Hyde Creek third baseman Tom Cessford tags out Port McNeill baserunner Tyler Berry on a steal attempt in the fourth inning of Wednesday's North Vancouver Island Baseball League opener at Hyde Creek Ballpark.

Hall’s 3 homers, 10 RBI lift Hillbillys in playoff opener

Hyde Creek - Veteran catcher fuels comeback as Hyde Creek rolls into semifinals with 18-8 win over Port McNeill Rangers

HYDE CREEK — In the middle of the third inning of Wednesday’s North Vancouver Island Baseball League playoff opener, the Hyde Creek Hillbillys found themselves trailing the Port McNeill Rangers 8-2 and had shown little life other than an Ivan Hall home run.

Fortunately for the Hillbillys, Hall was just warming up.

The Hyde Creek catcher stroked home runs in each of his first three trips to the plate, added a bases-loaded double and finished with 10 RBIs as the Hillbillys stormed back for an 18-8 win at the local ballpark.

Jason West added four innings of scoreless relief, allowing just two hits, to pick up the victory and lift the Hillbillys into Saturday’s 10 a.m. semifinal against top-seeded Port Hardy.

The loser of that semifinal will face Port McNeill at 1 p.m. Saturday in an elimination game, and the winners of the two games Saturday will meet Sunday at 1 p.m. for the league championship.

Taking advantages of shaky pitching and defense in the early going, Port McNeill jumped in front with four runs in the first inning and four more in the third off Hyde Creek starter Tom Cessford.

Hugh Connon hit a two-run single, Rob Kenny, Arron Harper and Jordan Altmiks had RBI hits, and Greg Johnson and Ed James drove in runs with a bases-loaded walk and a fielder’s choice, respectively.

Between those outbursts, Hall drove a pitch from Kenny high into the trees across Hyde Creek Road in the second inning to plate Cessford.

In the bottom of the third, Hall came to the plate again with Cessford aboard, and sent the ball deep to center field and just over the fence to bring the Hillbillys within 8-5.

The first four Hillbillys reached base in the fourth inning, with Nick Bono and Ryan Rushton driving in runs. With two outs, Cessford delivered a run-scoring single to tie the game and Hall followed with his third straight blast, onto the road beyond the left-field fence that gave Hyde Creek the lead for good.

The host club jumped on reliever Tyler Berry for seven more runs in the fifth, highlighted by Hall’s bases-clearing double to the gap in left-center field. Joe Leblanc and West, who finished 3-for-3, added run-scoring doubles.

Hall collected his final RBI in unconventional fashion to close the scoring in the sixth inning. With Rushton on third base and Keith Balcke on second, he hit a sharp grounder to shortstop. The Rangers’ Ed James threw to third, catching Balcke in a rundown that allowed Rushton to scamper home with the final run before Balcke was tagged trying to get back to second base.

 

Wednesday, July 20

Hyde Creek 18, Port McNeill 8

Rangers  404 000 0— 8  8  6

Hillbillys  023 571 x—18 15 4

Kenny, Berry (5) and Berry, Johnson (5). Cessford, West (4) and Hall. W — West (1-0). L — Kenny (0-1). LOB — Rangers 9, Hillbillys 5. 2b — Hillbillys: Hall, Leblanc, West. HR — Hillbillys: Hall 3 (3). Sb — Rangers: James, Altmiks. Hillbillys: Cessford 2, Galeazzi, Rushton, Bono, West. CS — Rangers: Berry. Picked off — Hillbillys: Rushton. Sac — Rangers: Connon. Hillbillys: Balcke 2. HBP — By Cessford (Hosken). By Kenny (Rushton). Umpires — Plate: Dumonceaux; Bases: Baker. T — 2:29. A — 24.

 

Just Posted

New look and feel on the horizon for Gate House Theatre in Port McNeill

“We are hoping between now and then to do another fundraising campaign for acoustics”

North Island Bantam Eagles capture Tier Three banner with win over Powell River Kings

The Eagles next game is Jan. 19 against the Juan De Fuca Grizzlies at 4:00 p.m. in Port McNeill.

Mainroad meets with Regional District of Mount Waddington

“It was really nice to have Mainroad there to give a presentation to the RD”

Port Hardy council agrees to list question and answer period on agenda packages

CAO Allison McCarrick confirmed the question and answer period will be listed on the next agenda.

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of B.C. overpass

Dash cam footage shows vehicle speeding across Brunette Avenue overpass in Coquitlam

Second fatal crash occurs in Alberni Valley

Traffic on Highway 4 is being re-routed as investigators are en route

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

VIDEO: Mattress fire at Cowichan Hospital under investigation

The Cowichan District Hospital was locked down on Tuesday afternoon due to… Continue reading

Most Read