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Jarrett Williams’ three home runs power Napanee to medal

August 17, 2014

Jarrett Williams hit three home runs — all of them leading off an inning — to propel the Napanee Express to a 9-3 win over the Saskatoon Diamondbacks in a third-round playoff game at the Canadian junior fastball championship in Irma, Alta.

Williams was the first man to bat for the Express in the second, fourth and sixth innings. He also led off the seventh inning with a single.

The win assures Napanee of at least the bronze medal at the nine-team tournament, where just three teams remain alive. The Express will play the Owen Sound Selects Sunday morning to determine which team will go for the championship Sunday afternoon against the host team.

Earlier Saturday, the Irma Tigers scored once in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat Owen Sound 6-5. Despite managing just six hits, the Tigers prevailed in a game they trailed 2-0 and 4-3 to claim the first berth in Sunday’s final.

Cole Bolton set the tone for Saturday night’s game for Napanee when he hit the first pitch of the ball game over the fence.

In all, the Express hit five home runs, following the four Napanee batters stroked in their first game Saturday, a 12-11 win over the Stratford Cubs.

In all, the Express has hit 21 homers in the tournament.

Napanee led the Diamondbacks 3-0, but the Saskatchewan team, which beat the Express 11-3 in the preliminary round, got back to 4-3 by the end of the fifth inning. Napanee scored six times in the sixth to take a five-run lead.

After Williams led off the sixth with a home run, Tyson Zehr doubled but he was caught making a wide turn around second base and was thrown out. Sloan Creighton then homered, Brandon Sands singled, Bolton tripled and Taylor Brown delivered the final run of the inning with a double.

In addition to Williams’s four hits, Zehr had three amid Napanee’s 15 base-hits.

Justin Boyer had a two-out solo home run in the second inning and a run-scoring double in the fifth for Saskatoon. Both hits came with two out, and Boyer was also thrown out trying to stretch his two-base hit.

Ty Sebastian scattered five hits and struck out 10 in what was Napanee’s best pitching performance since Bolton’s five-inning no-hitter in Game 1. He held Brandon Knackstedt, who had a home run and a two-run double against Napanee in the round robin, hitless.

Saturday afternoon the Express defeated Stratford in what was an elimination game for both teams. Napanee did so despite giving up two runs in the top of the seventh inning.

With the tying run on first and two out, Bolton got Johnny Baker, a .520 hitter during the round-robin portion of the competition, to ground out to end the game.

There were three lead changes after Stratford opened scoring with a run in the top of the third inning. The Express trailed 4-2 when it scored five times in the bottom of the fourth and the lead was 10-5 when Stratford got back into the game with four runs in the top of the sixth.

A two-run home run by Cody Brooks put Napanee ahead 12-9 going into the seventh inning and it turned out the Express needed every bit of that insurance, as the Cubs scored twice to make the game far more interesting than the Napanee coaching staff would have liked.

Corey Tuffnail led off with a double and he scored on a single by Tyler Randerson, who scored on a sacrifice fly by Barry Eidt. That was the first out of the inning and one out later, the last of Stratford’s 13 base-hits put the tying run on first, before Bolton finally prevailed.

A two-out walk opened the door for Stratford’s three-run fourth. Before the inning ended Eidt had doubled and Tyler Pauli had belted a two-run home run. The Express responded emphatically, with two-run homers from Zehr and Brown highlighting a five-run outburst that gave Napanee the lead for good.

Tom Fischer’s lead-off home run in the top of the fifth was answered by a lead-off homer by Brooks that launched a three-run rally in the bottom of the inning. With two out, singles by Zehr and Sands, sandwiched around a double by Creighton, produced the other runs.

Eidt homered for Stratford in the top of the sixth, as the Cubs manufactured three more runs from two singles, a walk, a passed ball, a wild pitch and George Armstrong’s triple. That’s when Bolton entered the game in relief of Sands.

Brooks’ home run in the sixth followed a lead-off walk to Sebastian.

They were the first two home runs of the tournament for Brooks, who missed the middle part of the week with a foot injury. He hit three home runs for Napanee in the playoff round of last year’s event, when the Express came home with the silver medals.

Sands had three hits for Napanee, while Pauli had three for Stratford, the team Napanee beat in the final of the Ontario elimination tournament. Armstrong struck out 10 in the losing pitching effort.

Linescores

Napanee         120     104     1          —        9          15       0

Saskatchewan D’backs         011     010     0          —        3          5          2

Ty Sebastian (W,1-1) and Cody Brooks; Justice Keshane (L,3-2), Logan Frohaug (5), Zach Pierce (6) and Donovan Klassen. HRs: Nap — Cole Bolton (3), Jarrett Williams 3 (4), Sloan Creighton (2); Ssk — Justin Boyer (1).

Stratford        001     314     2          —        11       13       1

Napanee         002     532     x          —        12       12       0

George Armstrong (L,3-3), Tyler Randerson (6) and Tom Fischer; Brandon Sands (W,2-0), Cole Bolton (6) and Cody Brooks. HRs: Sfd — Tyler Pauli (3), Tom Fischer (3), Barry Eidt (1); Nap — Tyson Zehr (3), Taylor Brown (3), Cody Brooks 2 (2).

 

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