Port McNeill shortstop Ed James dives to tag Hyde Creek baserunner Ryan Rushton after catching a ground ball during Sunday's game at Hyde Creek Ballpark.

Port McNeill shortstop Ed James dives to tag Hyde Creek baserunner Ryan Rushton after catching a ground ball during Sunday's game at Hyde Creek Ballpark.

Hillbillys sweep way to league lead

The Hyde Creek Hillbillys take sole possession of the top spot in the North Vancouver Island Baseball League.

HYDE CREEK—The Hyde Creek Hillbillys took sole possession of the top spot in the North Vancouver Island Baseball League with a pair of impressive wins last weekend.

Jason West threw a complete game and homered as the Hillbillys (4-1) pulled away to an 11-4 win over the Port Hardy Cubs Saturday.

The next afternoon, Tom Cessford threw five shutout innings and Ryan Rushton and Ivan Hall drove in five runs apiece as Hyde Creek pounded the Port McNeill Rangers, 21-2.

 

Hillbillys 11, Cubs 4

West spotted the visiting Cubs a quick 2-0 lead when Port Hardy’s Chris Lamothe followed a one-out walk to Jordan Campbell with a two-run homer in the top of the first inning Saturday. The Hillbillys got the runs back in the bottom half on Rushton’s sacrifice fly and Hall’s RBI single, and the score remained 2-2 until the bottom of the fourth inning.

That’s when Hyde Creek batted around and scored four runs, with Joe Leblanc rapping a two-run single and Rushton adding an RBI single.

Two more runs in the fifth on West’s first homer of the year pushed the lead to 8-2, and three more in the sixth, capped by Hall’s RBI single, made it 11-2.

West, who had cruised since Lamothe’s first-inning tater, did not allow another score until the Cubs touched him for a pair in the seventh. Lamothe led off the inning with a single and eventually came around to score on a ground out. Brayden Demoe walked and scored the final run when Jared Breitkreitz reached on an error.

West improved to 2-0. Rod Romas (0-1) was tagged with the loss for the Cubs (3-2).

 

Hillbillys 21, Rangers 2

Cessford reached base and scored on all five of his plate appearances as Hyde Creek jumped out fast and never looked back.

Cessford’s big day included a pair of RBI doubles, two singles and a walk. On the mound, he struck out only two batters, but scattered four singles and did not issue a walk in his five innings of work.

Hall belted a pair of two-run doubles into the playground in deep centre field and added a sacrifice fly. Rushton finished 3-for-5, capping his five-RBI day with a two-run double in the seventh inning.

The short-handed Rangers were forced to play with two loaner players, including Hillbillys bat boy Clayton Bono. Bono celebrated his 12th birthday by driving in Port McNeill’s first run when he drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the sixth inning, and added a couple of strong throws from his spot in left field. The last one nearly denied Hall his third double of the evening, forcing the Hillbillys standout to shift into high gear to beat the throw and tag attempt by infielder Graham Baker after his leadoff shot in the seventh.

The Rangers (1-5) added a second score in the seventh when Ed James laced an RBI single off reliever Mike Scott.

Earlier, the Rangers loaded the bases with nobody out in the third on consecutive singles by Rustin Brown, Mike Somers and Hugh Connon. But Cessford got a strikeout, a popup back to the mound and a ground out to end the threat.

Richard Balcke went 3-for-5 with a triple, an RBI and three runs scored for the Hillbillys. Nick Webb, a newcomer pressed into action due to the number of missing Port McNeill players, took the loss but threw a complete game and struck out six.

Just Posted

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

North Island MLA Michele Babchuk. Photo contributed
COMMENTARY: MLA Michele Babchuk talks the future of forestry

‘These forests are important to every single one of us, myself included’

Dr. Prean Armogam hands over a cheque for $10,000 to Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society president Rosaline Glynn. The money will be going towards a new roof for the Port Hardy seniors centre. This is the second donation Dr. Armogam has made to the society, giving them $5,000 a little over a year ago. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
Doctor donates $10k to Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society for new roof

This was the second donation Armogam has given to the society

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

CVSAR search the Puntledge River following a report of an abandoned kayak. Photo, CVSAR Facebook page
Comox Valley Search and Rescue spends four hours searching for no one

Overturned kayak a reminder for public to contact officials if they have to abandon a watercraft

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products and 47% of mascaras contained high levels of fluorine

Most Read