After Tough Start, Eagles Finding Their Way in BCPBL Play

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The Eagles used some good defence including this double play by Parker Swinton to stay close against the Pirates Tuesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

May 3, 2017, Victoria, BC (ISN) – After beginning the BC Premier Baseball League (BCPBL) season with five straight losses, the Victoria Eagles have now won four of their last five games and seem to be finding their way in what has been a crazy start to the 2017 season.

The Eagles Andy Weir beats out an infield single during Tuesday's action against the Pirates (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Eagles Andy Weir beats out an infield single during Tuesday’s action against the Pirates (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Eagles most recent win came at Lambrick Park in Victoria on Tuesday evening, when they scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to walk-off with an 8-7 win over the Mid-Island Pirates. That win followed on the heels of three Eagle wins in the Okanagan on the weekend, where the Eagles defeated the A’s 9-5 and 6-0 on Saturday and 12-2 on Sunday after dropping the Sunday opener 7-2.

Victoria's Shuta Araki (left) gets caught in a run-down against the Pirates on Tuesday night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Victoria’s Shuta Araki (left) gets caught in a run-down against the Pirates on Tuesday night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Tuesday’s walk-off win was literally that, as Nanaimo pitcher Cole Anderson struggled to close things out, walking in the final three runs of the game to hand the Eagles the win.

Nanaimo, with a four-run third inning off Eagles starter Michael Musselwhite, led at one point 7-3, but some solid, scoreless relief work by Aidyn Hart in the fourth through sixth innings and Jacob Butler, who gets credit for the win, in the seventh, kept the Eagles in the game and set the stage for the final inning comeback.

The Eagles Andy Weir had a hit and two RBIs Tuesday against the Pirates (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Eagles Andy Weir had a hit and two RBIs Tuesday against the Pirates (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Offensively, Parker Swinton had a hit and two RBIs to move his team leading average to .455, while Shuta Araki had  a pair of hits and one RBI. Andy Weir also had a hit and two RBIs and scored a pair of runs in the winning effort.

Nanaimo starter Jackson Stephens had things under control Tuesday leaving the game after five innings with a 7-4 lead (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Nanaimo starter Jackson Stephens had things under control Tuesday leaving the game after five innings with a 7-4 lead (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The win moved the Eagles record to 4-6 on the season and into an early season tie for eighth place in the league, although that placing is a bit deceiving given the crazy start to the PBL season, created by weather and field condition issues throughout the league that have resulted in numerous cancellations.

With a hit and two RBIs Tuesday, the Eagle's Parker Swinton leads the team with a .455 average (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
With a hit and two RBIs Tuesday, the Eagle’s Parker Swinton leads the team with a .455 average (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

As an example, the Eagles now have two more wins than the Victoria Mariners, but the Mariners two wins have them technically in first place percentage wise because they are the only two games that they have played due to numerous cancellations.

Similarly, while the Eagles have played 10 games and most other teams have played anywhere from 8-13 games, the Whalley Chiefs and Coquitlam Reds have only seen action in four and five games respectively.

Eagles pitcher Aidyn Hart was solid in relief Tuesday, keeping Nanaimo scoreless in his 2.2 innings of work (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Eagles pitcher Aidyn Hart was solid in relief Tuesday, keeping Nanaimo scoreless in his 2.2 innings of work (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Eagles themselves have also had five games postponed.  The bottom line is that once these games all start to get made up as the season progresses, the early season standings will undoubtedly change rapidly and look much different that what they are now.

The Eagles will stay busy this weekend as they host the Coquitlam Reds on Saturday for a pair and then do the same Sunday when the always tough North Shore Twins come to town. Start times on both days are at 12 noon at Joe Stephenson Field at Lambrick Park.

In the Junior Premier circuit on Tuesday night, the Junior Eagles received a complete game performance from pitcher Chad Hegland as they defeated the Junior Victoria Mariners 6-1 in a game at Henderson Park in Victoria.

Hegland gave up the single earned run on six scattered hits, while striking out seven and walking just two.  He was supported offensively by a three-hit night from Justin Giles, including two doubles, and a two-hit, two-RBI night from Alex Baan-Meiklejohn.

The win improves the Junior Eagles record to 3-9, while the Mariners fall to 4-4 on the young season.  Next up, the Junior Eagles venture to Duncan Saturday to battle the Mid-Island Pirates and then head to the North Shore Sunday to take on the Junior Twins.

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