Sean Cleary – File photo
There’s still plenty of pop in the West Side Charlies/Bud Light bats and the long ball helped the team to a pair of wins Monday at the Canadian senior men’s softball championship in Owen Sound Ont.
The Newfoundland and Labrador representatives, who improved to 3-0, have hit 10 home runs in their first three games.
Newfoundland opened the day with a 4-1 win over Prince Edward Island Fawcetts and followed that up with an 11-3 decision over Port Elgin Blue Devils.
West Side Charlies take on 2-0 Quebec 5:30 today with Sean Cleary — who tossed a one-hitter in the win over P.E.I. on Monday — on the mound.
“The balls are hoppin,” said Newfoundland coach John Hill
“The offence is firing on all cylinders and the boys are playing good defence.”
Hill said he doesn’t anticipate the ball flying out of the park so much later on in the week when “the pitching tightens up.”
“Once the playoffs come around these high scoring games are going to end. Our priority is a double life. We know we are going to be facing tougher pitchers on the weekend, some we haven’t seen so far. The good thing is we have everybody hitting right now. We’re pretty solid right through the lineup,” Hill said.
Hill says he’s managed to get all 16 roster players into some action over the first three games.
“Guys have been in for a swing or to play defence…things like that. Everybody is ready to go.”
Newfoundland 11, Port Elgin 3
Sean Whitten picked up his second win or the tournament going the distance giving up four hits and striking out 10 batters.
Brad Ezekiel belted two home runs in the game and Mark Lewis and Blair Ezekiel also went yard. Lewis drove in four runs for the winners.
All of the Blue Devils runs came via the home run route.
Newfoundland 4, P.E.I. 1
Cleary tossed a one-hitter while striking out a dozen batters in West Side’s first victory of the day.
Bay Roberts native Ward Gosse, who plays in the St. John’s senior league, but was picked up by P.E.I. for the nationals, took the loss, giving up eight hits while fanning three.
“Ward pitched a pretty good game,” said Hill, “but it was a case of familiarity where we’ve seen him over the years and I think that helped us.”
The lone hit off Cleary was a solo home run by Mark Johnson.
Stephen Mullaley, Jason Hill and Brad Ezekiel each hit solo shots for the winners. Ryan Boland added two hits.