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The boys from the North battle in the 34th annual Beast of the East
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The Sudbury U18 Voyageurs just keep rolling along while the U16 team have found some welcome relief in the form of the Beast of the East Tournament currently taking place in West Virgina.

With five straight wins to their credit, the U18 crew that currently trail only the Oshawa Legionaires in the PBLO (Premier Baseball League of Ontario) standings are poised for a solid run at the playoffs as 18 teams gathered for the event, split into three separate pools of six.

The northern Ontario lads went right to work on day one, beating the Ontario Giants 9-1 as Yanick Loiselle went three plus innings with a solid start and Scooter Rienguette and Braedan Pakkala smacked two hits apiece.

More of the same in game two, a 12-5 triumph over Moundsville (W.V.) Post as Ryan Lacasse racked up the win with six innings of work on the mound, with Liam Socransky shutting things down in the seventh.

Both Pakkala and Rienguette belted home runs for co-coaches Steve Donahue and Greg Johnson and company.

A stiffer test would await the U18 Voyageurs to kick-start Canada Day competition as the lads pulled out a 6-4 win over the Ohio Bison (Newark, Ohio) in a back and forth affair.

Braedan Pakkala battled his way through four innings, surrendering four runs while Faisal Al-Ajeel blanked the Bison over the final three. Carter Gallivan enjoyed a double-double performance, lining a pair of two baggers and driving in multiple runs.

The fireworks for the Canucks would come later that day in a 6-0 whitewashing of the TCT (Triple Crown Threat) Kings from Pittsburgh (PA) as Ethan Morris walloped a grand slam to lead the way for Sudbury.

Scooter Rienguette and Nico Signorile combined for the shutout as the U18 Voyageurs improved to 4-0 with the win. The team closed out round robin play with a 9-8 extra inning win over the Motor City Hit Dogs from Rochester Hills, Michigan.

The teams were tied at 3-3 after seven innings of play, with both adding another troika of runs in the eighth and Sudbury countering a two-spot by the Hit Dogs with a three run rally in the ninth.

More details to come on this encounter

Meanwhile, sitting in eighth place in the nine-team U16 division of the PBLO, the Sudbury (U16) Voyageurs were thankful for a reprieve from league play to start the month of July.

And while the wins were perhaps somewhat limited, the team did enjoy very competitive outings in most every affair. Starting pitcher Callum Baron kept his team in the game in the opener, going the distance in a deceiving 5-2 loss to the PA Redhawks in Lehigh Valley (Pennsylvania).

"He pitched a gem and we had some mental mistakes: guys out of position, base running errors - and we didn't hit really well," suggested coach Joey Moher. Luke Foulds defied the trend with a pair of scorchers of his bat, resulting in a triple and a single at the plate.

Game two started the same, with Sudbury trailing 6-0 after six before mounting a comeback and falling just short against JABC (Johnny Appleseed Baseball Club) of northern Ohio, beaten 6-5 in the end.

Liam Norman went the distance on the mound for the Voyageurs, holding the U.S. crew to just one run over the first four innings of play.

Their toughest match to date would come early Friday morning as the BHM (Baseball Heritage Museum) Buckeyes from Cleveland spanked the north of the border crew 7-1, in spite of a pair of hits (double, single) from Noah Leveille.

Noah Portelance was saddled with the loss.

A lovely bounce-back effort was evident in game four as the U16 Voyageurs bolted to a 7-0 lead, tripling the Morgantown (W.V.) Post Jr Legion 9-3, with Luke Foulds hammering the zone for the win.

The hitting brigade featured knocks from Noah Leveille, Liam McNiven, Devan Madore, Foulds, Dom Pugliese, Jet Bertrand, Felix Aubin and Calum Baron, while Ryan Kainola drew four walks and crossed the plate a quartet of times as well.

"Everyone in the lineup hit, from top to bottom; there were no errors - it was all positive feedback for the guys in this game," said coach Moher.

And while game details (beyond the boxscore) have yet to be provided, a 10-9 loss to the Washington Rebels would go right down to the wire, though the locals are likely kicking themselves for squandering a 7-2 lead after four innings of play.

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