Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN
The Victoria Eagles and Victoria Mariners played to a 2-2 draw Tuesday night in a game that was suspended due to darkness after 9 full innings of play.
Victoria, BC (ISN) – Well, it appears you CAN play baseball in the dark. After a tight 9 innings of baseball between the Victoria Eagles and Victoria Mariners Tuesday evening at Henderson Park, the umpires finally decided that it was too dark to continue, and the BC Premier League game was suspended with the score tied 2-2 after 9 innings of play. The game will be completed prior to the next scheduled match-up between the two teams which is Tuesday June 21st at Henderson Park.
The Mariner’s Colton Wood was solid, throwing a full 8 innings and allowing only 3 hits and 2 runs, while striking out 6 (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)
With the BCPBL season just about at its half-way mark, this game had some importance heading into it, as the Mariners and Eagles sit next to each other in the standings, the Mariners occupying 4th place and the Eagles just 3 games back in 5th.
The Mariners Matt Bryan bids for a base hit early in Tuesday’s game. Bryan would later double (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).
As such, the Mariners wanted to put more distance between themselves and their crosstown rivals and gain on first place Langley, while the Eagles looked to close the gap between themselves and the Mariners and keep themselves solidly in a playoff position. Throw in the fact that these teams have developed a keen rivalry over the past three seasons and you have a mixture for some decent baseball.
Mariner second baseman Morgan Varley makes a valiant effort to throw to first after snagging a ground ball deep behind second base (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)
The Mariners started rookie Colton Wood on the mound and he did not disappoint, throwing a strong game and pretty much making just a single mistake – a 2-run home run to the Eagle’s Kurt Horne in the top of the 4th – in the 8 full innings of action that he pitched. Wood walked just one and struck out 6 in total.
The Eagle’s Kurt Horne watches his 4th inning, 2-run homer sail over the right field fence (Photo by Chrisitan J. Stewart – ISN)
On the Eagles side, they started Brett Hull, who last pitched Saturday in the Eagles 10-0 win over Vancouver, and he looked shaky, getting out of a jam in the first, and surrendering a bases-loaded wild pitch in the second that allowed the Mariners to jump into a 1-0 lead.
That would be all for Hull and he was relieved by Riley Edmonds who had perhaps his best outing of the season, scattering six hits in his 5 innings of work and surrendering just a single run in the bottom of the 5th on a sacrifice fly by Brendan Somers that would tie the game 2-2.
Jesse Long slides home on a wild pitch to score the Mariner’s first run of the game in the 2nd inning (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)
The game was not without its drama or its controversey. Horne’s home run could have made it 3-1 for the Eagles in the 4th, but just prior to Horne’s shot, Vinny Martin was picked off first base on a questionable call by the base umpire. The Mariners would later suffer the same fate in the bottom of the 5th when one of their runners was also called out on a pick off at first.
Eagle first base coach Dave Auger turns back to give the base umpire a piece of his mind after a questionable pick off call at first base (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)
With darkness descending, both teams had opportunities to push the winning run across in the extra frames. Most notably the Mariners, who had the leadoff batter on base in both the 7th and 8th innings and a runner in scoring position in the 9th – a Matt Bryan double off Eagle reliever Daniel Bednarski – but could not get the walk-off run across the plate.
Eagle centre-fielder Alex Hendra-Brown snags a fly ball during Tuesday’s action (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)
For the Eagles in the bottom of the 8th, leadoff batter RJ Fobes reached first on a dropped 3rd strike but was then called out stealing second, again on a questionable call, prompting the wrath on the base umpire of Eagle coaches Dave Auger and Shawn Loglisci, who were both ejected from the game for arguing the call.
Mariner second baseman Morgan Varley looks for the call after tagging the Eagle’s RJ Forbes on a close play at second in the top of the 8th (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)
The Eagles would have another prime opportunity in the top of the 9th against pitcher Daryl Blaskovich who had come in to relieve Wood, putting runners on 1st and 3rd with one out, only to see the Mariners turn a clutch, inning-ending double-play to end the threat.
For the Mariners, Blaskovich and Ty Russell had 2 hits each, while Horne, Martin, Mitch Hawkins and Alex Hendra-Brown had the hits for the Eagles.
Riley Edmonds would have a fine night for the Eagles, allowing just 1 run in his 5 innings of work (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)
The Mariners are next in action this Saturday when they travel to Vancouver to face the Cannons. The Eagles also travel this weekend as they head to Abbotsford to face the Cardinals on Sunday.