Blaze use long ball to open with pair of victories at nationals

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The Langley Senior Blaze have used the long ball to win their first two games at the Canadian senior men's national baseball championships.

The Blaze hit two home runs in the first game — a 7-3 victory over Ontario on Aug. 21 — and then three more dingers on Aug. 22 in a 10-2 win over Nova Scotia.

The championships are being held in St. John's, Nfld.

Langley is representing B.C. after winning the 2013 provincial title last summer.

In the opening game, a seven-run sixth inning — highlighted by home runs from Bob Wagner and Joe Germaine — helped break open a scoreless tie.

Germaine had a two-run home run, while Wagner hit a solo shot to open the inning and then later drove in a second run with an RBI single.

Scott Tulloch also had a two-run single and Scott Webster had an RBI single.

Ontario did score three times in the bottom half of the sixth inning, but that would be all they could muster.

Shane Kraemer earned the win on the mound, striking out eight over 5.1 innings while give up three runs, two of which were earned.

In the second game, Langley was up 2-0 after one inning when the Blaze hit two home runs in the second inning.

Graig Merritt belted a two-run shot and three batters later, Sean Hotzak deliverd a three-run bomb to make it 7-0.

Bob Foerster's two-run blast made it 9-0 in the third.

Webster and Tulloch had the other RBIs.

Shawn Schaefer threw a complete game six-hitter, striking out five and allowing a pair of earned runs.

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