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RiverCats' games mercifully end early
Mercy, mercy, mercy, mercy.
There was never any doubt about the Duncan RiverCats Peewee AA baseball team winning the zone playoffs at Duncan's Evans Park. Tournament play Friday through Sunday bore that out, with the RiverCats taking all four games the quick way via the mercy rule.
Outstanding pitching, solid defence and productive hitting was just too much for opponents to match, as Duncan swamped Nanaimo 19-0, Campbell River 12-2, Oceanside 26-6 and Victoria 14-0.
The numbers add up to 71 runs scored and just eight against.
"You guys really hit the ball well this weekend,'' head coach Ken Ramwell told the players in the final post-game huddle after shutting out Victoria.
Top to bottom, it was hard to match Duncan for consistency in the batting lineup.
"One through 12, there is no top of the order for us,'' said Ramwell. "Our 12th batter hit two triples (Saturday).
"The only downfall with the mercy is we don't get to pitch everybody we want to.''
Everybody played and moved around to various positions around the field, just the way Ramwell and the coaching staff of Western Higbie, Gobind Sall and Steve Bossons like it.
"That's our philosophy is to develop the whole team,'' said Ramwell. "We've got the depth.''
It would have been easy for the players to lose focus with so many commanding leads, but they didn't.
"They're pretty grounded and we've rarely had to talk to them about confidence,'' said Ramwell. "They're confident, not cocky, and they all get along. They're a great group of kids. There's no ego.''
"They all have each other's backs,'' added Higbie. "The temperament on this team is good — never too high, never too low.''
The RiverCats ran roughshod over Nanaimo in 4 1/2 innings, with 15 strikeouts thrown between Luc Wilson and Matteo Iorio.
Billy Ramwell had three singles and scored three runs; Brody Deverill added a triple, single and two runs; Josh Hill three singles and two runs; Morley Scott a single, double and two runs; Connor Caskenette a single, double and one run; Hayden Plester one run, a double and a single; and Jackson Stephen two runs and two singles.
The second game against Campbell River was expected to be tight, but Duncan also finished that one in five innings.
Starting pitcher Ramwell finished with seven strikeouts and closer Gavin Pringle added two in the last inning.
Mike Arscott managed a double, two singles and two runs; Pringle collected a double, one triple and two runs; Caskenette contributed a run and two singles; and Scott chipped in a triple and scored a run.
Against Oceanside, it was 20-0 at one time before the RiverCats had their one tough inning of the tournament and surrendered five runs.
Offensive totals included: Arscott, with a single, double and two runs; Stephen, two singles and two runs; Iorio, two triples and three runs; Evan Pywell, a single, double and two runs; Deverill, two triples and three runs; Hill, three singles and two runs; Wilson, a triple, single and one run; Scott, three singles and one run; Caskenette, two singles and one run; Plester, two singles, a double and one run; and Pringle, a single, triple and a run.
Stephen gave up only two hits during his three-inning pitching stint.
The RiverCats scored eight times in the first inning against Victoria and coasted from there to the five-inning mercy.
Batting highlights were: Arscott, a single and two runs; Stephen, two singles and a run; Iorio, a triple and two runs; Ramwell, a double, single and one run; Deverill, two runs and a single; Wilson, two runs and two singles; and Scott, two singles and a run.
The RiverCats head straight to Port Coquitlam for the provincial championships, starting Thursday. Duncan has already beaten some of the other main contenders in the draw, including North Delta, Richmond and Port Coquitlam.