Eagles Battle, but Victory Proves Elusive in Weekend Losses to Reds, Twins

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Victoria Eagles catcher Cam Devlin grimaces as he puts the tag on North Shore's Carson Ho (51) during this collision at home plate in the seventh inning of Sunday's game one (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

May 8, 2017, Victoria, BC (ISN) – It’s beginning to look like the 2017 BC Premier Baseball League season will be one of feast or famine for the young Victoria Eagles.  After winning four of their last five games, the Eagles were swept this past weekend, losing double-headers to the Coquitlam Reds on Saturday and the North Shore Twins on Sunday, all at Joe Stephenson Field at Lambrick Park in Victoria.

Victoria's Noah Doorschot held the powerful North Shore Twins to just one run over seven of innings of work in game one Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Victoria’s Noah Doorschot held the powerful North Shore Twins to just one run over seven of innings of work in game one Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The weekend sweep sounds much worse than it actually was and with a lucky bounce here, or a key hit there, the Eagles could have come out of this weekend with a split, or even three wins in the four games.

In Saturday’s first game against the Reds, the teams went into the seventh inning tied 5-5 before the Eagles gave up a pair of runs in the top of the seventh.  They had their own chance to tie the game, or even win it in the bottom of the inning, leaving the bases loaded to lose 7-5.

Victoria shortstop Shuta Araki (left) awaits the through as North Shore's Brandon Hupe (24) slides safely into second on this steal attempt Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Victoria shortstop Shuta Araki (left) awaits the through as North Shore’s Brandon Hupe (24) slides safely into second on this steal attempt Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In Sunday’s first game against the Twins, the Eagles rode a brilliant performance from starter Noah Doorschot to hold the powerful Twins scoreless through six innings of work.  The Eagles then scored one in the bottom of the sixth to take a 1-0 lead into the final inning, only to watch the Twins score once there to tie it up and then score three more in the top of the eighth to come away with an eventual 4-2 win.

With a five-hit weekend, the Eagles Parker Swinton is leading the team with a .465 average (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
With a five-hit weekend, the Eagles Parker Swinton is leading the team with a .465 average (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In game two Sunday, the Twins jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but the Eagles battled back to make it 6-4, before once again surrendering some late runs, a pair in the top of the seventh, to eventually drop the game 8-5 to the Twins.

The Eagles only solid blemish on the weekend was the second game against the Reds, where they could muster just a single hit off Reds starter Madjik Mackenzie, who went the distance in the 5-0 Reds victory.

Victoria second baseman Parker Swinton throws to first from his knees during this play in the second game against the Twins on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Victoria second baseman Parker Swinton throws to first from his knees during this play in the second game against the Twins on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Despite the losses, the Eagles also pulled a number of positives out of the weekend that they can build on moving forward.  Offensively, Parker Swinton continues to swing a hot bat and he had five hits over the weekend to move his team leading batting average to .465 (currently seventh in the BCPBL).  Cole Mayhew also had a five-hit weekend, including four in the 8-5 loss to the Twins Sunday, while Andy Weir is starting to come around, enjoying a four hit day, with two doubles, against the Twins on Sunday.

Victoria lefty Leo Jansch, a Premier League rookie, is acquitting himself well so far this season for the Eagles, with a 3.65 ERA over 3 appearances. He is also batting .389 with 7 hits including a pair of doubles (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Victoria lefty Leo Jansch, a Premier League rookie, is acquitting himself well so far this season for the Eagles, with a 3.65 ERA over 3 appearances. He is also batting .389 with 7 hits including a pair of doubles (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

On the mound, in addition to Doorschot’s performance Sunday, the Eagles received a solid complete-game outing from Trey Sjerven in the 5-0 loss to the Reds Saturday and decent relief appearances from Leo Jansch (3 IP, 2ER, 2H, 3K, 4W) and Hayden Wilcox (2 IP, 1ER, 1H, 2K, 3W) in the 8-5 loss to the Twins on Sunday.

Victoria Eagles shortstop Shuta Araki is proving to be a valuable defensive asset for the young Eagles in the early part of the 2017 season (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Victoria Eagles shortstop Shuta Araki is proving to be a valuable defensive asset for the young Eagles in the early part of the 2017 season (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Next on the schedule for the now 4-10 Eagles is the first regular season tilt with the cross-town Victoria Mariners at Layritz Park on Tuesday, May 16.  The Eagles will then travel to Parksville on Saturday May 20 for a pair with the Royals, before returning to Joe Stephenson Field on May 27 for a pair against the White Rock Tritons.

North Shore shortstop Steve Moretto (left) turns a double play on a sliding Parker Swinton during the Twins 4-2 win in game one on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
North Shore shortstop Steve Moretto (left) turns a double play on a sliding Parker Swinton during the Twins 4-2 win in game one on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Speaking of the Victoria Mariners, they finally saw some decent action on the weekend after having seven of their first nine games postponed, splitting with the Twins on Saturday, winning 13-6 and losing 8-0 and then sweeping the Reds on Sunday by scores of 4-1 and 2-0.

In other Island PBL action on the weekend the Parksville Royals dropped a pair of games Saturday to the North Delta Blue Jays (10-9, 7-2) and the Blue Jays then completed the Island sweep, defeating the Mid-Island Pirates 2-1 and 12-2 on Sunday.

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