Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart
September 11, 2021, Victoria, BC – The Victoria Eagles used a four-run fifth inning and some solid pitching to defeat the Victoria Golden Tide 7-2 Saturday morning in the final round robin game for both teams at the Zack Downey Memorial Tournament at Layritz Park in Victoria.
The win gives the Eagles the number one seed for the playoffs and they will now take on the Parksville Royals at 12:30 pm Sunday in the semi-finals.
The Royals, despite losing a heartbreaker to Saskatchewan Saturday, 6-2 in extra innings, snuck into the fourth seed spot by virtue of the Victoria Mariners and Nanaimo Pirates essentially playing to a 4-4 tie in the final round-robin game of the day Saturday.
The Mariners could have advanced into the forth seed with a shut-out win over the Pirates, but Mid-Island scored two runs in the very first inning of that game, to put that mathematical possibility to rest.
The Golden Tide will now have a re-match with the Saskatchewan Grizzlies in the other semi-final Sunday, starting at 10:00 am. In their game with Parksville Saturday, the Grizzlies broke open a 1-1 tie by scoring five runs in the top of the eighth inning to secure the win.
The Championship game at the Zack Downey Tournament is scheduled for 3:00 pm Sunday.
For the Eagles, hard throwing Derek Peterson got the start and he was brilliant, limiting the Tide to just two hits and no runs in his four innings of work.
Peterson got offensive support from the Eagles with a run in the third, thanks to an RBI single from Jai Berezowski that scored Jack Swinton and another in the fourth, thanks to an RBI single from Jacob Wayman that scored Owen Taylor.
In the Eagles four-run fifth inning, they took advantage of Tide pitcher Jackson Belanger who had a debut he would rather forget, giving up a single, two walks and two hit batters, before being replaced by Braden Perozny.
The Tide would see a glimmer of hope when they scored a pair of two-out runs in the fifth inning off Eagles reliever Brandon Cain, but Cain would get out of the inning with no further damage.
The Eagles would then score another insurance run in the top of the sixth and then Josh Gladstone would shut the door, retiring the side in the bottom of the sixth to close out the 7-2 win.
For the Eagles offensively, Jack Swinton, brother of Golden Tide player Parker Swinton, would lead the way with a single, double and two runs scored. Josh Burrows, with a single and two walks, would also score twice.
For the Tide, Brendan Morrison had a hit and an RBI, while Tyler Burton had a single, walk and run scored. Alex McLauclan, Colton O’Brien and Tristian Bolger had the other hits for the Tide in the losing effort.
Haldon Craig got the start for the Tide, allowing just a hit in his two innings of work, with relief from Wyatt Mohr-Royer, Belanger and Perozny.
The Golden Tide will have an interesting day on Sunday, as in addition to the semi-final and possible final at the Zack Downey Tournament, they are also scheduled to play a double-header in Nanaimo against Vancouver Island University. Head Coach Curtis Pelletier will split his large squad accordingly to accommodate all games.
ZACK DOWNEY TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE, LAYRITZ PARK, SAANICH
Sunday September 12, 10:00 AM Golden Tide vs Saskatchewan Grizzlies – SEMI-FINAL
Sunday September 12, 12:30 AM Victoria Eagles vs Parksville Royals – SEMI-FINAL
Sunday September 13, 3:00 PM – FINAL