Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
June 23, 2015, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Eagles used a four-run fifth inning to overcome a 6-5 deficit and go on to a 9-6 win over the Victoria Mariners in BC Premier Baseball League action Tuesday night on the Mavericks diamond at Lambrick Park in Victoria.
Eagles third baseman Mitch Bryan would get the tag down in time to catch a stealing Jason Willow of the Victoria Mariners in the second inning Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The win avenges a 9-2 loss that the Eagles suffered in their last meeting with the Mariners in a game that began on June 10th, but was actually completed prior to the start of Tuesday night’s game.
On the 10th, the teams came up against the time curfew at Lambrick with the Mariners up 9-1 and the Eagles coming to bat in the bottom of the seventh. That bottom of the inning was completed quickly Tuesday and other than a spectacular solo home-run to deep centrefield by Tyler Duncan, the Eagles would not overcome the deficit and dropped the 9-2 decision.
Mariners second baseman Chris Blaskovich complets the double play on a sliding Tyson Abbott of the Eagles (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The teams quickly proceeded into the regularly scheduled game and the Mariners jumped out of the gate quickly, taking advantage of a wild Eagles starter Karsten Waters and catcher Stephen Thornton, who could not seem to get on the same wavelength, allowing the three Mariner runs on a combination of three walks, two wild pitches, a passed ball and five stolen bases.
The Eagles Len Nakatsuka slides safely into third base before the Mariner’s Harrison Hurford could make the tag (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Eagles though would respond in kind off Mariners starter Jackson Belanger, who would issue five walks and give up three runs of his own without giving up a hit, before being replaced by Nick Dawson before the inning was out.
Mariner shortstop Jason Willow makes a fine jumping play to turn the double play over a sliding Tyson Abbott during Tuesday’s game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Waters would continue to flirt with disaster for the Eagles, as the Mariners would score another in the top of the second and two more in the top of the third, before Waters was replaced by Evan Smith, who would get the Eagles out of the inning without further damage.
While the Eagles would get two off Dawson in the second, the Mariners would take a 6-5 lead into the fourth.
Mariners base runner Tyler Schindel slides safely under the tag of Eagle’s second baseman Tanner Hess (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
At that point the Eagles pitching settled in and after the Mariners were held scoreless by Smith in the fourth and by Martin Eckard in the fifth, the offence responded and got to Dawson for four runs in the fifth to put the game away.
The Eagles charge was aided by an RBI single from Ben Goertzen and a two-RBI single from Len Nakatsuka. Goertzen would also score on a passed ball before relievers Brandon White and Jason Willow got the Mariners out of the inning.
The Eagles received great relief performances from Evan Smith (left) and Martin Eckard (right) who held the Mariners to no runs and just two hits over four innings (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
That would be the extent of the scoring and after Eckard pitched a one-two-three sixth, Ethan Skuija came on in the seventh and despite walking a batter and hitting another, retired the Mariners with no other damage to close out the 9-6 win.
For the Eagles, Nakatsuka led the way with a pair of hits and his two RBIs. He also scored. Tyson Abbott also had a two-hit night with an RBI, while Goertzen had a pair of hits and a pair of RBIs. Tyler Duncan would score three of the Eagles’ runs.
For the Mariners, Nick Seginowich and Jake Bossence had two hit evenings, with Bossence getting credit for the only Mariners RBI. Jason Willow had the only other Mariners hit.
With the loss in the resumed game and the win Tuesday, the Eagles improve to 25-12 on the season and sit in second place in the BCPBL just 1.5 games behind North Shore for the League lead.
The Eagles Ben Goertzen (left) high fives Len Nakatsuka (right) after scoring what would be the game winning run in the fifth inning (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Mariners improve to 10-19 and they sit in ninth place, just a half game back of Coquitlam for the eighth and final playoff spot, but with five games in hand over the Reds.
The Eagles are now off until Wednesday July 1st when they travel to Parksville for a Canada Day pair against the Royals.
The Mariners will head to the Lower Mainland this weekend for two with the Whalley Chiefs on Saturday and a pair with the North Delta Blue Jays on Sunday.