Mariners Squeak Out 2-1 Win Over Eagles in Cross-Town BCPBL Match-Up

victoriamariners (1)

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN

Victoria, BC – It is always an entertaining event when the Victoria Eagles and Victoria Mariners battle each other in BC Premier Baseball League action and Tuesday night was no different as the Mariners emerged with a tight 2-1 win over the Eagles.

Pitching and defence were key for both teams in the game as the Eagles started Brendan Miller on the mound, while the Mariners countered with Darryl Blaskovich.

IMG 2473
The Eagles Brendan Miller would pitch 4 innings Tuesday, giving up 1 run on 5 hits, while striking out 3 (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

Miller would find himself in trouble right out of the gate, as the Mariners’ Blaskovich greeted him with a leadoff double and Matt Bryan followed with a single. After an out, Jesse Hodges drew a walk to load the bases, but Miller would get a key strikeout and a ground out to get out of trouble and keep the game scoreless.

IMG 2560
The Mariner’s Darryl Blaskovich would have a lead-off double and a single (here) in his first two at bats Tuesday (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

The Mariners would load the bases again on Miller in the bottom of the second inning after Brendan Somers led off with a single, Nathan Donaldson drew a one out walk and Blaskovich stroked his second hit of the game.

IMG 2541
The Mariner’s Darryl Blaskovich would have a solid performance on the mound Tuesday, pitching 6 and 1/3 innings, while giving up 1 run on 6 hits, while striking out 6 Eagle batters (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

Miller would then induce what should have been an inning ending double-play ground ball, with the Eagles forcing Somers out at the plate, but Eagle catcher Gobind Sall threw the ball over first base, allowing Donaldson to score and giving the Mariners a 1-0 lead.

IMG 2614
Mariner shortstop Jesse Hodges would snag this ground ball and throw to third to get an out in the second inning (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).

Meanwhile Blaskovich started strong for the Mariners, retiring the side in the first and facing just one over the minimum number of batters though the first three innings, his only blemish being a second inning double to the Eagles’ Jesse Thomson and a third inning walk to Brad Van Wyk that was quickly erased on a double play by the Mariner defence.

IMG 2651
This 3rd inning double play turned by the Mariner’s Jesse Hodges, would kill a potential Eagles rally (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).

In the top of the fourth inning, the Mariners would threaten again, as Morgan Varley led off with a double and Jesse Long drew a one-out walk. Both players would then steal to put themselves in scoring position, but Miller battled to strike-out Donaldson and induced hard-hitting Blaskovich to ground out and end the inning.

In the bottom of the inning, the Eagles came close to tying the score as Gobind Sall stroked a 2-out single and then tried to score on Jesse Thomson’s second double of the game. However a picture-perfect relay from Mariner left fielder Donaldson, to shortstop Hodges and to catcher Ty Russell nailed Sall a good 4 feet short of the plate ending the inning.

IMG 2712
Mariner catcher Ty Russell puts the tag on a sliding Gobind Sall while home plate umpire Mike McDougall watches the play.  The play prevented the Eagles from tying the game (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

The Eagles next best chance to score came in the bottom of the sixth inning as RJ Forbes singled and then stole second. Gobind Sall then hit a 2-out Texas League blooper over second base that would have easily scored Forbes, but Mariner second baseman Chris Fougner made a great catch to end the inning.

IMG 2779
The Eagles Mitch Hawkins slides back into second base in a cloud of dust, as the ball gets away from Mariner shortstop Jesse Hodges (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

In the top of the seventh, the Mariners would add an insurance run, as leadoff hitter Matt Bryan would beat out a bunt single off Eagle’s reliever Kurt Horne – who replaced Miller to start the fifth inning – and then steal his way to third, where he would score on a sacrifice fly from Russell, making it 2-0.

IMG 2879
The Mariner’s Matt Bryan beats out a bunt single – his second hit of the night – while Eagle first baseman Brandon Feldman awaits the throw. Bryan would eventually score the game winning run (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

The Eagles would not go quietly in the bottom of the inning though as Thomson drew a leadoff walk, and Mitch Hawkins stroked a one-out single, his second of the game.

That would spell the end of the night for Blaskovich, who finished the night scattering six Eagle hits, walking two and striking out six.

The Mariners would turn to Colton Wood out of the bullpen and facing Will Wild, the Eagle’s Daniel Bednarski – who subbed in to run for Hawkins – stole second. On the throw to second, Thomson, who was on third, scampered home with the Eagles first run of the game.

IMG 2935
After the Eagles would rally in the 7th, closer Colton Wood came in for the Mariners to retire the final two batters and preserve the 2-1 win (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

That would be as far as the Eagles got however as Wood would then strike out Will Wild and get Kyle Murai to fly out to centre to end the game and save the 2-1 win for the Mariners.

With the win, the Mariners move to 28-14 on the season and are in fourth place in the PBL, seven games behind league leading Langley and three games up on fifth place Abbotsford.

The Eagles drop to 19-25 on the year and currently sit in seventh place and in a tie with the North Shore Twins.

Christian J. Stewart
Christian is a professional photographer and media professional based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Currently working as the Assistant General Manager for Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club, a Senior Contributing Editor and photographer at Independent Sports News (ISN) and operating his own freelance photography and media/pr company.