Newfoundland teams were Wednesday winners; they square off against each other today
3Cheers Pub reached an important goal Wednesday in Charlottetown, P.E.I., beating the Fredericton, N.B., Twins 5-2 to earn a double life in the playoff round at the Canadian senior men’s softball championships.
Newfoundland’s No.1 team in the national tournament improved its second-place record 6-1, while West Side Charlies, Newfoundland's No.2 team, is 5-2 and is tied for third place after blanking the Brookfield, N.S., Elks 3-0 in its game Wednesday.
The defending champion Kitchener, Ont., Rivershark Twins — whose roster includes Newfoundland natives Blair Ezekiel, Darrell Joy and Rob O’Brien — lead the standings with a perfect 7-0 record.
Eight of the 10 teams in the tournament advance to the playoff round, with the top four earning a double life.
3Cheers coach John Hill is delighted with his team’s overall play — pitching, hitting, defence — so far, pointing out that 3Cheers turned three double plays in its game Wednesday.
“We’re doing well,” said Hill. “We lost our first game of the tournament (to Kitchener), but we’ve been playing good ball since then.
“We’ve won games by big scores and we’ve had to come from behind to win others. Everyone is contributing to the cause.
“To win this thing you’ve got to have talent, but you’ve got to have a bit of luck, too,” he noted.
3Cheers is scheduled to take on West Side Charlies this morning in a game the Newfoundland No. 2 side will be wanting to earn that special double life.
“There’s no bad blood between the teams,” said Hill. “Both are basically comprised of (players) from four local (St. John’s) teams. So we want to win for pride more than anything else.”
Hill said he may make some lineup changes for the game and rest a couple of his starters.
This afternoon, 3Cheers finishes off the round-robin schedule against the host Charlottetown Fawcetts, while West Side Charlies takes on Fredericton.
Against the New Brunswick team Wednesday, 3Cheers scored three times in the second inning — two of the runs coming on Geoff Evely’s double — and never looked back.
The final two runs came in the sixth inning, when veteran Colin Abbott, still swinging a hot bat, connected for a two-run homer.
Winning-pitcher Robbie Greene (2R, 5H, 4W, 3K) gave up one run in the bottom of the sixth inning before pitching his way out of a bases-loaded jam.
Sean Cleary (3H, 9K) pitched in West Side Charlies’ win over the Elks.
Glenn Ormsby led West Side at the plate with three hits. Imports Tim McCumber and Rob Schweyer each had two.
West Side’s other import, outfielder Darren Box, hasn’t played since Sunday night because of an Achilles tendon injury, and now looks to be out for the rest of the tournament.
The Edmonton native is a long-time national team player, a three-time ISC champion and a four-time all-World all-star.