Mariners Put Damper on Eagles Playoff Hopes With Matinee BCPBL Victory

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The Mariner's Fynn Chester sparked the offence with three hits in the Mariners 8-5 win over the Victoria Eagles on Thursday afternoon (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

June 29, 2017, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Mariners scored five runs over the first two innings and went on to an 8-5 win over the Victoria Eagles in a rare BC Premier Baseball League weekday afternoon game Thursday at Lambrick Park in Victoria.

Mariner's starter Jesse Simpson struggled early, but settled down enough to earn the win over the Eagles on Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Mariner’s starter Jesse Simpson struggled early, but settled down enough to earn the win over the Eagles on Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The game was a re-schedule of an originally scheduled game and was due, in part, to accommodating the Mariners who, due to a series of rain-outs from earlier in the season, sees them in the middle of a stretch of playing 19 games in the 19 days between June 17th and July 5th.

The Eagle's Cole Mayhew stroked a two-RBI double in the first inning Thursday to keep the Eagles close to the Mariners in the early going (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Eagle’s Cole Mayhew stroked a two-RBI double in the first inning Thursday to keep the Eagles close to the Mariners in the early going (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Mariners win moves their record to 23-11 and keeps them in the hunt for a top four finish and resulting home field advantage in the first round of the BCPBL playoffs. They trail the North Shore Twins for first place by four games, but hold a slim one game lead over Langley and Parksville who are tied for third, and a 1.5 game lead over Whalley who sit in fifth.

Mariner's shortstop Jason Willow had a RBI-single in the first inning to help ignite the Mariner's offence (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Mariner’s shortstop Jason Willow had a RBI-single in the first inning to help ignite the Mariner’s offence (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

For the Eagles, now 12-27, the loss puts a damper on their ever decreasing playoff chances, as they now sit in 10th place, 3.5 games back of the Okanagan A’s (15-23) who currently occupy the eighth and final playoff spot, with the 12-20 Coquitlam Reds also in the way.

On Wednesday, the Mariners jumped on Eagles’ starter Mike Musselwhite for three runs in the first and another two in the second, but the Eagles kept pace with two runs of their own in each of the first – thanks in part to a two-RBI double from the Eagles Cole Mayhew – and second innings off Mariner’s starter Jesse Simpson.

The Mariner's Dan Rockwell missed a home-run over the right field fence by about a foot, settling for a double late in Thursday's game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Mariner’s Dan Rockwell missed a home-run over the right field fence by about a foot, settling for a double late in Thursday’s game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Mariners would go ahead 6-4 in the fourth, only to see the Eagles keep pace with a run in the fifth to pull to 6-5, but a pair of Mariner’s insurance runs late, put the game out of reach for the Eagles.

Simpson was replaced on the mound by Nick Lee, who finished the final two innings.  Fynn Chester led the Mariner’s offence with three hits, including a two-RBI double in the first inning.  Jason Willow also notched an RBI hit, while Dan Rockwell doubled late, narrowly missing a home run over the right field fence by a foot.

2017 Baltimore Oriole's draft pick Jason Willow had a strong game at shortstop for the Mariners in the win over the Eagles on Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
2017 Baltimore Oriole’s draft pick Jason Willow had a strong game at shortstop for the Mariners in the win over the Eagles on Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Eagles playoff hopes will now hinge on getting some key wins on the road against the Abbotsford Cardinals (19-16) in a double-header Saturday and then against the third place Langley Blaze (22-12) on Sunday, before wrapping up their regular season at home against Nanaimo on Tuesday July 11th.

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