By Mike Alessandrini
Canadian Baseball Network
Down 1-0 and held without a hit through three innings, Atlantic Maroon’s Micah McDowell (Coldbrook, N.S.) knew he had to create a spark.
That came in the top of the fourth, when McDowell took an 83 mph fastball from Futures Navy starter Justin Thorsteinson (Langley, B.C.) and slashed a single into centre field. His hit ignited a six-run inning en route to a 6-1 Atlantic win over Futures on Thursday.
After a tough first at-bat, the centre fielder was just waiting for his pitch.
“The pitcher kind of blew it by me the first time (and) I wasn’t really expecting him to throw that hard,” said McDowell. “I was just looking for the fastball the next time up. He was going there all game, and I just got my pitch.”
The Coldbrook, N.S. native finished 3-for-4, driving in one run, stealing a base and scoring his team’s first run in the fourth. After a throwing error put Atlantic up 2-1, third baseman Philip Rail drove in two more runs with a single to right field.
Ryan Scott (Quimpasis, N.B.) started the game for Atlantic, pitching four innings, allowing just one hit and one unearned run while striking out two.
After a nervous first inning, where he hit a batter, Scott settled down. The right-hander did not allow a single hit over his next three innings.
The Quimpasis, N.B., native was focused on keeping his nerves in check.
“I was nervous at first but was fine after the first,” Scott said. “It’s not your normal ballpark we’ve played in years past, so it was a lot of fun afterwards.”
The game’s winning pitcher felt good about his effort on Thursday. He even wanted to pitch longer into the game.
“I did want to (pitch more innings),” said Scott. “I got into a groove after the first inning, so it felt good and I could have pitched longer.”
Down by five runs in the top of the seventh, Futures Navy made it interesting with the bases loaded and one out, but failed to score as Atlantic reliever Evan O’Toole (Bridgewater, N.S.) forced a ground out from Futures first baseman Daniel Martin (Penticton, B.C.) to end the game.
Both teams have 1-1 records after their first two contests. Atlantic Maroon’s next game is against Quebec Blue. Futures Navy faces off against Prairies Purple. Both games go on Sunday.