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Creeks feel they’re heating up in time for elimination tourney

Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal

GUELPH – The Guelph Silvercreeks feel they have things headed in the right direction after they scored an 11-1 victory over the Dundas Chiefs Wednesday night in a Central Ontario junior baseball league game at Hastings Stadium that was shortened by the league’s mercy rule.

“We’ve actually been starting to hit in the last week or so,” Creeks’ coach Fred Loder said. “I was a little bit worried about that at the beginning of the season. We had a slow start, but the bats have been on fire the last few games.”

The Creeks scored six runs in the fourth inning on their way to the victory after they scored a single run in the first inning and two in the third. Dundas scored its run in the top of the fourth.

The hosts brought the early end to the game with single runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Any game in the league is halted after the fifth inning when the leading team’s lead is 10 runs or more.

The win leaves the locals in fourth in the 10-team league at 7-8. However, they’ve played more games than any other team in the league.

Mississauga North One Panthers lead at 13-0 while the Burlington Bulls are second at 8-2 and Halton Hills Eagles are third at 8-6. Dundas is eighth at 3-6.

The win was Guelph’s fifth in seven games and followed a 17-15 loss to the Brampton Royals at Brampton Monday night. The Creeks were short-staffed for that game as they had a total of 10 players.

The Creeks are getting ready for the 23-team Ontario Baseball Association junior elimination tournament that is to be held in Oshawa Aug. 4 to 7. The Creeks are to play Brampton in the first round.

Five COBA teams are entered in the tournament as Burlington and Hamilton Cardinals are also to meet in the first round while Mississauga North is to play the Ajax Spartans.

“Our bats have really been struggling, but in the past week it’s been a drastic turnaround,” Loder said.

In their three league games in July, the Creeks outscored their opponents 35-20 and they reached the semifinals of the Brampton tournament.

Wednesday, the Creeks had 15 hits in Wednesday’s game as each player in their lineup had at least one hit. Scott Seifried smacked an inside-the-park homer to right field and also hit a single while Jordon Inkol hit a triple and two singles. Trystan Dennie had a double and a single and Nic Lannutti hit two singles. Lucas Smit connected for a double while Darren Dwyer, Noah MacKillop and Graham Wilmot each hit a single.

Jayce MacKenzie picked up the win as he pitched the entire game. He yielded six hits (two doubles and four singles), walked two and struck out five.

Dundas committed three errors and the Creeks committed two.

“We’ve had good pitching and we’re starting to keep the errors to a minimum,” Loder said. “The bats have been good and we’re starting to play like I was hoping we would from the start.”

Wednesday’s game was the first of five consecutive home games for the Creeks who are 2-4 in league play at Hastings Stadium. They’re to play Mississauga North Two (0-8) Friday, Milton Mets (3-8) Sunday, Mississauga North One July 18 and Hamilton July 25.