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Jays hold up Bandits in flight to winning record

The Trail Jays continued their winning ways, breaching the .500 mark for the first time this season in American Legion play.
Trail Jays’ pitcher Jeff Soukeroff got himself out of trouble as he came on in the seventh to douse a Cranbrook rally. The Jays completed a four game sweep of the Cranbrook Bandits Sunday and look to keep their winning ways going against Coeur d’Alene tonight at Butler Park.

The Trail Jays continued their winning ways, breaching the .500 mark for the first time this season in American Legion play.

The Jays swept a four game series over the weekend, taking a pair of double headers from their East Kootenay rivals.

In the first game against the Cranbrook Bandits Saturday, the Jays broke a 3-3 tie in the sixth, scoring two runs and hanging on for a 5-3 victory.

Jarrett Conway pitched a complete game, giving up three runs on six hits, striking out five and walking two. Gerry Rebelato went 2 for 4 at the plate, while Conway helped his own cause with a single and an RBI.

In a tight second game, the Jays took a 4-2 lead into the sixth, but the Bandits responded with three runs to go ahead 5-4.

Jordan Roblin pitched well up to that point, going five and a third innings, and giving up five runs on five hits and six strikeouts.

Garret Kucher came on in relief and was able to close out the inning.

Down one run, the Jays did just enough  to win against a team they should beat, said Jays coach Nick Combo - scoring two runs in the final frame for the 6-5 squeaker.

On Sunday, the Jays came out swinging, smashing out three homeruns in a 14-3 victory.

Scott Davidson and Evan Laudrum teamed up for five solid innings, giving up three runs on four hits, while fanning four.

Scott Davidson crushed a grand slam in the third to ignite a six run inning. Kucher and Rebelato also went deep, adding three RBI each in the rout.

In the final game of the series, the Jays had the game in hand but a couple mental lapses allowed the Bandits back in.

Trail jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but Cranbrook battled back to make it 5-4. The Jays responded with six runs in the bottom of the fourth to regain a 10-5 advantage.

The Bandits squeezed out three more runs, then loaded the bases in the seventh before reliever Jeff Soukeroff bore down, picking up the save in the 10-8.

Sean Barta got the win, going four innings and giving up two runs on four hits and two K’s. Jeff Hayes pitched two frames of middle-relief, before Soukeroff closed it out.

The Jays won eight of their last nine but they face a much more difficult test against Coeur d’Alene tonight, as they host a double header at Butler Park at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Jim Bailey

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