded.
Barwick advanced to the league final for the fifth-straight year by outlasting the Big Grassy Braves 9-8 at home Tuesday night.
Vaughn Wilson went yard for the Knights in support of pitcher J.J. Landry while Jesse Tom smacked a homer for Big Grassy.
Travis Tom ended up being with the loss.
“Hopefully we can have another close one,” Oltsher said of tonight’s game against the Wolves.
“The new team, the Big Grassy Braves, put up a real good season, and we’re quite proud that they could be that strong,” he added.
Oltsher credited the Braves’ young players, including centre-fielder Dakota Andy and pitcher Travis Tom, with helping keeping the Braves in the game defensively while the lineup posed a capable attack.
“Their shortstop [Jesse Tom] hit a really nice home run, and they do have some pretty good hitters,” he noted.
In related news, McKinnon said the Wolves will hold a memorial golf tournament in honour of catcher Clayton “Beef” Windigo, who died earlier this summer, on Sept. 18 at Heron Landing.