The West Kootenay ‘A’ Phillies broke out of an early season slump in American Legion single-A action with their first win over University High School 2 on Saturday at Butler Park.
The Phillies received fabulous pitching from Braeden Zarikoff in the first game of the doubleheader as the home team beat U2 5-1, before dropping the second match 11-7.
Zarikoff went the distance in the first game, giving up just one run on three hits and a walk while striking out eight.
The game was tied 1-1 until the sixth, when the Phillies exploded for four runs. Dillon Jacobs got the rally started with a single, before Johnny Ballarin sacrificed Jacobs to second on a bunt down the third base line. The U2 pitcher started to struggle in the sixth, giving free passes to Colton Miracle, Reese Tambellini, and Zarikoff to plate Jacobs for the winning run. Derek Green then stepped up and added some insurance with a single, followed by Daniel Gagnier who also ripped a single to make it 5-1 Phillies.
Zarikoff would do the rest, striking out two of the last three batters in the top of the seventh for the victory, while Jacobs had a solid game at the dish going 2-for-3 with a stolen base.
In the second half of the doubleheader, the Phillies battled back from an 8-4 deficit in the fourth, to make it 8-7, but three runs by U2 in the top of the fifth put the game out of reach. The local team had a good game at the plate out-hitting the opposition, with Bonn Johnston leading the way with a 2-for-4 night. However, errors and walks killed the Phillies as U2 managed to score 11 runs on just three hits, 14 walks, and two West Kootenay errors.
The Phillies play a return date against University 2 tonight in Pullman at 5:30 p.m.
Trail Youth Baseball: The Trail Senior XBL Men’s Playoff begins tonight with the third seed Nelson Dodgers taking on the sixth seed Grand Forks team at Butler Park at 6 p.m. while the fourth seed Trail Pirates play the fifth seeded Trail Tigers at 8 p.m. in sudden-death play. The lowest seed advancing will play the top seed Trail Tigers on Thursday night at 6 p.m. with the next highest seed play the number two seed Trail Indians at 8 p.m..
The final for the Trail Youth baseball junior championship has been set for Tuesday at Butler Park at 5:30 p.m. followed by the final of the senior men’s XBL playoff at 8 p.m.