VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds baseball team split the first two games of a three-game weekend series in Portland, Ore., with the Concordia Cavaliers, winning 2-1 in the opener before falling 1-0 in the second contest Saturday afternoon at Porter Park.
The quick-moving, low-scoring non-conference games featured a combined four runs and 19 hits in all, as solid pitching and fielding efforts from both teams held both offences in check.
In Game 1, No. 24-ranked UBC took the lead early, going up 2-0 in the second inning when Calgary native Brendan Rose‘s triple to right center drove in Bryan Arthur (Abbotsford, B.C.). Rose scored what turned out to be the winning run moments later.
Concordia pulled to within one run in the seventh, when Ian Erickson drove in Jordan Spencer from second base. However, with the tying run on base in the both the seventh and eighth innings, the Cavaliers were unable to even the score.
Conor Lillis-White (4-2) earned the win for the Thunderbirds, who out-hit the Cavs 8-6. Lillis-White struck out nine batters and gave up just five hits in seven innings of work. Curtis Taylor (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) pitched the final two innings for his fifth save of the season.
Concordia flipped the script in the second game, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when leadoff hitter Cole Crosby came home from second off Jordan Spencer’s right field single.
Both teams struggled to get runners on base in the ensuing innings, producing a combined three hits over the remaining course of the contest.
Despite giving up just three hits and one run in five innings of work, UBC starter Jeremy Newton (3-2) was tagged with the loss. Tyler Gillies (London, Ont.) threw three perfect innings in relief.
The loss in Game 2 ended a seven-game winning streak for UBC (16-6).
The teams will resume their series with a single game at 11 a.m. at Porter Park on Mar. 8.
– with files from Jason Dormeyer (Concordia Sports Information)