Key hits elude Islanders

Jason Malloy
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Fredericton Roayls score four runs in third inning en route to 5-1 victory

It’s not how many hits you get, but when you get them.

The Charlottetown Gaudet’s Auto Body Islanders lost 5-1 to the Fredericton Royals Sunday at Memorial Field despite the New Brunswick Senior Baseball League first-place Royals outhitting them 8-7.

The Royals scored four runs on four hits in the key third inning when they sent 10 hitters to the plate.

“It was just a tough inning for us,” said Charlottetown shortstop Jordan Duffy. “We needed that out and just couldn’t seem to get it.”

Meanwhile, the Islanders stranded two runners in each of the first two innings and trailed 1-0 going to the third.

“It hurts,” Duffy said. “Every run is valuable. It doesn’t take much to spark a rally.”

Timely hitting has plagued the Isles this season, but Duffy was staying positive after Sunday’s game and hoping they get it turned around in the remaining three regular-season games before the playoffs.

“Two-out hits are pretty huge in baseball and that’s something we’ve kind of been struggling with,” he said. “It’s something we just have to keep working on. I think it will come.”

Duffy and Dylan McKenna were each 2-for-4 while Josh Kelly was 2-for-3.

Taylor Larkin added a leadoff double to start the seventh inning, but was stranded as Duffy lined out to left, McKenna lined out to second and Morgan MacLean hit a hard shot that pitcher Derek Wilson got a piece of and second baseman Dave Barr completed with a bang-bang play at first base.

Charlottetown scored its lone run in the fifth inning when Duffy hit a one-out single. McKenna followed with a double off the right-field fence that scored Duffy when the throw pulled catcher Mark MacNevin off the plate and up the third-base line.

“I was out by a mile,” Duffy said. “I just did whatever I could to dodge (the tag). It was kind of a circus act.”

The game was played in two hours and 13 minutes on a warm summer day.

Derek Wilson threw a complete game seven-hitter for the victory. He struck out five and walked one. Jacob Beck went the distance for the host team, giving up eight hits while striking out three, walking three and hitting a batter.

“We didn’t play the defence behind Jake. Jake threw a dandy of a game,” Duffy said.

The Islanders committing five errors, but did turn a pair of 6-4-3 double plays.

The loss dropped Charlottetown to 12-17 while Fredericton improved to 18-9. The Islanders host Hub City Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in its last home game of the regular season.

Note – Before Sunday’s game McKenna was presented the $500 Tanner Craswell and Mitch MacLean Bursary by Baseball P.E.I.

Organizations: Islanders, New Brunswick Senior Baseball League

Geographic location: Fredericton, Charlottetown, Hub City

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