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BREWERS TOP METS 2-1, HOST ISLANDERS TONIGHT

From Times-Transcript
Ryan Ballak wasn’t about to let a second opportunity pass him and the Hub City Pita Pit Brewers by on Tuesday night.

Ballak singled home the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the Brewers a 2-1 victory over the Moncton Mets in a New Brunswick Senior Baseball League game at Kiwanis Park.

The win snapped a five-game losing streak for Hub City.

Ballak struck out when he came on as a pinch-hitter with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Two innings later, he delivered.

Mets pitcher Luc Vautour struck out Shane Sexton to begin the bottom of the 11th inning, but allowed back-to-back singles by Martin Roussel and Eric Hebert. Ballak then stepped to the plate and hit a single to left field and drove in Roussel with the winning run.

The Brewers improved their sixth-place record to 10-20. The third-place Mets (17-13) have lost four straight games and are a game and a half behind the second-place Chatham Ironmen.

Starters Glenn Marks of Hub City and Ben Sollows of Moncton engaged in a fantastic pitchers’ duel, but both were out of the game before the finish.

Sollows worked 81⁄3 innings and held the Brewers to only one runs and two hits – a first-inning single by Jody Cole and an eighth-inning single by pinch-hitter Mark Deveaux.

Sollows had retired 24 of 29 batters entering the ninth inning. He struck out five batters and walked six, including three in the ninth inning when he got into trouble and gave way to reliever Vautour.

Marks, meanwhile, allowed just one run over eight innings while scattering eight hits.

The Brewers had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the ninth when Sollows walked the bases loaded with one out. Vautour came on in relief and was able to get Pat Godin out in a rundown while straying too far off third base. After Vautour walked Hebert to load the bases again, he struck out Ballak to preserve the tie.

Simon Boucher (4-3) threw three scoreless innings to earn the win for Hub City. Vautour (1-1) was charged with the loss for Moncton.

The Brewers got on the scoreboard first. Sollows retired the first two batters he faced in the first inning before he walked Godin. Cole followed with a single to right field to send Godin to third base, and Godin later scored on a wild pitch.

The Mets threatened in the fourth inning when they loaded the bases with one out after import Matt Verrier, Justin Cormier and Jon Loughery all hit singles. Marks was able to get out the jam by inducing a fielder’s choice from Tyler Walchuck and a flyout by Mario Cormier.

Moncton did manage to tie the game in the seventh inning to send it to extra innings. Mario Cormier reached on an one-out error by Brewers centre-fielder Jolin Benoit and Steve Thorne came up with a single. Cormier scored when Hub City was not able to complete a double play on a ground ball by Andrew Rinzler.

The Brewers host the Charlottetown Islanders on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Kiwanis Park in their final home game of the regular season.