OTTAWA – A trio of road victories have moved the Winchester Heat back to the 500 mark and, at least temporarily, into a berth in the playoffs.

Recently, Winchester outscored the Fighting Irish 8-6 (Mon., July 31) before driving a stake through the heart of Los Vampiros (7-8-1) by way of a 13-4 decision on Tues., Aug. 1. Both games were played Southgate Park.

The Heat finished their week taming the Orleans Lynx (8-8-1) 11-7 at the Sportsplex on Fri., Aug. 4.

Winchester (8-8-0) has moved into a tie for the eighth and final playoff spot with the Coyotes (7-7-2) at 16 points, one back of both the Lynx and Los Vampiros.

Last night (Tues., Aug. 8) the Heat hosted the Naturals (2-15-1) and next Monday (Aug. 14) they will tangle with the Coyotes at Frank Morgan Field.

Stubbing stars

The Heat’s catcher, Josh Stubbings earned East-Ont Land Improvement Ltd.’s Player-Of-The-Game honours for driving in four runs on a two RBI triple, and RBI double and an RBI single in his team’s 13-4 slaying of the Vampires.

Winchester led 5-1 after an inning and 7-3 after three. The Vampires managed just one more run in the fifth inning and were trailing 10-4 at the time.

The Heat’s offence was generated by Chris Embury (2 runs, 2-1B), Stubbing (2 runs, 1B, 2B, 3B), Jake Byers (2 runs, 2-1B, 1 2B, HBP – 1 RBI), Ryan Romans (2 runs, 1B, HBP), Eric Heldens (2 runs, 2B, 1B – RBI), Kyle Beehler (1 run, 2-1B – RBI), Ryan Thompson (1 run, 1B) and Colton Robinson (1 run, 2-2B – 2 RBI).

Eric Heldens pitched the complete-game, seven-inning win allowing four runs on five hits and six walks.

No luck for Irish

Josh Kirkby worked the first four frames for the Heat, who followed up with Justin McMahon who pitched to four batters in the fifth and sixth before closing out with Eric Heldens who retired the final three Irish hitters in the bottom of the seventh.

Chris Embury was named the J.A.T. Maintenance & Snow Plowing Inc Player of the game. He scored a run, walked and stroked an RBI single.

Second-inning runs by Romans (2B), Beehler (1B), Robinson (HBP), Thompson (1B – RBI), Embury (1B) and Adam Konink (E-6 – RBI) created a 6-0 led for Winchester.

Beehler (1B) scored on Embury’s RB1 single in the sixth. Byers then plated run number eight drawing a walk and stealing a pair of bases in the seventh.

Rally time

Trailing 6-5 going into the top of the seventh Winchester rallied and defeated the Lynx 11-7.

Stubbings (2B), Spencer Heldens (BB), Romans (1B, 1 RBI), Beehler (2B, 2RBI), Kirkby (1B) and Robinson (BB) touched home in the final frame locking up win number eight.

Embury (2B), Romans (HBP), Stubbings (1B), Byers (HBP) and Ryan “Arnie” Thompson (E2) plated the Heat’s first five runs

The McIntosh Inn Players of the Game were pitchers Spencer Heldens who work the first five innings and reliever Eric Heldens who pitched the final two frames allowing one run on two hits and a walk.