In 1978 two teams from the parish of Petit de Grat stole the attention of baseball fans. The Alderney Point Thunderbolts took the Richmond Amateur Baseball Association (RABA) title by defeating the Louisdale Braves.
Although the Red Caps failed to defend their 1977 RABA title, they captured the provincial and Maritime Intermediate “B” crowns. They firstly had to get by Port Hawkesbury, which had also registered for Intermediate “B” play. Dropping the first game 14-13, they were able to come back to take the next two by scores of 8-5 and 11-10.
In the provincial tourney, the Red Caps went undefeated beating Truro 6-3, and Woods Harbour twice 11-10 and 12-2 to advance to the Maritime championship in Port Hawkesbury. It is worth noting that in the 11-10 victory, the Caps scored seven runs in the bottom of the ninth to earn the win.
New Brunswick was represented by Black’s Harbour, while the PEI rep was South Port. The Red Caps lost the first game 11-2 to the host team from Port Hawkesbury. In this double-knockout format, the Petit de Grat team was in the unenviable position of having to win all of their remaining contests. They started off well by trouncing PEI 18-13 behind the two-home-run performance of Richard Boudreau, while Claude Boudreau, Timmy David, and Gerry Bourque chipped in with one homer each.
On Sunday, the Red Caps were faced with the monumental task of winning three games in a single day if they were to bring home the title of the best Intermediate team in the Maritime provinces. The stage was set for a pitching feat that was arguably the most outstanding achievement in baseball in this area and beyond.
At 9 a.m. Sunday morning, Gerry Bourque, who had been acquired from the Arichat A’s for the tournament, took the mound for the Red Caps. He pitched a complete game six-hitter for a 13-3 win over Black’s Harbour. Gerry helped his cause with a double and two singles while Keith David contributed a homer and single.
Game two was against Port Hawkesbury. Gerry Bourque took the mound once more and fashioned a three hitter to earn the 2-1 win. Timmy David helped with two singles.
And so the stage was set for the championship game against New Brunswick, and so too was the stage set for another epic performance from Gerry Bourque. With 18 innings under his belt, Bourque once more strode to the mound and came away with a 5-0 shutout. As Roy Boudreau stated in The Petit de Grat Red Caps: 50 Years of Tradition and Glory, it was “a feat which may never be equaled.” Brothers Richard and Valma Boudreau supplied the offense with three and two hits respectively.
Awards for the Maritime champs went to rookie Timmy David who had a sparkling .348 average earning him the batting title. Gerry, not surprisingly, was named Most Outstanding Pitcher and Most Valuable Player, a magnificent feat indeed! But those who know Gerry Bourque and who played with him and against him know that he was perhaps the fiercest competitor to play baseball in this area and certainly one of the most talented.