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St. John's Capitals can't turn hits into playoff berth at national senior baseball championship

The St. John’s Capitals, including shortstop Trevor Clarke (3), did pretty well at the plate at the national senior men’s baseball championship in Victoria, B.C., but it wasn’t enough to get the Newfoundland and Labrador representatives into the playoffs. — Baseball Canada/Twitter
The St. John’s Capitals, including shortstop Trevor Clarke (3), did pretty well at the plate at the national senior men’s baseball championship in Victoria, B.C., but it wasn’t enough to get the Newfoundland and Labrador representatives into the playoffs. — Baseball Canada/Twitter

Newfoundland and Labrador representatives finish 1-3 in Victoria, B.C.

The St. John’s Capitals, representing Newfoundland and Labrador, lost their last two round-robin games Saturday to finish out of the medal round at the Canadian senior men’s baseball championship in Victoria, B.C.

The Capitals would have secured at least a quarter-final berth with a win over the Ilderton, Ont., Red Army, but fell 16-7 in a game in which half of the runs scored were unearned.

A potential playoff berth was still on the line as St. John’s took on the Coquitlam, B.C., Angels in its final game of the round-robin, but even though the Capitals rapped out 11 hits compared to eight for the British Columbia representatives, they lost 7-3, scoring all their runs in the final inning.

“We played very well, but lacked timely hitting,” said Capitals head coach Sean Gulliver about the game against Coquitlam. “We had the bases loaded three times with less than two outs, but came up empty each time.”

In all, the Capitals left 31 runners on base in their four games.

“Overall, we played well except for the Ontario game,” added Gulliver, who noted his team included seven junior-aged players and that the experience gained this week should help in the future. As defending provincial champs, the Capitals will be back at the 2019 nationals, which will be held in New Brunswick.

Daniel Rice was the team’s top hitter for the tourney, reaching base six times in 11 plate appearances and fashioning a .500 batting average. Dave Penney (.429) and Trevor Clarke (.385) rounded out the top three batter for St. John’s, which hit well for average as a team, (.263), but suffered from lack of power. Of the team’s 31 hits in Victoria, 28 were singles, with the other three being doubles.

On the pitching side, Dan Connors had been solid for St. John’s in the Newfoundlanders’ lone win, delivering a complete-game performance and scattering eight hits in a 5-1 decision over Alberta. On the whole, though, the Capitals’ hurlers had a collective earned-run average of just under 6.00, while giving up 45 hits in 27 innings of work.

sportS@thetelegram.com

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