Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
August 1, 2015, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The North Shore Twins have secured a berth in the BC Premier Baseball League (BCPBL) Championship final on Sunday in Victoria with a pair of big wins Saturday and will meet either the Nanaimo Pirates or Victoria Eagles, both of whom advanced to Sunday’s semi-final game with key wins as well on Saturday at Sports Traders Diamond at Royal Athletic Park.
Taylor Wright (14) and the North Shore Twins powered their way to a pair of mercy-rule wins Saturday to advance directly to the BCPBL final (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
After losing a 6-5 extra-inning heart-breaker to the Okanagan A’s on Friday with just a six-hit effort, the North Shore Twins knew they had some work to do on Saturday if they wanted to advance to playoff rounds on Sunday.
Well, mission accomplished, as the Twins pounded their way to a pair of mercy-rule wins – 22-4 over the Nanaimo Pirates and 12-2 over the Victoria Eagles – to secure first place after the round robin portion of the tournament and advance directly to Sunday’s final.
Garrett Goodall pitched a complete game five-hitter to earn a 2-1 win over Okanagan and secure the Pirates a spot in Sunday’s semi-final (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Twins will be joined on Sunday by the Pirates, who won a nail-biting 2-1 pitcher’s duel over Okanagan to begin the day Saturday and by the Eagles, who used a near no-hit performance from Fynn Chester to beat those same A’s Saturday afternoon and advance as well.
The Eagles and Nanaimo will now meet in the semi-final on Sunday morning at 10:00 AM with the winner to face North Shore in the final, which is scheduled for 12:30 PM.
Fynn Chester came one-out away from throwing a no-hitter, as the Victoria Eagles defeated Okanagan 2-0 to advance to Sunday’s semi-final (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Left on the outside were the Okanagan A’s who, with two tough losses on Saturday, fell to 1-2, the same record as the Eagles, but because the Eagles beat them head-to-head, they were eliminated.
Detailed summaries of all four of Saturday’s games are found below.
Nanaimo Pirates 2 Okanagan A’s 1
The Nanaimo Pirates scored a pair of runs in the first inning and then rode the arm of starter Garrett Goodall to a complete game, five-hit, 2-1 win over the Okanagan A’s in the opening game of the day Saturday.
Garrett Goodall in action against Okanagan Saturday morning (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Nanaimo scored early off A’s starter Matt Brodt, as Shane Rogers and Chris Vlaj would lead things off with back-to-back singles. Rogers would then score on an RBI single from Cole Warken, while Vlaj would then score on a one-out single from Shawn Arabsky.
Shane Rogers Rogers would have a pair of hits and score against the A’s Saturday morning (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Okanagan would get one of those back on a second inning solo home run from Trevor Lofstrom, but that would be it for the A’s as Goodall would blank them the rest of the way, including getting out of a sixth inning jam that saw A’s runner reach second and third with one out, by striking out the final two batters to end the inning.
This home run from Trevor Lofstrom would be the only scoring for the A’s Saturday against Nanaimo and in fact for the day, as they were shut out in their second game by Victoria (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Stoudt, who would settle down after the first, takes a tough loss, also throwing a complete game and allowing the two Pirate runs on eight hits while striking out three. Goodall gets the win allowing the one run on five hits while striking out five.
Rogers and North Rainey had two-hit days for the Pirates, while Lofstrom with his home run and a double and Mitchell Rennie with a pair of hits led the offence for the A’s.
Okanagan second baseman McCoy Pearce and Nanaimo basrunner Zach Diewert look towards first to see if a double play has been turned (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
North Shore Twins 22 Nanaimo Pirates 4
After losing a heartbreaker in nine innings to the Okanagan A’s on Friday, the North Shore Twins took out their fustrations on the Nanaimo Pirates, by sending 15 men to the plate and scoring 11 runs in their first at bats Saturday, en route to a mercy rule shortened 22-4 win.
North Shore’s Trevor Fonseca had a three hit day to help pace the Twins against Nanaimo (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Twins followed their 11-run first with four in the second, four more in the third and three more in the fourth to cruise to the easy win. Nanaimo responded with four in the top of the third when the Twins went to their bullpen early to save their ace Will McAffer, who cruised through the first two innings, allowing just a hit with three strikeouts.
The Twins 15 hit attack was led by Taylor Wright who had a three hit day and four RBIs, capped off by a two-run home run over the right field fence in the second inning. Trevor Fonseca also had three hits, including a solo home run in the fourth, while Steve Moretto, Nic Favaro and Cole Ensing also had multi-hit games.
North Shore’s Taylor Wright had a solid day with three hits, four RBIs and a two-run homer to lead the assault on the Pirates (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Victoria Eagles 2 Okanagan A’s 0
Victoria Eagle pitcher Fynn Chester was one out away from a no-hitter when a double from the A’s Markus Glowacki spoiled the fun, but it was to no avail, as Chester and the Eagles got themselves into the win column with a 2-0 win over the A’s in a must win game for the Eagles.
Fynn Chester spun a 1-hit beauty against the A’s, losing his no-hit bid with two outs in the final inning (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Chester got all the run support he needed in the first inning thanks to a two run home run off the bat of Tanner Hess, scoring Lenn Nakutsaka, who had earlier drawn a walk.
Chester had some control issues early, issuing a pair of walks in the first two innings, but he was lights out after that, retiring the next 15 in a row before Glowacki’s double. A walk to Matt Brodt following the double and a first inning error that allowed McCoy Pearce to reach were the only other blemishes on the young pitcher’s record on the day.
Tanner Hess hit a 2-run bomb to give Victoria all the runs they would need in the 2-0 win over the A’s. Hess would homer again in the Eagles loss to North Shore (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Chester’s performance overshadowed that of Okanagan pitcher Sean Haylow, who after the two-run homer to Hess, shut the Eagles out the rest of the way, scattering six hits, walking two and striking out four.
North Shore Twins 12 Victoria Eagles 2
Knowing they would need to win or go home thanks to the results of previous games played before them, the North Shore Twins scored 12 runs in the first three innings to cruise to a mercy-rule shortened 12-2 win over the Victoria Eagles in the final game of the round robin portion of the tournament.
North Shore’s Steven Moretto had a three hit day against the Eagles in the final game Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Eagles, knowing they were through to the semi-finals no matter what the outcome, saved their veteran pitchers and started Junior call-up Stephen Wade on the mound and the Twins got to him early with four runs, highlighted by a two-RBI single from Steve Moretto and an RBI single from Cole Ensing.
The Twins played some good defence when needed against the Eagles, here with Cole Ensing tagging out the Eagle’s Kobe Morris on a double attempt (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
In the second, Taylor Wright continued his big day with a two-run home run and in the third, a six-run inning, highlighted by a two-RBI double from Nic Carusi and a two-RBI single from Moretto, his third hit of the day, rounded out the scoring.
Taylor Wright (right) is congratulated after hitting a two-run homer, his second of the day, against the Eagles (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Eagles, who actually took a 1-0 lead in the first on a Tanner Hess single, also got a solo home run from Hess in the fourth to round out their scoring.
Braeden Toikka went the distance for the Twins to get the win. Wade and fellow Junior Eagle call-ups Jesse Simpson and Brody Stark also saw action on the hill for the Eagles.
Braeden Toikka went the distance for the Twins to get the win against the Eagles (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)