Hyde Creek infielder Tom Cessford tags out Port McNeill baserunner Tyler Berry on an attemped steal of third during the teams' first-round game in the North Vancouver Island Baseball League playoffs July 20.

Hyde Creek infielder Tom Cessford tags out Port McNeill baserunner Tyler Berry on an attemped steal of third during the teams' first-round game in the North Vancouver Island Baseball League playoffs July 20.

Hillbillys shut out Cubs

HYDE CREEK—The Hyde Creek Hillbillys credited an infusion of youth for their run to the finals of the North Vancouver Island Baseball League playoffs.

HYDE CREEK—The Hyde Creek Hillbillys credited an infusion of youth for their run to the finals of the North Vancouver Island Baseball League playoffs.

But it was one of the grizzled vets who led the squad to a 14-0 win over the top-seeded Port Hardy Cubs Sunday in the league championship game at the local ballpark.

Jason West, who sports a salt-and-pepper beard and jokingly refers to himself as “an amateur silverback,” pitched a seven-inning, complete-game shutout and added a two-run home run as the Hillbillys (9-4) claimed their second straight league title.

Hyde Creek coaches were prepared, if necessary, to relieve West in the late stages of the game, but the hurler was at his best at the end, allowing just one baserunner over the final three innings and getting two of his five strikeouts in the bottom of the seventh.

It was the second playoff win for West, who pitched four innings of scoreless relief in the Hillbillys’ 18-8 comeback win over the Port McNeill Rangers in the first round last Wednesday.

“I’m confident in what I do,” said West, who scattered three singles and  allowed only one runner beyond first base after escaping a bases-loaded jam in the first inning Sunday. “I felt good. I just went out and had fun; that was the plan from the get-go.”

West was backed by error-free defense. Up the middle behind him were a trio of youngsters from Woss — rookies Taylor Galeazzi in center field and Curtis Carmen at second base and third-year shortstop Ryan Rushton, who recruited the other two after an extended lobbying effort.

“It took three years to get this guy,” Rushton said, pointing at Galeazzi. “And it took halfway through the season.”

The three paid dividends in the team’s playoff run last week. Carmen threw a complete game in the Hillbillys’ 8-1 semifinal win Saturday over Port Hardy (8-5). Galeazzi hit two home runs and raced to the wall in left-center field to rob the Cubs’ Chris Lamothe of a potential tying grand slam homer with Hyde Creek leading 5-1 in the fifth inning.

Rushton had six infield assists without a bobble in the final. “The key to this season was those extra young guys Ryan recruited,” said coach Bill Cessford. Lamothe, who was presented the league MVP award based on a vote by all players before the playoffs began, started Sunday’s final after catching back-to-back games Saturday.

He ran into immediate trouble, serving up a leadoff walk and an RBI double to Galeazzi. A hit batter and two more walks produced another Hyde Creek run, and Glenn Moore capped the five-run inning with a two-out, two-run single and eventually came around to score on a throwing error.

The Hillbillys added single runs in three innings to push the lead to 8-0, and put the game away with a six-run seventh as Lamothe ran out of gas.

“My arm’s toast,” said Lamothe, who wore an ice pack on his pitching shoulder for the post-game barbecue at the adjacent community hall. He’s played three seasons through a torn rotator cuff in the shoulder but said he plans to finally have surgery on it, “as soon as possible.”

West and Moore each finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs, Ivan Hall scored three runs and Galeazzi and Carmen each had a pair of hits.

Hillbillys 8, Cubs 1

Tom Cessford and Galeazzi led off Saturday’s semfinal with back-to-back home runs, and that would be all the Hillbillys would need to clinch a spot in Sunday’s final. Galeazzi added another homer in the fourth inning and finished with three RBIs and three runs, and Moore plated two runs with a single and also scored a run while drawing three walks.

Cubs 12, Rangers 6

Lamothe snapped a 1-1 tie with a two-run triple in the third inning of Saturday’s elimination game, and the Cubs went on to score 10 runs in the inning. Jason Hodson’s bases-clearing double was the other big blow in the frame, from which the Rangers (2-10) never recovered.

Romas finished 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs and picked up the win on the mound while collecting six strikeouts through six innings of work.

Hillbillys 18, Rangers 8

In Wednesday’s first-round game, Hall homered in his first three trips to the plate, later added a bases-loaded double and finished with 10 RBI as the Hillbillys overcame an early 8-2 deficit. Rushton and Cessford scored four runs each and West was 3-for-3 with an RBI double and two runs.

Tyler Berry reached base four times and scored twice for the Rangers, who scored all of their runs in the first three innings.

 

Just Posted

North Island Gazette
EDITORIAL: What to do about homelessness in Port Hardy

‘people suffering from homelessness deserve to be treated with dignity and compassion’

North Island Eagles logo
North Island Eagles give update on the upcoming 2021-2022 season

The North Island Eagles minor rep hockey teams are getting ready for… Continue reading

Ma Murrays 2021 virtual ceremony screenshot
North Island Gazette wins big at 2021 Ma Murray Newspaper Awards

Zoe Ducklow and Bill McQuarrie both won gold at the online ceremony

Port Hardy council has agreed to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of the discovery of the remains of 215 children being found on the grounds of a former residential school. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Council votes to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of mass grave sites being found

Coun. Treena Smith made the motion for the chamber to not host Canada Day celebrations this year

Port Hardy Fire Rescue responded to an early morning fire around 3:50 a.m. on Sunday, June 13. Two porta-potties were on fire at the Visitor’s Centre on Hastings Street. Anyone with information is asked to contact the RCMP at 250-949-6335. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue photo)
Firefighters respond to early morning fire near visitor centre in Port Hardy

Two porta-potties were on fire at the Visitor’s Centre on Hastings Street

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Two ambulances and a medevac helicopter are on scene at Taylor River Flats rest area on Highway 4 due to a serious motor vehicle incident. (PHOTO COURTESY MAGGIE BROWN)
Highway 4 reopens between Port Alberni and Tofino

Multi-vehicle accident temporarily closed highway in both directions

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Most Read