And the West Side Monarchs have a 1-0 lead in its best-of-five Corner Brook Molson Senior Baseball League semifinal series against the Veitch’s Ultramar Hawks.
Steve Shepherd smashed a solo home run in the top of the eighth inning on Thursday night, as the last-place Monarchs stunned the post-seasons’s top seed by a 5-4 score at Jubilee Field.
The Monarchs finished the year in the basement of the league standings, with a 7-17 record, well behind the pace set by the 22-2 Hawks.
None of that meant anything once the first pitch was thrown in the playoffs.
Michael Tavenor was another standout for the gold and black in the upset win, going 3-for-3 on the night with two runs scored and an RBI. He also earned the pitching victory, posting 10 strikeouts through eight innings, while giving up just two earned runs — four overall — on six hits. He walked two batters.
Aaron Sheppard was 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Chris Gaudon scored a run for the Hawks in a 2-for-3 showing, while Mike Brake cracked a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning in a 1-for-4 night at the dish.
Losing pitcher Frank Humber also went the distance on the mound in the extra-inning affair, surrendering five runs — four earned — on nine hits. He struck out six, with no walks.
The series resumes 7 p.m. Monday with Game 2 at Jubilee Field.
In the late game, the second-place Veitch Physiotherapy Aces beat the Wing n' It Curling Marlins 11-8.
Game 2 of that series goes 7 p.m. Tuesday night.