Hyde Creek third baseman Jason West juggles the ball during Sunday's NVIBL game against Port McNeill in Hyde Creek.

Hyde Creek third baseman Jason West juggles the ball during Sunday's NVIBL game against Port McNeill in Hyde Creek.

Rangers rally past Hillbillies, 4-3

HYDE CREEK - Harper's hit in fifth inning leaves Hyde Creek club in search of first win

HYDE CREEK — The satellite dish and television were back at Hyde Creek Ballpark Sunday.

So was Arron Harper’s timely bat.

Harper laced an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning to snap a tie and lift the Port McNeill Rangers to a 4-3 win over the Hyde Creek Hillbillies in North Vancouver Island Baseball League play.

The hit came one week after Harper drilled a two-out, two-run double in an extra-inning victory over the Hillbillies.

It also came one week after the Hillbillies’ Keith Balcke installed a satellite dish and high-definition TV in his team’s third-base dugout for the Vancouver Canucks’ NHL playoff game against Nashville.

On Sunday, the satellite rig was back in place for the Canucks’ Western Conference Finals opener against San Jose. Henrik Sedin’s game-winning goal came moments after the teams shook hands at the end of the baseball game and resulted in a whoop from the Hillbillies’ dugout.

Moments later, Rangers players crowded in, the the teams watched the final, tense minutes of the hockey game in postgame camaraderie.

The Rangers (2-1) trailed 3-2 entering the fifth inning, but Ed James evened the score by driving in a run while reaching on an error, and Harper followed with his game-winner off Hillbillies reliever Ryan Rushton.

Nick Russell threw three innings of one-hit ball to pick up the win in relief for the Rangers.

The Hillbillies (0-3) scored all three of their runs in the top of the first inning. Curtis Carmen hit a leadoff double, Ivan Hall walked, and both runners came around to score on a hit by Balcke, who finished 2-for-4. Balcke later scored on Adam Dmetrichuk’s ground ball.

The Rangers got single runs back in the first and second innings, with Jordan Altmiks driving an RBI double and Dustin Carmen adding a sacrifice fly.

 

Cubs 6, Hillbillies 2

On Saturday in Hyde Creek, a single swing by Brayden Demoe provided the difference as the Port Hardy Cubs (2-0) downed the Hillbillies.

Demoe’s wood-bat, grand slam homer in the fifth inning plated Lukas Jones, Chris Ranger and Brian Texmo, who reached base in front of him in a game that otherwise played as a pitcher’s duel.

Dmetrichuk added an RBI single, and Hall and Glenn Moore scored for Hyde Creek.

The league will take a break for the upcoming long weekend for the annual Sointula Baseball Tournament, scheduled for Saturday through Monday.