Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
May 13, 2014, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Eagles used a 1-hit, 5-inning performance from pitcher Adam Bontkes to squeak out a 2-1 victory over the crosstown Victoria Mariners in BC Premier Baseball League action Tuesday evening at Lambrick Park in Victoria.
The game was the first regular season match-up of the season between the two teams and like all games that these two teams play, it was entertaining from start to finish and turned into a dandy pitching duel between the Eagles starter Adam Bontkes and Mariners starter Chris Fougner.
Eagles starter Adam Bontkes was solid, allowing just a single Mariner hit in his 5 innings of work (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Independent Sports News)
After a 1-2-3 top of the first, the Eagles would strike quickly in the bottom of the inning, as back to back singles from Sam Stevenson and Alex Hendra-Brown would score Brendan Turcotte, earlier hit by a pitch, putting the Eagles up 1-0.
The Eagles Brendan Turcotte scampers around second after a single from Sam Stevenson. Turcotte would score the Eagles first run one batter later (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Independent Sports News)
That ended up being the only run scored by either team over the first five innings as both Bontkes and Fougner matched each other goose egg for goose egg over the next four innings. Bontkes was particularly effective, surrendering just a second inning single, the only hit he allowed in his 5-innings of work, to the Mariners Morgan Varley and then promptly picking him off first base to end any threat.
After allowing a run in the first, the Mariner’s Chris Fougner would keep the Eagles off the board until the 6th (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Independent Sports News)
The Mariners would have a chance to tie the score later in the top of the fourth, when Jesse Mycock would draw a lead-off walk and advance to third with nobody out. The Mariners would fail to cash him in however, as Bontkes would retire the next three batters to leave Mycock standing on third.
Mariner shortstop Morgan Varley would make a nice running play for the out on this ground ball Tuesday night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Independent Sports News)
Fougner also kept his team in the game, working effectively and getting out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the fifth with a big strikeout, one of four he would record for the game.
After the Eagles Martin Eckard came on in relief to pitch a scoreless top of the sixth inning, the Eagles would get to Fougner for an insurance run in the bottom of the inning. Tyler Duncan would get things going when he launched a line drive to left that the Mariner’s Matthew Wellington misjudged, the ball soaring over his head and allowing Duncan to get to second with a double.
Kieran Water’s sixth inning single brought home the Eagle’s second and eventual game winning run on Tuesday evening (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Independent Sports News)
Wellington’s bad luck continued just a batter later when Kieran Waters stroked a line drive his way and while Wellington made a nice diving effort, the ball hit the ground in front of him and once again got passed him, allowing Duncan to score and Waters to move to second base. That would be the end of the night on the mound for Fougner, as he was replaced by Chris Lata who shut the Eagles down to get out of the inning with no further damage.
The Mariner’s Tanner Hess slides safely into second with a 7th inning double, beating the tag by the Eagle’s Alex Hendra-Brown (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Independent Sports News)
The Eagle’s insurance run proved to be a valuable one, as the Mariners would mount a bit of a comeback on the Eagle’s closer Drew Davidoff in the top of the seventh. Tanner Hess would get things going when he pulled a 1-out double down the left field line. He would then come in to score when Lata would follow-up with another double, also down the left-field line and the Mariners were on the board and threatening to tie the game.
The Mariner’s Chris Lata follows his 7th inning double that knocked in the Mariners first and only run of the game Tuesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Independent Sports News)
After Chris Fougner grounded to first, advancing Lata to third, pinch hitter Lucas Piechnik scorched a grounder to third that unfortunately for the Mariners ended up in the glove of Eagle’s third baseman Kobe Morris. Morris threw to first for the final out and the Eagles emerged with the nail-biting 2-1 win.
Despite allowing a pair of 7th inning doubles, the Eagle’s side-arming Drew Davidoff earned the save in the Eagles’ 2-1 win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Independent Sports News)
The Eagles win, their second in a row following a 3-0 win over league leading Langley on Sunday, moves the Eagles to 9-6 on the season and into 4th place just a game behind the now 10-5 Mariners.