The Maple Ridge Jerks exploded for six runs in the sixth inning to bury the Burnaby Bombers 9-0 in Lower Mainland Baseball Association playoff action Sunday.
The Jerks led 3-0 heading into the sixth at Larry Walker Field before erupting with an offensive onslaught against the Bombers, the seventh seeded team heading into the playoffs and who had stunned the South Delta Padres in the playoffs the week before.
Rob Gauthier earned the win, going five strong shutout innings, allowing just two hits and striking out seven. Rookie pitcher Blair Cumming worked three shutout innings, striking out four before handing over the ball to Dicky Kimber, who worked a perfect 9th inning to seal the victory.
“The pitchers really set the tone today for us,” said manager Matt MacLean. “They got us off to a great start and the bats came around and did some damage in the middle innings.”
The win means the Jerks can rest over the long weekend before taking on the Coquitlam Cardinals for the chance to move on to their second LMBA championship game in a row.
MacLean said he was confident said the goal now is to get his team ready for the Cardinals. The two teams played to a tie in the regular season.
“We feel confident and excited about playing the Cards,” noted MacLean. “We tied in regular-season play and we both know the game won’t end in a tie in two weeks. Our pitching has been lights out all year. With our hitting coming around, we seem to be peaking at the right time. Whoever wants it more is going to pick up the win.”
The game time for the semi-final match has yet to be determined.