West Side Monarchs catcher Adam Warren, right, positions himself for the play at home plate with Junior Barons’ Colton Kennedy on the way during play at Jubilee Field Thursday.
— Star photo by Geraldine Brophy
By Adam Harnum
Star Staff Writer
CORNER BROOK The Junior Barons came out of the gate strong and were able to hold off a late string of runs by the West Side Monarchs Thursday evening to defeat their last-place opponents 4-3.
The Juniors clinched third-place with the win and moved into a tie with Veitch Physiotherapy Aces with one game remaining in the regular season of the Corner Brook Molson Senior Baseball League.
In the game, it was a three-run fourth — with the addition of one scored in the first — which gave the Juniors a comfortable 4-0 cushion going into the bottom half of the inning.
The three runs in the fourth were scored off two hits and two errors, but the Juniors could have made more of the inning if they had been able to drive in the three runners which were left stranded.
It was then Monarchs who rallied to score one in the bottom half of the inning and then another two in the fifth — in which they used two infield errors to score two runs and cut the Junior’s lead to one run with two innings left.
With the score 4-3, the Monarchs were presented an opportunity to break the tie in the sixth when runners were on second and third with one out, but the Juniors defence combined with strong pitching from Kevin Farrell prevented their opponents from capitalizing down the stretch.
Farrell — who is now riding a three-game winning streak — went the distance throwing a complete game on three runs off four hits, one error, one walk, while sitting down two batters.
The opposing pitcher, Rob Park, was able to sit down six batters on strikes, but it was not enough as he suffered the loss surrendering four runs off six hits, two errors and four walks.
Park said following the game that it was a tough loss because his team was not able to capitalize on several chances to score in the game, however, he did not take anything away from the performance of the Juniors’ players.
“Homer (Farrell) pitched well, they played well in the field, put a lot of balls in play and made a lot of good plays,” he noted.
It was Dan McCarthy who did the damage at the plate for the winning squad as he went 2-for-3 with one run scored, while Jeff Gilliam did what he could for his Monarchs as he also went 2-for-3 with one run scored.
The Juniors have been playing solid baseball since the league got up-and-running following an almost-month break for the Provincial Senior A and Senior B Championships, as they are beginning to prove themselves as a threat moving into the playoffs with two consecutive wins over the Aces and another against the Monarchs.
“Not many Junior Barons teams have done this well, so it’s good to do and nice to see the Aces in the next round,” said Tyler McCarthy of the Juniors in response to clinching third-place and the right to play the Aces in the playoffs.
The Juniors are set to face the Monarchs again tonight at 7 p.m. on Jubilee Field in their final game of the season and an opportunity to jump into second with a win.
“We have come on strong in the last few weeks and we hope it can continue into the playoffs,” added McCarthy.