Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart
July 26, 2021, Victoria, BC – The White Rock Tritons won three out of four games this past weekend, splitting a pair with the Victoria Eagles on Saturday and sweeping the Whalley Chiefs on Sunday, giving the now 12-13 team some momentum heading into this coming weekend’s BC Premier Baseball League championship tournament.
The sweep of the Chiefs, in what seems to be a “win one, lose one” type of season, was only the Triton’s second double header sweep of the season, following a July 3 sweep over the UBC Thunder, and with the split with the Eagles, the Tritons have now won four of their last six games of the season as they prepare to host the Pod B playoff round starting Friday that will include the North Shore Twins, UBC Thunder and Mid-Island Pirates.
The winner of that Pod will move on the play in the championship rounds (semi-finals and finals) that are being held in Langley on Sunday August 1st.
The three weekend wins gave the Tritons some much needed momentum considering that they started the year with five straight losses, all to the North Delta Blue Jays. They were able to right the ship not long after that, winning eight of their next 12 and have won seven of their last 12 down the stretch.
On Saturday in Victoria, the Tritons jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in game one, but had to hold on for a tense 5-4 win, and then, after a six-run top of the seventh inning in game two, they were three outs away from the sweep, but then watched the Eagles score five runs in the bottom of the inning to tie the game and then walk it off with two in the bottom of the eighth, to take a crazy 11-10 victory.
That pretty much sums up how things have been going for the Tritons all year, as six of their losses, including their last five of the year, have all been by a single run.
In that game one win, the Tritons jumped into an early 3-0 lead in the top of the second, thanks in part to an RBI double from Daniel Orfaly, and then added another in the top of the third thanks to another RBI hit from Orfaly that scored Nolan Austin who had earlier walked.
The Tritons gave two of those back in the bottom of the third when some sloppy defence let starting pitcher Chase Marshall – who had been near perfect through the first two innings – down, with both runs being unearned.
The Eagles would score again in the bottom of the fourth and it then took a solo home run from Austin to deep center in the top of the sixth to provide some insurance and the ultimate winning run as the Eagles would score once again in the sixth, but then come up dry in the seventh, giving White Rock the 5-4 win.
Nathaniel Factor was credited with the victory for White Rock in relief, going four innings, allowing two runs on five hits, striking out four and walking one.
In game two, things were a tight 1-1 pitching duel between the Eagles Sam Jordan and the Tritons Nolan Austin through the first five innings, but then the floodgates would open, as over the next three innings, the teams would score 19 runs between them to finish out the game.
Six of those runs came from the Tritons in the top of the seventh, pushing the score to a seemingly comfortable 9-4, but the scrappy Eagles rallied for five runs, highlighted by a two-run homer from Jai Berezowski to tie the game and push it to extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, with the ghost runner at second rule in place, the Tritons would score to take the 10-9 lead, but once again the Eagles fought back, tying the game on a sacrifice fly from Jack Swinton and then getting an RBI single from Ty Burton that scored Ryder Green (walk) to give the Eagles the 11-10 win.
Daniel Orfaly had another strong day at the plate for the Tritons, with three hits and two RBI, while Scott Allan, Austin and Bach, who had a homer, also added two hits each in the losing effort.
The host Tritons will open the Pod B playoffs on Friday July 30 with a 9:00 am game against the North Shore Twins. A 6:00 pm tilt with the UBC Thunder follows and they complete their thre game round robin with a 2:00 pm game against the Mid-Island Pirates on Saturday July 31st.
The winner of the Pod B playoffs, will move on the face the host Langley Blaze in the first semi-final of the day on Sunday August 1st in Langley. Game time there is 9:00 am
For the full set of photos from the Tritons games vs the Eagles, please visit https://christianjstewart.zenfolio.com/p303169068