Can close out the Corner Brook Molson Senior Baseball League final on Thursday
© Star photo by Geraldine Brophy
Fans and players watch the play at home that saw Hawks Darrin O'Quinn, right, called out at homeplate from the tag of West Side Monarchs catcher Jeff Gillam in the Game 3 of the best-of-five baseball final at Jubilee Field Tuesday.
CORNER BROOK The West Side Monarchs are proving that the playoffs can be a new season, open for the taking to any team determined to win.
The Monarchs showed that determination Tuesday night with a 15-10 victory over the defending champion Veitch’s Hawks, to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five final series of the Corner Brook Molson Senior Baseball League.
“The league is fairly even from top to bottom so you have to go out and anybody has a chance to win as long as you stay in the game and have the bats going,” Monarchs pitcher Adam Warren said following the game.
Warren threw seven innings, surrendering 10 runs off 17 hits — but the win is what mattered most to him.
“We put enough (runs) up and we were eventually able to outlast them,” he said.
Neither the Hawks nor the Monarchs brought a strong defensive game, but the Monarchs were able to outhit their opponents 19-17 and make the runs count when they mattered most.
The Hawks opened the scoring in the bottom of the first when Fred Prosper scored on an unearned run.
The Monarchs came back with vengeance in the second to score — which included a solo homerun from Stephen Sheppard and a single by Aaron Sheppard to drive in two and give the Monarchs a 3-1 lead.
Stephen Sheppard did not go away in the third as he added a single to score two more and give the Monarchs a 5-1 lead.
The Hawks came back in the bottom of the inning with two runs off a double from Mike Brake, which scored Darren Colbourne. Brake later crossed home plate off a wild pitch to cut the lead to 5-3.
That wasn’t all for the Hawks, as Perry Alexander hit a two-run double in the fouth to knot the game at 5.
But the Monarchs were not letting their lead slip away — as resilience was key for the underdog team — and they were able to deliver a nine-run sixth inning, which was capped off by a three-run homerun from Sean Mitchell to give his team a dominating 14-5 lead.
For the second tim, though, the Hawks refused to go away. They put up five runs in the bottom of the inning to close the gap to 14-10, but that was all the offense they could muster.
Jon Wheeler of the Monarchs then singled in the seventh to score Stephen Sheppard, which proved to be the final run of the game.
Darren Colbourne started the game for the Hawks but was relieved by Cory Lockyer in the sixth. The two combined for 15 runs off 19 hits in the game.
Hawks coach Jonathan Snow admitted the sixth inning was the difference-maker for the Monarchs.
“They hit the ball hard, but also hit a few bleeders and that was the difference,” said Snow.
Some might say the Hawks are an aging squad and the reality is that some of the players are feeling the pain that comes with age — but Snow says his players are fighting through injuries and will continue to do so.
“We’re going to gut it out and we’ll be ready for next game and we’ll make the plays. It’s baseball — anything can happen,” he said.
But Snow didn’t sell the Monarchs short.
“They’re the underdog, but at the end of the day they have a very strong lineup with Adam (Warren), Gilly (Jeff Gilliam) and Tavey (Michael Tavenor), so they’re a strong team and I think they’re a lot stronger than people give them credit for.”
The Monarchs look to close off the series and take the league title in Game 4 Thursday at 7 p.m. at Jubilee Field.