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Tuesday, Jun. 25, 2019
A solid Summer Games showing for Team North on the diamonds
by Randy Pascal

Team North might not have had the bats to contend with the big boys at the 2018 Ontario Summer Games in London, but it certainly had the pitching to remain right in the middle of the pack.

Playing a full five game round-robin schedule as part of Pool "A", the collection of Sudbury, Thunder Bay and North Bay talent posted a record of 2-3-0, right on the heels of HDBA (Hamilton District Baseball Association) at 2-2-1, and dead even, in fourth place, with SCBA (Southern Counties Baseball Association).

In fact, the 24 runs that Northern pitchers surrendered in five games trailed only the front-running LDBA (London District Baseball Association), posting a flawless 5-0-0 mark and an impressive 61-14 run differential, and the EOBA (Eastern Ontario Baseball Association), at 3-1-1 and 43(RF)/20(RA).

As it turns out, the schedule provided a reason for optimism, as coach Brodie Jeffery and company were sitting at 2-0 after one day of competition. Starter Will Droll (TB) pitched five scoreless innings, striking out 11, and Jacob Larivière (SBY) tidied things up nicely in relief, as Team North kicked things off with an 8-0 whitewashing of Western Counties.

Alex Pineau (TB) and Yanick Loiselle (SBY) registered two RBIs apiece, while Gavin Roy (SBY) went three-for-three at the plate. Much closer in game two as the northern lads hold on for a 3-2 win over Southern Counties.

The pitching was again front and center, with Zack Melvin (TB) going 6 1/3 innings, allowing three hits, two runs and fanning eight. Brett Richardson of North Bay mopped things up, recording the final two outs for the save, while Loiselle paced the attack with a two-hit game.

Turns out things would be noticeably tougher come Saturday, as Eastern Ontario downed Team North 7-3, tagging the trio of Loiselle, Dylan Anctil (SBY) and Anthony Signorile (SBY) for six runs in the first four innings. Gavin Roy enjoyed another multi-hit game in a losing cause.

London held nothing back in game four, acumulating no less than nine runs in the middle three innings en route to a 12-5 triumph. Brett Richardson and Scooter Rienguette (SBY) were among the northern batsmen who picked up RBIs in the contest.

Back to a tight affair as the locals fell behind 3-0 after three, but rallied for a pair of runs against Hamilton District in the top of the fourth. Unfortunately, that would account for all of the scoring as the southern squad limited Team North to just four total hits, one each from Cole Goudreau (SBY), Lukas Grandholm (TB), Ewan Menard (TB) and Yanick Loiselle.

Northern starter Jack Pineau (TB) was more than solid, recording six strikeouts in five innings of work, as Hamilton finished with seven hits in total. Rounding out the Team North roster were Sudbury representatives Cole McPhee and Braedan Pakkala, while Grant Lilley (TB) and Michel Larivière (SBY) served as assistant coaches, Dennis Melanson (SBY) as team manager.

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