CORNER BROOK Thanks to Monday night’s 10-5 victory over the Veitch Physiotherapy Aces, the West Side Monarchs have ensured something will be on the line in the Corner Brook Molson Senior Baseball League’s regular season finale at Jubilee Field tonight.
Tonight’s contest sees the Monarchs face the Junior Barons — the baby Barons have locked down second place in the league standings regardless of the outcome, but a victory would leave the Aces in third place and the Monarchs in fourth. That scenario would see the Monarchs go up against the top-seeded Veitch’s Ultramar Hawks in a best-of-three semifinal, while the Aces and Junior Barons would meet in the other. If the Monarchs defeat the Junior Barons, both those teams, and the Aces, would all sport identical 9-12 records. The baby Barons would still finish in second place, thanks to winning head-to-head records (currently 4-2 against Monarchs, 5-2 against Aces). The Monarchs hold the 4-3 edge of the Aces on the season, however, which would push the Aces into the basement and force them into the first-round matchup with the Hawks.
A six-run sixth inning was the catalyst for the Monarchs’ triumph on Monday night. With the score tied 3-3 and one out, Cory Hurley reached on an error then quickly advanced to third thanks to a double from Mike Tavenor. Rob Park was intentionally walked, loading the bases, which brought up Jeff Gillam, who singled to drove in Tavenor and Hurley. An Adam Warren single brought Park home and after Steve Shepherd reached on a fielder’s choice, the bases were loaded again.
Jon Wheeler hit a single to bring Gillam in, then Brad Brewer singled to bring around Shepherd and Warren before the Aces finally managed to field their way out of the inning with a couple of outs at second base.
Wheeler was the top batter for the gold and black, going 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI.
Mark Tavenor was the main difference-maker on the Aces, driving in a run and scoring another in a 3-for-3 effort. He was also credited with a stolen base. Brewer earned the pitching decision in a complete seven-inning evening. He allowed five runs, all earned, on seven hits, with three walks and two strikeouts.
Rob Myrden suffered the defeat on the mound, giving up five runs — three earned — on seven hits, with five strikeouts and a walk before coming out in the sixth.
The Monarchs got on the board first, in the second inning, when Wheeler scored on an error.
The Aces took a 2-1 lead in the third when Mark Tavenor crossed home after a Glen Seaborn groundout and Rob George scored on a double from Steve Kelly.
In the fourth inning, the Monarchs regained the advantage with two runs coming from Shepherd, who scored on a Brewer single, and Wheeler, who made it home thanks to a single from Hurley.
Greg Whelan scored on a single from Mark Tavenor in the bottom of the inning to even the game 3-3, which lasted until the big sixth from the Monarchs.
The Monarchs followed that up with one run in the seventh to go up 10-3, courtesy of Mike Tavenor scoring on a passed ball. Steve White and George pulled the Aces back to within five after reaching home on a single from Steve Hynes, but that was their final gasp.