After not having a no-hitter in team history, the P.E.I. Junior Islanders have thrown their second no-no in two weeks in the New Brunswick Junior Baseball League.
This one was full of drama.
In the second game of a doubleheader with the Fredericton Royals, Isles starter Gabe Penalver overmatched the Royals lineup for six innings. In the seventh, nursing a 1-0 lead along with the no-hitter, Penalver’s defence let him down. Two infield errors and a sacrifice fly plated two Royals’ runs without the benefit of a hit.
Down 2-1, Gavin Hickey was hit by a pitch from Jack Ryan with bases loaded to tie the game and send it to extra inning.
Nolan Hicken relieved Penalver in the eighth and kept the no-hitter intact by striking out the side. In bottom of the eighth, Connor Jones led off with a single. Noah Duckworth’s one-out single put runners on first and third. A wild pitch allowed the winning run to score and make a winner of Hicken.
Penalver struck out 14 and walked two in his dominant performance.
Tomas Hoyt was outstanding for the Royals, going five innings before giving way to Ryan.
Jones and John Savidant each had two hits for P.E.I. while Elijah Hood, Ryne MacIsaac, Connor McGregor and Chandler LaPorte had one each.
In Game 1, Fredericton scored four first-inning runs as Islanders starter Eric Anderson struggled with control.
Midget affiliate Tanner MacLean took over on mound in the second and silenced the Royals bats for five innings and allowed the Isles offence to get going, scoring seven for a 7-4 win.
MacLean scattered five hits and struck out eight in five innings of work for the win. MacIsaac pitched a perfect seventh for the save.
Patrick Gallant had two hits to lead the attack. Hood, Savidant, Penalver and Brett Caissie each had one.
Isaac Edwards took the loss for Fredericton, who had two hits each from Riley Burtt and Will Hicks.
The Islanders now have a league-leading 5-1 record and hit the road Sunday for Miramichi, N.B., to play the Chatham Ironmen. They take on the Royals again next weekend, this time in Fredericton, N.B.