It was a chilly one at the Quyon ball park last night, but a large crowd - probably the biggest of the summer - filled the bleachers to watch the hometown Flyers take on the Stittsville 56'ers in Game #4 of their best-of-5 semifinal in the Greater Ottawa Fastball League.
With their playoff lives on the line, the Flyers needed a big win to push the series to the 5th and final game. It became clear early on that they weren't about to get blown out the way they did the night before in Stittsville. They were tight defensively, and on several occasions, Quyon's Drew Hathway pitched them out of a jam, and looked quite impressive on the mound for the Flyers.
Unfortunately, they weren't able to get much going offensively. Inning after inning, they were leaving runners stranded on the bags, unable to get that big hit to bring some runs in. When a 56'er solo homerun put the enemy ahead 1-0 mid-game, I was concerned that the local boys wouldn't be able to put together enough offensive power to get it back.
There was no need to worry. In the bottom half of the same inning, Quyon shortstop Matt Greer hit one long to draw them even with Stittsville, giving the Flyers fans reason to believe.
Of course, I managed to miss one of the "highlights" of the game when I decided to take a run to the little girls' room in the middle of an inning. I was just emerging from the washroom when I heard a big cheer go up in the stands. Upon returning to my seat, I learned I had missed my very own baby bro throwing a guy out at home.
It was pure excitement up in the bleachers. Tensions were high and the cheering was loud. Never once did we give up, or believe that it couldn't be done. After 7 innings, and still tied 1-1, the game went into extra innings, and then we were all on the edge of our seats, particularly with a runner placed on second to start each inning.
It was in the 10th inning that the 56'ers scored another run, forcing Quyon to answer back in the bottom of the inning ...or else. By this point, it was getting awfully cold up in the stands - I know my teeth were chattering, although I'm not sure it was entirely just the frigid night air. Could've been nerves!!
It all came down to the bottom of the 10th. At last, Quyon was able to break through with some hits and a few wild pitches that hit players, getting men on base, and scoring one to tie the game. When Steve McCord came up to bat with two out, he was able to connect bat to ball and finish the game, bringing in the winning run to the roar of the cold but rowdy crowd!!
Game #5 will be played in Stittsville next week, date and time yet to be determined. And I apologize for my rather vague reporting on the game - for some reason, when it came to sorting out details, I got a little muddled and started mixing up what happened in what inning - I'll blame it on the freezing cold I sat through to watch the game. Guess next time I'll have to bring a pad & pen to take notes, like a real reporter!
For a full and accurate re-cap (likely to be updated later today), check out: http://fitzroyfastball.blogspot.com/
GO FLYERS GO!!