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SMFL semifinal series tied 2-2

 Aces calm Storm forcing a game five     


   Home runs by Johnson and Lam lead Alvinston over St. Thomas, 5-1,

   tying the best of five South Middlesex Fastball League semifinal


  Tuesday, September 24, 2019


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  • openers (photo / Rob J. Ross)
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By Rob J. Ross 

FINGAL, ON. - Two long time rivals are going the distance.

Bryan Johnson hit two home runs and Taylor DeGraw tossed a complete game four-hitter, as the Alvinston Aces defeated the St. Thomas Storm, 5-1, forcing a fifth game in their South Middlesex Men's Fastball League semifinal.

"The bats came alive and it was nice to play with a lead. We had good at bats. A good team effort," said DeGraw, who struck out six batters and walked three over the seven innings. "I just kept the same game plan, one batter at a time and stayed within myself."

Johnson led off the game with a home run. Mitch Roy replied for the Storm with his own solo effort in the home half of the first inning.

Josh Hamilton led off the fourth inning with a single, stretching it to two, on a head first slide into the base. Rowan Lam then launched one over the fence, for a 3-1 Aces' lead. Johnson returned in the sixth with a two-run bomb, also scoring Aaron Stocking.

"They (Aces) had their tonight. We couldn't comeback and get any runs in this game,' Storm coach Rich Sipel said. "We left bases with guys on in three innings. We need to hit the ball. We didn't make any errors tonight, other than one ball maybe we should have caught."

Defence helped Alvinston out of a few innings, including a double play to end the first. In the fifth, right fielder Mark McNally prevented Josh Teetra from extra bases, with a sliding effort to keep the ball in front of him, before second baseman Joe Triest snagged a hot liner.

Paul Grasby led the Storm with a single and two base on balls, in three plate appearances.

The series winner will face the Appin A's in the final. The A's disposed of the Highgate Rock in their semifinal. St. Thomas and Alvinston have a long history of playoff battles dating back to the days of the St. Thomas and District League.