Eastern Ontario Fastball Blog

A blog dedicated to news about the Greater Ottawa Fastball League and other happenings in the world of fastball / fastpitch softball in eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with occasional stories featuring Mrs Fitzroy Fastball, Fitzroy Fastball Junior and the Caveman. If you have info to send on, send me an email at fastball[at]fitzroyharbour.com. Follow @fitzroyfastball on Twitter.

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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Game 1 of Kars - Orleans GOFL semi-final - THE DETAILS

from Chad Milne

In game 1 of their GOFL semi-final playoff series on Wednesday night in Manotick, Kars and Orleans squared off in a classic fastball battle, with Kars prevailing 3-2 in 8 innings.

With great pitching performances on both sides, Brad Porter earned the complete game win, while Andy Barber threw all 8 innings for Orleans and took the tough loss.

Orleans got on the board early with a run in the 1st inning. With one out, Andy Barber walked. After Kars retired the next batter, Jeff Barber smoked a triple to right-centre to score Andy. Kars got out of the inning without further damage, stranding Jeff at 3rd.

Kars threatened to respond in their half of the 1st inning. With one out, Nick Ellis walked, but was later erased trying to steal 2nd. With two out, Greg Garrity and Cory Morrison both walked. Eric Colvin looked to have tied things up when he hit a ball between 3rd and shortstop, but Kevin Shonfield made a nice diving stop and then threw to 3rd to force out Garrity and end the inning.

After a scoreless 2nd inning, Kars tied the game in the 3rd inning. Pender walked to lead off and promptly stole 2nd. After the next batter struck out, Garrity hit a fly ball to short right field. With the Orleans’ fielders playing well back respecting Garrity’s power, Orleans right fielder Nick Bowman had to come a long way and almost made a great catch, but the ball glanced off his glove, allowing Pender, who was running on contact, to score Kars’ first run of the game. Kars then had a chance to take the lead. Following Garrity’s hit, Morrison reached base on an error, pushing Garrity into scoring position. After a fly out, Chad Milne came to the plate, having singled earlier in the game. Barber and Milne battled to a full count, but a nice change-up from Barber was enough to get Milne to pop out to 2nd to end the threat.

There was no scoring in the 4th inning, as Porter and Barber continued to overpower opposing hitters. Kars took the lead in the 5th. Ellis led off with a double and then stole 3rd. With Garrity at the plate, Barber uncorked a ball in the dirt and the runner Ellis took advantage racing home from 3rd and sliding in to score Kars’ second run. Kars continued to put the pressure on the Orleans defence. With one out, Morrison singled. Then, following another of Barber’s 14 strikeouts on the night, Milne worked another full count and hit a ball to shortstop. A momentary bobble by the shortstop was enough for the still somewhat speedy Milne to beat the throw to 1st. Barber got out of the jam by inducing a ground ball from the next batter to end the inning.

Orleans responded immediately in the top of the 6th inning. Jeff Barber got things going with a leadoff single. After Porter retired the next two Orleans’ batters, Andre Mainville hit a flare to left field. The Kars’ left fielder made an aggressive decision and charged hard, but realizing a little too late that he wasn’t going to make it (and perhaps that he’s not as fleet of foot as he once was), he pulled up to block the ball only to have it carom past him, allowing Barber to score all the way from 1st. Mainville, with his third hit of the night, was then stranded at 2nd as Kars got out of the inning.

Barber retired the Kars hitters in order in the 6th and Porter did likewise against the Orleans line-up in the 7th, setting up another opportunity for Kars to walk-off a win in the 2019 playoffs in the bottom of the 7th.

With one out, Garrity was walked intentionally after getting ahead of Barber 3-0. Orleans utilized the new MLB and GOFL rule that allows teams to intentionally walk a batter without actually throwing a pitch. After getting the next batter to pop out, Barber hit Colvin to push the potential winning run into scoring position and bringing Milne to the plate. Barber and Milne battled in a long at-bat, where both players stepped off the rubber/out of the box multiple times. With the count full and the runners on the move, Barber prevailed by throwing a low fastball by a swinging Milne.

Porter set down the Orleans hitters in order in the top of the 8th, leaving Andy Barber at 2nd where he started the inning as the international tie-break rule runner.

In the bottom of the 8th, Milne started at 2nd for Kars with Dylan Toms leading off. Toms reached base on a swinging bunt that could not be played by the Orleans defence. Bailey Fife then set down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. After Barber struck out the next batter for the second out of the inning, Pender worked Barber for a walk to load the bases and bring Ellis to the plate. After fouling off a few tough pitches from Barber and taking some close pitches for balls, Ellis ran the count to 3-2. With the runners in motion, Barber threw a low, outside pitch that Ellis laid off to earn the rarely seen bases loaded, walk-off run scoring walk to give Kars the hard-fought 3-2 victory and a 1-0 series lead.

Game 2 in this semi-final playoff series is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, September 29 at 4pm in Orleans.

Kars won the regular season series match-up against Orleans, going undefeated with two wins by scores of 7-3 and 5-3, along with a scoreless tie.



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