Zach Giesbrecht was brilliant on the mound for the Carillon Sultans Wednesday night in Steinbach as the led the Sulans to a riveting 2-1 victory over the St. Boniface Legionaires to force a third and deciding game in their Manitoba Junior Baseball League quarter-final series.
This came just one night after the Legionaires had throttled the Sultans 11-1 in the opening game of the series at St. Boniface where prior to the game Giesbrecht was presented with the MJBL Rookie of the Year and Top Right-hander awards.
A.D. Penner Park in Steinbach has been the home diamond for the Carillon Sultans for the past number of seasons, but this year, because of scheduling problems at the Steinbach field, the Sultans played their home games at Ile des Chenes and Charleswood Park in Winnipeg.
But it was certainly a triumphant homecoming of sorts for the Sultans last night in their first game of the year in Steinbach as Giesbrecht and company stymied the Legionaires.
Both teams scored in the first. As a matter of fact when the Legionaires came up in their first at bat, the first three St. Boniface batters all collected hits off of Giesbrecht as they went on to score the game's first run.
The Sultans tied it in the bottom of the first as lead-off hitter Steph Lagasse singled and went on to score on a Keyan Grimard RBI single.
After that opening inning, Giesbrecht settled in and he became untouchable, getting stronger as the game wore in .
The Sultans scored the winning run in the fourth inning as Burke Heide led off the inning with a walk, advancing to third on a single by Kalen Hildebrand, then scored on an RBI double by Carson Epp.
Giesbrecht went the distance on the mound, holding the Legionaires to a single run on seven hits and he fanned eight along the way.
Carillon finished sixth in the MJBL standings this year with a 9-15 record while the Legionaires were third at 13-11.
The deciding game in the series will be played tonight (Thursday) at 7:00 p.m. at Whittier Park in St. Boniface.