Record improves to 21-9, sit atop BCJPBL standings with Jr. Reds and Jr. Blaze
Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart
August 8, 2021, Victoria BC – The UBC Junior Thunder continued to roll in Victoria on the weekend, sweeping the Victoria Eagles on Saturday by scores of 6-3 and 8-3 and then beating the Victoria Mariners 4-3 before dropping a 7-5 decision Sunday in game two.
The weekend ending loss to the Mariners was just the Thunder’s third loss in the last 17 games and put an end to a seven game win streak.
Their record now sits at an impressive 21-9, with the most wins in the BCJPBL, but they find themselves in third place on percentage points behind the 17-7 Junior Blaze and 16-6 Junior Reds.
The Thunder will hope to continue that momentum into their final six league games (two each against the White Rock Tritons, Mid-Island Pirates and Coquitlam Reds) and ultimately into the playoffs, where under this year’s playoff format, every team, no matter their record, has a shot to reach the semi-finals simply by winning their playoff pool.
For the Thunder, this will mean having to emerge out of a pool that includes themselves, the White Rock Tritons and the Eagles, so next Saturday’s games against the Tritons could be important “message sending” games for both squads.
And while the Thunder are 4-0 against the Eagles this season, all four games have been competitive and the Eagles sweep of Abbotsford on Sunday for their first wins in six weeks could give them some much needed confidence down the stretch and into a playoff pool where just two or three key wins could vault a team into the semi-final rounds.
In Saturday’s game one against the Eagles, the Thunder built a 6-0 lead early and cruised to an easy 6-3 win, giving up the Eagle runs in the final inning.
Dylan Myttenar got the win, giving up no runs on four hits over four innings, striking out nine. Levi Soper threw three innings in relief out of the bullpen.
The Thunder racked up nine hits in the game with Lucas Huynh, with a home run, single and three RBI leading the way. Oliver Kaisla, and Jackson Boomer also contributed a pair of hits each to the win.
In game two, the Thunder once again roared early, building a 6-0 lead after three and an 8-1 lead after five to coast to a second easy win over the Eagles.
The Thunder scattered eight hits in the game with Rico Domingo and Huynh leading the way with a pair of hits each. Domingo also scored twice.
Landon Kauffman got the win, going five innings, allowing one run on two hits and striking out 11. Robert Orr came out of the bullpen and helped to close out the game in relief.
On Sunday in game one against the Mariners, the Thunder used a four run fifth inning, all runs coming with two outs, to overcome a 3-0 deficit and take the 4-3 win from the M’s. Adam Rusch, Calvin Gully and Jordan Stewart had big RBIs in the frame.
Lucas Huynh would get the complete game win for the Thunder. Huynh allowed seven hits and three runs, striking out six.
In game two Sunday, the Mariners looked to have the game in the bag, building a 7-1 lead after five innings, but the high powered Thunder scored four runs in the top of the sixth to make it close.
Jackson Boomer and Julian Fast had a pair of hits each for the Thunder, while Jaron Palaschuk and Adam Rusch chipped in two RBI each in the losing effort.
Freddie Sale took the loss, giving up the seven Mariner runs on four hits, while walking seven and striking out five in his four innings of work.
All images from the Eagles and Thunder Saturday double header will be avaialable at https://christianjstewart.zenfolio.com/p615393433