The Trail AAA Jays may have only won one game, but the Bellingham International Invitational tournament proved the team has what it takes to play with the best.
“The competition was pretty good,” said Jays coach Nick Combo. “I mean two of the teams we played, the Spokane Bandits and the Bellingham Legion team were both in the state championship last year for Washington American Legion.”
The Jays dropped their first game to the Seattle Selects 5-0, but were in the game all the way until Seattle scored two more runs in the final inning to put it out of reach.
Jordan Roblin went 1 for 2 in the game while Scott Davidson gave up only six hits, struck out four and walked seven.
The Jays then gave the ball to Dallas Calvin who took the mound against the Spokane Bandits on Saturday. Calvin gave up one run in the second, but the Jays came right back to tie it.
The lanky 17-year-old shut them down after that, and the Jays scored two runs in the sixth to take a 3-1 victory.
Calvin went the distance for the Jays, striking out nine batters, while giving up only four hits and walking one. Geoff Soukeroff was 2 for 3 at the plate with a double and two RBIs.
“We competed really well those couple games,” said Combo. “We were right there in every game. We played really well, even though our record didn’t show it.”
In the third match against Bellingham, the Jays played great defensively and got another strong performance on the hill from Scott Robertson, but the bats went quiet and the Jays fell 1-0.
“We didn’t come up with many timely hits, I didn’t get a look at the final stats, but we left quite a few runners on base. We played pretty good defence, but couldn’t get runners across.”
The Jays dropped the final game to Wenatchee 6-2, but the tournament was a good indication that the team is making progress.
“I thought this weekend, out of all the games we played we competed the best,” said Combo. “We’re continuing to get better as the season goes on.”
The Jays head back into North Idaho American Legion action on Thursday as they host the Coeur d’Alene Lumbermen at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. at Butler Park.
The Jays then welcome teams from across Canada and the northern states for the Trail Jays Safety-Net Midsummer Classic starting Friday and going until Monday at Butler Park.
Teams include the Regina Mets, Spokane Northstars, Northeast 49ers, Penticton Tigers and the St. Albert Cardinals.