Moncton Fishercats starter Steve Aube made his first start this season count in a big way.
He was dominant as he went the distance, retiring the last 17 hitters he faced in a 3-1 Fishercats win over the visiting Saint John Alpines Sunday night at Kiwanis Park.
He gave up only three hits, two of them in the first inning, and cooled down and got to work, issuing no walks and pitching two batters above the minimum. He struck out four Alpines on the night.
The offense chipped in with three runs in the second inning. The bottom third of the order got to work, getting on base for a Pete Shaw error and two RBI groundouts to push three runners across the plate.
Marc-Andre Pitre led off the inning reaching base on a walk, and catcher Eric Hebert followed with a single, pushing Pitre to second. Center fielder Steve Thorne followed, reaching base on a throwing error from Shaw, allowing Pitre to score.
Right fielder Josh DeWitt and second baseman Pat Godin each hit grounders to second, scoring Hebert and Thorne and giving the Fishercats an insurmountable lead.
Shaw took the loss, giving up three runs in his four innings of effort, two of them earned. He walked one and struck out another, falling to 0-5 on the year. Brody Chamberlain pitched the rest, giving up just a walk.
Moncton improved to 12-8 on the year, while Saint John dropped to 3-24.
Aube got his first decision of the season, a big win to give the Fishercats two wins on the weekend, with a win Friday against the league-leading Fredericton Royals and a loss in Chatham against the Ironmen. The lefty came through in a pinch, as managing the pitching staff will be difficult with 10 games still left to play in the schedule’s remaining three weeks.
Designated hitter Mark Deveaux reached base three times in the win, with two singles.
Brandon McQuade scored the Alpines only run in the first inning, getting himself on base with a single and moving to third on a Ron Barton double. He scored on Devin Thomas’s RBI groundout.
Though the Fishercats didn’t hit the five-run trigger for the Papa John’s Fishercats 5 promo, they did hit it in Friday’s 10-3 win over Fredericton, meaning Tuesday is the day to get 50% all online orders at papajohns.com. The promo code for the discount is ‘Fishercats5’.
Next home game for the Fishercats in their crowded schedule is Wednesday night against the Charlottetown Islanders in a key matchup. The Islanders are just a half-game ahead of the Fishercats, with two-and-a-half games against them in the next three days, including completion of a suspended game before Tuesday’s meeting on the island. First pitch Wednesday is 7:35 PM, and Cavendish is the game day sponsor. –Mike Sanderson