Junior Mariners Start Strong at BCJPBL Championships

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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

August 8, 2014, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Junior Premier Mariners got off to a good start Friday morning in Game 1 of the 2014 BC Junior Premier Baseball League Championships, riding the 3-hit, complete game, shut-out pitching of Cole Russell to a 5-0 win over the Abbostford Cardinals at Lambrick Park in Victoria.

Victoria’s Cole Russell would pitch a complete game, 3-hit shut-out in the Mariners 5-0 win over Abbotsford in Game 1 of the BCJPBL Championships Friday at Lambrick Park (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Russell and his Abbotsford counterpart Carter Loewen were locked into a tight pitching battle early in the game, as both sides were held scoreless through the first four innings of play. The Mariners had the best chances to score during those frames, getting four of their five hits off Loewen in that span, but leaving a total of six runners on base, including the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth.

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Victoria second baseman Robin Dix comes up with the catch while almost colliding with right fielder Brandon White on this play against Abbotsford Friday morning (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Victoria would finally break through in the bottom of the fifth, when Jason Willow lofted a deep fly ball to left that carried over the wall for a solo home run. That would spell the end of the game for Loewen and he was replaced by Cardinals reliever Corey Jackson.

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Victoria’s Jason Willow motions for his teammates to be quiet as he heads to home plate after stroking a solo home-run against the Cardinals Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Jackson would get out of the fifth with no further damage, but in the sixth, a pair of walks early in the inning came back to haunt him, as they would eventually come in to score on an RBI single from Chris Blaskovich – his third hit of the game – and on a balk from pitcher Ryan Kellar, who came in to relive Jackson after the Blaskovich hit.

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Abbotsford’s Matthew Sellinger slides safely into second base, beating the tag by Victoria shortstop Jason Willow (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Mariners would tack on two more in the frame on the strength of a 2-RBI single from Sam Glowicki and the 5-0 lead would be more than enough for Russell, as he retired the side in the top of the seventh to close out the win, finishing with sx strikeouts on the day and walking none.

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Victoria shortstop Jason Willow would get to this tough ground ball chance, but only be able to knock it down during a game against Abbotsford on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The 2014 BCJPBL Championships are being hosted at Lambrick Park by the Victoria Eagles, who strangely, as hosts, are not participating, and features the top eight teams in the Junior Premier circuit this season. In addition to Victoria (#4 seed) and Abbotsford (#5 seed) the teams participating include the Langley Blaze (#1 seed), North Shore Twins (#2 seed), North Delta Blue Jays (#3), White Rock Tritons (#6), Nanaimo Pirates (#7) and Whalley Chiefs (#8).

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Victoria’s Robin Dix, even with eyes closed, lays down a perfect sacrifice bunt in the sixth inning on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The tournament runs Friday with additional games at 12:30, 3:00 and 5:30 pm and on Saturday with two games going at once on both the Lambrick and Mavericks diamonds at 10:00 am, 12:30, 3:00 and 5:30 pm. Cross-over semi-finals happen at 11:30 am and 2:00 pm Sunday, with the final scheduled for 4:30 pm Sunday.

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Victoria’s Sam Glowicki uses a perfect hook slide to get around the tag from Abbotsford’s Chase Stewart during this play at second Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

As for the Mariners, they will have two more games in the round robin on Saturday, the first against the Chiefs at 3:00 pm, and followed at 5:30 pm with a game against the Blaze. The other Vancouver Island rep, Nanaimo, face the Twins at 3:00 Friday, then play the Tritons at 10 am Saturday and the Blue Jays at 3:00pm Saturday.

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Victoria’s Chris Blaskovich heads to first after hitting a RBI single – his third hit of the day – in the 6th inning Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Full results and Game Live action can be found on the BCJPBL Pointstreak home page at http://bcjpbl.bbstats.pointstreak.com/schedule.html?leagueid=162&seasonid=28935 

View and purchase images from this game on Christian J. Stewart’s web site at http://christianjstewart.zenfolio.com/p670555506

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