The Moncton Fisher Cats booked their spot in the New Brunswick Senior Baseball League semifinal by completing the sweep of the Islanders with a 10-5 victory Sunday at Kiwanis Park.
The Fisher Cats, who won the best-of-five quarter-final in three games, will meet the pennant-winning Chatham Ironmen in a best-of-seven semifinal.
Moncton pounded out 12 hits off Charlottetown pitchers Jordan Stevenson and Jake Beck on Sunday. It scored at least one run in every inning but two.
The Islanders, who trailed for much of the game, cut the deficit to 7-5 with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning.
But the Fisher Cats responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning – on a run-scoring single by Oregon import Paul Raglione, a run-scoring double by Serge Vautour and a sacrifice fly by Justin Cormier – to put the game out of reach.
Glenn Marks picked up the win in relief of Moncton starter Josh Dennis, who gave up three runs and three hits in 3 1/3 innings. Raglione registered the save.
Stevenson, the Charlottetown starter, suffered the loss. He was charged with six runs on seven hits in three innings.
Markus Coates went 3-for-3 for the Fisher Cats with one run batted in. West Virginia import Lance VanNoy and Vautour each drove in two runs, with Sam Lund scoring three times and VanNoy twice.
Stevenson had a pair of singles and one RBI for the Islanders.
Charlottetown opened the scoring in the top of the first inning with a run coming on a fielder's choice, only to see Moncton answer with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame on a wild pitch and a groundout.
Stevenson's two-run single in the top of the second gave the Islanders a 3-2 lead, but it didn't last long. The Fisher Cats struck for four runs in the bottom of the second – highlighted by VanNoy's two-run single – for a 6-3 lead.
After Moncton scored on an error in the fifth inning to pull ahead 7-3, Charlottetown countered with back-to-back RBI singles by pinch-hitter Colin Arsenault and Morgan MacLean off Marks to pull within two runs in the top of the sixth, but that's as close as the visitors came.
Raglione came on to replace Marks and notched the four-out save.
The Fisher Cats placed fourth in the five-team league in the regular season, three games ahead of the fifth-place Islanders.
The other best-of-seven semifinal sees the second-place and defending champion Fredericton Royals playing the third-place Saint John Alpines.
— Compiled by Moncton Times & Transcript