The Red Arrow Duncan Tigers drew first blood in their best-of-three playoff series against Wheatsheaf, but they didn’t do it the easy way.
Unable to hit Wheatsheaf pitcher Chris McCormick for the first five innings, the Tigers were deadlocked 2-2 with their Nanaimo Senior Men’s Fastball League opponents before exploding for seven runs in the sixth to win 9-2 at Glenora’s Waldon Park on Tuesday.
McCormick issued eight strikeouts over the first three innings and allowed just two hits over five innings. Both runs he allowed came when he walked four consecutive batters, in the first and fifth innings.
For most of the game, the Wheatsheaf hurler had the Duncan hitters fooled.
“It was a little bit of our guys trying to cash in runners on base and maybe chasing stuff they shouldn’t have,” Tigers manager Joe DiLalla observed.
The Tigers finally got things going in the bottom of the sixth, putting a string of hits together to score seven times and mercy Wheatsheaf.
After battling McCormick for most of the game, Duncan pitcher Craig Snyder ended up with the win, giving up just four hits and two runs over six innings, striking out six and allowing just two walks.
Kyle Wanless led the Tigers with two hits in three at-bats, and scored one run, Marty Steen went 1-for-1 with three walks and one run, Trevor Gicas was 1-for-2 with two runs, Darrell Rodgers was 1-for-3 with one run and three RBIs, Steve McKinnon was 1-for-3 with two RBIs, and Jamie Gicas went 1-for-4 with one RBI.
Trevor Gicas also contributed a vital defensive play, pulling off a double play just prior to a home run by Wheatsheaf’s Dean Leyland, keeping it a one-run homer instead of a three-run shot that would have changed the game significantly.
Game two between the Tigers and Wheatsheaf will take place at Wheatsheaf next Wednesday. If a third game is required, the teams will return to Waldon Park the following Tuesday at 7 p.m.