Is­landers in tough again hard-hit­ting Roy­als

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS -

Pitch­ing and de­fence will be para­mount for the Char­lot­te­town Gaudet’s Auto Body Is­landers, when the squad hosts the Fredericton Roy­als for a dou­ble­header Satur­day in Char­lot­te­town.

Game 1 start time is 2 p.m. at Me­mo­rial Field, and while the fourth-place Roy­als (11-12) are four games up on the fifth-place Is­landers in the New Brunswick Se­nior Base­ball League stand­ings, the vis­i­tors have scored the sec­ond-most runs in the league (108) and have the sec­ond-high­est team bat­ting av­er­age (.280).

Char­lot­te­town (8-17), mean­while, is last in runs scored with 72 and last in av­er­age at .226, al­though its much im­proved of­fence in the sec­ond half has av­er­aged over four runs per game since July 1.

That said, the league-lead­ing Chatham Iron­men shut out the Isles 3-0 on Thurs­day in Chatham on a two-hit­ter Ronnie Dick­son. Grant Grady and Tay­lor Larkin had the Char­lot­te­town hits.

Char­lot­te­town starter Ja­cob Beck went the dis­tance in the loss, sur­ren­der­ing nine hits, in­clud­ing a home run by Jeff Watkin and strik­ing out four.

Satur­day, the Isles have Jordan Steven­son (5-3, 2.88 ERA) and Brody McDon­ald (1-4-1, 2.30 ERA) avail­able for start­ing pitch­ers. Steven­son leads the league in wins, and is fourth over­all in earned run av­er­age. McDon­ald’s ERA is third over­all.

And there is hope, and good de­fence, for the Is­landers, which has given up a third-best 97 runs ver­sus Fredericton’s 118 runs against.

At the plate, Fredericton sports power hit­ter Mike Wash­burn, whose six homers and 17 RBIs lead the league in both cat­e­gories. Wash­burn also a sec­ond-best .426 bat­ting av­er­age. Team­mate Dave Barr isn’t far be­hind with a .400 av­er­age, two four-bag­gers and nine RBIs.

Steven­son paces the Isles with a .377 av­er­age, two homers and 13 RBIs while Jordan Duffy is hit­ting at a

.316 clip.

Tues­day, the Isles host the Monc­ton Fisher Cats for an early-week tus­sle resched­uled from June 20.

Game time is 7:30 p.m. at Me­mo­rial Field.

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