Walk-off vic­tory

Bot­tom-of-the-or­der hero­ics pace Is­lan­ders

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS -

No. 9 hitter Tay­lor Larkin hit a walk-off sin­gle to right-cen­tre field Satur­day to help the Char­lot­te­town Gaudet’s Auto Body Is­lan­ders win 4-3 and sweep a dou­ble­header with the Saint John Alpines.

With the vic­to­ries at Me­mo­rial Field, the Is­lan­ders im­prove to 14-7 and move to within a half a game of the Fred­er­ic­ton Roy­als for first place in the New Brunswick Se­nior Base­ball League, while the Alpines fall to 3-20.

Larkin, who fin­ished Game 2 2-for-3, with a dou­ble and the game-win­ning sin­gle, was look­ing for the heater and cap­i­tal­ized when he got it.

“I was just try­ing to pick the boys up and get the big hit,” Larkin said.

“The in­field and out­field were both in, so I was look­ing for a pitch mid­dle up, so I could get my hands through and hit the ball in the air some­where, and hope­fully get it over the out­fielder’s head.”

Af­ter a 10-day lay­off, the Is­lan­ders found a way to take both games de­spite trail­ing in each matchup.

The Alpines struck quickly in Game 2, tak­ing a 2-0 lead in the first in­ning off of start­ing pitcher Ja­cob Beck, who hit two bat­ters in the in­ning. Beck sur­ren­dered a sac­ri­fice fly to Yves Par­ent and an RBI sin­gle to Joel Ar­beau.

The Is­lan­ders stormed back in the sec­ond, as the Alpines strug­gled to field the ball.

Is­lan­ders right-fielder Sean Cor­co­ran hit a sharp grounder that trick­led past sec­ond base­men De­van Thomas’ glove. A wild pitch and a Will Con­nolly sin­gle and the Is­lan­ders had men on the corners.

Alpines starter Dan Tay­lor’s sec­ond wild pitch of the in­ning scored Cor­co­ran and Brody McDon­ald hit a game-ty­ing sin­gle.

The Alpines scored in the fourth off a Thomas RBI sin­gle.

The lead was short-lived as the bot­tom of the or­der came up big for the Is­lan­ders in the fifth. Kris McGuirk and Larkin sin­gled and dou­bled, re­spec­tively, and Dy­lan McKenna hit the ga­me­ty­ing sac­ri­fice fly.

In the sev­enth, Dan O’Shea dou­bled, McGuirk moved him to third with a bunt and Larkin ended the game.

“I just wanted to get the bat on the ball and give us a chance to win,” O’Shea said.

McDon­ald pitched a per­fect sev­enth in­ning for the win. Beck al­lowed three runs off six hits and three walks while record­ing four strike­outs.

Af­ter a 10-day lay­off, the bats were slow to get go­ing, but the pitch­ing staff picked up the slack.

“It def­i­nitely helped the pitch­ers to rest their arms and we prac­tised three or four times in the mean­time just to stay fresh, too,” O’Shea said.

Jor­dan Steven­son nabbed the Game 1 win in a com­plete-game ef­fort, al­low­ing one run off four hits and two walks with five strike­outs.

The Is­lan­ders cap­i­tal­ized on four Alpine er­rors, as they took home the 2-1 vic­tory with just a sin­gle hit, a Mor­gan Ma­cLean bunt.

JASON MAL­LOY/THE GUARDIAN

Sean Cor­co­ran, of the Char­lot­te­town Gaudet’s Auto Body Is­lan­ders, scores ahead of the tag from Saint John Alpines pitcher Dan Tay­lor Satur­day at Me­mo­rial Field. Char­lot­te­town (14-7) will host the Monc­ton Fisher Cats (9-7) Tues­day at 7:30 p.m.

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