It couldn't have been a better start for West Side Charlies/Bud Light at the Canadian senior men's fastpitch championship in Owen Sound, Ont. Sunday.
The Newfoundland and Labrador representatives defeated defending champion Kitchener-Waterloo Hallman Twins 7-1 to open the tournament.
"That does a lot for your confidence," said Newfoundland coach John Hill.
"We fell behind early, but came back strong."
He wasn't kidding.
Kitchener got on the board first with an Allan Phibbs solo home run in the second inning, but it was all Newfoundland power after that.
Stephen Mullaley hit a two-run homer in the third, Justin Gill clocked a three-run home run in the fourth and Ian Fehrman delivered a solo shot in the fifth.
"It was a great game overall," said Hill. "We got strong pitching and defence and we got hits throughout the lineup.
"If we can get three or four batters to contribute every game, we've got a real shot (at a gold medal)."
The St. John's-based team played errorless ball in picking up the win. The losers committed three errors.
Gill drove in three runs for the winners, who banged out eight hits. Fehrman, a pickup from Ontario, had a pair of hits and drove in two runs.
Sean Whitten went the distance for the victory, giving up three hits and striking out 12 batters for the Newfoundland and Labrador representatives.
Newfoundland is scheduled to take on last year's silver medal winners, Prince Edward Island Fawcetts, 11:30 this morning before playing Port Elgin. Ont., Blue Devils at 5:30 p.m.
"It's going to be a tough week," Hill said. "We're after that second life, but there are no gimmies."
Sean Cleary is expected to start on the mound against P.E.I. and Hill said he'll come back with Whitten in the afternoon contest.