A good crowd was on hand in Fingal on Tuesday night, for game one of the St. Thomas & District Major Fastball League semi-final playoff matchup between the Alvinston Indians and St. Thomas Storm. St. Thomas hosted game one, and games two and three will be in Alvinston, with game four back in Fingal.
The game pitted both teams aces against one another, and it was a great game for the fans, as Dan Beecroft for St. Thomas and Kyle Crawford for Alvinston toed the rubber in this contest.
St. Thomas struck first in the bottom of the first inning, when a Coleman single with two out, translated in a run, when a throw to second to get the runner on a steal went wild, allowing Matt Lynch, who was running for Coleman with two out, to score the game's opening run.
In the top of the third, the Indians finally got going, when Brad Cooper singled to lead things off, and a tough bounce in the outfield allowed Cooper to advance to third base. Then with one out, Andy Triest singled to tie the game at one's. With two out and Triest running for the catcher, he stole second base safely, and then scored on an RBI single up the middle by Ty Sebastian. The Indians finally owned a 2-1 lead in the game. In the fourth inning, Ryan Chapman tripled for the Indians to lead off the inning, and Chapman would eventually score on a 1 out throwing error by St. Thomas, with Cooper up to bat, to score an all-important third run.
Now with a 3-1 lead, and things going well for the Indians, that changed in the bottom of the fourth, when St. Thomas went to work offensively. Coleman walked to lead off the inning for the Storm, and a costly outfield error by Alvinston, put runners on first and second with nobody out. Jeff Ingram then promptly singled to score Coleman, for the get close run. After that, Crawford would go to work for the Indians, and take matters into his own hands, striking out the next three Storm batters, to end the inning, and most importantly end the Storm threat, as they stranded the tying and go ahead run on second and third. Crawford would leave two runners on in each of the fifth and sixth innings as well, as St. Thomas continued to threaten, but weren't able to square matters.
In the bottom of the seventh, Crawford shut the door, securing Alvinston's victory with a hard-fought 3-2 win in game one. Crawford earned the win, fanning 15 Storm batters, and allowing 2 runs, which were both unearned. Crawford had five walks, one hit batsman, and he allowed two hits in the contest. Beecroft threw a very effective and tidy game in a losing effort for St. Thomas, allowing 3 runs, with only one run being earned. He struckout nine Alvinston swingers, and allowed 2 walks and 5 hits, but no hits after the fourth inning.
Final score was Alvinston 3, St. Thomas 2. Game two goes Thursday in Alvinston at 8:00pm. Come on out and enjoy some great playoff fastball!