West Side Charlies joined their Newfoundland buddies on 3Cheers Pub/Bud Light with a double playoff life following completion of round-robin play Thursday at the Canadian senior men’s softball championships in Charlottetown, P.E.I.
West Side earned the extra life in its final preliminary-round game, defeating the Fredericton, N.B., Twins 9-1 to finish with a
3Cheers, which beat West Side 8-0 earlier in the day, defeated the host Charlottetown Fawcetts 8-1 in the evening draw to finish 8-1 behind the first-place and defending champion Kitchener, Ont., Rivershark Twins.
3Cheers, officially listed as Newfoundland No.1, takes on Charlottetown again in their playoff opener at one o’clock today, while fourth-place West Side is scheduled to play Kitchener at 11 a.m. West Side finished with the same record as Charlottetown, but the Fawcetts got third spot and the game against second-place 3Cheers because they beat the Newfoundland No.2 team in round-robin competition.
“We’re lucky in that we got the match-up we wanted in the first game of our double life,” said Hill who noted he can’t recall the last time — if any — two Newfoundland teams earned a double life at the senior nationals.
“They (the Fawcetts) sat out three or four regulars, so we know we’re going to be facing a different team (today), but we’re ready for them,” said Hill.
Because of impending bad weather associated with Hurricane Earl, which is expected to hit P.E.I., on the weekend, Saturday’s games have been cancelled and moved up to today. So, win or lose, both Newfoundland teams will play twice today.
The top four teams have double playoff lives, while those finishing 5 though 8 have a single life.
Hill says his players have been playing at the top of their game.
“We’ve got speed and power at the top of the batting order and our pitching has been solid.”
Hill had special praise for 3Cheers’ defence, which continued to play superbly Thursday.
“I can’t remember how many double plays we’ve turned in this tournament, but the fans here have been appreciating our defensive play all week,” said Hill.
On the offensive side of things, Hill pointed out 3Cheers’ shortstop Justin Gill had “a tremendous game today (Thursday),” going four-for-six in the two games, including a three-run homer against the Fawcetts.
3Cheers 8, West Side Charlies 0
Brad Ezekiel, Gill and Stephen Mullaley each had a pair of his.
Sean Whitten picked up the win on the mound for Pub with a two-hitter and six strikeouts.
Mike Noftall, who had the only hits off Whitten, took the loss on nine hits and five runs over three innings. Lee Cose (2IP, 3R, 4H) finished up.
3Cheers 8, Charlottetown Fawcetts 0
Gill, Andrew Evans and Jamie Peddle each had two hits for the winners.
Don King tossed the win on a two-hitter with four strikeouts.
West Side Charlies 9, Fredericton Twins 1
Cose got the win on a two-hitter with five strikeouts.
Tim McCumber, Mark Lewis and Ryan Boland led Charlies with two hits each.