HYDE CREEK—Hyde Creek Hillbillys batters have had their way with rival Port McNeill pitchers through the first several games of the season.
On Sunday, they showed they could wreak some havoc on their own hurlers.
Taylor Galeazzi went 3-for-3 with a home run and two RBI and Ryan Rushton drove in two more runs as the Hillbillys rolled to a 13-7 win over the Rangers at the local ballpark.
Port McNeill, giving its beleaguered pitching staff a rest, borrowed Hyde Creek starter Jason West, who brought a 3-0 record as a Hillbilly into the game.
But his teammates touched him for two runs in the first inning, three in the second and five in the third to run out to a 10-1 lead. Ivan Hall, who started behind the plate for the Hillbillys, then changed sides to relieve West for the Port McNeill side and gave up three more runs over the final three innings.
The two teams are the only competitors left standing in the North Vancouver Island Baseball League since the Port Hardy Cubs withdrew last month, citing low turnout. They’re using the season as a placeholder, playing each other each week to develop younger players while hoping Port Hardy and possibly another Port McNeill team can eventually be coaxed into the league.
The resulting imbalance — Hyde Creek has opened the season with four straight lopsided wins over the Rangers — has led to a certain flexibility in roster construction, now including Hyde Creek pitchers on loan to their rivals.
Tom Cessford added three hits and three runs in the Hillbillys win and Hall had a pair of doubles and scored twice before changing teams and scoring another run for the Rangers.
Jordan Altmiks led the Port McNeill attack, homering in the third inning for his team’s first run, adding an RBI single in the fifth and a leadoff walk and a run in the seventh.
The two teams are scheduled to meet again this Sunday for a 4 p.m. Father’s Day matchup in Hyde Creek.