The Trail Minor 9-10 All Stars listened to their coach Jim Maniago’s advice and scored just enough runs to beat host Jericho on Wednesday and keep their playoff hopes alive at the B.C. Little League Minor Baseball championship in Vancouver.
The 9-10 All Stars jumped out to a 5-1 lead and held on for a 5-4 victory to go to 2-3 at the provincial tournament.
“It was a good win,” said Maniago. “Closer than it needed to be but we’ll take it. Our pitching was excellent again and our defense made some big plays and we finally strung a few hits together and scored some runs. Hopefully that will give the kids a little confidence heading into tomorrow, hitting is so psychological. They were pretty excited after the game.”
Jake Maniago earned the win on the mound pitching two and one-third scoreless innings, giving up three hits, walking one and striking out two.
Up 2-1, a three-run fifth inning would be the difference for the All Stars, as Maxie Lloyd led off with a walk and would take third on a Nathan Dunn double. Connor Staner would step up and score Lloyd with a single, and after a walk to Maniago, Reid Gerrand would send a sacrifice fly to deep centre to score Dunn. Maniago would steal second and Staner would steal home on the ensuing throw to make it 5-1.
Jericho mustered a two-out rally in the bottom of the sixth, and after Robert Orr doubled to cut the lead to 5-4, Gerrand would get the Jericho batter to fly out to third base for the final out.
Koa Wintraub went 2-for-4 for Trail with a pair of doubles, while Staner and Dunn hit 2-for-3 and combined for thre RBIs.
The win gives the All Stars a chance to make the semifinal, if they can defeat Little Mountain in their final match of the round robin today at noon.
“We feel pretty confident,” added Maniago. “As long as we score some runs I think we’ll do fine. We have our top pitchers ready to go again so we couldn’t have planned it any better, the kids just have to relax and go play like they can.”
White Rock leads the standings at 4-0, while Highlands is second with a 3-1 record, with Little Mountain at 2-2 and Hastings and Trail tied with 2-3 records. Beacon Hill and Jericho are at 1-3.