Story and Photos By Christian J. Stewart – ISN

Victoria, BC (ISN) – An eight run fourth inning propelled the Victoria Eagles to a mercy-rule shortened 10-0 win over the Vancouver Cannons in Game 1 of BC Premier League doubleheader action Saturday at Lambrick Park.  The Eagles would also take Game 2 by a score of 7-3.

The Eagles started Brett Hull on the mound, and he had another strong outing, holding the Vancouver batters to just 2 hits (both in the top of the third inning), while striking out six over his five innings pitched.

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Brett Hull was solid again for the Eagles, limiting Vancouver to just 2 hits in 5 innings of work (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

Hull also benefited from some good defensive help, notably by shortstop Vinny Martin, who on one play, went deep in the hole at shortstop to snag a ground ball and throw out a runner at first, and on another, made a nice leaping catch of a shallow line drive to short centre field.

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Alex Hendra-Brown (left) chased down a long fly ball and Vinny Martin (right) made a nice play at short to help the Eagles defence (Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

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Eagles shortstop Vinny Martin makes an excellent catch of a shallow line-drive in Game 1 Saturday (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

Meanwhile Vancouver starter Stefan Helyar was also having a strong start, holding Eagle batters scoreless and to just two hits over the first three innings, while striking out three. However in the Eagles half of the fourth inning, the wheels came off.

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Vancouver second baseman Byron Prasad stretches for a wide throw, while the Eagle’s Kurt Horne slides in safely beneath him (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).

After Gobind Sall reached on an error and was advanced to third by Alex Hendra Brown, back-to-back RBI singles by RJ Forbes and Brad Van Wyk put the Eagles up 2-0.

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Gobind Sall would start the Eagle rally by reaching on an error (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).

A Sam Stevenson walk and then an RBI single by Brandon Feldman increased the lead to 3-0. After a strikeout, Martin drew a walk and then Kurt Horne launched a 2-RBI single upping the lead to 5-0.

Sall then reached for the second time in the inning on a walk, and then scored on a 2 RBI double by Hendra-Brown, who was later cut down at the plate for the third out to end the inning.

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Alex Hendra-Browns 2 RBI double would put the game out of reach for the Eagles (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

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Vancouver catcher Michael Orosz has Alex Hendra-Brown dead to rights at home plate (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

After an easy 1-2-3 inning for Hull in the top of the 5th, the Cannons surprisingly put Helyar back on the mound, and on the first pitch, he was greeted by a long double to the wall by Van Wyk.

Justin Gadey then came on in relief for the Cannons, but fared no better, hitting Stevenson and then surrendering RBI singles to Feldman and Mitch Hawkins, which scored the 2 runs needed for the 10-0 mercy-rule win.

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Vancouver pitcher Stefan Helyar was cruisng through three innings until the wheels came off in the 4th (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).

In game 2, the Eagles would ride a 5 run first inning and the strong starting pitching of Thomas Koop and solid relief work by Riley Edmonds, to cruise to a 7-3 win.  RJ Forbes, Vinny Martin and Kurt Horne – who homered –  would have a pair of hits each to pace the offence.  Sam Stevenson would also contribute a pair of RBIs.

With the two wins, the Eagles improve to 12-11 and sit in 5th place, just 2 games behind the 4th place Victoria Mariners. The Cannons drop to 8-17 and are 1.5 games out of the PBL basement.