Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
July 5, 2014, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Victoria’s Alex Hendra-Brown had seven hits on the day, including five doubles, to lead the Victoria Eagles to a pair of important wins on Saturday afternoon, defeating the White Rock Tritons 11-2 and 6-5 in eight innings in BC Premier Baseball League (BCPBL) action at Lambrick Park in Victoria.
Victoria’s Alex Hendra-Brown would have a career day Saturday, with 7 hits, including 5 doubles, four RBIs and 3 runs scored, including the game winner in the 6-5 Game 2 win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The wins, coming less than a week after the Tritons had swept the Eagles in a pair last Sunday in White Rock, moved the Eagles record to 20-19, bumping them up a notch in the BCPBL standings to sixth place, a half-game up on the 20-20 Vancouver Cannons who were idle Saturday.
They are now also just a game back of the Tritons for fifth place and could leapfrog them on Sunday with wins over the last place Coquitlam Reds and with some help from the Victoria Mariners who face the Tritons Sunday.
Victoria’s Kieran Waters slides home safely in Game 1, ahead of the throw to White Rock catcher Dylan Yeager (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
In Game 1 Saturday it was all about offence. After managing just seven hits in a split with the Pirates on Thursday, the Eagles got back on track and pounded out fourteen hits against the Tritons, scoring runs in all but the third and fifth innings. This included a four run first and two-run second that put the Eagles into an early 6-0 lead.
White Rock third baseman Jason Hill would just get a piece of Victoria’s Alex Hendra-Brown in this rundown to register an out during Game 1 action Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
White Rock starter Barry Caine bore the brunt of the Eagles attack, retiring just two batters in the first inning before he was pulled in favour of reliever Zach Campagne. Campagne would fare no better, pitching three full innings and allowing five Eagle runs on six hits, while Jordan Stephens mopped up the messy affair allowing two more runs in his 2 and 1/3 innings of work.
Victoria’s Kobe Morris makes one of a number of plays that came his way at shortstop on Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Leading the way offensively for the Eagles was third baseman Alex Hendra-Brown with four hits, including three doubles, and two RBIs. Zane Takhar and Kieran Waters also had three-hit days, with Takhar knocking in three runs, while leadoff hitter Ben Goertzen chipped in a pair of hits and scored a pair of runs.
White Rock first baseman Tom Melenchuk makes a fine play to prevent this pick off throw from heading into right field, as Victoria’s Karsten Waters dives back into the bag (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
On the mound, the Eagles Adam Bontkes had a quality outing, going 5 and 2/3 innings and allowing a single earned run on four scattered hits, while walking four and striking out five. Bontkes was relieved by Stephen Thornton, who allowed just a lone walk in his 1 and 1/3 innings.
Adam Bontkes would get the Game 1 win, going 5 and 2/3 innings, allowing 1 earned run on 4 hits, while walking 4 and striking out 5 (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Game 2 of the set was a bit more dramatic, as the Eagles overcame a 5-0 deficit in the top of the third to come from behind and grab a 6-5 win in eight innings.
The Tritons would jump all over Eagles starter Martin Eckard for three runs in the top of the first inning thanks in part to hits from Barry Caine, Dylan Yeager, a sacrifice fly by James Pavelick, and RBI base hits from Aaron Wiegert and Liam Rihela.
White Rock’s Barry Caine motors to third base during the Triton’s 3-run first inning in Game 2 Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Tritons would add to their lead with a pair of runs in the top of the third before the Eagles would finally solve Tritons starter Keaton Edwards, scoring four in the bottom of the inning to pull within one.
The Eagles rally would be aided by an error from Edwards, as he threw a sacrifice bunt attempt by Kieran Waters into right field, allowing Zane Takhar (walk) and Ben Goertzen (single) to score. Alex Hendra Brown and Karsten Waters then followed with RBI singles to complete the scoring in the inning.
White Rock Game 2 starter Keaton Edwards would keep the Eagles in check for two innings, but then falter in the third, allowing 4 runs before being removed from the game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
After reliever Brendan Turcotte came in to shut the Tritons down in the fourth and fifth, the Eagles would push the tying run across the plate in the bottom of the fifth when Kieran Waters would walk and then come in to score on yet another double from Hendra-Brown, his second of the game and fifth of the day.
That 5-5 score would hold, despite opportunities for both teams in the seventh, until the bottom of the eighth when the Eagles would manufacture the winning run. Hendra-Brown would lead things off with a single – his seventh hit of the day – and move to second on a passed ball.
Brendan Turcotte would throw 3 scoreless innings in relief to get the Game 2 victory for the Eagles (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
After a walk to Tyson Abbott, Turcotte would attempt a sacrifice bunt. The ball was picked up by pitcher Patrick van den Brink, who made a hurried throw to first that bounced away from the Tritons’ first baseman, allowing Hendra-Brown to scamper around third with the winning run and giving the Eagles the double-header sweep.
For Hendra-Brown, scoring the winning run capped a career day for him that saw him go 7-for-9 at the plate with five doubles, four RBIs and three runs scored. Ben Goertzen also had a solid day in the leadoff spot for the Eagles, finishing Game 2 with three hits and going 5-for-8 in total on the day, with two doubles and three runs scored.
Victoria’s Ben Goertzen would have a solid day at the plate Saturday, finishing with 5 hits, including two doubles and three runs scored (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The wins mark the first time the Eagles have swept a double-header at home since the season openers against Parksville on April 12th and a sweep of North Delta on April 26th. They have now won three in a row and six of their last ten.
They will have a chance on Sunday to add to those win totals when they host the last place Coquitlam Reds (12-30). The Reds are coming off 5-1 and 10-0 losses to the Victoria Mariners on Saturday that have bumped their current losing streak to ten games. Game time is 11:00 am at Lambrick Park.
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