CORNER BROOK Greg Barry got in a groove with a four-run cushion and that spelled bad news for the Corner Brook Barons staring down elimination.
Barry, a Pasadena native, tossed a nifty three-hitter and issued only one walk in a complete game as the St. John’s Winmar Capitals won the provincial senior A baseball final with a 6-0 win over the Barons in Game 6 Sunday afternoon at Jubilee Field.
The Capitals wrapped up the best-of-seven final with the shutout win after the Barons won two games Saturday to make it a series. The Barons headed to Jubilee Field Saturday facing a 3-0 deficit and the crown in jeopardy.
For his efforts, Barry got the nod as the top pitcher of the championship series with a 2-0 record after he picked up the win in the series opener in relief of starter and former Pasadena Pirates teammate Scott Goosney.
Barry was feeling some jitters when he took to the hill for what he felt would be a pivotal game in the series with the Barons gaining momentum with two wins in a row Saturday.
He settled in quickly, realizing he had pitched at Jubilee Field on many previous occasions and was pretty familiar with the hitting lineup that stood between him and a Game 7.
“I hit my spots pretty well today,” Barry said of a commanding performance that never saw the Barons materialize any kind of threat from start to finish.
He was quick to credit the play of the guys behind him.
“The defence was obviously great. They made every play for me and that’s what’s going to win ball games good defence and pitching,” he said.
Mike Brake, in the designated hitter spot, had two of the hits given up by Barry, while Barons shortstop Travis Taylor — tournament top batter with a .462 average — went 1-for-3 with a single.
Taylor liked how his team clawed back in the series, but had no answers for why the bats couldn’t produce any magic in the decisive game.
“We just couldn’t put any hits together and we had a few mistakes in the field, but that’s how it goes sometimes,” he said.
He didn’t really care too much about winning the batting title when he considered he wasn’t going to be back later for a Game 7 he had anticipated.
“I was putting good swings on the ball, but we still lost so it really doesn’t matter,” a disappointed Taylor said bluntly as he made his way off the field.
Barons player/coach Darren Colbourne took the loss after allowing four runs on five hits and two walks in two innings before handing the ball over to fellow right-handed pitcher Adam Warren.
Warren held the Capitals at bay for four innings until he gave up a two-run homer to Gerry Stone in the top of the seventh inning.
He gave up two runs on three hits and two walks in his relief stint.
The Capitals pushed a single run across in the first inning and three more in the second to put the Barons in a hole they wouldn’t dig themselves out of as Barry showed great command throughout the game.
The Barons never had a runner reach third base at anytime during the elimination game.
It is the 14th title in 15 years for the Capitals.
The two rivalries will now look forward to seeing how the other fares on the national stage as the 2014 national senior baseball tournament is scheduled for St. John’s later this month.
Maybe they will renew hostilities one more time this summer.
The following is a look at how things unfolded in the two games played Saturday at Jubilee Field:
Barons 9, Capitals 3 (Game 4)
Down 3-0 in the series, Travis Taylor — player of the game for the hometown team — and ace Michael Tavenor were all business in Game 4 Saturday afternoon.
Taylor, steady at the shortstop postion for both games Saturday, was the offensive catalyst for the Barons going 3-for-3 driving in a run and scoring on two occasions.
Tavenor, a right-handed pitcher, tossed a complete game giving up three runs on four hits and two walks. He had five strikeouts in a game that saw his batterymate Steve Hynes belt a solo homer in a 2-for-4 outing.
Jeff Gillam and Perry Alexander collected two hits apiece for the Barons, who only scored five runs total in the first three games of the series that saw them lose three straight at St. Pat’s Ball Park.
Ron French drove in two runs in a 2-for-3 outing to lead the way for the Capitals.
Barons 3, Capitals 2 (Game 5)
Frank Humber turned in a gutsy performance in a pitching duel with Pasadena native Scott Goosney in Game 5, the hometown Barons winning 3-2 with Grant Vincent — coming off the bench to pinch hit —driving in the winning run facing a 3-2 count in the home half of the seventh inning.
Travis Taylor led off the bottom half of the seventh with a double into the gap in left centre. He scored the winning run on Vincent’s clutch hit softly into left field just inside the chalk.