While it did rain on the Trail Jays parade Sunday as they got set to host North Idaho American Legion rival Cranbrook Bandits, it wasn’t a complete washout, as the Jays went on to beat the Bandits 10-0 in a one game, rain-shortened double header.
Just prior to throwing out the first pitch for the 1 p.m. match, the skies unleashed a heavy torrent that thoroughly soaked the Butler Park field causing a delay. About 40 coaches, players, parents, and spectators from both teams pitched in to bucket out the puddles, rake and dry the sand, and get the field in playable shape.
“I think every person had a bottle or a can and was scooping out water,” assistant coach Chris Combo said. “We’re really thankful for all the players and parents helping out.”
However, another brief but even heavier downpour delayed things further, forcing officials to cancel the first game.
“It was just a mess this morning,” said Jays coach Nick Combo. “So I was happy to get in one (game).”
After removing and drying out the dirt in the sun, the second game got underway around 3 p.m., and it didn’t take long for the Jays’ bats to come to life.
Scott Davidson led off with a single, and stole second base. A pair of walks to Dallas Calvin and Tyrus Jocko loaded the bases, and Davidson would score on a fielder’s choice to make it 1-0 and what would turn out to be the winning run.
The Bandits went in order in the top of the second, and the Jays replied with a six run deluge in the bottom half.
Jordan Roblin got things rolling when he walked and stole a base. Jake Lucchini stepped up and stroked a single, scoring Roblin to make it 2-0. Lucchini also swiped second and would score on a Geoff Soukeroff double.
The Jays followed that up with four consecutive singles from Calvin, Jocko, Tanner Rotschy, and Lukas Thatcher to take a commanding 7-0 lead.
“I’m happy with the way we played,” said Nick Combo. “We hit the ball pretty well which I was glad to see, I mean the other team didn’t make too many errors.”
Jarret Conway got the start on the mound for the Jays and sat the Bandits down in order until the fourth when an error allowed Cranbrook’s first runner. Conway struck out three, walked none, and gave up only one hit in five innings of work. Jake Lucchini went 2 for 3 at the plate for the Jays.
“Conway threw really well, he kept them off balance and they couldn’t do much against him. They’re a young team so it was good to send a message early to them.”
The Jays added three more runs in the fifth inning to end the game due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Despite two errors in the game, the team played well defensively, and the speed on the base paths nabbed them four stolen bases in the first two innings alone and five altogether.
“They are starting to buy in to what’s going on and getting more confident as the games go on,” said Combo.
The Jays hit the road and will play in the Bellingham Tournament in Bellingham Wash. this weekend.