Craig McCarron pitched a gem for the St. Andrews Flyers, including striking out the side to end the game, in an 8-2 victory over the visiting Heatherton Warriors in recent AGR fast pitch play.
It was the first match-up of a July 28 doubleheader played at MacPherson Field.
The opener of the twin bill remained scoreless, until the top of the fourth inning, when the Warriors jumped to a 2-0 advantage on solo home runs from Ricky and Reilly Bowie.
In the bottom half of that frame, the Flyers answered, starting on a lead-off triple from centerfielder Dustin Landry, who scored on an RBI single from Jason O’Leary.
After an opposite field single by catcher Andrew MacIsaac, O’Leary scored the tying run on a force play off the bat of Paddy McCarron.
The Flyers took their first lead, on a misplay in the Warrior outfield, which became an RBI triple for Matt MacDonald.
St. Andrews was up 3-2 after four innings.
After McCarron tossed a 1-2-3 fifth, including two strikeouts, the Flyers broke open the game in their half of the inning, against Heatherton starter Paul Purcell.
Third baseman Kory Tate led off with a solo bomb to left field to make it 4-2.
After putting another two runners on, the Flyers benefitted from another fielding error to load the bases.
McCarron helped his own cause with a sacrifice fly to stretch the lead to three runs.
The night ended for Purcell after the next hitter – MacIsaac – stroked a two-run single to make it 7-2.
The veteran Heatherton hurler, who finished with seven strikeouts, was let down by some suspect fielding throughout the game.
After allowing a couple base runners, Nathaniel Macdonald, who relieved Purcell, ended the inning with no further damage.
In the top of the sixth, McCarron induced a couple fly outs to Landry, before walking Ricky Bowie and hitting Josh Wood with a low, inside pitch.
The Flyer pitcher thwarted the rally by fanning Reilly Bowie with a high heater on a full count.
In their half of the sixth, St. Andrews tacked on another run, with help from three Heatherton errors, to make it 8-2 – the final score.
McCarron, who finished with 12 strikeouts, dashed any hope of a Warrior rally, in quick fashion, with the aforementioned trio of Ks in the top of the seventh.
In the nightcap, McCarron led the Flyer offensive attack, going four-for-four, with three doubles and five RBI, to help complete the sweep with an 11-8 victory.
Tate, with five strikeouts, pitched the win, while Macdonald suffered the loss.
MacIsaac added a three-run homer for the Flyers, while Reilly Bowie, with a triple, and Alex Chisholm (single, double) paced the Warrior offense.
Acadians, Warriors win
On the same night, the league-leading Pomquet Acadians scorched the St. Josephs Chiefs U-21s 12-1.
Mike Wolfe tossed the win, while Lawrence MacPherson took the loss.
Shawn Broussard led the Acadians with a grand slam and five RBI, while Blair van Oirschot, who chipped in a solo blast, and Donnelly Archibald plated runners.
A solo shot from MacPherson accounted for the lone Chief run.
Two days earlier (July 26), the Warriors edged the Guysborough Broadhorns 7-6.
Adam Anderson, with six strikeouts, was the winning pitcher, while Cory Avery (10 Ks) was saddled with the loss.
Wood led Heatherton with a pair of doubles, while Alex and Joe Chisholm contributed one apiece.
Reilly Bowie and Burton Chisholm Jr. added two singles each, while Anderson, Wood and Macdonald added one apiece.
Wood and Chisholm Jr. finished with three and two RBI, respectively, while Macdonald and Reilly Bowie added one each.
For Guysborough, Joe LeBlanc led the way with three RBI, while Jeff Myers added two, on the strength of a solo home run.
Shane Cooke, with two, Geoff Cook, Spencer MacKeen, Leblanc, Avery and Myers added singles.
Still on top
As of July 31, the Acadians remained in top spot for the regular season, with an 8-1 mark, followed by the Warriors (6-3), Broadhorns (3-2), Flyers (3-8) and Chiefs (1-7).