Three insurance runs driven home by Reeve Houle and starting pitcher Jacob Ford in the bottom of the sixth inning paved the way for the Northwestern Huskies to a 7-3 win over Clinton that was much closer than the score indicated. The win came on the first day of Fall baseball in Huron Perth Athletic Association history, as the sport had traditionally been played in the Spring. WOSSAA and OFSAA baseball will still be completed in May and June, but the HPAA representative will be determined in October.
Ford threw five innings of one-hit baseball, striking out seven hitters along the way, before turning the ball over to Jordan Tessmer and Riley Deline to close out the victory.
Runs for Northwestern were difficult over hard-throwing Jordan Pepper, who gave up just three hits over his four-inning outing. Hunter James led off the bottom of the first with a single to left field, and proceeded to steal both second and third base, and trotted home when the Clinton catcher made an errant throw to third base.
In the fourth, with the score knotted at one, Zach Olinski led off with a bullet to right field, but was forced out on Tessmer’s hard grounder to third. Sam Cawker, who joined Olinski as the only players with two hits in the game, drew a base on balls moving Olinski to second. Trey Uniac followed with a deep double to right centre, scoring Olinski with what turned out to be the game’s winning run.
In the fifth, with Ford on the move from first base, James doubled to the right field gap to make the score 3-1, and Olinski followed with a run-scoring double to the same place.
Cawker led off the bottom of the sixth with an opposite field line drive, stole both second and third base, and scored when Uniac, Brayden McCann and Houle drew walks. Ford then singled to bring home the Huskie’s sixth and seventh runs.
Northwestern’s next action comes next Wednesday, September 23, when they take on St. Marys’ DCVI at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame at 10:00am.