Bulldogs shortstop Shane Boland braces himself before colliding with Hitmen first-baseman Fergie Griffiths on an infield error in the championship game of the 34th annual St. John's Day Tournament at Lions Park on Sunday afternoon. The Hitmen claimed the title for the second straight year with an 8-6 win.
©— Photo by The Joe Gibbons/The Telegram
Jon Kelly did it all for the Kelly’s Pub Molson Bulldogs Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to give his team the championship in the 34th annual Molson St. John’s Day senior softball tournament.
Kelly hit two home runs and drove in all of his team’s runs, but the Bulldogs still lost 8-6 to the NTV Hitmen in the final at Lions Park.
It’s the second straight Molson St. John's Day title for the Hitmen, who captured last year’s tournament as the NL Plumbing Hitmen.
NTV scored six runs in the top of the first inning, knocking out Bulldogs’ starter Liam Myers, who managed to retire just one batter, but the Hitmen still needed two runs in the top of the seventh to get the win.
Robbie Greene (7K, 3W, 5H) went the distance on the mound for the Hitmen Sunday, finishing off a tournament that saw him pitch every inning over four weekend games, all NTV wins. Overall, in 26 innings of work, Greene struck out 38 batters while allowing six walks and 15 hits. He permitted just seven earned runs, five of them coming in the championship game.
Brian Roche had three hits and drove in two runs, including the game-winner, scoring Greene in the top of the seventh. Alex Power and Sheldon Keough also had two RBIs for the Hitmen, while Greene had two hits.
Every NTV batter, except for Keough and Russell Woodman, scored a run.
Kelly had three hits for the Bulldogs. He, Shane Boland and Stephen Strapp each scored twice.
Myers (5H, 1W) took the loss, giving up six runs, five of them earned. Reliever Eric Healey (5H, 1W, 8K) was charged with two runs in 6 2/3 innings.
Members of the championship team include Danny Mullins, Kenny Gosse, Robbie Greene, Fergus Griffiths, Randy White, Brian Roche, Chris Murphy, Alex Power, Sheldon Keough, Sean Cadigan, Russell Woodman, Chris Thorne, Jamie Peddle and coach Mark ‘Sparky’ Dwyer.
In semifinal play earlier in the day, the Bulldogs doubled The Bigs 6-3, while NTV knocked off the Kelly’s Pub Junior Canadians 9-1 in a game shortened to five innings by the mercy rule.
Kelly and Shane O’Brien both homered for the Bulldogs in their win over The Bigs, Shane Boland, who had two hits, and Kelly each scored twice.
Myers (7H, 6K, 3BB) got the complete-game decision over Mark Power (3IP, 6H, 4K, 3W).
Donny King drove in two runs and Mike Noftall had three hits for The Bigs.
In their semifinal win, the Hitmen got solo home runs and three RBIs from both Roche and Keough. Chris Murphy and Fergus Griffiths each had two hits and scored two runs for the winners, with Griffiths also driving in two runs.
Greene (11K, 1W) permitted just three hits, one of them a solo homer by Eddie Hefferan.
Kelly's Pub Molson Bulldogs — 2-0
NTV Hitmen — 2-0
Kelly's Pub Junior Canadians — 1-1
The Bigs — 0-2
3Cheers Pub Bud Light — 0-2
Bulldogs 6, The Bigs 5
Hitmen 4, 3Cheers Pub 2
Bulldogs 6, Junior Canadians 4
Hitmen 3, The Bigs 2
Junior Canadians 4, 3Cheers Pub 3
The Bigs 10, 3Cheers Pub 2 (5 innings)