The Trail All Stars almost got back on the winning track but lost a heartbreaker to Layritz Tuesday night at the Little League Major Provincials in Victoria.
The All Stars held a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning after Evan Gorman and Tyler Atkinson hit back-to-back singles, followed by a walk to Brendan Makay and an error by the pitcher allowed Gorman to score.
But the Layritz squad would get it back when a fielding error and a passed ball put two runners on with nobody out. A great play by third baseman Makay to snag a ball then get the runner at home plate preserved the lead momentarily. But a couple of walks followed by a timely hit would put Layritz up 2-1 going into the fifth.
With two outs, Trail rallied in the sixth. A walk and an error put two men on, when Nic Hume hit a ground ball to the hole which would surely have scored the tying run but the Layritz shortstop made a great diving catch. He then threw an errant ball in the dirt but the first baseman dug it out, making another great play to get the out and finish the game.
“They made some unbelievable plays, we made some good plays too,” said coach D. J. Ashman from Victoria. “It was just an awesome baseball game . . . The kids are playing great and that’s the biggest thing.”
Atkinson went the distance for the All Stars, striking out four and giving up only three hits in the loss.
“He gave us a chance to win, we just needed to hit early in the game and that was the downfall I think.”
Trail out hit their opponent 4-3 but left seven runners on base.
The team now sits at 2 and 2 and needs to win at least one of their two remaining games to make it into the playoff round.
“We hold our own destiny by winning the next two,” he said. “The good thing about this tournament is that every team is beatable, there isn’t that power house team this year like in year’s past, it’s more balanced this year.”
Ashman was thrilled when the team powered to a 2 and 0 start but recent losses to unbeaten Hastings and the thriller against Layritz puts them even for the tournament.
“In the last two games, we haven’t been getting that lead-off guy on in every inning and that’s what hurts you. It’s way tougher to score when you can’t play the small ball.”
The All Stars are off Wednesday and play last year’s national champions Little Mountain today at 10 a.m., followed by their final round robin game Friday against Langley. Playoffs start Saturday.