© VIKTOR PIVOVAROV/TIMES & TRANSCRIPT
Charlottetown Islanders celebrate after their win over the Moncton Mets at Kiwanis Park in Game 5 of N.B. Senior Baseball League playoffs on Saturday.
The Charlottetown Islanders eliminated the Moncton Mets from the New Brunswick Senior Baseball League playoffs on Saturday night.
It was the end of an era, too.
The Islanders broke open a scoreless game with a three-run fourth inning and rolled to a 5-0 win over the Mets at Kiwanis Park to take the best-of-five quarter-final playoff series in five games.
Charlottetown moves on to play the Chatham Ironmen in a best-of-seven semifinal. The Hub City Pita Pit Brewers take on the Fredericton Royals in the other semifinal.
Both series start on Tuesday, in Chatham and Fredericton.
The Mets loss also marked the final game for the team’s longtime executive. Greg Lawlor, Ralph Chambers, Carla Smith and Judy Cairns, who have helped operate the club for the last 13 years, informed the players at the start of the season that this would be their final year with the team.
“It felt a little strange on Saturday night, to be honest,” said Lawlor, who has been Moncton’s general manager. “On one hand, you knew it was going to come to an end. On the other hand, you were sad to see it happen and for it to be over. We didn’t want go out in the first round. It would have been nice to go deeper in the playoffs.”
Jordan Stevenson turned in a dominating performance for the Islanders on Saturday. He tossed a complete-game three-hit shutout to get his second win of the series. He struck out three batters and walked one in seven innings.
Stevenson cruised through the Mets lineup and gave up just two singles to Mark Fournier and one to Justin Morton.
Moncton starter Steve Aube suffered the loss, allowing six hits and four runs in four-plus innings. He had five walks and no strikeouts.
Charlottetown, which staved off elimination with a 6-4 win in Game 4 at home, broke through in the fourth inning with a two-out rally.
With runners at second and third base and two outs, Aube couldn’t get out of the inning. He walked Taylor Larkin to load the bases and then hit Andrew Macdonald with a pitch as the Islanders took a 1-0 lead.
Jordan Duffy then delivered the key hit, a two-run single to put the visitors ahead by three.
Charlottetown added another run in the fifth on a run-scoring single by Sean Corcoran and one more in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Travis Gaudet to put the game away.
“Stevenson pitched well and we just couldn’t get the bats going. That was sort of the story of the whole series. We had one game when we hit really well, the first game, and then our bats fell silent,” Lawlor said.
“Charlottetown pitched well and they swung the bat really well. They outplayed us, that’s the bottom line. They’re a scrappy team and they don’t give up. They executed well and they deserved to win.”
Duffy led the Islanders with a 3-for-4 evening at the plate with two singles, a double and two runs batted in. Gaudet added a pair of hits, an RBI and run scored for the winners.
Lawlor said he’s heard from a few people interested in operating the Mets. He said the exiting executive will assist in the transition period.
“We’ve had a lot of fun. The whole time was good,” said Lawlor. “You’re working there with your friends and the team has been great to be around. We thoroughly enjoyed it.”
The highlight, Lawlor said, was winning the Canadian senior baseball championship in 2006.
“That was pretty special, and it’s nice that we have that,” he said. “When you look back after 13 years and can say that you won a national title, that’s pretty nice.”
Moncton Times & Transcript