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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

July 23, 2014, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Mavericks Senior Men’s Baseball League began their 93rd annual R.P. Rithet Cup Finals on Wednesday evening and it was the Boston Pizza Blue Jays who drew first blood with a 6-0 victory over the Maude Hunter’s Athletics in the first game of the best of three series played at Lambrick Park in Victoria.

The Blue Jays Sean Murphy had the hot bat Wednesday with two doubles and three RBIs to lead the Jays to their 6-0 win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Blue Jays received a stellar pitching performance from Luke Lampard who went wire-to-wire, allowing just five Athletic hits, while walking only two and striking out seven. The right-handed pitcher’s only real difficulty came in the bottom of the fourth when the A’s left runners on first and third, and again in the bottom of the sixth, when Lampard got out of a bases loaded jam to end the inning.

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The Blue Jays Luke Lampard pitched a complete game 5-hitter, striking out seven and walking just two to get the 6-0 win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Lampard was aided offensively by pairs of Blue Jay runs in each of the second, third and fifth innings, all coming off A’s starter Adam Cessford, the League’s ERA leader at the end of the regular season. Cessford was relieved after five complete innings by Brandon Bates who threw a pair of scoreless innings to keep the Jays off the board the rest of the way.

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The Jays second baseman Lanny Burrows attempts to turn a double play while A’s baserunner Tony Dill does his best to break things up (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Doing most of the damage for the Jays offensively was designated hitter Sean Murphy who had an RBI double in the third inning and a 2-RBI double in the fifth. Sean Coulliard and Barry Talbot also had RBI singles in the second and third innings respectively. Six different Jays scored runs in the game including Jerry Kedoski who scored the Jays second run of the game on a double steal with runners on first and third.

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Athletic’s second baseman Jeremy Campbell puts the tag on a sliding Matt Bryan of the Jays during this steal attempt late in the game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Jays will now have the opportunity to clinch the championship on Thursday evening and to do so in the unique environment of Sports Traders Diamond at Royal Athletic Park, as the Mavericks and the Victoria HarbourCats have arranged for Game 2 of the series to be played there.

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The Jays Jerry Kodoski (left) and Lanny Burrows (right) were two of six different Jays to cross the plate Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

There is no admission for the game and gates will open at 5:00 PM for fan. Both teams will be able to take batting practice prior to the game and will enjoy many of the same game night amenities that the HarbourCats do when they play there. Concessions will not be open however.

“We were pleased to put this idea to Mavericks league president Lanny Burrows, and the players are excited to get to play on the same great field the HarbourCats call home,” said HarbourCats General Manager Jim Swanson in a statement earlier this week. “The City of Victoria does a great job of having our field in premium condition, and we know the Jays and A’s will enjoy being in the venue for one game. They normally play at the great Lambrick fields, but this will be fun for everyone. Our schedule allowed this opportunity, and the HarbourCats are happy to make this possible.”

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Luke Lampard (left) gets set to high five catcher Barry Talbot (right) after the complete game 6-0 win over the A’s (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The first pitch of Game 2 is scheduled for 6:30pm on Thursday at RAP, with Game 3, if needed, to be played on Friday, back at Lambrick Park at 6:00 PM.