Canadians win Game 1 of Rambler Park semifinal

Canadians outfielder Dane Roy makes contact with a pitch during action from Thursday’s Rambler Park fastball league semifnal.

The Moose Jaw Canadians have shown time and again over the years that if they have their full line-up and they’re on their game, they can put up a ton of runs in hurry.

The Bulyea Rustlers were the latest to find that out first hand on Thursday at Memorial Field, as the Canadians belted four home runs on their way to an 11-4 win in Game 1 of their best-of-three Rambler Park Fastball League semifinal.

Designated player Dean Holoien had two of the round trippers and knocked in four runs, while outfielder Dane Roy had a two-run home run in the Canadians’ four-run second inning and third baseman Derek Owens added a solo shot to lead off the third.

“I think it’s nice hitting in a line-up like this because it’s tough on the pitchers, you’re gong to get pitches to hit unlike where if we had one good hitter,” Roy said. “We’re nine guys deep.”

Roy finished the game 2-for-3 with three runs batted in and almost had a second home run in the fourth.

“It was nice to get a good pitch and hit it and not miss,” Roy said with a laugh. “You know you’re not going to get many good pitches to hit, so when you get them you gotta put it in play. The whole team was crushing it tonight.”

The Canadians took a 2-l lead and left the bases loaded in the first inning. They were far more efficient in the second, as Holoien and Roy’s slams keyed a four-run frame and put them ahead 6-2.

That was more than enough for Canadians pitcher Xavier Tremblay, who went the distance while scattering seven hits. Considering Bulyea came into the contest having scored 150 runs in 18 regular season games while putting together a 14-2-2 record, that that kind of a showing was especially impressive.

“It’s always a boat race with those guys, you know you have to outscore them because you know they’re going to score a ton of runs,” Roy said. “But X pitched really well and that put us in a good spot.”

It was business as usual for Tremblay, who has had a solid season since rejoining the Canadians after farm commitments limited his playing time early.

“It was going good, it felt really good,” Tremblay said. “I was catching corners, not throwing anything down the middle. You just have to get strikes on the outside and really concentrate on hitting your spots.”

Having his teammates put up 11 runs certainly helped.

“They’re a really good hitting team and we knew that coming in, we just have to get more than they do,” Tremblay said. “We were hitting pretty well too, they’re getting the clutch hits and it’s nice. This is the time of year you hope to be hitting the ball.”

The series now reverts to Rambler Park for Game 2 on Tuesday and Game 3 on Thursday. Even outside of the cozy confines of Memorial Field, the Canadians are a confident bunch.

“It’ll be a little bit different,” Roy said. “It’s always nice to play at home and we always seem to play better at home, but it’ll be the same approach and hopefully the same result.”