Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
June 28, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – After a tough 2-0 loss to the Victoria Mariners on Thursday night, the Victoria Eagles rebounded in convincing fashion Friday afternoon, sweeping a BC Premier Baseball League double-header from the visiting White Rock Tritons by scores of 9-1 and 8-1 at Lambrick Park in Victoria.
After eking out just two hits on Thursday night, the Eagles bats came alive in big fashion, as they pounded out 21 hits in total on the day, including a 3-run home run from Kurt Horne in Game 1, triples from Ben Goertzen and Brandon Feldman in Game 2 and four doubles, including three in a row in Game 1 from Goertzen, Kyle Murai and Vinnie Martin.
Victoria Eagles baserunner Kyle Murai slides home with the first of Victoria’s 17 runs on the day, as White Rock catcher Dylan Yeager reaches for the throw (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
While many of the Eagles batters contributed key hits on the day, it was the top half of their order that did the most damage in the two games including leadoff hitter Goertzen (3 hits, 3 runs scored, 2-RBI triple), Murai (5 for 6, 3 runs scored and 2 RBIs), Martin (5 for 5, 4 runs scored and an RBI), and Feldman (4 for 5, 2 runs scored and 6 RBIs), who with his performance, continues to lead the PBL in batting with a .415 average.
Eagle batters Ben Goertzen (top left), Kyle Murai (top right), Vinnie Martin (bottom left) and Brandon Feldman (bottom right) combined for 17 of the Eagles 21 hits, scored 12 runs and knocked in 11 RBIs in the two wins over White Rock Friday (Photos: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The Eagles pitchers also fared well on the day, holding the Tritons to 8 scattered hits over the two games. In the 9-1 win in Game 1, Ethan Skuija got the start and went 5 full innings, allowing just the one Triton run on 3 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 5. Reliever Riley Edmonds came in to mop up in the final two innings, getting two strikeouts along the way.
Kurt Horne’s towering 3-run, third inning homer would break open Game 1 as the Eagles went on to a 9-1 win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
In Game 2, Adam Bontkes took to the hill and similar to Skuija in Game 1, went 5 innings, allowing just 3 hits, while allowing only one of the eighteen batters he faced to get as far as second base. The lone Triton run came off reliever Eric Hegadoren who, after giving up a single in the sixth, surrendered a pair of lead-off walks in the seventh, one of which came in to score, before he was able to shut it down and preserve the 8-1 win.
Victoria Eagles pitchers Ethan Skuija (top left), Riley Edmonds (top right), Adam Bontkes (bottom left) and Eric Hegadoren (bottom right) all combined to hold the Tritons to just 2 runs and 8 hits over the two game set on Friday (Photos: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Not to take anything away from the Eagles bats, but the Tritons can perhaps be forgiven a tiny bit for their lacklustre performance Friday, as due to a readjustment in the schedule to accommodate this weekend being grad weekend for many of their players, they had an interesting week of travel back and forth that no doubt took a toll.
Eagles rookie Ben Goertzen slides safely into third with a 2-RBI triple in Game 2 on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
On Wednesday, the Tritons were up early to catch a ferry to Victoria to play the Mariners and after splitting that two-game set, they headed right back to White Rock where they were thumped Thursday night 8-0 by the Vancouver Cannons. They would then hop right back on to the bus and the ferry for another trip to Victoria today to face the Eagles.
Victoria shortstop Zane Takhar makes a nice play to get the final out in the Eagles 8-1 win over White Rock in Game 2 Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
With the pair of wins, the Eagles have now won seven of their last eight games and move their record to 21-14 on the season, good enough for fourth place, just 2.5 games behind third place North Shore.
The Eagles will look to continue their recent success when they host the Parksville Royals at Lambrick Park on Tuesday evening. Game time is scheduled for 6:00 pm.