Without Matt Stairs for the first time this season, the Fredericton Peterbilt DQ Royals came home from Chatham with a narrow 6-5 win, thanks to the arm of Corey Stairs.
Stairs came into the game as a defensive substitution and threw out Jon Saunders at home plate to end the sixth inning, and limit the damage.
Leading the charge for the Royals was Derek Wilson, who was 3-4 with a run scored and an RBI and Jody Peterson who was 2-4 with two runs and two RBIs on a double and a home run.
Starting pitcher Dan Murphy wasn’t stellar, but was steady through five innings of work as he struck out three and gave up four runs, three earned, to earn the victory. Murphy ran into trouble twice, once in the fourth, where he allowed three runs on an Andrew Burns home run, and then again in the sixth inning, which led to the end of his night.
Jake Waugh came in to clean up the mess, allowing one of Murphy’s runs to score, and it could have been more had it not been for Stairs. Waugh found himself in some hot water in the bottom of the seventh, as he allowed one run and the tying and winning run on third and second, respectively. Waugh settled in and struck out the side to earn the two inning save.
“Love the situation,” said Waugh about coming into the game with runners on base. “I’m doing my best to stay composed and keep things simple. Dan threw a great game and I wanted to close it out for him.”
The wheels almost fell off for the Royals in the bottom of the sixth inning, which saw centre fielder Mike Washburn drop a routine fly ball which got the leadoff batter into second base. The Ironmen would score twice that inning, but that would be it for their scoring.
“Dan Murphy threw really well for his second time out after having a sore back,” said manager Mike Lint. “He had some great zip on his fastball and some snap on his curveball. Outside of the 0-2 fastball to Andrew Burns he threw very well. Derek [Wilson] and Jody [Peterson] hit the ball great tonight too.”
The Royals are back in Fredericton tonight for Royals’ Friday Night Lights Baseball as they take on the Hub City Brewers on Baseball Hill. First pitch is set for 7:30.