SUMMERSIDE – It was only appropriate that the best game of the Summerside mosquito AAA baseball tournament was played in the championship game.
The Charlottetown Royals and Richmond Red Sox engaged in a very entertaining final at Queen Elizabeth Park’s Gordie Arsenault Field on a beautiful Sunday morning.
After 4 ½ scoreless innings, the Royals were able to manufacture the game’s only run in the bottom of the fifth inning, and that proved to be the difference.
“It was a very well-played game,” assessed Red Sox head coach Darren Gallant. “You are not going to see too many 1-0 mosquito baseball games.
“There was fantastic pitching and defence on both sides.”
Cam Squires, one of the Royals’s youngest players, connected for a one-out single to start Charlottetown’s rally. Squires then stole second base, and Keeghan Duffy followed with a run-scoring single.
Charlottetown reliever Jake Squires got the game’s final three outs in order in the top of the sixth inning to complete a perfect 5-0 (won-lost) tournament record for the Royals.
“Both teams played really well,” offered Royals assistant coach Mark Arsenault following the medal presentations. “It was high quality ball, it’s early in the year and we really haven’t had the greatest weather. You saw some pretty talented baseball players out there today (Sunday).”
Charlottetown starter Tanner MacLean pitched 4 1/3 innings of shutout ball before giving way to Squires, who worked the final 1 2/3 innings. Landon Gallant also threw the first 4 1/3 innings for Richmond, and Zach Biggar got the final two outs of the fifth inning.
“Both pitchers pitched really well,” said Royals assistant coach Mark Arsenault. “Landon Gallant pitched a helluva ball game on their side, and Tanner is our ace and he showed it today.”
Overall, the Royals outhit the Red Sox 7-6. The ball was in play a lot as walks were basically a non-factor.
“They walked two on their side and we walked two on our side,” said Gallant. “All in all, it comes down to a couple of clutch hits, and they came through in the fifth inning and squeaked through a run.”
Arsenault also praised the defensive play of both teams.
“We talked about that after the game,” said Arsenault. “We said in a close ball game like that, making the simple plays and not letting the pressure get you, it says a lot about the character on both sides.”
A total of five P.E.I. teams competed in the three-day tournament. Teams played a round-robin format, with the top two advancing to the championship game. The Red Sox went 3-1 in the round robin.
The next Summerside Area Baseball Association-hosted tournament will be the peewee AAA category from July 11 to 13.