The Trail Jays are hoping some bright spots in the weekend’s Fourth of July tournament in Spokane will become routine when they host their five-team tourney this weekend at Butler Park.
The Jays host the annual Safety-Net Midsummer Classic beginning Friday and the team is anxious to put it all together for an entire tournament.
Last weekend in Spokane, the Jays were shutout in its first three games before a seventh-inning rally salvaged a win over the Spokane Bandits. They wrapped up the tournament on Sunday watching a 3-2 lead evaporate as the El Segundo Blues scored six runs in the sixth inning en route to an 8-3 win.
“We struggled with our sticks a little more than normal,” said manager Nick Combo.
The Jays were held hitless in their opening game Friday morning as the Prospects Academy from Edmonton rolled to a 13-0 win.
Trail bounced back somewhat in their second game of the day behind the stellar pitching of Scott Robertson.
Roberston carried a perfect game into the seventh inning against Sandpoint before a bloop single began a one-run rally that proved to be the difference in the Idaho team’s 1-0 win. Meanwhile the Trail bats only mustered a pair of hits in the pitching duel.
Saturday morning the Jays took it on the chin against Twin City as they had only four hits in a 13-0 loss.
Things turned around Saturday evening behind Dallas Calvin’s complete game effort with a 4-3 win over the Spokane Bandits.
His teammates pounded out 12 hits, including a 4-for-4 performance from Gerry Rebelato.
Trail took a 3-1 lead into the seventh before the Bandits battled back to knot the game at 3-3.
“Dallas was still effective, they just had a couple of hits that went their way,” said Combo.
Calvin pitched seven innings striking out four batters and giving up two walks.
Despite letting the lead slip away, the Jays came right back in the bottom of the seventh.
“We had the top of our order up. We had two runners on and a base hit should have scored the runner but there was a play at the plate and he was called out.”
With a runner on second and third, Spokane issued a walk to load the bases. Jesse Rypien worked the count on the Spokane pitcher drawing the decisive walk that pushed the winning run home.
The team wrapped up the tournament against El Segundo where one bad inning became the team’s undoing in the 8-3 loss. Garret Kucher went 2-for-3.
The team gets a couple of days off before welcoming teams to Butler Park for the annual tournament.
Joining the Jays will be the St. Albert Cardinals, who the host team defeated in last year’s final, the Northeast 49ers from Colville, the Cranbrook Bandits and the West Kootenay Diamondbacks.
Action begins Friday and the championship game goes Sunday at 2 p.m.