Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart
June 29, 2021, Victoria, BC – A double to the fence in the bottom of the seventh inning by Ryder Green scored Tyrus Hall and gave the Victoria Eagles an exciting 6-5 walk-off victory over the Victoria Mariners in BC Premier Baseball League action Tuesday night at Lambrick Park in Victoria.
Green’s heroics capped off an Eagles comeback from a 5-1 deficit and also gave Green some redemption, as he started the game on the mound for the Eagles and was on the hook for the loss, as he surrendered a third-inning, two-run home run to the Mariners Sam Shaw, exiting the game with his team down by a 2-1 score.
The Eagles had started the game by jumping into a quick 1-0 lead after a Jordan Bond double plated leadoff batter Tyler Burton, who reached on an error. That lead would hold through two innings, as Green struck out four out of six batters in the first two innings, and another in the third, before Shaw deposited a hanging breaking ball over the right-centre field fence to give the Mariners the lead.
After the Mariners Myles Chamberlain doubled and scored in the fourth, Jaydon Malinowski would launch a two-run home run off the scoreboard in right field in the fifth inning to extend the Mariners lead to 5-1. All three runs came at the expense of Eagles reliever Hall, who came in to pitch at the top of the fourth.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Eagles would finally get to Mariners starter Jaxon Smith-Peterson, as Jack Swinton would draw a one-out walk and Kai Gray would follow with a single, with both runners then scoring on a throwing error by Mariners third baseman Corrin Chapeskie who was attempting to field a bunt attempt by the Eagles Jai Berezowski.
Reliever Ben Havelock would get the Mariners out of that inning, with a 5-3 lead, but would surrender another run to the Eagles in the bottom of the sixth as Bond would double down the third base line and then come in to score on a two-out single from Oliver Mabee.
That would set the stage for the seventh inning dramatics that began when Eagles leadoff hitter Gray notched a full count single off Mariners closer Connor Melanson. Hall would follow with a one-out single to move Gray to second and then both would advance into scoring position on a double steal that resulted in a close play at third on Gray, who was correctly ruled safe.
Burton then cashed in Gray with a sacrifice fly, also moving Hall to third, and Green then took the third pitch he saw from Melanson to deep left-centre field, scoring Hall and setting off an Eagles celebration that saw Green mobbed by his teammates on the field.
Bond, who came into the game with two outs in the sixth, gets the win for the Eagles in relief, but credit is also due to Eagles relievers Jacob Wayman (5th inning) and Spencer McGhie (6th inning) who kept the Mariners off the board during their stints on the hill.
Also of note Tuesday was the defensive play of Eagles third baseman Dylan Brown, who made two outstanding diving plays to take hits away from the Mariner’s Shaw and Chapeskie in the fifth and sixth innings respectively.
The win squares the Eagles and Mariners season series against each other this season at three wins each, after the Eagles also took a 7-3 win at Lambrick Park on Sunday and also marks the last time this season the teams will play each other unless they decide to make-up the two games they did not play last weekend due to extreme heat in Victoria.
Both teams will now begin to travel to play other teams in the league, thanks in part to the easing of COVID restrictions in Stage 3 of the Provinces’ re-opening plan. On Saturday, the Mariners will travel north to Nanaimo to face the Mid-Island Pirates for a pair, while the Eagles will head to Parksville for a pair against the Royals.
On Sunday, the Royals will head to Layritz Park for a pair against the Mariners, while it will be the Eagles heading to Nanaimo for two with the Pirates. Start times for all double-headers on both Saturday and Sunday is 12 Noon.
The full set of photos from this game by photographer Christian J. Stewart can be found at https://christianjstewart.zenfolio.com/p265036477