Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart
April 21, 2019, Victoria, BC – They say that good things come to those that wait.
For the Coquitlam Reds, who had to wait an extra week to get their BC Premier Baseball League season started because of weather, that saying came to full fruition Saturday and Sunday, as they used an offensive explosion, scoring 47 runs in total, to sweep the Victoria Eagles and Victoria Mariners in the first four games of their 2019 season.
On Saturday at Lambrick Park in Victoria, the Reds would get a complete game, eight-strikeout shut-out from pitcher Madjik MacKenzie (19) to defeat the Eagles 4-0.
It took a while for the Reds offence to find their way in that first game, as MacKenzie and Eagle’s starter Connor Irvine (22) were locked in a scoreless duel through the first five innings with the Reds finally breaking through on Irvine in the top of the sixth, with an RBI double by Giordano Mezzamo (8) and RBI single from Will Camacho Soto (29) to take a 2-0 lead.
They would double that lead in the top of the seventh, when Cassidy Watt (27) would double and score and Luciano Letteri’s (12) RBI single would score Jack Yaremko (25), who had reached on an error.
MacKenzie would then retire the side in the seventh to lock down the Reds first win of the season.
In Game 2 against the Eagles Saturday, MacKenzie would help get things done with his bat, notching three hits and two RBI in the Reds 11-8 win over the Eagles.
Also having strong games at the plate for the Reds – who scored eight of their 11 runs in the second and third innings – were Yaremko, with two doubles, two RBI, and two runs scored and Letteri, with a double and three RBI.
The Eagles would threaten late, coming within two of the Reds on two occasions, but a pair of Reds insurance runs in the top of the seventh would give pitcher Ben Mar, who got the win in relief of starter Grady Stayner, all the room he would need to close out the win.
At Layritz Park on Sunday, the Reds would waste no time getting the offence started, jumping all over Mariners starter Aidan Heintz for eight runs in the second inning, eventually opening up a 9-0 lead and then coasting to an eventual 17-10 win and spoiling the Mariners 2019 home opener.
The Red’s Watt (27) would be the offensive catalyst on the game with four hits and four RBI, three of which came on a bases clearing triple late in the game. Yaremko would also have three hits an RBI and a run scored from the leadoff slot.
Reds starter Mezzamo would be strong through the first four innings, holding the Mariners scoreless until they got to him for a pair in the fifth, knocking him out of the game. He would get the win though, giving up just the two runs on one hit and four walks, while striking out 11 in his four full innings of work.
It was much the same in game two Sunday, as this time the Reds would open the game with six straight hits off Mariners starter Gabe Crozier, ultimately building a 14-1 lead and finishing with a 15-8 victory.
Three different Reds players – Letteri (with a double), MacKenzie (with a single, double and triple) and Mezzomo – had three-hit and three-RBI games, while Camacho Soto had three hits and an RBI. Yaremko also continued his hot weekend, with two hits, and RBI and three runs scored.
Will Ireland would get the win in game two, striking out six in his 2.2 innings of relief. Starter Yaremko would make it through 3.2 innings, giving up three runs on two hits and five walks, while striking out six.
Over the course of the four game weekend the hard-hitting Reds beat up on the two Victoria teams for 47 runs on 46 hits, including 11 doubles, three each by MacKenzie and Letteri. With his five hits in eight at bats, Cassidy Watt comes away from the weekend hitting .625. while three players, Yaremko (.467), Mezzomo (.462) and Letteri (.438) finish the weekend above the .400 mark.
The Reds will hope to keep their perfect record intact when they travel to McLeod Park on Thursday to take on the Langley Blaze (1-0) then return home on Saturday to host a pair against the 6-2 UBC Thunder.
The Mariners, now 0-3, travel to Nanaimo for an Easter Monday pair against the Mid-Island Pirates, who split a pair of games Sunday with the Victoria Eagles to move to 5-1 on the season. They will then head to the North Shore on Sunday the 28th for their first meeting of the season with the Twins (3-1).
Other Sunday scores in the BCPBL:
Blue Jays defeat UBC Thunder 5-0
Thunder defeat Blue Jays 8-2
Eagles defeat Pirates 4-3
Pirates defeat Eagles 8-1
Tritons defeat Royals 6-1 and 4-3
Cardinals and Athletics – scores not reported at press time
For more images from this game, please visit: https://christianjstewart.zenfolio.com/p212798547