Hillbillys, Cubs square off on diamond

HYDE CREEK - North Vancouver Island Baseball League nears end of 2011 season

After a final break for the Canada Day long weekend, the North Vancouver Island Baseball League returns to action tonight and begins the final push to its league championship tournament later this month.

The surging Hyde Creek Hillbillys (4-3) will face the league-leading Port Hardy Cubs (4-2) at 6:45 at Hyde Creek Ballpark with a chance to take over first place with a victory.

The two teams will square off again Sunday evening at 6, and the regular season will wrap up next Thursday when Port McNeill (2-5) faces Port Hardy.

The double-elimination playoff tournament will follow a week later.

Prior to the holiday hiatus, the Hillbillys used a seven-run fourth inning to snap a scoreless tie and rolled to a 12-1 win over Port McNeill. It was Hyde Creek’s third straight win after a 1-3 start to the season.

Glenn Moore reached base five times in the win, Ivan Hall went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs, and Ryan Rushton scored three times while collecting two hits and two walks.

The host club also displayed timely defence in holding the Rangers at bay. Port McNeill loaded the bases in each of the last two innings before the Hillbillys ended the threats with double plays both times.