The 14-U O.E.C. Lightning, one of the several local traveling baseball teams in the area, opened their season Thursday night in Coaticook, QC defeating a very good Coaticook big bill 15-U team 6-5.
Yes, they played a team that is made up of players who are at least a year older, but it did not matter as the Lightning dropped Coaticook’s record from 8-0 to 8-1.
A lot of fresh faces as well returning veterans from last year came together and played a solid game for the Lighting, with timely hitting, good pitching and great defense.
The first two innings were scoreless with Bryce Carter shutting down the Coaticook team.
The top of the third started with Colin Myrick (who would turn out to be the offensive hero of the night) singling up the middle.
After Myrick stole second, Andrew Gonyaw and Bryce Carter walked to load the bases. Myrick was thrown out trying to come home on an over-throw, and Gonyaw and Carter advanced to second and third. Quinn Nelson reached on a fielder’s choice with Gonyaw scoring. Jared Hussey singled in Carter, and at the end of two and half innings it stood 2-0 Lightning.
Colin Myrick relieved Carter in the bottom of the third, and after striking out the first two batters by throwing a lot of gas, the third batter walked.
That brought Martin Landry to the plate who got a hold of one of Colin’s fast balls, sending it into the right field gap to score Joe Raymond from first.
Myrick struck out the next batter ending the third inning with the score 2-1 Lightning.
In the top of the fifth inning Ben Sykes walked and stole second, Seth Prue reached on an error by the shortstop with Sykes going to third.
Phoenix Malanga then doubled to center field scoring both Sykes and Prue. Colin Myrick singled scoring Malanga opening the gap to 5-1 O.E.C. mid-way through the fifth.
In the bottom of the fifth inning lefty Ben Sykes came in to pitch for the Lightning team. After walking the bases loaded. Sykes gave up a single to Raymond which cleared the bases.
The next batter safety squeezed in the next run and all of a sudden a four run lead for the Lightning turned into a 5-5 tie.
Ben settled in nicely after that, striking out the next two batters.
Ben came out the next inning and stuck out the side. Five straight strike outs in all for the youngster, a great way to wrap up his day on the hill.
In the top of the seventh inning with two outs O.E.C. needing a run, Malanga singled, stole second base and scored on Myrick’s two-strike single to right.
Going into the bottom of the seventh inning up 6-5, the Lightning called on Ben Myrick to close things out.
After walking the first batter, Ben got two strikes on Alex Laprise when the Coaticook coach called for a hit and run.
Things did not go quite as planned.
Laprise missed and catcher Jared Hussey threw a perfect bullet to second basemen Andrew Gonyaw who slapped the tag on the sliding runner for the out.
A perfect “strikeum out throwum out.”
With two outs, the next batter hit a little roller up the third base line.
Hussey jumped on the ball, fired a low throw to Nelson at first who scooped it out and the Lightning had their first “W” of the season.
The Lighting finished the day with 11 hits. Colin Myrick led the way with 4.
The pitching combination of Bryce Carter, Colin Myrick, Ben Sykes and Ben Myrick combined for 13 strikeouts.
The Lightning will be playing Coaticook again in the near future and have tournaments coming up in Montreal June-15-17th, Drummondville Q.C. June 24th- 26th, Montreal again ( The Wooden Bat Classic) June-24-July 1st and in Granby Q.C. August 24-26.