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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

April 18, 2015, Victoria, BC (ISN) – It was not quite the home opening day that the Victoria Mariners had envisioned for 2015, as they dropped a pair of games Saturday to the powerful North Shore Twins by scores of 12-7 and 10-0 in BC Premier Baseball League action at Henderson Park in Victoria.

The Mariners Sam Glowicki would be a bright spot at the plate in Game 1 Saturday with a pair of hits and a pair of RBIs against North Shore (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In both games, it was a bad start that proved to be the Mariner’s ultimate demise, as they gave up six first inning runs in Game 1 and four in Game 2, putting themselves into early holes against a North Shore team that is always tough to score against.

Making matters worse for the Mariners is that they gave up a combined 15 free passes (13 walks, and two hit batters) to the Twins, 13 of which came in the Game 1 loss. Starter Nate Seltsam, the highly touted left-hander that the came to the Mariners from Utah, issued 5 of those (3 walks and 2 hit batters), in a Mariners debut that he will quickly try and eliminate from his memory, getting pulled before the first inning of Game 1 was complete after allowing the six Twins runs on three hits.

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Victoria pitcher Duncan Brens-Knight was one of three relievers that saw action in Game 1 against the Twins (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

While the Mariners would respond with three runs in the bottom of the first, North Shore would add three more in the top of the second thanks to a three-run homer from Nicolas Favaro and the rout was on.

The Mariners would rally a bit in the bottom of the third, scoring four, but the Twins would score single runs in the top of the fourth, sixth and seventh innings to put the game away.

For the Twins, Favaro led the way with the homer and another hit, cashing in six RBIs on the day. Nicholas Carusi, Taylor Wright, and Geoff Ehresman also had a two-hit game for the Twins.

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North Shore reliver Cole Ensing would shut the Mariners out over the final 4.1 innings of Game 1 to help his team to the 12-7 win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

On the mound, despite a less than stellar showing, Robert Hemer got the win for North Shore, allowing the seven Mariner runs (just three of which were earned) on seven hits, while walking two and striking out five. Cole Ensing was solid in relief, shutting the Mariners out over the last 4.1 innings and allowing three hits, while also walking three.

Offensively for the Mariners, Brett Irvine and Sam Glowicki led the team with two hits each, with Glowicki adding a pair of RBIs. On the hill, Seltsam took the loss, while Brandon White, Jackson Belanger and Duncan Brens-Knight saw work in relief.

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Although the Twins would score four unearned runs in the top of the first inning in Game 2, Mariners starter Cole Russell would settle in to keep the Twins scoreless over the next three innings before being relieved in the top of the fifth inning (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In Game 2, Cole Russell got the start for the Mariners and once again control problems proved to be an issue. While Russell did not walk any batters in the inning, an overthrow to first on a pickoff play and a pair of wild pitches gave the Twins some early breaks and their three hits in the inning, plus two Mariner errors, allowed four unearned runs to cross the plate.

Unlike Game 1 however, there would be no offensive comeback for the Mariners in this one, as Twins starter Trevor Fonseca, a lefty, would hold the Mariners to just two hits over five innings of work, both of which, a single and a double, came from the Mariners Chris Lata, who finished with a three-hit day. Fonseca’s only other damage and the Mariners only other base runner, was when he hit Mike Varley with a pitch in the first inning.

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North Shore Game 2 starter Trevor Fonseca was masterful Saturday, allowing just two hits and one additional base runner in the Twins 10-0 five inning win over the Mariners (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Russell, who settled down nicely after the four-run first inning to keep the Twins off the board in the second, third and fourth innings, was replaced in the fifth inning by Nick Dawson. After retiring the first two batters, the wheels fell off for Dawson, as the Twins would rattle off six hits and score six more runs, two of which came on a bases-loaded double from Matthew Reyes, the highlight blast of the inning.

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This two-RBI double by North Shore’s Matthew Reyes would highlight a six-run fifth inning that put the nail in the Mariners coffin in Game 2 (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

While the Mariners would get a double from Lata in the bottom of the fifth, they could not push him across the plate and the game ended with the 10-0 mercy-rule score for the Twins in effect.

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The Mariner’s Chris Lata was the offensive highlight in Game 2 with a single and here a double for the Mariners only two hits of the game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Mariners Head Coach Mike Chewpoy, while not happy with the two losses, put it in perspective however, “It is still early in the season and better for us to play games like that now, rather than later. We were a little rusty because we did not play last week, but that can’t be an excuse. We need to use today to learn and get better. We can’t give up walks like we did in Game 1 and expect to win, especially against a team like North Shore. And in Game 2, we just couldn’t buy a hit or string anything together. We’ll regroup and go at it again tomorrow against Parksville and hope for a better result.”

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A defensive mis-communication here as the Mariners Mike Varley comes up with a catch in Game 2, despite a near collision with shortstop Jason Willow (Photos: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Those games tomorrow in Parksville go at 12 Noon and 2:30 pm.

In other BCPBL action Saturday, the Victoria Eagles travelled to Langley where they dropped a pair of games to the Blaze by scores of 11-2 and 2-1. The Eagles will entertain the Twins on Sunday at Lambrick Park for games at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm.