O’LEARY – A series of fielding errors resulted in the Charlottetown Fawcetts squandering a sixth-inning lead, and the O’Leary Eagles soaring to a 9-3 championship-clinching win on Thursday night.
The Summerside Chrysler Dodge-sponsored Eagles swept the best-of-three Island senior men’s softball championship series in two straight games. The Eagles, who won Game 1 by a 5-4 score in Charlottetown on Wednesday night, have now defeated the Fawcetts in the Island final two years in a row.
With two out in the sixth inning and trailing 3-2 at Ellis Field, Eagles first baseman Darcy Harris reached his base on an error. He subsequently raced home from first when the Fawcetts committed a series of errors on Ryan Perry’s infield slapper.
“As soon as the ball was hit I knew I was going,” explained Harris. “As I got to second and was making the turn, I saw the ball bounce before it got to first base so I kept trucking and I got to third, and Jeff (Ellsworth) was waving me home.”
The big inning, Harris said, wasn’t unexpected.
“We have a lot of good ballplayers, and when we went away to NAFA (North American Fastpitch Association) I think we finally realized that,” he continued. “Although we come from a small area, we’ve got a heck of lot of good athletes here and good ballplayers. We’re never out of a ball game.”
Charlottetown starting pitcher Chris Craig got the hook after Mike MacIsaac made the score 7-3 with a three-run homer, and Ellsworth followed up with a two-run smash off reliever Jamie MacDonald.
“We have a lot of good ballplayers, and when we went away to NAFA (North American Fastpitch Association) I think we finally realized that. Although we come from a small area, we’ve got a heck of lot of good athletes here and good ballplayers. We’re never out of a ball game.” Eagles first baseman Darcy Harris
Harris sympathized with Craig on the loss.
“He threw both nights back-to-back, and he was sore,” the O’Leary team member commented. “He was doing what he had to do.”
The Summerside Chrysler Dodge Eagles won the first game of the series 5-4 Wednesday night in Charlottetown, and finished off the series Thursday at home in O’Leary.
Mitch Hardy earned the pitching win. O’Leary was trailing 3-0 when he entered the game in the top of the fourth in relief of Steve Noonan. Hardy gave up three hits but allowed no runs. Noonan allowed two hits while registering two strikeouts.
MacIsaac batted 2-for-4 and plated four runs while Ellsworth hit 2-for-3, including a home run. Jason Smallman (1-4, RBI) also chipped in offensively.
Three of the Eagles – Hardy, Ellsworth and Jamie Betts – will play next week with the Fawcetts when the Charlottetown club hosts the Canadian senior men’s championship.
The Eagles also have a special game coming up Monday against Team Canada members in an exhibition game in O’Leary.