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Dominant Cleary leads Bulldogs into St. John's senior fastpitch final

St. John's Senior Men's Softball League

Kelly's Pub pitcher strikes out 19 as his team finishes off semifinal sweep; Dodgers lead Hitmen in other series

Sean Cleary struck out 19 batters in a two-hit shutout as the Kelly’s Pub Molson Bulldogs downed the Chayee Bourras Wines Vines 5-0 Tuesday night at Lions Park to earn a berth in the Molson St. John’s senior fastpitch final.

To put it in perspective, only two of the outs Cleary induced in the seven-inning game came via something other than a strikeout.

He struck out the side in five of the seven innings and allowed just a single walk.

The Bulldogs, swept the best-of-five series against Chayee Bourras, and will now face either the defending champion 3 Cheers Pub Bud Light Dodgers or NTV Hitmen in the final. The Dodgers lead the other semifinal 2-1 after a 3-2 win over the Hitmen in Tuesday’s other game.

In the Bulldogs’ win, Jon Kelly had two RBIs, Jeremy Hickey collected three hits while the Bulldogs’ Blair Ezekiel also reached base three times on a hit and two walk.

Jordan Noftall (8H, 6W) took the loss.

In Tuesday’s other semifinal matchup, Tyler MacDonald’s two-run double in the fourth inning gave the Dodgers a lead that pitcher Colin Walsh (6H, 3W, 6K) protected the rest of way.

Starter Lee Cose (4IP, 3R, 4H, 2W, 9K) was the pitcher of record for the Hitmen, while Robbie Greene (4K) didn’t allow a hit in three innings of relief work.

Game 4 of the series goes 6 p.m. Thursday at Lions Park.

Tonight, the St. John’s ballfield sees intermediate league playoff action, with Lafontaine Club of Placentia taking on the Conception Bay Central Junior Canadians at 7 p.m. Lafontaine, which finished first in the regular-standings, leads their best-of-three semifinal 1-0 after a dominant 14-1 win in the series-opener Monday.

The series winner will face the RMM Republic for the championship. The Storm advanced by getting past the C.B.S. Storm 2-1 in the other semifinal.

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