Okanagan A’s Provide Early Upset of Twins at BCPBL Finals

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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

July 31, 2015, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The scrappy, underdog, fourth seeded Okanagan A’s overcame an early 3-0 deficit to battle their way back to a nine-inning, 6-5 win over the top ranked North Shore Twins in the opening game of the 2015 Quality Foods BC Premier Baseball League (BCPBL) Provincial Championships Friday afternoon at Sports Traders Diamond at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria.

A’s pitcher David Tongue lets out a scream after his team defeated the North Shore Twins 6-5 in extra innings Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The top ranked Twins, 34-10 during the regular season, looked to have things in hand early, as they scored three runs in the bottom of the second inning off Okanagan starter Easton Forrest, thanks to back-to-back leadoff doubles from Spencer Lindeman and Nicolas Favaro and an RBI single from Cole Ensing. A Nicholas Carusi ground out then scored Ensing and the Twins were well on their way.

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North Shore’s Cole Ensing leaps over Okanagan catcher Chase Decosse to score one of the Twins runs in their three-run second inning (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The teams would trade a pair of runs in the fourth and then the A’s would get to Twins starter Matteo Vincelli for another pair of runs in the fifth to close the gap to 5-4.

Leading the four run charge for the A’s were Mitchell Rennie with a two-run double in the fourth and Markus Glowacki and Matt Brodt with RBI hits in the fifth.

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Okanagan A’s second baseman McCoy Pearce turns the double play on a sliding Geoff Ehresman (top) and then leaps out of the way (bottom) during this play Friday afternoon (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

After a scoreless sixth, the A’s would chip away for the tying run in the top of the seventh when McCoy Pearce would greet Vincelli with a leadoff single and then later come in to score on a sacrifice fly from Sam Avila.

Okanagan reliever David Tongue and Twins reliever Robert Hemer would then take over from there, sending the tight game to extra innings and keeping both teams scoreless into the ninth.

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North Shore used some good defence of their own early as second baseman Cole Ensing twists this double-chance Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In that ninth, Hemer would give up one-out singles to Glowacki, Brodt and Avila to load the bases. A Rennie sacrifice fly then scored Glowacki and the A’s had their first lead of the game.

In the bottom of the ninth, Tongue gave up a one-out walk, but then got Taylor Wright to ground to first where the A’s Glowacki tagged the bag and then threw to second for the tag out and the exciting 3-6 double-play to end the game.

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Okanagan shortstop Sam Avila puts the game ending tag on North Shore runner Brandon Currie (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Leading the way for the A’s in their 15 hit attack were Pearce and Trevor Lofstrom with three hits each. Glowacki, Brodt and Avila had a pair of hits and an RBI each, while Rennie chipped in a hit and three RBIs.

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Okanagan’s Matt Brodt was one of five A’s with multi-hit days against the Twins (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

For the Twins, who surprisingly only had six hits on the day, Matthew Reyes had a pair of hits and an RBI, while Favaro and Spencer Lindeman both doubled.

Tongue gets the win in relief, giving up no hits, no runs and two walks in his three and one-third innings of work. Hemer takes the loss for the Twins in relief of Vincelli.

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Matthew Reyes led the Twins with two of their six hits, an RBI and a run scored (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The A’s will look to win their second game of the round-robin on Saturday morning at 10:00 AM as they take on the Nanaimo Pirates, winners late Friday over Victoria 7-3. The Twins will then look to rebound against those same Pirates in a 12:30 match-up.

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Okanagan’s Daniel Tongue took the win in relief throwing a scoreless, hitless, 3.1 innings against the Twins (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Also on Saturday, the Eagles will battle the A’s at 3:00 PM and then take on the Twins in a 5:30 PM start.

Should a third place tie-breaking game be needed, it will go at 8:00 PM Saturday night.

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