The Trail Minor Orioles dropped a close match to the Highland All Stars Tuesday night, that left them with a must-win game against Dunbar in the B.C. Little League Minor Baseball championship at Andy Bilesky Park Wednesday night.
The Orioles were up 5-2 in the fourth, but Highlands rallied, then took advantage of some untimely Oriole miscues to complete a 12-5 come-from-behind victory.
Trail jumped out to a 3-1 first inning lead on the strength of a Bryce Sookro double that scored Noah Quinn. Will Doerkson singled to put runners on first and third, then a series of walks would bring in two more runs to make it 3-1 Os after one.
Highlands would get one back in the third on back-to- back singles from Sam Aslanowicz and Jed Decooman and Decooman would score on a bases-loaded walk to Anthoney Setticasi to make it 3-2.
However, Trail extended the lead. Doerkson doubled off the top of the centre-field fence to start a two-out rally in the top of the fourth, and Darren Issel followed with another double up the middle and took third when the throw to home was late. Kelton Forte then stepped up and smacked a single into right to plate Issel and put the Orioles up 5-2.
But with two out in the bottom of four, the North Vancouver team would come back. Decooman doubled to get the two-out rally going. Mackenzie Lake singled and by the time the dust settled three runs would score to tie the game.
The Highlands defence played tight the rest of the way sitting the Orioles down in order in the top of five.
After Jack Cameron doubled to lead off the bottom of the fifth, the Orioles would get the next two batters out. Then the wheels fell off, as Highlands would score seven runs to put the game out of reach and clinch a playoff spot.
Decooman went 4-for-4 with three runs scored on a double and two RBIs for Highlands. He would also collect the win on the mound throwing two-and-one-third innings, striking out four, while surrendering no runs on three hits. Aslanowicz and Cameron were 3-for-4 on the night each with a double.
Doerkson was 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored while Issel went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Forte was 1-for-2 with two ribbies.
In early action on Wednesday, the White Rock All Stars walloped Beacon Hill 20-1 in four innings. Tajin Rai went 3-for-4 with three doubles and three RBIs, while Kai Cumiskey had four RBIs, and scored three times on two doubles and a walk.
In the afternoon matchup Hastings was tied 2-2 with Highlands after two innings but broke it open, scoring six runs in the third and another five in the fourth to cruise to a 13-2 victory.
Trail played Dunbar Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. but the score was unavailable at press time. The winner goes to the playoff where they will meet 5-0 Hastings on Friday at noon. White Rock will play Highlands in the 3:30 p.m. match.
The championship final goes Saturday at noon.