Published on October 07, 2013
Veitch’s Ultramar Hawks pitcher Colin Wood, left, pitched his team to the senior baseball title at Jubilee Field Monday, defeating the West Side Monarchs 6-4.
— Star photo by Geraldine Brophy
Published on October 07, 2013
Members of the championship-winning team are, from left, (front) Jonathan Clarke, Jamie Stone, Perry Alexander, Darrin O'Quinn, Keith Simmonds, bat boy Floyd Wood, Scott Mosher, Mike Brake, Fred Prosper and Cory Lockyer; (back) Darren Colbourne, Frank Humber, Chris Gaudon, Colin Wood, Jason Baker, Mike Simms, Ryan Price and Jonathan Snow. — Star photo by Chris Quigley
CORNER BROOK Never accuse the Veitch’s Ultramar Hawks of procrastinating.
The Hawks claimed the Corner Brook Molson Senior Baseball League championship Monday night at Jubilee Field after getting all their offence out of the way early en route to the 6-4 triumph over the West Side Monarchs in the fifth-and-deciding game of the best-of-five series.
“Just about everything went down in the first inning,” said Hawks’ Colin Wood, who pitched the complete-game victory for the champs.
As solid as Wood was, it was the pitching on the other side that became the story.
Monarchs’ Mark Armstrong, coming off a long hiatus from the mound, started for the gold and black. He struggled mightily with his accuracy, walking six of the seven batters he faced, allowing the Hawks to rack up four runs in the process.
“That’s almost like free runs, that’s always good,” said Wood. “They made it close, but we managed to keep ahead.”
The Monarchs actually got off to a great start when Adam Warren slammed a two-run homer in the top of the first, scoring himself and Jeff Gillam. The lead was short-lived, however.
In the bottom of the inning, Hawks’ Fred Prosper was walked by Armstrong, as was Mike Simms. Darren Colbourne then doubled to score Prosper and move Simms to third. From there, Armstrong walked Mike Brake, then Perry Alexander, which sent Simms home and loaded the bases. Darrin O’Quinn also walked, as Colbourne scored and the bases filled again.
That was it for Armstrong, as Warren came in to replace him. Warren gave up a pair of singles to Scott Mosher and Prosper that scored Brake and Alexander, respectively, but finally ended the inning by striking out Simms. He had earlier gotten Ryan Price and Keith Simmonds to pop out. Overall, Warren went six innings, surrendering those two runs on just four hits, with four walks and two strikeouts.
No more offence occurred until the fifth inning when Sean Mitchell crossed the plate after a groundout from Warren. Mitchell also scored in the seventh on a Rob Park single to pull the Monarchs to within two.
But they would draw no closer.
The Hawks had a few opportunities to put the game away, loading the bases in both the second and sixth innings, but couldn’t score on either occasion.
“They managed to get out of that and keep themselves in the ball game,” Wood said. “They have a great team ... it was a battle from the first game through to the last game.”
Monarch’s Mitchell said the first inning was a dagger his team was ultimately unable to recover from.
“We had one bad inning, that put us behind the eight-ball,” he said. “Armstrong gave us what he had.
“You don’t want to give up extra bases by walks or errors, especially against those guys,” he added. “They’re going to burn you.”
Still, Mitchell believes with a few key plays here or there, it could have just as easily been the Monarchs hoisting their first league championship trophy since 2007.
“We stuck with them the whole series,” he said. “Adam came in and gave us a gem of a game, we just couldn’t get the hits when we needed them.”
Though the Hawks have ended up with the big prize more often than not, Mitchell said competition in the local league is tighter than ever.
“Everyone is pretty much on even par,” he said. “Not like years ago, when there were a few teams above the other teams. Now it seems like anyone can win.”
Yet, somehow, the Hawks keep pulling it off.
“We usually come out on top,” Wood acknowledged. “But we fight hard, we get our breaks ... nothing is ever easy getting this done.”
Teams 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Monarchs 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 4 7 2
Hawks 6 0 0 0 0 0 x 6 5 1
Colin Wood - (W) 7IP, 7H, 4R, 3ER, 2BB, 10K
Mark Armstrong - (L) 0 IP, 1H, 6R, 6ER, 5BB, 0K
Fred Prosper - 1-3, 1R, 2RBI, 1BB
Rob Park - 3-4, 1RBI, 1SB