Devanas power GCFP to victory in season finale

It was the Devana Show at Waldon Park last Thursday evening as the Gord Closson Forest Products Fastball Club’s father-son duo paced their team to a 7-4 victory over Wheatsheaf to end the regular season.

Mitch Devana led the way, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs and the game’s only home run, a solo shot to lead off the fourth inning, while his dad, Dave, went 3-for-4 with the Duncan team’s lone double, and scored two runs.

The dinger was Mitch’s first of the season, his first campaign with the senior team. But it also might be his last for a while after he broke his hand over the weekend.

Contributing single RBIs to the effort were Marty Steen, who went 2-for-3, Dan Whiteford, who went 2-for-4, and Dennis Young, who was 1-for-4. Other hits came courtesy of Dom Mansueti and Craig Snyder, who each went 1-for-4. As pitcher, Snyder improved to 9-3 on the season, striking out seven and walking five while giving up eight hits. Snyder and his team benefited from Wheatsheaf’s error-prone night.

"He pitched a good game," manager Joe DiLalla said. "Wheatsheaf had a good game, but they sort of turned the tables from last time. Last time we played them, we kicked the ball and they beat us. This time, they kicked the ball and we beat them."

Wheatsheaf’s starting pitcher, Sam Spooner, gave up five runs over five innings, but only two were earned as GCFP capitalized on Wheatsheaf’s three errors.

"The errors may not have cost them the game, but they didn’t help their cause," DiLalla said.

GCFP finished second in the Nanaimo Senior Men’s Fastball League, just behind Wheatsheaf, but well ahead of third-place Lantzville Pub. They are now playing Lantzville in the first round of the playoffs, a best-ofthree series that kicked off Tuesday night in Glenora. The second game will take place Thursday night in Nanaimo, and if a third is necessary, the teams will meet at Glenora again next Tuesday.

Snyder came within the tiniest of fractions of claiming both the batting average and ERA crowns for the regular season. Snyder hit .532 over 12 games, just behind the .553 mark of Wheatsheaf’s Blake Hunter, and his ERA of 2.53 was just slightly back of the 2.21 mark set by Chris McCormick, also from Wheatsheaf. Steen finished the season with a .481 batting average, third best in the league, while Mansueti and Dave Devana were 10th and 11th, respectively, at .344 and .341.