The biggest mistake Goulds’ Mark Power made at Lions Park over the past four days was when he plunked Lafontaine Club Molson’s Eddie Heffernan Monday night in the championship game of the Molson St. John’s intermediate softball league Swing Into Summer tournament.
Otherwise, the 19-year-old was close to perfect as he led Goulds to the tourney title with a 1-0 win — the only run coming on his solo home run.
“I love the big games,” Power said after his seven-inning, three-hit, 12-strikeout shutout win.
“I love the pressure and everything about it.”
Saturday, in Goulds’ tourney opener against B.K. Services, Power was perfect in every sense, going seven innings without allowing a base runner as he recorded his first-ever perfect game and the first in tournament history.
“I was taken aback by it,” says Power, who had previously tossed a couple of no-hitters over his career, “It was pretty exciting.”
Power wasn’t aware he had a perfect game within his grasp until the fifth inning.
“Everyone was being quiet about it, that’s when I realized I had a game going. I kind of clued in that I hadn’t given up any walks or hits.”
Once it dawned on him, he didn’t change his plan of attack.
“I just took it one batter a time, went at them like I would any other (game), working the corner inside and outside,” says Power who finished the memorable game with 11 strikeouts.
In the dugout between innings, his teammates weren’t talking about it, which was just the way Power wanted it.
“There was a bit of tension around, you could tell people knew. I wanted to stay relaxed and not have anyone bug me about it so I could focus on the game.”
Coach Dave Boland, however, was blissfully unaware that his ace had a perfect game going.
“In the fifth inning, I asked him, ‘are you feeling OK?’, he said, ‘Yeah, clearly.’
“After the game was over, one of the young fellas told me Mark had a perfect game. I was very proud of him.”
Power was named tournament MVP, and with good reason. Over his three starts — all shutouts — Power gave up a mere six hits, four walks, and collected 32 strikeouts. At the plate, Power was the tourney’s top batter with seven hits in 11 at-bats, six runs scored and three RBI.
Power could well find himself on the mound at Lions Park again tonight when his other team, the Kelly’s Pub Junior Canadians, take on the Kelly’s Pub Molson Bulldogs in senior league action 6 p.m.
While he says pitching in the senior circuit is whole different ball game, coming off a successful weekend doesn’t hurt the ego.
“It boosts the confidence a lot and makes me want to hit my spots more.”
Lafontaine Club’s Johnny O’Reilly pitched a solid game Monday, giving up just three hits and six walks while striking out five. Jeremy O’Reilly, Billy Patterson and Matthew O’Rielly were the only Lafontaine Club batters to collect hits off Power.
The Placentia team earned a berth in the final by defeating Bay Roberts Coors Light 5-1 in the semifinal. O’Reilly (5IP, 2H, 1W, 6K) pitched the win and was four-for-four at the plate with two RBI. Matthew O’Reilly (2IP, 1R, 3H, 1W, 1K) tossed in relief.
Paul Maher scored twice and Trevor Heffernan drove in two runs.
Chris Hussey (7IP, 5R, 13H, 1W, 5K) took the loss.
Members of the championship team are Power, Daniel Dalton, Ryan Kirk, Alex Power, Shane Boland, Adam Doyle, Drew Sullivan, Jason Gulliver, Jonathan Mootrey, Joel Whelan, Randy White, Geoff Stack and coaches Boland and Jeff Kirk.