Mike Brake of the Veitch’s Ultramar Hawks delivers an offering to a member of the Veitch Physiotherapy Aces in Corner Brook Molson Senior Baseball League playoff action Tuesday at Jubilee Field. Hawks first baseman Cory Lockyer is seen ready for some action. — Star photo by Dave Kearsey
CORNER BROOK Perry Alexander had some big nights in his amateur baseball career, but his performance on the diamond Tuesday night will rank up with some of his finest moments.
The Stephenville native went 2-for-2 with two walks, including a grand slam, to lead the Veitch’s Ultramar Hawks to an 8-5 victory over the Veitch Physiotherapy Aces to wrap up the best-of-five semifinal in four games.
Fred Prosper shared the limelight for the Hawks going 1-for-3 with a trio of runs, while Darren Colbourne went 1-for-4 with a brace of RBIs.
Rob George was the top hitter for the Aces going 2-for-3 with a walk and a trio of RBIs, while Brian Bennett went 2-for-4 with a run scored and one stolen base and Mark Lombard chipped in with a 1-for-2 outing with a run and two swiped bases.
The Hawks opened the scoring with two runs in the top of first with Alexander driving in a run with a single and seasoned veteran Darren Colbourne cashing in a run on a groundout.
The Aces answered with a single run in the home half of the first when Steve Hynes spanked a single to score Brian Bennett who had singled and stole second base to get into scoring position.
The Hawks pushed two more runs across in the second compliments of RBIs from both Colbourne and Mike Simms.
The Aces kept within striking distance by pushing another run across in the second by virtue of Rob George smacking a base hit to score Mark Tavenor who had stroked a single to reach first base.
Alexander proved to be the big man on this night when he crushed a gram slam in the top of the fourth after Aces starter Steve Hynes opted to issue an intentional walk to Mike Brake to load the bases with two out with hopes of getting the Hawks shortstop for the third out of the inning.
The Aces, who won the series opener 14-13 before losing the next three games, didn’t lay over and die with elimination staring them in the face as Rob George belted a two-run single in the home half of the fourth to cut the deficit to four runs.
The Aces managed to push another run across in the fifth when Mark Lombardi scored on Greg Whelan reaching base via error after leading off the inning with a single.
Fred Prosper kept the Aces at bay for the sixth and seventh innings in relief of winning pitcher Mike Brake who tossed five strong innings before leaving the hill with a comfortable lead.
Steve Hynes took the loss for the Aces after throwing a complete game. He had some big innings to keep his team in the hunt for the win — striking out the side in the fifth and pitching out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth.
The Hawks will now tangle with the West Side Monarchs in a best-of-seven final with Game 1 scheduled for Thursday 7 p.m. at Jubilee Field.