CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - The P.E.I. Junior Islanders kicked off the New Brunswick Junior Baseball League season with a doubleheader sweep of the Chatham Ironmen at Memorial Field in Charlottetown on Saturday.
In Game 1, in a scoreless battle, Ryne MacIsaac led off the bottom of seventh with a walk. With two outs pinch runner Elijah Hood advanced to second on a wild pitch, which set the stage for Jed Noonan's walk-off, run-scoring single to centre. Hood and the ball arrived at the catcher, Jeremy Poole, at the same time and a tremendous collision caused the ball to come loose and the winning run to score.
Up to that point in the game, it had been a pitching duel between Ironman starter Mike McKay and Isles starter Johnny Arsenault. The lefty McKay went six innings, with the only baserunner he allowed being a one-out single to MacIsaac in the fourth. He was relieved to start the seventh by Matt Carroll, who took the loss. Arsenault surrendered only three hits and a walk before being relieved by Brett Hicken in the fifth. Hicken picked up the win. Zach Gosse had two hits for Chatham.
In Game 2, the Islanders jumped in front 5-1 but had to survive a furious Ironmen rally in the seventh that fell short. Final score was 5-4. An RBI single from Logan MacDougall and a run-scoring ground out from Noonan gave the Isles a 2-0 lead. Chatham's Nick Noel cut the lead in half with a run-scoring single in the fourth, but P.E.I. plated three more in the bottom of the fifth aided by two key Ironmen errors.
Porter Smith picked up the win with four solid innings on the hill, allowing four hits and one walk. Connor Jones followed with two shutout innings and Nolan Hicken finished up.
Johnny Henderson suffered the loss for Chatham, with relief help from Alex Preston
Matt Barlow, Hood, Kyle Pinksen, Chasse Gallant and Brandon Watts each had a hit for P.E.I. Gosse, Jayden Jones, Jake Cook and Poole all had two knocks for Chatham.
P.E.I.’s next action is at home in Charlottetown Saturday for a noon time start doubleheader versus the defending champion Metro Mudcats from Moncton. On Sunday the Islanders are off to Saint John for another two games.