It was a massive bounce back weekend for the Trail U18 Orioles.
After losing four straight to league-leading Cloverdale Nationals the previous week, the Orioles won three decisive games out of four against the Royals on the long weekend.
Trail swept the doubleheader on Saturday, then split the Sunday double-bill and moved from sixth place past Ridge Meadows and into sole possession of fourth place of the BC Minor Baseball College Prep standings.
“This past weekend was the polar opposite of the one before!” said Orioles coach Jim Maniago. “We did to Ridge Meadows what Cloverdale did to us. It was our best weekend of the year. Pitching was outstanding again but our defence was flawless and we hit a lot better.”
U18 Orioles pitcher Logan Bradford opened the series with a 6-0 shutout victory. The Trail native struck out seven and gave up just three hits for the win.
The Orioles took an early 4-0 lead and kept the momentum going scoring two more as Jake Maniago went 3-for-4 at the plate, and Nathan Dann and Reid Gerrand each had two hits.
“We had as many hits in that game as we did the whole weekend before,” said Maniago.
In Game 2, the Orioles took an early 6-0 lead on their way to a 10-4 victory. Trail managed just four hits, but five walks, five hit batters, and a couple of errors by the Royals helped put up runs for the Os. Levi Konken earned the win throwing six strong innings, and Owen Dickson pitched the seventh.
Sunday’s first match came down to a pitcher’s duel, with Ridge Meadows eking out a 1-0 victory. Jake Maniago pitched a two hitter for Trail, striking out eight, with only one runner reaching second base, and throwing 75 pitches through seven innings.
The Royals scored the only run after a batter reached on an error in the fourth. He stole second and went to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a sacrifice fly.
“Their pitcher was the best guy we have faced all year,” said Maniago. “He struck out 13, but we had the tying run at second or third four times, just couldn’t get a key hit. Was a true pitchers battle that only took an hour and 25 minutes to play; Jake probably outpitched him, they just converted the one chance they had.”
The Orioles bats woke up in the final game, as the Trail batters came out swinging scoring four in the first, and adding three more in the fifth on their way to a 9-1 victory.
Jesse Boyer threw another complete game for the win, giving up six hits and striking out five. The whole line up pitched in with at least one hit, along with five walks and a hit batter to score the Trail runs.
“Our middle infield with Landon Uzeloc and Nathan Dann were outstanding defensively all weekend as were our catchers Chance Fisher and Reid Gerrand,” said Maniago. “I think we only made one error in the four games.”
Trail’s record improves to 11-11, and will host the 9-15 Penticton Tigers this Sunday.
“Hopefully we can keep this level of play going,” said Maniago. “We jumped into fourth but Ridge Meadow and Kamloops both have games in hand on us so we need to keep winning.”
The Orioles games against Penticton go at Butler Park on Sunday at 1 and 3 p.m.