Mohawks go deep to beat Lakers

Pearce McDonald hammered a three-run home run in the second inning.

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The playoffs just started, and the Morden Mohawks are firing on all cylinders.

The Border Baseball League’s top-ranked team jumped out to a commanding 2-0 series lead this weekend, dropping the Killarney Lakers 17-4 and 14-3.

The playoffs didn’t start how the Mohawks would like, however. Killarney started hot, stringing hits to put up four runs in the opening frame.

“They put a lot of balls in play,” said Mohawks pitcher Derek Holenski. “They swing at a lot of first pitches, which isn’t that common in this league.”

Holenski settled in after the first, only allowing two  baserunners in the following innings.

“I changed my approach a little bit,” said Holenski. “I was a little more thorough  as to where I was putting a pitch, instead of just throwing to get it across.”

Holenski credited his defence for keeping the Lakers’ bats at bay.

“We played really good defence, I think we only made one error,” he said. “That’s good baseball.”

Derek Holenski pitched all six innings before the teams agreed to call it a night.

Mohawks coach Brent Laverty was especially pleased with his team’s game-one performance.

“Hitting wise, we were really on today,” said Laverty. “We saw one of their best pitchers in Andrew Lochhead and we were able to hit him.”

The high-powered offence went all regular season without a home run, but that changed in the first inning of the playoffs.

Mike Mutchison blasted a solo shot to get the Mohawks on the board.

“Mike’s been a great hitter for a long time, and we know that when he’s on it makes us that much more dangerous,” said Laverty.

The Mohawks didn’t have many close plays at the plate, but hit the dirt when they had to.

Pearce McDonald, Tanner Bergman, and Manny Lantigua each hammered three-run shots later in the game to put it out of reach.

“When our 2-3-4 hitters are going, we’re hard to beat,” said Laverty.

The Mohawks look to close out the series Tuesday, July 17 in Morden. First pitch is at 7 p.m.