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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.