It was a tough weekend for the Trail AM Ford Orioles as the Thurston County Senators swept the three-game series at Butler Park.
The first match was a closer contest than the 9-3 score revealed and more indicative of the way the Orioles have played over the past eight games, but uncharateristic errors and subpar pitching sunk the O’s in games two and three by scores of 15-1 and 14-4 respectively.
“We just played terribly,” said the Orioles’ Jim Maniago. “There’s no way around it. We were bad and they were good, and we probably made them look better than what they are.”
The Senators jumped out into a 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks to its speed on the base paths. J.J. Nazzaro singled then stole second and Sho Nakahama drove him in with a base hit then stole second and went to third on a passed ball. Bo Pearson would promptly score Nakahama with a sac fly to left field.
Pitcher Kyle Paulson settled down and threw well, eventually getting some run support in the third when Scott Davidson walked and Dallas Calvin stepped up and bombed one out of the park to tie it 2-2.
But in the top of six an error put the second runner on base, and with two out Nazzaro came up and drove the second pitch over the wall in left for a three-run dinger that put the Sens up 5-2.
The Senators scored four more in the seventh to put it out of reach. Paulson suffered the loss going six innings and giving up five runs on four hits and three walks, while Calvin went 2-for-3 with a home run.
In the second match, Nazzaro struck again. The lead-off batter homered in the first at bat to set the tone for the rest of the game as the Senators pounded the Orioles.
“We’ve got a young team so its the ups and downs of having a young team and we’re missing guys, there’s a wedding some injuries, work, the usual stuff – but really, we just didn’t play well.”
The script for the final match wasn’t much better, as Calvin took the mound and by the end of the fourth inning it was 7-4 Thurston County with six of the seven runs unearned.
“We made way too many errors so that just compounded everything,” said Maniago. “Now your pitchers a bit tired when he wouldn’t have been . . . We didn’t hit well, we didn’t pitch well, defensively we weren’t very good, it was just everything.”
Brady Glover and Jaret Conway went 2-for-3 in the game.
The Orioles now get ready to play Cranbrook Bandits in the best of three series this weekend at Butler Park to determine who goes to the provincials in Victoria Aug. 2-5.
“We got to show up and play, or it doesn’t matter who you play it’s not going to go well,” said Maniago. “We’ll practice this week, get back on board, and start over this weekend. Cranbrook’s a new team . . . they’re coming over here hungry, this is their world series, they’re coming over here to beat us so if we’re not sharp we’re not going to win.”