Charolettown Islanders, Grant Grady, steps up to the plate during the third inning of action against The Moncton Fisher Cats at Kiwanis Field on Thursday evening during the first of 7 games heading into the playoffs.
©Tanya Everett Photography
MONCTON, N.B. – The Moncton Fisher Cats opened the New Brunswick Senior Baseball League playoffs on a winning note on Thursday night.
But just barely.
The Fisher Cats held off a challenge from a pesky Charlottetown Gaudet’s Auto Body Islanders team in a 7-5 victory in the first game of their best-of-five quarter-final at Moncton's Kiwanis Park.
The Islanders trailed 7-3 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, but sure made for an interesting finish. With two outs and facing Fisher Cats pitcher Sam Lund, Brody McDonald and Morgan MacLean hit back-to-back run-scoring singles to cut the deficit to two.
Josh McKinnon reached on a fielding error by Moncton second baseman Tyler Walchuck to load the bases. With the game on the line, Lund struck out Jeremy McKinnon to escape with the win.
The series resumes tonight in Charlottetown with Game 3 back in Moncton on Sunday at 7 p.m.
Lund went the distance to record the victory. He gave up five runs on 10 hits, striking out seven and walking one.
Islanders starter Jake Beck was tagged with the loss. He was charged with five runs on seven hits in four innings.
Oregon import Paul Raglione belted a three-run home run and Markus Coates, Justin Cormier and Walchuck each added a pair of hits for Moncton. Coates drove in two runs, Walchuck another and Cormier scored twice for the winners.
Josh McKinon had two RBI for Charlottetown while Jesse MacIntyre, Jordan Stevenson and McDonald each collected two hits, with MacIntyre scoring twice.
The Islanders opened the scoring in the top of the first inning as MacIntyre hit a one-out single and came around to score on a throwing error by Walchuck.
But the Fisher Cats replied with two runs in the bottom of the first.
Moncton's top of the order did the damage again in the third inning to push the lead to 5-1.
Josh McKinnon doubled in a pair of runs in the top of the sixth to bring Charlottetown within 5-3. But once again, the Fisher Cats answered. They responded by scoring twice in the bottom of the inning, courtesy of two straight RBI singles by Walchuck and Mike Ivey off Islanders reliever Brady Arsenault for a 7-3 lead.
– Story courtesy Moncton Times & Transcript