Matt Gunning and Pearce McDonald both went 2-for-5 with one run scored and a pair of RBIs as the Brandon Cloverleafs opened their best-of-five Manitoba Senior Baseball League semifinal with a 7-2 win over the Neepawa Farmers on Friday night.
Kevin McNeill was 3-for-5 and scored twice for Brandon at Andrews Field, while Justin Funk, Zach Steckler and Matt Mutcheson also came around to score.
Zach Mayo held the Farmers to one run on three hits in 6 2/3 innings to pick up the win for the Cloverleafs. Mutcheson closed out the game and gave up two hits.
Josh Loewen surrendered six runs and 11 hits in 6 1/3 innings to take the loss for Neepawa, which hosts Game 2 on Sunday at 6 p.m.
Kevin Levandosky had a pair of hits and drove in a run for the Farmers, while Torey Scott scored a run and drove in another. Rob Wilson scored the Farmers’ other run.
Meanwhile, in Reston, the Rockets trailed 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth with runners at the corners and one out, but the next two batters struck out as they fell to the Brandon Marlins. Paul Thompson took over on the mound for the final two outs of the game to record the save and secure the Marlins’ 2-0 lead in their best-of-five semifinal.
Sam McNeice went 8 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on eight hits to pick up for the win for the Marlins, while Dustin Asham tripled, scored a run and drove in another.
Thompson also picked up an RBI for the Marlins, who will try to close out the series at Andrews Field on Sunday at 7 p.m.
Zane Sawyer lasted seven innings, giving up all three runs, to take the loss for the Rockets, while Rory Tycoles had an RBI.
» Brandon Sun