The Trail AM Ford Orioles are back at home for a three-game tilt against the Vernon Diamondbacks at Butler Park on the weekend.
The O’s are coming off a great showing at the Canada Day Baseball Blast tournament in Kelowna, finishing third, after coming one strike away from a berth in the finals.
“I think the Kelowna weekend showed that we can play with anyone, we were the last Canadian team playing,” said Orioles player-coach Jim Maniago. “If we keep hitting the ball like we did there we’ll have a lot of success. It was huge to fall behind and still be able to battle back and win games, that hasn’t happened to us in a long time. It takes some pressure off our pitchers to know that if they make a few mistakes and give up some runs we still have a chance to win.”
The Orioles will likely start Kyle Paulson in the opening match on Saturday, followed by either Scott Rhynold or Dallas Calvin in games two and three.
The O’s played the Dbacks early last month, taking both ends of a doubleheader in Vernon, but Maniago is expecting a more prepared team this time around.
“Vernon is a scrappy team. They always come here and do the right things to try and steal a game or two from us. They just had a pretty good showing at a tournament in Vancouver. We’ve had some time off, hopefully we’ll be ready and not rusty.”
Saturday games go at Butler Park at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. and on Sunday at 10 a.m.