Supplement Shack Junior Barons’ Daniel Humber goes down for the slide into second base, beating the throw that went over the glove of West Side Monarchs’ Rob Park, during play Thursday at Jubilee Field.
— Star photo by Geraldine Brophy
Michael Tavenor struck out 14 batters Thursday evening as his West Side Monarchs downed the Supplement Shack Junior Barons 7-2 at Jubilee Field.
Tavenor gave up just three hits in the Corner Brook Molson Senior Baseball League triumph, allowing two runs — one earned — and one walk through seven innings.
Stellar pitching like that, combined with a strong defensive effort in the field, made it hard for the Junior Barons to gather much momentum. Except in the sixth, said Tavenor — the sixth wasn’t good.
“That one inning we played really bad,” he said. “There were probably about seven outs we should’ve had.”
The Monarchs took an early lead in the bottom of the first, when Rob Park scored following a groundout from Jeff Gillam.
That was all they were able to muster until the fourth, when Brad Brewer cashed in off a double from Aaron Sheppard. Sheppard then crossed the plate thanks to a Gary Kean single, before Tavenor and Park both reached home on an error charged to Junior Barons shortstop Travis Taylor.
Another Kean single in the fifth brought Steve Sheppard home to increase the lead to 5-0.
The baby Barons finally caught a few breaks in the sixth, as Taylor crossed the plate following an error by Brewer that allowed Jay Warford to reach base. An Adam Warren error then scored Dan McCarthy and gave the Junior Barons the briefest hint of life.
That all got taken away in the bottom of the inning, as the Monarchs restored their five-run lead.
A single from Brewer brought in Tavenor and Gillam, making it a 7-2 ball game, which would become official following a scoreless seventh.
Ryan Harnett was charged with the loss on the mound, as he gave up four runs — two earned — on four hits, with three walks and two strikeouts. Matt Colbourne threw the final two innings, getting tagged for three runs — two earned — on four hits. He walked two and struck out four.
“It took a little bit to get adjusted,” said Tavenor. “Our first game (a 2-1 loss against the Veitch’s Ultramar Hawks), we faced Frank (Humber) and Harnett throws harder, so it might have taken us a while to adjust to that.
“We got it going,” he added. “We scored a few runs and got up on them.”
Brewer led the way offensively for the Monarchs, going 2-for-4, with a run and an RBI. Tavenor was 1-for-4, also recording an RBI and a run scored.
Warford had an RBI and a stolen base in a 1-for-3 outing, while Daniel Humber was 1-for-2 with a stolen base.
Junior Barons’ Tyler Gardner lamented a sleepy start that ultimately cost his team.
“It was too little, too late,” he said. “We started off slow and couldn’t get anything going.”
Despite the loss, he was quick to point to positives surrounding the Junior Barons this year that could lead to better days ahead.
“We’re a hard-working group,” said Gardner. “And everyone knows everyone.”
Tavenor agreed the Junior Barons could become a force — and sooner rather than later.
“They’ve got a good lineup,” he said. “They have a few players I Haven’t seen in this league before, but they’ll adjust pretty quickly. It won’t take too long.”
Teams 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Junior Barons 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 3 5
Monarchs 1 0 0 3 1 2 0 7 8 3