The Trail U18 Orioles silenced the Tri City Thunder on Sunday with two big wins, a day after a disappointing rain-out cancelled games versus North Fraser on Saturday.
The Orioles won the first game 5-2, then capped off an unsettled Sunday, weather-wise, with a thrilling come-from-behind victory in Game 2 of the doubleheader at Butler Park.
“It was a tough day to hit as it was so cold,” said Orioles coach Jim Maniago. “It was the first time we had our full lineup together so was good to get two wins. There’s no easy wins in this league and everyone has pitchers that can shut you down so you have to play good defence and get timely hits, which we did.”
Jake Maniago struck out seven and pitched a complete game two-hitter for an Orioles 5-2 victory over Tri City in Game 1.
Trail got the bats going early in the second inning when Reid Gerrand singled in a run, followed by a perfectly executed squeeze play from Owen Dickson made it 2-0. Scott McLaren then belted a two out, two-run double to put the Os up 4-0 on their way to the 5-2 victory. Nathan Dann and Reid Gerrand both had two hits in the match.
In Game 2, the Orioles fell behind 4-0 but a rare triple-play in the top of the fifth energized the home team.
The Thunder threatened with two on and nobody out, when the Tri City batter drove a line drive to right field. The players on first and second ran on contact, so when Orioles right fielder Kullen Benbow stretched out and made a great catch, he had the runners stranded and calmly threw to first base for the second out and then to second for the third.
In the bottom half of the inning, Owen Dickson walked and Levi Konken reached on an error. Back-to-back RBI singles from Landon Uzeloc and Jake Maniago scored the runners, and an RBI groundout by Connor Stainer made it 4-3.
The Thunder scored one in the sixth, but the Orioles tied it in the bottom half when an infield groundout by Benbow scored Reid Gerrand, and a two-out, infield single by Owen Dickson scored Chance Fisher to tie it 5-5.
The Orioles walked it off in dramatic fashion in the bottom of seven. Uzeloc reached on an error and (Jake) Maniago walked. Stainer stepped up and hit a huge double off the fence in left center for a 6-5 victory.
Logan Bradford earned the win coming in and pitching three innings of relief, giving up one run, while striking out three.
“The difference in so many close games at this level comes down to a few little mistakes that lead to runs on defence or missed opportunities to score on offence,” said Maniago. “Our younger players are learning that as we go, and we’re seeing improvements every week.”
Trail improves its record to 8-6 in the College Prep Division and will have their toughest test of the season when they host first place Cloverdale Nationals (12-2) in a four game series this weekend at Butler Park.
Note: The game schedule changed and the start time is now 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. not 3:30 and 6 p.m. Saturday, May 14; and 10 a.m. and and 12:30 p.m. Sunday, May 15.
Admission is free, so come out, enjoy great baseball while supporting the Trail U18 Orioles.
For more information go to bcminorbaseball.org.