By Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
July 27, 2017, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The host Victoria Eagles took a 5-4 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning Thursday afternoon, only to watch as North Shore’s Lucas Yang stroked a bases loaded, two-RBI double to give the Twins a walk-off 6-5 victory in the opening game for both teams at the British Columbia Junior Premier Baseball League (BCJPBL) 2017 Provincial Championships at Lambrick Park in Victoria.
The host Eagles, who finished the season in 11th place in the BCPBL with a 12-28 record, were in a position to stage the upset over the League Champion Twins (32-8 overall) thanks to a mammoth three-run home run over the right field fence in the top of the sixth inning from the Eagles’ Dawson Clark.
Prior to that, the Eagles held a 2-1 lead before the Twins scored two in the bottom of the third and another in the fifth to jump into the 4-2 lead.
After Clark’s home run, the Eagles had another chance in the top of the seventh to add to the lead, stranding runners on second and third. That left the door open for the Twins, who took advantage of a wild Eagles’ reliever Connor Irvine, who came on to replace Brad Cox to begin the inning and walked the first two batters he faced, eventually loading the bases with nobody out.
That set the stage for Yang’s heroics, as he launched a ball deep to the gap in right-centre for his third hit of the day, easily scoring the winning runs and bringing the Twins off the bench in celebration.
In addition to Yang’s big day, the Twins had a good offensive performance from Adam Maier, who had a hit, three walks, two runs and a pair of RBIs. Damon Hutchings and Thomas Curaiil also scored twice.
For Victoria, who only had four hits on the day, Clark’s big blast was the highlight, with Justin Giles, Alex Baan-Meiklejohn and Chad Hegland getting the other Eagles singles.
On the mound, the Twins Finn Kaczmarowski gets the win in relief of Jake Richmond-Brenner, who went five innings, giving up two runs on two hits, while walking six and striking out three. Irvine takes the loss in relief of Cox, who held the Twins to four runs on six hits and four walks over his six innings of work.
In other games Thursday, the White Rock Tritons used a two-hit and four-RBI performance from Holden Cumiskey to beat up on the North Delta Blue Jays 9-2 in the opening game of the tournament, while the Twins won their second walk-off game of the day, narrowly defeating the UBC Junior Thunder 2-1 thanks to an RBI sacrifice fly from Matt Wiseman in the bottom of the seventh inning of the nightcap.
Action at the Junior PBL Provincials continues all day at Lambrick Park on Friday with round robin games at 10:00 a.m. (Eagles vs White Rock Tritons), 1:00 p.m. (UBC Thunder vs White Rock), 4:00 p.m. (North Delta vs UBC Thunder ) and 7:00 p.m. (North Delta vs North Shore).
On Saturday, the round robin wraps up with the Junior Eagles taking on the UBC Thunder and North Delta Blue Jays in a doubleheader at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. respectively and then White Rock and North Shore playing at 4:00 p.m.
The winner of the round robin will advance directly to Sunday’s 2:00 p.m. Championship game, while the second- and third-place finishers will play in a single semi-final game at 11:00 a.m.