Twins use timely hitting to beat Kars in fastball playoffs
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.
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.