LA GRANDE, Ore. – The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds have been named “Team of the Week” for April 10-16, the Cascade Collegiate Conference announced Sunday.
The Thunderbirds capped a perfect 4-0 weekend over Corban University to remain in first place in the NAIA West baseball standings.
The Holiday weekend proved fruitful for UBC as they visited Corban in a key NAIA West series of four games. On day one the T-Birds won the double header by scores of 4-3 and 5-3. On Day 2 a stingy Warrior defense and good pitching limited UBC to one run. The single crossing of the plate was all that was needed however as the road squad emerged victorious blanking the home team 1-0. In the final game UBC routed Corban 11-1. The game was halted after 7 innings as the 10-run rule was in effect.
UBC (26-10, 16-7 NAIA West) will return home to host Oregon Tech in the second to last NAIA West weekend April 22-23.
In the opener, The ‘Birds got a complete-game shutout on the mound from Tyler Gillies in a 1-0 first half victory at Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer, Ore. UBC’s bats then exploded in the series finale with a total of 12 hits in an 11-1 rout of the Warriors in their final regular season meeting to extend the T-Birds’ win streak to five games.
Friday’s doubleheader with the Warriors featured a pair of strong pitching starts by Connor Noble and Niall Windeler and on Saturday UBC’s hurlers continued to put on a show.
Gillies was exceptional, surrendering just six hits while striking out seven for his third win of the season.
For the third straight game of the series, the T-Birds scored first, this time in the second inning with what turned out to be the only run of the game. After singling, Mackenzie Parlow advanced to second on a throwing error by Corban starting pitcher Kris Jackson. With two down, UBC outfielder Brendan Rose managed to reach first on an infield throwing error, which also allowed Parlow to score.
Both starting pitchers had a tremendous outing as Jackson went seven innings strong in the loss allowing six hits and striking out nine UBC batters. The Warriors stranded a total of 10 runners while UBC left 12 on base.
In the series finale, the T-Birds were just as solid defensively but this time the bats came alive as UBC put up 11 runs on 12 hits in a shortened seven-inning affair.
Brad Smith surrendered just a single run on four hits in five innings of work picking up win number five as the ‘Birds swept their first series of the season.
Just like Friday, the ‘Birds put up runs early in the game to take an 8-1 lead through three innings. Already up 5-1 after two, UBC second baseman Nick Spillman doubled in the top of the third advancing John Whaley to third base after hitting a lead-off single. Austen Butler hit a sacrifice fly to get Whaley across the plate making it a five-run UBC lead. Vinny Martin reached first on a Corban fielding error which allowed Spillman to score. Mitch Robinson then hit a double of his own while Martin scored his second run of the game.
Despite the seven run lead the ‘Birds were far from done. With one down in the top of the fourth, Braeden Allemann stepped up to the plate and hit his second home run of the season, a solo shot over the right field fence.
UBC added two more runs in the sixth to hit double digits for the fourth time in conference play this season.
Allemann finished the game 1-for-2 with three RBI while Whaley and Robinson both finished with three hits and a pair of RBI. Butler drove in a pair of runs while scoring twice.
Adam McKillican pitched the sixth inning for the ‘Birds striking out one of the four batters he faced while Liam Stroud came in for the seventh allowing a single hit with a strike out.
The ‘Birds have now won five straight and 10 of their last 12.
_ Jeff Sargeant, UBC Sports Media