© Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
Dylan McQuaid, pitcher fot the P.E.I Juniors, keeps a close eye on his pitch during New Brunswick Junior Baseball League action against the Port City Pirates Sunday in Cornwall.
Two ends of the extreme marked Sunday’s doubleheader between the P.E.I. Carpenter’s Union 1338 Juniors and the Port City Pirates after P.E.I. won the first game 1-0, but lost the second contest 13-4.
With the split, P.E.I. goes to 5-17 in the New Brunswick Junior Baseball League while Port City ups its mark to 10-12. And the two teams could meet in the opening round of the playoffs which start later this month.
But for now, P.E.I.’s Grant Grady, who scored two of the Juniors runs in Game 2, was only thinking of what went wrong in the second contest, particularly in the fourth inning when Port City scored seven runs and nearly went through the batting order twice.
“We booted the ball around there for one inning. They hit some good gaps and they took off from there. And we gave them a few runs,” said Grady, who scored two of the Juniors runs in Game 2. “We’ll shake it off. We have a pretty easy going group of guys. But it’ll sting for a bit. You never like to give up 13 runs.”
P.E.I. got the first run in Game 2 in the second inning when Grady scored off Spencer Hay’s single.
Port City tied things 1-1 in the next frame when Brandon McQuade scored off catcher Mark Legere’s single.
Then in the fourth frame, Port City opened up the arsenal on P.E.I. starting pitcher Dylan McQuaid (1-1) and brought in seven runs, led by Adam Clark’s two-run triple that put the game out of reach.
Clark had a double in the second frame, added a solo home run in the sixth and whacked an RBI single in the seventh.
That after Port City mustered just three hits in the first tilt. Port City starter Forrest Tobias (3-3) went five innings for the win.
“We hit the ball a lot. One thing we’ve been having problems with. That and timely hitting,” said Clark about the difference between Game 1 and 2. “We had a meeting before the game and (coaches) said, ‘Let's have fun and see what happens.’”
The Pirates outhit P.E.I. 14-9. Haye, with three, and Brad Power had RBIs for P.E.I.
In the first matchup, P.E.I. scored its lone run in the third inning after shortstop J.J. Oram walked, stole second base and scored on second baseman Brady McQuaid’s single.
P.E.I. starting pitcher Nathan McInnis (2-2) tossed a complete-game, seven-strikeout effort preserved by a double play to end the contest in the top of the seventh.
With a man on and one out, Port City’s Shawn Galbraith struck out and Grady, then playing catcher, caught McQuade, who had reached base with a walk, trying to steal second and completed the game-ending double play.
Pirates starter Shawn Gallant took the loss and dropped to 1-3.
All of this back and forth is good fodder for the first round of the playoffs should the teams meet in the best-of-three quarter-final series.
Port City is fourth overall and P.E.I. is fifth, but Port City is just one game back of the Metro Mudcats for third place.
If the Pirates-Juniors matchup happens, Game 1 is Tuesday, July 29, at Memorial Field in Charlottetown. Start time to be announced.
By then for Grady, the split on Sunday will be along way away.
“The playoffs are completely different. This shouldn’t affect us in any way.”
Saturday, P.E.I. dropped both ends of a doubleheader with the Chatham Junior Ironmen on Chatham, N.B., losing 7-3 in the Game 1 and 12-1 in Game 2.
P.E.I. hosts the league-leading Fredericton Royals in a doubleheader Saturday, July 26, to end the regular season. Game time is 1 p.m. at Memorial Field.