Blue Devils bedevil K-W Cubs in all-Ontario ISC II final

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Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2009, 11:59 pm

By Terry Duckett,

Winning International Softball Congress championships is something that has become a bit of a habit for Canadian pitching ace Scott Smith.

He led the Port Elgin Blue Devils to a 6-0 victory over the Kitchener-Waterloo Cubs in an all-Ontario championship game Saturday evening in the ISCII Tournament of Champions. Smith followed up a three-hit, seven-strikeout gem in the semifinals with a five-hit shutout and nine Ks as the Blue Devils broke open the game in the middle innings at Rock Island’s Alan Campbell Complex.

The victory gives Smith his third such title in the past seven seasons, having won titles in 2003 and ’04 with the Harriston club. After blanking Quebec’s Donnacona Blue Sox 2-0 in Saturday’s semis, he had to fight through some tight spots against K-W, which got runners in scoring position in five of the seven innings but could never break through.

“I just had to bear down. I knew the guys behind me are great defensively,” said a grinning Smith. “I was just going on adrenaline (in the title game), that’s about it. I’ve got a lot of confidence in our guys. This is my third title, and it feels great; I’m getting used to this.”

Port Elgin struck first against K-W hurler Brian Lathrop in the top of the second inning when Brian Maas drew a leadoff walk and scored on Greg Thede’s double. That score stood until the fifth when the Blue Devils broke loose for four runs and knocked Lathrop out of the game — the key blows being RBI singles from Darryl McKinnon and AaronWhitney and Mike Reiley’s two-run single.

McKinnon led Port Elgin with a 3-for-4 outing at the plate, with Matt Turcotte adding two hits, a sum matched by the Cubs’ Brad Thomson.

“Our guys have been doing it all week. It’s been unbelievable,” said Smith, who struck out the side in the last of the fifth after his teammates’ offensive uprising. “That was great. I felt re-energized after that.”

Photo: Gary Krambeck
Kitchener-Waterloo Cubs base runner Brad Thomson slides into second base while taking Port Elgin Blue Devils second baseman Ryan Dudgeon off his feet as he throws to first on a double play in the 4th inning of their championship game.

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