West Side Monarchs' Adam Warren gets set to make contact with what would be a foul ball in front of Junior Barons catcher Daniel McCarthy during senior baseball playoff action Wednesday night at Jubilee Field. — Star photo by Chris Quigley
CORNER BROOK After throwing all seven innings in a victorious first half of a double-header at Jubilee Field Wednesday night, Adam Warren figured he had another few left in him.
A few turned out to be three, which ended up being more than enough for him to record his second pitching triumph of the night, as his West Side Monarchs ousted the Junior Barons from the Corner Brook Molson Senior Baseball League playoffs.
“(Jeff Gillam) was ready to go if we got in trouble, but it got a bit out of hand there, so we decided to save some arms,” Warren said.
True enough, the Junior Barons season finished with a thud. After playing the Monarchs tight in 1-0 and 5-4 losses in the opening two games of the best-of-five semifinal, the youngsters simply had nothing left to give as they crashed and burned to the tune of 20-1 in a five-inning mercy-rule decision.
“They played well in both games before this one,” Warren said. “We were not expecting a blowout at all.
“I guess once it starts to open up, it’s hard to stop it.”
Tied 0-0 after one, the Monarchs destroyed any and all drama in the second inning with 10 runs, an offensive outburst that began with a solo home run from Warren.
It was the kind of inning that can make believers out of a group that went into the playoffs in a three-way tie for second place, far behind the Veitch’s Ultramar Hawks.
“The bats are coming alive a bit,” said Warren. “We’ve got a good mix of defence and hitting, with some good pitching.
The Hawks are currently trailing the Veitch Physiotherapy Aces 1-0 in the other best-of-five semifinal. The Monarchs can now sit back and await the winner.
“As long as everybody’s here and we’re playing like we can, we have a chance,” said Warren.
Gillam did come in to relieve Warren after three innings, pitching the final two and allowing one run on four hits. He walked one batter and struck out another.
Dan McCarthy, Mike McWhirter, Matt Colbourne and Dan Humber all spent time on the mound for the baby Barons, with McCarthy officially taking the loss.
It was a frustrating defeat that puts an unfortunate exclamation point at the end of an otherwise solid season for the young group.
To their credit, there were only two junior-agers left on the roster at this point, with the majority of the team now being made up of bantam and midget-aged players.
“They played really well the last few weeks and I’m really proud of that,” said coach Jonathan Snow. “It’s just disappointing to end the season with such a big score when, the last three weeks, all the games were close.
“We just ran out of pitching.”
It didn’t help matters any that the baby Barons dropped a heartbreaker earlier in the evening in Game 2. Leading 4-2 in the fifth inning, they allowed three late runs to lose the game and set themselves up for elimination in Game 3.
“If we had been able to hang on and win (Game 2), I think this would’ve been a much closer game,” said Snow. “I think the intensity would’ve been there.”
Still, it’s hard to find many negatives about a group of kids who gave the other three senior men’s league teams all they could handle all summer.
“A lot of these guys, it’s their first year playing in the senior league,” Snow said. “They gave it their all.”
The following is a summary of Game 2 of the series on Wednesday evening:
Monarchs 5, Junior Barons 4
Stephen Shepherd was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a double, while Sean Mitchell went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs as the Monarchs escaped with a one-run win in Game 2 of the best-of-five semifinal series.
Shepherd and Mitchell conspired on the winning run, with a single from Shepherd cashing in Mitchell in the bottom of the sixth.
Tyler Gardner managed two RBIs in a 1-for-4 performance for the baby Barons, with McCarthy mustering two hits on four attempts.
Warren was the winning pitcher, giving up four runs — three earned — on eight hits through seven innings. He walked one and struck out seven.
McCarthy suffered the defeat after surrendering five runs on eight hits, with six walks and seven strikeouts over six innings.
Teams 1 2 3 4 5 R H E
Monarchs 0 10 4 0 6 20 14 5
Junior Barons 0 0 0 1 0 1 5 4
Adam Warren (W) - 3IP, 0R, 1H, 0BB, 2K
Dan McCarthy (L) - 1IP, 4R, 3H, 1BB, 0K
Mike Tavenor - 3-4, 3RBI, 4R
David McCarthy - 1-2, 1RBI