Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
August 27, 2017, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Burnaby Bulldogs scored two runs early and then got a three-run home run from Scott Webster late, to defeat the Fredericton Royals (New Brunswick) 5-3 in the championship game of the 2017 Baseball Canada Senior Men’s National Championship at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria.
The Bulldogs jumped on the board first in this one, pushing a pair of runs across on Fredericton starter Pascal McCarthy in the top of the second inning thanks to a Braeden Alleman sacrifice fly that scored Jeff Bouchard, who led off the inning with a walk, and then having Tyler Yorko, who reached on an error, score on a passed ball.
The Royals would respond off Burnaby starter Shawn Andersen in the bottom of the third, when a Corey Wood single scored Dave Barr, who had led the frame off with a walk.
After Fredericton reliver Jay Johnson would hold Burnaby scoreless in the fourth and fifth, the Bulldogs sent reliever Josh Larson to the mound for the bottom of the fifth and after an out, he gave up a single to Dave Barr and a walk to Mike Washburn, but then induced a double play ground ball by Mark Phillips – the third double play turned by the Bulldogs defence to that point – to get out of the inning unscathed.
Larson and Johnson would take that 2-1 score all the way to the top of the seventh where Burnaby’s Kyle McComb drew a one-out walk and James Zamko followed with a single to get things rolling for the Bulldogs. Braydon Munro would then pop out, setting the stage for Webster, who launched a 1-2 pitch over the right field fence putting the Bulldogs into a 5-1 lead.
The Bulldogs went to the bullpen for the bottom half of the inning and with no other options available, brought in lefty Shawn Schaefer, who earlier in the day had pitched a complete game in the Bulldogs nine-inning, extra-inning win over Red Deer in the semi-finals.
That move looked to be a mistake, as Schaefer was greeted with back-to-back leadoff singles from Blake Gallagher and tournament Top Hitter Dave Barr and then a one-out, two-RBI double from Mark Phillips that pulled the Royals to within two.
Schaefer would then get Corey Wood to ground out and then finish the game by striking out Jeff Watkin, sending the Bulldogs streaming on to the field with the exciting 5-3 win.
Burnaby’s Shawn Andersen, who went four complete, giving up one run on six hits, gets credit for the win, with Schaefer getting the save in relief. Fredericton’s McCarthy gets tagged with the loss, giving up two runs on two hits, in just three innings of work.
Burnaby infielder Kyle McComb, who turned three double plays on the night, was named the tournament’s top defensive player, while Fredericton’s Dave Barr, who finished the tournament with a .567 average, 17 hits, three home runs, 14 runs scored and 15 RBI, was named the tournament’s top hitter.