PHOENIX Charlestown have claimed top spot in the Newcastle Major League with an emphatic 12-2 win over Toronto on Sunday.
The 10-run defeat at Waterboard Oval was the Tigers’ first loss for the season and extended Phoenix’s unbeaten streak to four.
Phoenix shot out of the blocks to lead 2-1 after one inning before consolidating their advantage in the back end of the game, adding eight runs from the fifth to the seventh
Catcher Rixon Wingrove put an exclamation point on the result, smashing a two-run home run in the top of the ninth.
It was his fourth hit for the afternoon and the third and fourth runs he had driven in.
Only two Toronto players – Todd Bowden and Dylan Smider - managed more than one hit as the team totaled nine.
Toronto’s quiet afternoon of the plate can in part be attributed to Phoenix hurler Brendan Lower. For a second game the Illawarra native threw a complete game, striking out nine while allowing just one walk in 123 pitches.
Toronto will need to regain their best form quickly as they prepare for Sunday’s showdown with champions Belmont at Miller Field.
It will be the first meeting between the two rivals since last year’s decider after their opening round clash was washed out.
The Seagulls warmed up for the grudge match with a 4-1 win over White Sox at Miller Field. Belmont led 4-0 after two digs but failed to add another run.
Sox were playing for the Lennox-Robson Shield for the first time since the passing of club life member and long-time scorer Barbara Robson last year.
Margaret Lennox, her counterpart from Belmont, was on hand to present the trophy to the club she is a life member of.
Boomerangs had the bye on the weekend and will return to the diamond against Phoenix at Stevenson Park on Sunday.