West Side Monarchs’ Greg Sharpe, right, turns back to first base after a pick-off attempt was thrown to Hawks’ Scott Mosher. — Star photo by Geraldine Brophy
By Adam Harnum
Star Staff Writer
CORNER BROOK It was one of those games where an error proved costly for the West Side Monarchs against the top-seeded Veitch’s Ultramar Hawks during Corner Brook Molson Senior Baseball League action Thursday evening as they lost 3-2.
Darren Colbourne and Mike Brake of the Hawks were able to score off an error by the Monarchs centre fielder Rob Park in the bottom of the fourth — which were the two tying runs to cross the plate to knot the game 2-2.
The game was slow to start as clean defence on the field from both teams combined with solid pitching made for a close contest, but it was Jeff Gilliam of the Monarchs — going 2-for-3 on the night with a double, single, an RBI and run scored — who was able to get his team on the board first in the top of the fourth.
Gilliam doubled to knock in Rob Park and then later scored on an error by the Hawks shortstop Fred Prosper to give his team an early 2-0 lead.
However, the Hawks used a two-run bottom of the inning and another in the fifth to take a 3-2 lead and it was Colin Wood who did his work on the mound down the stretch to close out the game.
“I had good control on my fastball and my curveballs were really breaking well and it kept them off-pace,” Wood said after the win.
Wood went seven strong giving up two runs on five hits, one walk and eight strikeouts, while Mark Armstrong did all in his power to keep his team afloat in the game as he threw six innings surrendering three runs off seven hits, one walk, while sitting down one.
The Hawks faithful veteran Frank Humber did the damage for his team going 1-for-2 — while reaching second off an error in the fourth — which resulted in two runners to cross the plate for his team.
It was Darren Colbourne who added the third and deciding run in the fifth when he grounded out to score Fred Prosper and take a 3-2 lead.
Wood said the game was well-played by both sides with some solid defence to limit the errors on the field, as well as a well-matched pitching showdown, which made for a low scoring game.
“Their pitcher (Mark) Armstrong pitched a good game and kept them in it,” he said.
There was no doubt the last-place Monarchs put up a battle against the Hawks and it is an indication of the play which is to come down the stretch in the final few games of the season leading into the playoffs.
Gilliam said after the game that his team have been playing strong defensively with some great pitching, but added that the 14-strikeout pitching performance put on by Junior Barons’ Myles Vincent on Sunday could have disrupted their stroke at the plate.
“If we can keep getting good pitching, play well in the field and string some hits together then we should be alright,” Gilliam said of what his team need to do in the final three games of the regular season.