Twins use timely hit­ting to beat Kars in fast­ball play­offs

The Daily Observer - - SPORTS - JAMIE BRAMBURGER

MICKSBURG –The Micksburg Twins moved a step closer to de­fend­ing the Greater Ot­tawa Fast­ball League cham­pi­onship ti­tle with a con­vinc­ing 6-2 win over the Kars Aces.

The game did not start well for the Twins. Kars scored twice in the top of the first in­ning and Micksburg start­ing pitcher, Jo­ran Gra­ham, had to leave the mound af­ter be­ing in­jured in a col­li­sion at home plate, try­ing to cut down a run­ner.

Af­ter Brad Pender led off the game with a sin­gle and stole sec­ond base, Kris­tian Knapp walked. Gra­ham struck out Matt Alk­er­ton, but the Aces were able to com­plete a dou­ble steal and with Knapp and Pender at sec­ond and third base re­spec­tively, both men scored on a passed ball.

Gra­ham was in­jured try­ing to make a play on the first run­ner at home plate when he tripped over catcher Scott Con­roy. Gra­ham stayed in the game to play first base, but the pitch­ing du­ties were taken over by Corey Costello. Costello struck out Cory Mor­ri­son to end the in­ning.

The Twins re­sponded in the bot­tom of the first by scor­ing three runs, two of them off a tow­er­ing home run by Gra­ham. Af­ter Andrew McIntyre led off with a sin­gle and stole sec­ond, he scored on a throw­ing er­ror by the third base­man. Gra­ham then stepped into a pitch by Kars starter Brad Porter, driv­ing it high over the left field fence to give the Twins a 3-2 lead af­ter one in­ning.

With a lead, Costello took charge on the mound. He fanned four of the first five bat­ters he faced and fin­ished the game with 11 strike­outs. Only one run­ner reached third base and none scored as Costello col­lected his sec­ond win of the play­offs for the Twins, fol­low­ing up on a dom­i­nant one-hit, 16-strike­out per­for­mance against I4C Vic­tory of Man­otick.

The Twins added on to their lead in the bot­tom of the sec­ond on a two-out triple to the gap in right cen­tre field by McIntyre and a line drive dou­ble by Jamey Mick. Porter got out of the jam by get­ting Gra­ham to ground out to the short­stop, but the Twins had a 4-2 lead.

Micksburg put the game out of reach in the bot­tom of the third with two more runs as Costello dou­bled off the right-field fence and scored on a triple by Kyle Jack­son. Jack­son then crossed the plate on a sin­gle by Con­roy to give the Twins a 6-2 lead.

Prior to the game, a spe­cial cer­e­mony hon­oured the mem­ory of Ray Steege, a main­stay at the Micksburg ball park, who passed away last year. His fam­ily do­nated money to build a new gazebo to be en­joyed by fans watch­ing games, a project that was com­pleted by vol­un­teers.

Micksburg will now play the top seed, West Car­leton Elec­tric on Mon­day night in Fitzroy Har­bour. West Car­leton de­feated the Ot­tawa Val­ley A’s 6-3 in the first game of the dou­ble-knock­out cham­pi­onship round, and fin­ished first in the reg­u­lar sea­son. Micksburg fin­ished sec­ond.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO BY JAMIE BRAMBURGER

Micksburg Twins short­stop Andrew McIntyre swings through a pitch by Kars Aces pitcher Brad Porter dur­ing Greater Ot­tawa Fast­ball Leauge play­off ac­tion in Micksburg Thurs­day night. The Twins won 6-2.

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