Islanders on brink of elimination

Moncton thumbs Charlottetown 11-1 to take 2-0 lead in best-of-five NBSBL quarter-final

Published on September 1, 2017

Charlottetown Gaudet’s Auto Body Islanders shortstop Jordan Duffy takes a throw from right-fielder Taylor Larkin and tags out Paul Raglione of the Moncton Fisher Cats Friday at Memorial Field.

©Jason Malloy/The Guardian

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The Moncton Fisher Cats rode a three-run fifth inning to an 11-1 thumping of the Charlottetown Gaudet’s Auto Body Islanders on Friday in Charlottetown to take a stranglehold in the teams’ playoff series.

Moncton leads the best-of-five New Brunswick Senior Baseball League quarter-final 2-0 and can close out the series Sunday at home. First pitch for Game 3 is 7 p.m.

But despite the edge, Moncton catcher Mike Ivey, who spurred the game-clinching frame with a leadoff double, knows Charlottetown isn’t an easy out.

“Nothing really changes. We still have to win a third game and Charlottetown is a resilient bunch. We have to bring our A game because it will be a tough one on Sunday,” said Ivey, who also walked twice. “(Against Isles starter Brody McDonald) our mindset was just to grind out every at bat.”

Justin Cormier went the distance for the complete-game victory, surrendering just three hits and striking out two. McDonald suffered the loss, with relief from Colin Arsenault and Taylor Larkin.

With the Cats leading 1-0 in the top of the fifth inning, Ivey doubled off McDonald. Tyler Walchuk’s single moved him to third base and, after a Steve Thorne walk, Sam Lund singled home Ivey for the eventual game-winning run. Two more runs came across in the frame for 4-0 edge.

In the sixth, Moncton exploded for five runs on five hits off Arsenault for a 9-0 advantage. Charlottetown got one back in its half of the sixth to break the shutout, thanks to Jesse MacIntyre’s RBI single that drove home Dominique Ryan who had singled earlier in the inning.

But Moncton piled on two more in the seventh and Cormier forced Charlottetown to go three-up, three-down in the bottom of the frame to end the game.

For McDonald, an Isles veteran, there’s no need for a pep talk. He said down 0-2 the team knows what to do.

“There’s not much to be said after a beating like that. Everybody understands. You start over, bounce back,” he said.

McDonald gave up four runs on five hits, walked four and struck out four. Arsenault was tagged with five runs on five hits, while Larkin surrendered two runs on two hits.

Lund was 2-for-5 with two RBI, while Serge Vautour went 1-for-5 but drove in three runs with a bases-loaded double in the sixth. Paul Raglione chipped in a hit and three walks as Moncton banged out 12 hits.

Jordan Duffy, who whacked a leadoff double in the first, had the other Islanders hit.

Game 4, if necessary, is Monday at 7 p.m. at Memorial Field in Charlottetown.