Petawawa ties baseball playoff with Pembroke behind Nathan Clouthier shutout

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In Game 1 of Ottawa Valley Baseball’s playoffs, Josh Brazeau ended the opposition as the Pembroke Athletics drew first blood in their semifinal series with Petawawa. In Game 2, Nathan Clouthier returned the favor and now Petawawa and the Pembroke Athletics will play a deciding Game 3 with a trip to the League Championship Series on the line.

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Clouthier was outstanding, pitching a full game, allowing just six hits and striking out nine batters as he shut out the A’s in a 3-0 win at Petawawa. Clouthier walked no one and hit a batter, using a good pitch mix to do what Brazeau had done to his teammates a game earlier, keeping them off balance.

“I was able to hit my runs and the guys made big plays on defense. I was trying to let them hit the ball and keep the ball in play,” Clouthier said after the game.

The turning point of the game came early. Late in the first inning, the A’s thought they had scored the first run of the game, but Josh Coleman was brought down to the plate on a solid pitch from right fielder Riley Poirier as Coleman tried to score on a single. Coleman claimed he slipped around the tag of Petawawa receiver Connor Godin, but the referee pulled it off, keeping the game scoreless.

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Coleman had started the inning with a third double and rounded on a Kurtis Godin single. The ball reached home plate, but was slightly on the line. Coleman slid headfirst as Connor Godin rushed to make the tag.

“It was a massive game. It gave us some momentum for the rest of the game,” Clouthier said.

For three innings, Pembroke starter Kyle Wagner tied Clouthier in mowing down the Petawawa batters. Despite some savagery, he hit four batters in the game, Wagner was effective, pitching six and two third innings, allowing just five hits and striking out nine batters. Tommy Serran caught Wagner, but by the time of the seventh inning, Petawawa had the game in hand.

The first run of the game came in the fourth inning when Brandon Firlotte drilled a Wagner pitch over the head of A center fielder Andrew Dawe for a triple. The ball carried over 300 feet into the deepest part of Riverside Park, setting up Adam Driscoll to wrap a single into right field, giving Petawawa a 1-0 lead.

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In the fifth inning, Petawawa added another run when Stevie Gilchrist hit an infield single, moved to second base on a wild pitch, moved to third base on a ground ball and then scored on another wild pitch. by Wagner.

An unearned run in the sixth inning gave Petawawa more wiggle room. Firlotte hit but reached first base on a passed ball. When catcher Jimmy McMillan attempted to throw first for the out, the ball sailed into right field, allowing Firlotte to trotted to second base. He then scored on Driscoll’s second RBI single of the game.

Both teams entered their playoff series with identical records, both finishing the regular season at 8 and 4, behind the top-placed Bamford Braves. They will meet in the deciding game of their series on Monday at 7 p.m., with the winner advancing to face the Braves for the league championship. Bamford finished the Expos Hat by sweeping their best of three semifinals.

The Championship Series will also be a best-of-three and kicks off on Friday, September 16 at Riverside Park.

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