The Sight & Sound Wolves showed Beef’s Warriors they will not go quietly into the night in defence of their Rainy River District Fastball League crown.
The Fort Frances-based squad came from behind to beat the Warriors 9-8 at VanJura and force a winner-take-all showdown for the league crown this coming Tuesday (Aug. 30).
Trailing 6-1 after four innings, the two-time defending champs scored four runs in the top of the fifth to get within one.
Then they put up another four-spot in the top of the seventh to grab the lead, with Marcel Pagee hitting the go-ahead RBI double.
“There was one out at that point when I went up, and then Grant [Swire] got caught in a rundown on third base to be our second out,” Pagee recalled.
“Kurt [Wepruk] was on first, so all that I wanted to see was a good ball, and I ended up hitting [it] pretty good right into the gap, and that scored Kurt and I ended up on second.
“Beeker [Watson] then mopped it up with a two-run homer.
“And that was the key for us because without him hitting that two-run shot, I think we would still be playing this game,” Pagee added.
The Warriors, the top team in the RRDFL during the regular season, stormed back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh, and also had the tying and winning runs aboard with only one out.
But Wolves’ starting pitcher John Desaulnier came through when his team needed him the most—fanning the last two batters he faced to earn the win.
“That last inning was definitely interesting,” smiled Desaulnier, who also hit two home runs off Warriors’ starter Sheldon Kelly.
“The first half started off the way that we wanted it to,” he noted. “But when they came up, one thing led to another and they got back in it.
“In the end, though, we were able to stick it out and we got it done,” Desaulnier stressed.
Because it was the Warriors’ first loss of the playoffs, the first-year squad has a second chance to claim the league crown this coming Tuesday due to the double-elimination format.
That game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at VanJura.
Last night’s game originally was slated for 6:30 p.m. at Couchiching but was switched to VanJura after press time yesterday due to lighting and safety concerns.
“We’re looking forward to [the final game],” enthused Rob McGinnis, who blasted two home runs for the Warriors in last night’s loss.
“We came back there at the end to scare them a little bit, and we showed tonight what we can do as a team,” he noted.
“I think we still have the momentum on our side too, as they still have to beat us again,” McGinnis added.