Sean Cleary struck out 15 batters as the Kelly’s Pub Molson Bulldogs opened defence of their Molson St. John’s senior softball championship with a 4-2 win over the NTV Hitmen Sunday afternoon at Lions Park.
Cleary scattered six hits and walked three batters in a complete-game performance.
On the offensive side, Stephen Strapp drove in two of the runs and lead-off hitter Shane Boland scored twice for the Bulldogs, who led 4-0 heading into the third inning.
Robbie Greene (4H, 6W, 7K) took the loss.
Greene had two hits and Ryan Boland hit a solo homer in the sixth inning for NTV.
In Sunday’s other opening-day game, 3Cheers Pub Bud Light blanked The Bigs 8-0 in a game shortened to five innings by the league’s mercy rule.
Starting and winning pitcher Jason Hill (4IP, 0H, 6W, 10K) had a solo home run and scored three times for 3Cheers.
Darrell Walsh had two hits and three RBIs, Kyle Ezekiel also had two hits while driving in two runs and Colin Walsh scored twice for the winners.
Craig Edmunds had the only hit for The Bigs. It came off relief pitcher Colin Walsh (2K) in the fifth inning.
Mike Noftall (4IP, 8R, 7H, 5W, 5K) took the loss. Mark Power (1IP, 2H, 2K) finished up for The Bigs.
Next league action is Tuesday, when The Bigs take on the Hitmen (6 p.m.) and the Bulldogs face 3Cheers (8 p.m.)
Meanwhile, the 2014 Molson St. John’s intermediate season is set to begin tonight at Lions Park with two games.
The Conception Bay Central Junior Canadians and defending champion Goulds tangle at 6 p.m., Lafontaine Club Molson of Placentia and Power Conditioning Inc. play at 8 p.m.