The Trail Orioles’ erratic play seemed to mimic the weather on the weekend, as they suffered a deluge of runs in their first game Saturday, but came out scorching on Sunday.
In Pacific International League action, the O’s hosted the Honkers out of Bellevue, Wash. in a four game series at Butler Park.
Game one got off to a rough start when O’s pitcher Travis Nevakshonoff left the game injured. The Honkers scored three in the second and four more in the third to go on to a 12-2 rout.
In the second half of the doubleheader, Darrin Kissock pitched well, limiting Honker hitters to five hits and fanning six in a 4-1 loss. Kissock struck out the side in the second inning before lightening struck in the third.
“He made one mistake, after an error and a walk, a guy hit a three-run homerun, that was the difference,” said O’s player/manager Jim Maniago.
Ashton Florko went 2 for 3 in what was otherwise an anemic offensive effort for the O’s.
But on Sunday, Trail came out swinging. Wild Honkers pitching and timely hits accounted for four runs in the first inning and another three in the third to lead to a 9-4 victory.
Kellen Jones pitched a complete game eight hitter while striking out eight in the win. Maniago and Kyle Mace went 2 for 3 and Chris Florko belted out four RBI.
In game four of the double set, the birds blew a 6-2 lead in the fifth, after scoring five on more suspect pitching.
But the Honkers, honked back in the sixth to tie and eventually win the game in extra innings.
“Overall, we were in three of the games and the other one went sideways after an injury to our starting pitcher,” said Maniago. “We still aren’t hitting enough to be more successful.”
The O’s pitching was decent overall, even better than the Honkers at times. The Trail defense also only made two errors in the four games, which is a good sign.
“The Honkers are a good team, a good hitting team and they got the big, clutch hits where we didn’t.”
The Orioles need to be on top of their game when they visit Kelowna for a Canada Days tournament. Twelve of the top teams in B.C., Alberta and United States play for the $10,000 prize.
The O’s play Burnaby (two-time provincial champs), Thurston County out of Washington State and Kamloops in their draw.