Pitching and defence was the name of this game in the Charlottetown Gaudet’s Auto Body Islanders 1-0 victory over the Hub City Brewers in New Brunswick Senior Baseball League playoff action Friday in Charlottetown.
Islanders’ starter Jordan Stevenson held the Brewers to four hits and made Alex Abbott’s first-inning RBI stand.
The victory gave the Isles a 1-0 lead in the quarter-final series.
Game 2 in the best-of-five matchup goes tonight in Moncton. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
Stevenson’s complete-game performance included four strikeouts (his fourth in the top of the seventh inning ended the game) and one walk. And a little help from his catcher Morgan MacLean didn’t hurt, either.
With no outs in the top of the seventh inning, MacLean caught pinch-runner Juan Ortiz trying to steal second.
It shortened Stevenson’s workload and he coaxed Hub City’s Jody Cole to fly out to Taylor Larkin in centre field then struck out Brewers catcher Mike Ivey to seal the victory.
“(Ivey’s) a veteran hitter and can hit to all parts of the field. I was trying to change speeds on him,” said Stevenson. “That big throw by Morgan made things a lot easier. My ball was moving (tonight). I tried to keep it low and the defence go to work.”
And work the Isles’ defence
did, turning a double play in the fourth while posting an error-free game.
Abbott’s single brought home MacLean for the game’s lone run.
MacLean had reached on a fielder’s choice two batters previous and Sean Corcoran moved him over to third base.
Hub City’s Glenn Marks had an equally stellar outing, striking out five Islander batters and surrendering five hits, as did the Brewers’ fielders, led by left-fielder Kevin Landry.
Landry made a diving catch on dying quail of a hit by Larkin to end the second frame and, in the sixth, cut down Larkin at home plate for the third out and preserve the one-run deficit.
It was not enough, said Landry, as he hoped to rev up the Brewers’ batters in the next inning.
“Obviously, it’s fun to make the big throw from the outfield. Like a big hit in hockey I thought it might fire the guys up. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t,” said Landry.
“We played well defensively and had guys reach base, but we just couldn’t cash them in.”
Mark Deveaux, Cole, Shane Sexton and Tim Webber had the Brewers’ hits while Jordan Duffy, Corcoran, Abbott, MacLean and Larkin led the Islanders at the plate.
Jake Beck (2-6, one save, 3.20 ERA) is set to start Game 2 for the Islanders.
Game 3 is Monday at Memorial Field.
Game time is 7 p.m.
The Islanders plan to start Brody McDonald (4-0, three saves, 1.35 ERA) on the mound in that contest.
The Moncton Mets defeated the Saint John Alpines 4-1 in Game 1 of the other quarter-final in Moncton.
Game 2 in that series is today in Saint John.