© Geraldine Brophy
Veitch Ultramar Hawks Mike Brake makes contact with a pitch thrown by Junior Barons pitcher Ryan Harnett in baseball play at Jubilee Field Thursday.
By Adam Harnum
Star Staff Writer
CORNER BROOK It was a strong night on the mound for Veitch’s Ultramar Hawks’ Colin Wood — who threw some heat to his opposing Junior Barons players — which made it difficult for them to produce much offence, as the Hawks won the game 8-3 during Thursday night of Corner Brook Molson Senior League action.
The juniors pitcher Ryan Harnett recognized what he was up against when facing the league veteran.
“They had Woody throwing and he is one of the best pitchers in the league, so he is always tough to beat,” Harnett said — following a pitching performance which saw the Hawks light him up for all eight runs on 11 hits and three walks over three innings, before being replaced by Homer Farrell.
In his replacement, Farrell threw four strong innings without surrendering a run on just two hits, while striking out two.
The Barons got off to a strong start posting a three-run lead after the first inning, but could not hold off the offence of the league’s top team nor solve the pitching of Wood.
“We could have hit better and Woody got into a groove and we couldn’t get him out of it,” said Harnett, who was his team’s top hitter going 2-for-3.
Wood threw a complete seven innings giving up three runs off six hits and walking one batter.
Harnett understands there is no room for error when facing the Hawks.
“We weren’t as good as we could be in the field,” he said of a factor contributing to the Hawks eight runs scored over the second and third innings.
Chris Goudon of the Hawks had the best showing at the plate for his team, as he went 3-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored.
Following the game, Gaudon said his team played well and he was just happy to be back playing ball.
“It was nice to get back on the field,” said Gaudon, as his team was able to pick up where it left off prior to a league pause — which left many players, who were not members of the 2013 Provincial Senior A Corner Brook Barons champion team, without playing action.
Gaudon said the junior team is always a tough opponent and with some key offensive players missing from the lineup — who were away for junior and midget championships — made it much more difficult on the remaining players.
“You put a couple of their top hitters into the lineup and the game could have went the other way,” he said.
The Hawks (12-5) were able to build more cushion on their comfortable lead over a lurking Veitch Physiotherapy Aces (8-9) — who were able to get a win against the West Side Monarchs in their return Monday evening — with the playoffs around the corner.
“We have to keep hitting the balls, keep making the plays and not slack off,” Gaudon said of what his team has to do to continue its winning ways in the playoffs.
The Junior Barons (5-10) have their sights set on one goal before the playoffs, which Harnett said is to “get into third place and not have to play the Hawks in the first round.”