Playoff opener goes to GCFP

After his son Mitch’s home run propelled the Gord Closson Forest Products Fastball Club to victory in their final regular-season game, it was Dave Devana’s turn to provide the power in the playoff opener at Waldon Park in Glenora on Tuesday.

Dave Devana hit the only homer of the game, a solo blast in the sixth inning, and had a team-high two hits and two RBIs as GCFP beat Lantzville Pub 6-1 to take the lead in the best-of-three playoff series.

Marty Steen (1-for-2), Dom Mansueti (1-for-2 with an RBI), Steve Lingren (1-for-3) and Dan Whiteford (1-for-3) also had hits, but Brad Robinson was responsible for three RBIs despite not picking up a hit in the contest.

Robinson came to the plate in the third inning with Steen and Whiteford on base. Steen made a move to steal third, and when Lantzville missed the throw to third, he was able to make it home. Whiteford, meanwhile, took third on the overthrow, then got home as Robinson grounded out. A sacrifice fly in the fifth inning gave Robinson his third RBI.

“It was a productive night for Brad as far as batting runs in without getting a hit,” manager Joe DiLalla said.

Pitcher Craig Snyder had a strong night, going seven innings and striking out 10 while allowing just three hits. The only run Lanztville scored wasn’t charged to him as the leadoff batter in the first inning reached base due to a fielding error.

The playoff series continued in Nanaimo on Thursday evening. If a third game is necessary, it will be played at Waldon Park next Tuesday at 7 p.m.