Rick McDonald Memorial Fastball League

September 10, 2010

Sudbury, ON

                After a delay of a few days, the Rick McDonald Memorial Fastball League championship best of five affair finally got underway on Thursday night in Garson at the Lorne Brady Memorial Park. It was a twinight doubleheader. Third seeded Parry Island Hawks took on the four time league defending champions Sudbury North Stars. Both teams were playing in only +5 windy cold weather. Most fans were bundled up in blankets sipping on hot coffee or hot chocolat
Game one
                    It was a real playoff atmosphere in the opener with the North Stars hanging on for a close 6-4 victory and a 1-0 lead in the series .Both squads exchanged single runs in the opening frame The third inning was the Hawks undoing as most observers had said that minor errors might be their downfall .Two passed balls , one fielding error and 4 stolen bases later , the defending champs scored four key runs from which the Hawks never recovered losing 6-4 .John Ainslie (3-0) picked up the win , his third of the playoffs , going the distance for the North Stars , giving up 4 runs ( all earned) on 8 hits while striking out 3 batters and not issuing a single base on balls . Matt Tobobondung (4-1) also went all the way in suffering his first defeat of the playoffs, giving up 6 runs (3 unearned) on 9 hits while striking out 7 batters and not issuing a single base on balls. Steve Sabourin of the North Stars led all hitters going 2 for 3 at the dish (home run ,two runs scored ,RBI0 with teammate Joel Belanger chipping in with a 2 for 4 performance (double, run , 2 RBI’s) while Matt Tobobondung hit 3 for 4 in a losing cause for the Hawks .
Game two
                      Contrary to the first contest, game two was a slugfest with again the North Stars coming out on top 15-9 and now take a 2-0 stranglehold on the finals. The run production got going from the get go as both teams combined to score 12 runs in the first two innings with North Stars taking the lead 8-4 . The Hawks got a little close in the middle frames but were never able to recover with defending champs picking up a six run victory and second victory on the evening. The old veteran Bruce MacDonald (1-0) went the distance for the North Stars picking up his first win in his first outing of the playoffs giving up 9 runs ( 3 unearned) on 9 hits while fanning 5 batters and issuing 3 base on balls . Matt Tobobondung (4-2) started for the Hawks and took the loss, his second and later gave way to Percy Tobobondung (0-0) before returning to finish the game. Both pitchers combined to give up 15 runs (one unearned) on 23 hits while fanning 7 batters and issuing 3 base on balls. Joel Belanger (double , run ) and Steve Sabourin ( 4 runs , triple) led the North Stars attack both going a perfect 4 for 4 at the plate with teammate Jesse St Cyr hitting 3 for 5 (two doubles) while Craig Brown hit 3 for 4 (double) in a losing cause for the Hawks .
                                The third and possibly deciding game is tentatively set for 9 PM on Monday September the 13th in Azilda.
                                 Fans are reminded that the third annual Parry Island Hawks Fastball Tournament gets underway today in Parry Island with a doubleheader , starting time 6:30 PM . Play will then resume on Saturday (full day) starting at 9 AM. Everything concludes on championship Sunday.
                                  Fans are also reminded of the 5th annual all-star classic between the Rick McDonald Memorial Fastball league and the North Shore on Saturday September the 18th in Massey starting at 1 PM with the skills competition.
Keep fit! See you on the fastball diamonds!
Roger Legendre

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