Highlanders, Hurricanes back in finals rematch

Taylor Ives of the Highlanders leaped to avoid hard charging John Van Putten of the Brewhas. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The Highlanders and Hurricanes swept through their respective semifinal series to set up a rematch of last year’s men’s softball championship.

Monday, at Veteran’s Park, the Brewhas scored eight runs in the top of the third to take an 8-4 lead and things looked good for the veteran crew. But that was the extent of their scoring for the evening while the Highlanders, running the bases like a 4×100 relay team, scored seven in the bottom of the third, seven more in the fourth and three in the fifth. That, plus an airtight D was more than enough: 21-8.

Wednesday, Aug. 17, the teams opened the series with a game that went eight innings before a conclusion was drawn.

The Highlanders, last year’s champions, drew first blood, scoring a run in the second inning, aided and abetted by two Brewhas errors.

Then they scored two runs in the third inning and another in the fourth to go up, 4-0. Meanwhile the Brewhas were unaccustomedly going hitless in the first three innings, limited to an offense consisting of a single and two bases on balls after four.

Both teams scored a run in the fifth making the count 5-1. The Brewhas added two in the sixth and scored the tying runs in the bottom of the seventh, sending the game into overtime.

The Highlanders led off the eighth with three sharp singles in a row which produced a go-ahead run, then turned a neat 6-3 double play to snuff out Brewhas hopes and put an end to the ball game.

Hurricanes blow away Wildcats

In Monday’s nightcap, Hurricane Harry Holmes pitched a shutout while his teammates were scoring in the first, third, fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Final count: ‘Canes 10, ‘Cats 0.

The August 17 opener pitted the league’s top-seeded Hurricanes against the Wildcats, traditionally a team that must be handled with care in the season-ending playoffs.

But it was no contest. The ‘Canes scored three times in the first, five times in the second and six times in the third, meanwhile holding the Cats to a single run and the score stood at 14-1 after three.

Then the ‘Canes simply stopped scoring. They would add only one more run to their total, inviting a Wildcat rally.

The ‘Cats added one run with a double and a triple in the fifth and two more with extra base hits in the seventh. But that was as far as they would go. Final score: ‘Canes 15, Wildcats 4.

The Hurricanes vs. Highlanders went at it Wednesday night in the first game of a two of three series to determine which team wears the crown, a repeat of last year’s championship confrontation won by the Highlanders.