His charges may be trailing the series, but Sean Gulliver still likes the St. John’s Capitals’ chances heading home next weekend after the opening three games in the Molson provincial senior baseball championship in Corner Brook.
The Barons took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series this past weekend at Jubilee Field, winning 8-4 and 5-4 in extra innings Saturday, before the Caps managed to avoid falling into a deep hole with an 8-3 decision Sunday.
The series now shifts to St. Pat’s Ball Park in St. John’s for the remainder of the series next weekend. Games are scheduled for noon and 7 p.m. Saturday and, if necessary, noon and 7 p.m. Sunday.
“It’s a pretty tough hill to climb when you’re down 3-0,” Caps’ coach Gulliver said, before adding, “not that we couldn’t do it.
“I think we’re in pretty good shape going home.”
History has to be making Gulliver and the Capitals confident, too. St. John’s has won 17 of the last 18 all-Newfoundland titles, the lone exception being 2013 when Corner Brook wrested the crown away.
The Caps were without two of their top pitchers — Scott Goosney and Dan Connors — in Corner Brook, but both will be available next weekend.
“But that’s not making any excuses,” Gulliver said. “Those were winnable games Saturday. They won the first one on a walk-off, and in the second, (left-handed pitcher) Ryan Morgan didn’t have command and we gave up eight runs in the first.
“But we left the bases loaded for three straight innings. When you take that into consideration, coupled with the fact we are at home, I like our chances.”
Greg Barry pitched the win Sunday, and Ben Murphy was solid in relief for the Caps. Scott Stockley collected three hits in four trips to the plate, while Bernie Madden, Dylan MacKenzie and Redmond Hunt each had two hits.
Greg Sharpe was the Barons’ player of the game.
Saturday night, Riley King, in relief of starter Brian Bennett, got the win over Morgan in Corner Brook’s 8-4 win.
Players of the game were Greg Whelan (Corner Brook) and Danny Rice (St. John’s).
In the series-opener Saturday, the Barons scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth. Greg Sharpe had two hits for the winners, and Andrew Paul had a pair for St. John’s.
A.J. Whiffen got the win in relief of starter Michael Tavenor. Ben Murphy was tagged with the loss after Mattie Murphy started.