The AM Ford Trail Orioles traveled a rough road to Seattle over the weekend, but are looking to have a blast this weekend.
The Orioles dropped a doubleheader to the Northwest Honkers in Pacific International League action Saturday by 6-3 and 9-3 scores, before dropping a pair of close matches to the semi-pro Thurston County Senators, 3-1 and 2-1.
“It was a good weekend but disappointing at the same time,” said player-coach Jim Maniago. “We were in every game but lost all four.”
Despite the losses the O’s are looking forward to the upcoming Canada Day Weekend Baseball Blast in Kelowna this weekend where 16 teams play for $16,000 in prize money.
“We got a good draw, if we play decent we should make the money round,” said Maniago.
In the first game against the Honkers Saturday, Trail was up 2-1 in the fifth but gave up two runs in the bottom half of the inning to fall behind 3-2. Kellen Jones pitched well for the O’s giving up three runs on eight hits over five innings, but the wheels fell off in the sixth and the Honkers counted six.
“It wasn’t like Scott (Davidson) got hit hard really, they just seemed to have balls fall in everywhere,” said Maniago.
James Oliver went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored for the O’s, while Maniago also went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI.
The second game against the Honkers saw the Orioles out-hit them 13-7, yet the O’s couldn’t capitalize stranding 13 runners in the game while the Honkers seemed to score on every opportunity. It remained a tight 2-1 game up until the seventh, but another big inning swamped the Orioles, as they scored four in the seventh to go up 6-1. Trail would reply with two more in the ninth, but it was too little too late.
“That might be the one thing we aren’t doing right now, cashing in on opportunities and getting clutch hits with guys in scoring position.”
Kissock went six strong innings, giving up just two runs, one earned, on three hits, two walks and five strike outs. Kyle Mace went 3-for-5 at the plate with an RBI, and Joey Underwood and Dallas Calvin had two hits on the night.
The Orioles were in tough against the Senators of Thurston County, Sunday, a team that had just beaten defending PIL champions the Seattle Studs 8-3 the week before.
The Senator pitcher was throwing fire, ceding just two hits in the 3-1 victory. Still, Scott Robertson went toe-to-toe with the Sens batters and only an error that led to two runs proved the difference.
“Robertson pitched a complete game against a very good team, we just didn’t get any runs for him, said Maniago.”
The second game Calvin had a stellar performance on the mound, but little run support again proved the Orioles undoing, in the 2-1 loss.
Mace had another good night at the plate going 2-for-3, while Robertson was 2-for-4.
“We’re hanging in there with some pretty good teams we just can’t seem to take the next step and win some of those tight games,” added Maniago.
“We’re close to being a very good team but can’t get over that hump. Sometimes it just takes one big win and things turn around, hopefully that comes this weekend.”
The Orioles play in the Canada Day Weekend Baseball Blast in Kelowna this weekend where 16 teams play for $16,000 in prize money. The Orioles open against the Calgary Red Birds on Friday at 1 p.m., the Okanagan Selects Saturday at 3:30 p.m., and Burnaby Collegiate 8 a.m. Sunday, before the playoffs start. The championship game goes at 2:45 p.m. Monday at Elks Stadium.