More of­fence needed

Barons know they must be bet­ter against the Cap­i­tals

The Western Star - - SPORTS - BY DAVE KEARSEY [email protected]­ern­star.com Twit­ter: WS_S­port­sDesk

Coach Frank Hum­ber is glad to see the Cor­ner Brook Barons hold­ing a 2-1 ad­van­tage against the St. John’s Cap­i­tals with the series shift­ing to the east coast this week­end, but he dis­cov­ered an ob­vi­ous weak­ness in the group that he be­lieves has to be fixed be­fore Game 4.

The Barons hold a 2-1 lead over the Cap­i­tals in the provin­cial se­nior A base­ball fi­nal af­ter a great start to the series at home. The bal­ance of the series, which re­sumes with Game 4 sched­uled for 2 p.m. to­day in St. John’s, will be played at St. Pat’s Ball Park.

Hum­ber was pleased with how his pitch­ing staff was able to con­tain the hit­ting prow­ess of the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons and he liked the way the de­fence came up big to give the pitch­ing staff the sup­port they needed.

What he wasn’t happy about was the of­fen­sive pro­duc­tion of the group.

He can live with guys hit­ting the ball on the nose and the op­po­si­tion mak­ing the out, but he finds it tough when his play­ers aren’t get­ting qual­ity swings on the ball.

More timely hit­ting will be a key if his team is go­ing to win the series. Hum­ber looked back at Game 2 of the series as an ex­am­ple of how his team needs to be bet­ter with the sticks.

In Game 2, the Barons pushed eight runs across in the first in­ning and ended up win­ning the game 8-4 af­ter let­ting the red and white claw their way back into the game.

“We should have scored 16 that night and we shouldn’t have been go­ing into the sixth and sev­enth in­ning pulling our hair ner­vous about them com­ing back,” Hum­ber said, not­ing timely hit­ting on the road will be huge with the Cap­i­tals ex­pected to be tougher at home.

Catcher Greg Whe­lan agrees with his coach that the Barons could have cashed in runs and didn’t, but he liked how the

team played over­all and the group was quite happy to win two and head to St. John’s with a lead in the series.

“Timely hit­ting wasn’t there but we man­aged to scrape to­gether the first two wins and hope­fully our hit­ting comes to­gether in St. John’s,” he said.

The shift in the series means the Cap­i­tals will be bol­stered with the ad­di­tion of stal­wart pitch­ers Scott Goos­ney and

Dan Con­nors. Whe­lan said Ben Mur­phy and Matt Mur­phy pitched well for the Cap­i­tals and the Barons pulled out a cou­ple of wins so he doesn’t think his team is at a big dis­ad­van­tage on the road.

“We’re go­ing to have to hit the ball, no mat­ter who pitches against us, to score runs,” Whe­lan said. “We know they’re go­ing to be able to score runs so we’re go­ing to have to put up

three or four runs if we want to have a chance to win.”

With the Barons up 2-1, Whe­lan be­lieves his team has to make sure they get at least one win on Satur­day to put the pres­sure on the Caps, but he re­ally doesn’t want to be on the field Sun­day with the Cap­i­tals still show­ing life.

DAVE KEARSEY/THE WESTERN STAR

Michael Tavenor of the Cor­ner Brook Barons de­liv­ers a pitch to a mem­ber of the St. John’s Cap­i­tals dur­ing Game 1 of the provin­cial se­nior A base­ball fi­nal one week ago in Cor­ner Brook. The provin­cial se­nior A base­ball best-of-seven fi­nal series, with...

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