T-Birds drop spring opener in Idaho


VANCOUVER – The No. 24 UBC Thunderbirds baseball team opened the spring portion of its 2014-15 season with a 7-5 loss to the Northwest Nazarene Crusaders at the Treasure Valley Collegiate Baseball Icebreaker tournament Friday afternoon in Nampa, Idaho.
The Thunderbirds (8-1) scored four runs in the latter stages of the game but their comeback came up short after falling behind 7-1.
First baseman Bruce Yari‘s (Waterloo, Ont.) RBI double in the top of the third inning plated Mackenzie Parlow (Qualicum Beach, B.C.) to open the scoring. Yari now has 14 RBI in nine games this season.
The host Crusaders rallied in the bottom half of the inning to bring home three runs to take a 3-1 lead. NNU added two runs in the fourth and two more in the sixth before UBC’s rally.
Rookie third baseman Anthony Cusati (Burnaby) scored for UBC in the top of the seventh on a throwing error by NNU. Parlow reached base on the error and moved to third base when Yari doubled on the next at-bat.
Vinny Martin (Pender Island, B.C.) then struck out but reached on a wild pitch that allowed Parlow to score and Yari to advance to third. Jerod Bartnik (Surrey) drew a walk to load the bases but UBC couldn’t get any more runners home and left three runners stranded.
In the eighth, Winnipeg native Tyler Enns had an RBI sacrifice fly to score left fielder Brendan Rose (Calgary) to close the deficit to 7-4. The ‘Birds loaded the bases again later in the inning and got to 7-5 when Cusati scored on a Yari walk. However, NNU turned a double play on the next at-bat to close out the inning. There was no scoring in the top of the ninth.
UBC starting pitcher Alex Webb (Surrey) fell to 1-1 after giving up six earned runs in 5.1 innings. He also struck out five batters.
Jeremy Newton (Toronto) struck out four batters in 1.2 innings of scoreless relief. Rookie Brad Smith (Vancouver) didn’t surrender a run in his one inning of work.
The Thunderbirds continue play at the Treasure Valley Icebreaker tomorrow with two games in Caldwell, Idaho. At 9:30 a.m. PT, UBC faces co-hosts College of Idaho. Then at 1 p.m., the T-Birds will play Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), the No. 2 team in the NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll.
Both games will feature live statistics at http://portal.stretchinternet.com/yoteathletics/