Trail AM Ford Orioles in tough against Kelowna collegiate team

The Kelowna Athletics swept a four-game series against the Trail AM Ford Orioles on the weekend.

The Trail AM Ford Orioles Sr. Men’s baseball team was in action on the weekend with a four-game tilt against the Kelowna Athletics at Butler Park.

The Orioles played just their second series of the season after opening its 2017 campaign early last month in a three-game series against the Calgary Wolfpack.

The O’s went 1-for-3 in that series, but dropped all four games against the A’s losing the opener of Saturday’s double-header 7-2 before dropping the nightcap 12-1.

Trail’s pitching improved on Sunday with Chris Kissock hurling five shutout innings for a 1-0 lead. But Kelowna tied it in the sixth and scored two in the seventh for a 3-1 victory.

Trail’s bats were stymied altogether in the final match in a 4-1 loss, with Kelowna’s pitching tandem throwing a no-hit gem.

Trail had a strong contingent of young players on Sunday with many former Trail AA Orioles taking the field. However, the transition may also contribute to an offence that scored just five runs in four games.

“It is a transition year for sure,” said Orioles veteran Jim Maniago. “We are younger than we have been in some time and that will be challenging at some points. It’s good for the future though, lots of talent and in a couple years when we host provincials we should be strong.”

The Athletics are also a formidable opponent made up of collegiate athletes from Canada and the U.S. who play summer baseball with the Okanagan Athletics Collegiate Summer team.

As a team in transition, the Orioles will look to improve as the summer kicks off and they prepare for the Canada Day Baseball Tournament in Kelowna next month.

“There will be some growing pains and guys aren’t used to seeing the quality college pitching so scoring runs will be hard to come by but eventually things will turn around,” added Maniago.

The Orioles will head to Kelowna for a rematch with the A’s June 17 and 18.

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