Tight battle in Strother Cup final
The New Lowell Knights and Bolton Brewers went into Games 3 and 4 of the North Dufferin Baseball League’s Strother Cup Final on the weekend tied at one win apiece. They ended the weekend still tied after splitting games on Saturday 5-4 for New Lowell and Sunday 10-8 for Bolton.
It was a tight fought match on Saturday in New Lowell when the two teams resumed play after the provincial championships break last weekend. Both teams plated a run in the first inning with the Brewers taking an early lead scoring two runs in the second frame on a Drew Volkey home run.
Steve Baldry of the Knights hit his own homer to bring the game within one in the second, but the Brewers held the upper hand until the sixth inning, adding one additional run to make it 4-2.
In the Knights half of the sixth inning they scored two to tie the game and in the seventh with a runner on base, a sacrifice bunt and smart base running moved Tanner Zeggil from first to third. A sacrifice fly to centrefield by Todd Patton brought Zeggil in to walk it off for the Knights.
Bolton was limited to four hits over the game. Volkey hit his third homer of the series, and Mike Wallace, Stephen Warden, and John Hutchinson chipped in with a base hit.
New Lowell had seven hits with Zeggil leading the way with three singles. Chris Greer, Chris Rettie, and Patton singled and Baldry hit a home run.
Toeing the rubber for Bolton was ace Nick Hodgson. He pitched six innings, allowed four runs on six hits, walked four, hit one Knight, and struck out five.
In the seventh, Nick Pettinaro came in relief, pitched two-thirds and gave up a run and a hit.
New Lowell started Baldry and over his seven innings gave up four runs on four hits, walked six, hit one batter and struck out five.
Game 4 on Sunday in Bolton had the Knights up early with a 5-1 lead after three innings of play.
The wheels fell off for the Knights in the fourth as Bolton scored two runs in the inning, another two in the fifth and three in the sixth to take a 8-5 lead.
In a do or die situation the Knights mustered three runs in the top of the seventh to tie the game, only to see Bolton come back on a Volkey two-run homer to right field for a walk-off win for the Brewers.
The Knights out-hit the Brewers 15- 11 overall with Brett Elliott hitting two doubles and a single. Zeggil hit three singles while veteran Sean Connor doubled and hit two singles. Greer singled twice and Sid Beelen, Kurt Roy, Rettie and Baldry chipped in with a single each.
For the Brewers, Hutchinson had three singles, Chris Fafalios hit a home run and double, Wallace doubled and singled and Volkey hit his fourth home run of the series. Greg Keenan, Carter Burnside, and Warden recorded singles for the winning team.
Victor Moguel commanded the mound for the Brewers for all seven innings. He gave up eight runs on 15 hits, walked three and struck out nine.
Kurt Roy was given the nod for the Knights and pitched three innings, allowed three runs on three hits, walked four and struck out one.
Nic Guthrie, the young 16-year old, was called in for an inning and gave up two runs, walked four and struck out two.
Baldry was tasked with closing and pitched two and one-thirds giving up four runs on eight hits with one strikeout.
The next game of the series returned to Bolton on Wednesday (Sept. 14) for Game 5 with Game 6 and 7 on Saturday and Sunday in New Lowell.
David Anderson photo: Drew Volkey of the Bolton Brewers hits his third home run of the Strother Cup Final during Game 3, Sept. 10, 2022 in New Lowell.