Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
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Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Eagles kicked off their 2012 BC Premier League season in dramatic fashion Saturday, rallying for five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat the Parksville Royals 5-4 in game one and then using a six run first inning to propel themselves to a 8-2 win in game two of an opening day double-header at Lambrick Park.

The Royal’s Clayton Isherwood demonstrated why he was recently selected to the Canadian Junior National team as he dominated the Eagles Saturday in the first game of a BC Premier Baseball League double-header, taking a no-hitter into the bottom of the seventh, however two key errors behind him in that inning helped the Eagles score five runs and come away with the win.

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Victoria’s Brendan Miller delivers the first pitch of the Eagle’s 2012 BCPBL season Saturday against Parksville (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).

Prior to the seventh, Isherwood had retired all but two Eagle batters, striking out nine, with the only two base runners coming on a runner reaching on a dropped third strike in the first and a walk in the second.

While Isherwood was mastering the Eagle batters, his counterpart on the mound, the Eagle’s Brendan Miller was also holding his own against the Royal’s batters, keeping them scoreless over the first four innings thanks to four strike-outs and two double-plays by the defence behind him.

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Parksville’s Clayton Isherwood – recently selected to the Canadian Junior National Team – would no-hit the Eagles through six full innings before the wheels came off in the seventh (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).

The Royals would get to Miller in the fifth however, as TR Doty would lead-off with a double and then score on a Kellar Anderson single. After a sacrifice bunt, Anderson would score on an Eagle throwing error to make it 2-0. Miller would then get the second out on a strike-out, but then surrender three straight singles to give up another run and end his day on the hill. Miller was replaced by Mackenzie Catto who would get the final out and end the Royal’s rally.

The Royals would add another run off Catto in the top of the seventh as they took advantage of a single and three straight walks, before the Eagle’s Daniel Bednarski would come in to relieve and keep the score at 4-0.

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Victoria’s Brandon Feldman gets the tag on Parksville’s Rob Vlaj on the front end of a second inning double-play Saturday. Feldman would later crack a two-run triple to key the Eagle’s Game 1 comeback (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).

In the dramatic bottom of the seventh, RJ Forbes led things off with the first Eagle hit of the day when he singled. An error by the third baseman on a Vinny Martin ground ball would move Forbes up to second while allowing Martin to reach first. Both runners then scored when Brandon Feldman banged out a clutch triple to get the Eagles on the board.

After a strike-out and then a walk, Isherwood retired Kurt Horne, but then gave up an RBI-single to Alex Hendra-Brown and then plunked Jesse Thomson to load the bases. Sam Stevenson then stroked one to centre that the Royal’s fielder mishandled, allowing Will Wild and Hendra-Brown to score and giving the Eagles the 5-4 win.

In game two of the double-header, the Eagles rode that game one momentum by banging out three first inning hits – including an RBI double by Jackson Allabarton – and taking advantage of three Royal errors to score 6 runs right off the hop.

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Victoria’s Vinny Martin throws to first for the out during Game 1 action Saturday (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).

The Eagles would add two more runs in the bottom of the second and that would be all starter Brett Hull would need to get the win, as despite giving up two runs in the top of the second, he would cruise into the 5th inning with the 8-2 lead before giving way to Riley Edmonds.

Edmonds would set things up for closer Kurt Horne, who pitched the final two innings, striking out five of the seven batters he faced to close the game and secure the Eagles 8-2 win.

At the plate for the Eagles, Mitch Hawkins had a big game going 2 for 2 with an RBI and a run scored. RJ Forbes and Vinnie Martin also contributed a hit and scored a pair of runs each.