Blake Gallagher hit a three-run triple to ice the Ironmen’s 7-0 victory as Chatham scored six runs in the fourth inning to blow open a 1-0 game in New Brunswick Senior Baseball League action.
After Nick Leggatt flew out to left field to start the fourth, the next five hitters reached base before Gallagher put the game out of reach with a base-loaded three-bagger to right-centre field.
A key play came when Nick Losier’s ground ball took a tough bounce on second baseman Grant Grady with the bases loaded to score the first run of the fourth inning.
It turned the lineup over and Orry Cook followed with a single past the drawn-in infield to make it 3-0.
“We got the groundball and didn't make the play and those things usually kill you,” Islanders head coach Keith Craswell said. “I thought we played alright other than that one inning.”
The Islanders had their chances, but couldn’t come through with the big hit when needed.
Grady and Jesse MacIntyre had back-to-back singles to lead off the first inning and Brady Arsenault and Jordan Stevenson followed suit in the fourth. Both times the Islanders next three hitters were retired in order.
“We had guys on, but weren’t stringing any hits together and driving in any runs,” Craswell said.
The Islanders appeared to break the shutout bid in the fifth inning when Arsenault hit a deep fly ball to centre field with one out and the bases loaded, but Cook threw a dart to gun down Dillon Doucette trying to advance to third base before MacIntyre crossed the plate.
Gary Ryder went four innings for the win while Tyler King and Kevin Bowes closed out the game by allowing three hits in three innings. Ryder allowed five hits, walked one and struck out two.
Jacob Beck was tagged with the loss, allowing seven runs on seven hits in 3.1 innings. He struck out three and walked two. Colin Arsenault got two outs to end the fourth before Dan O’Shea threw the final three innings of relief.
Cody Dickson was 3-for-4 with three singles for Chatham while Cook and Aaron Noel each chipped in two singles.
MacIntyre and Arsenault were each 2-for-3 for Charlottetown.
The Islanders only had one of its regular top five hitters from 2016 in Monday’s lineup. Some guys didn't return while Morgan MacLean is out for two weeks with an injury. It means the Isles will have to change their approach a bit from last year in order to score runs to win games.
The Islanders didn't get through the first inning on Monday before another player was injured. First baseman Nial Hughes was hurt stretching for a throw on the first batter of the game. Arsenault replaced him after the second batter of the contest.
The Islanders went to Saint John, N.B., on a cold, windy Saturday with a short bench and returned home with a split. It was the Isles first time on the field this season after practising indoors due to wet field conditions this spring.
“We’re not going to fret too much over it today,” Craswell said after Monday’s loss. “We’ll get out to practice a couple times this week and hopefully we’ll be better next Saturday.”
The Islanders (1-2) host the Alpines Saturday for a pair of games beginning at 2 p.m.
A look at the statistics from the Charlottetown Gaudet’s Auto Body Islanders first three games.
Game 1 R H E
Charlottetown 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 1 5 1
Saint John 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 — 2 4 0
WP – Dan Taylor, three scoreless innings in relief of Shawn O’Toole and Brooks Saunders. Taylor allowed a hit, walked two and struck out one.
LP – Jordan Stevenson, two runs on four hits in five innings. He struck out 10 and walked three. Brody McDonald walked one and struck out two in an inning of relief.
Offence – Grant Grady was 2-for-3 with an RBI while Taylor Larkin, Jesse MacInytre and Brody McDonald each were 1-for-3.
Game 2 R H E
Charlottetown 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 — 5 4 2
Saint John 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 — 2 6 4
WP – Colin Arsenault, two no-hit innings with a strikeout in relief of Brady Arsenault, who allowed two runs on five hits in four innings while striking out four and walking three. Brody McDonald allowed a hit and a walk while striking out one in the seventh inning.
LP – Kevin Desaulniers, two runs on no hits and a walk.
Offence – Jordan Stevenson, 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run. Jesse MacIntyre and Brady Arsenault, 1-for-3. Arsenault had two RBI. Desi Doyle, 0-for-3 with a walk, run and an RBI.