And in the end, the Hawks found the right hit at the right time to take a 4-3 victory in the third and deciding game of the series Tuesday night at Lyle Helland Ball Diamond.
It was the second straight one-run victory for the Golden Hawks after they had taken a 4-3 victory one night earlier to force the deciding game.
Hawks 4, Canadians 3 (Game 3)
Les George hit a solo home run with two out in the top of the seventh and then shut the Canadians down in their half of the inning, recording his ninth an 10th strikeouts of the game to secure the victory.
All but one of the game’s runs came courtesy of the long ball.
Dustin Theil got things started early, blasting a two-run shot over the left field fence after Brad Reaney had reached on an error to give the Canadians a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Dane Roy then led off the second with a single and came around to score on a Brett Friesen sacrifice fly and give the Canadians a three-run edge.
It didn’t last long.
Jayden Isaac hit a two-run shot of his own in the top of the third and one inning later Josh Montana led off with a solo home run to tie the game.
The Canadians did have opportunities to extend their lead – Kent Barber was stranded a third in the third inning and Joel Jordison at second in the fourth – but would go down in order the final three frames.
George surrendered only four hits to go along with his 10 strikeouts, Xavier Tremblay scattered seven hits in taking the loss.
Hawks 4, Canadians 3 (Game 2)
Game 2 of the series also saw the Canadians take an early lead – this time with Riley Almasi hitting a one-out triple and coming around to score when Theil reached on an error.
Ron Cote and Isaac would come around to score in the third inning to take a 2-1 lead, before Cal McNab extended the edge to 4-1 with a two-run single that again brought the duo home.
The Canadians wouldn’t go quietly, though, as Reaney laced a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth followed by Brad Deconinck walking and scoring on a Friesen sacrifice fly.
They’d get no closer, though, as George was once again up to the task in the final frame, striking out the side to finish the contest with 13 Ks while giving up five hits in the process.
Blake Dixon pitched five innings for the Canadians, giving up the four runs on five hits and an error. Tremblay pitched the final two innings, striking out four.