Wolves repeat as fastball champs

Dan Falloon

Thirteen wasn’t an unlucky number for the Sight & Sound Wolves at Vanjura Park here last night.
The Wolves edged Barwick 4-3 for their 13th-straight win, handing them their second-consecutive Rainy River District Fastball League title—both over Barwick—in the process.
The Knights were making their fifth-consecutive appearance in the league final, having won the crown in both 2007 and 2008.
Barwick catcher Kevin Gemmell acknowledged the Knights tossed the game away on a couple of errant throws early in the game.
“We had overthrows at first,” he noted. “Giving up extra bases like that, that really hurt us because they get the free bag.
“That really hurt us. That was why we lost.”
Wolves’ manager Derek McKinnon, also the team’s first baseman, said the two teams were evenly-matched both in strengths and weaknesses.
“That’s what you expect from two teams in the finals,” he remarked. “They should be strong defensively.
“Both teams bobbled the ball.
“For every one they bobbled, we bobbled the same amount, so it was very even,” McKinnon added.
Barwick manager George Oltsher noted that after some miscues early on, the Knights settled in and tightened up out in the field.
But they were unable to garner the tying run after Sight & Sound scored their fourth.
“Maybe we were too tight. Maybe we were too anxious,” he remarked.
“[There were] a few errors here and there, but it was still a well-played game,” he added.
Barwick jumped out to an early lead, tallying a run against Wolves’ starter Bob Andy in their first at-bat. But Sight & Sound responded, continuing to keep the Knights within reach before taking the lead for good.
“It just seemed that every time we got something, we gave it back, and that was more demoralizing than anything,” Gemmell bemoaned.
Meanwhile, defending their title capped off a season that was starting to look like a lost cause for the Wolves midway through, with Sight & Sound struggling to a 4-5 record after nine games.
But they didn’t lose in league play after that, and were spurred on by the memory of catcher Clayton “Beef” Windigo, who died June 27.
“Guys were really motivated and it seemed like everybody just stepped up their game,” McKinnon noted.
“It meant that much more. It’s a way to remember the guy,” he added.