Game Recap: Baseball
T-Birds split soggy double-header with Corban
UBC 13, Corban 4
Team 123 456 7 R H E
Corban 302 000 0 -- 5 5 3
UBC 711 040 x -- 13 12 2
W: SMITH (3-0) L: DAVIDSON (2-2)
By Jeff Sargeant
UBC Sports Media
VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds (17-5, 7-2) split the final two games of their home opening series with the Corban (Oregon) Warriors (9-16, 3-9) at a soggy Thunderbird Park on Saturday.
The T-Birds rebounded from a rough first half of an inning in the first game of the double header to put up seven runs in the bottom half en route to a 13-5 victory. Corban prevented the UBC sweep picking up a 4-2 win in the series finale. Both games were limited to seven innings due to weather.
“I really wanted that last one and our guys did too,” said UBC head coach Chris Pritchett.
“I think we handled the weather well. We got down in that first game but responded in the bottom of the first inning. Even in the second game we kept creating scoring opportunities and we’re usually pretty good at cashing those in but we just couldn’t score a run when we had to.”
After dropping both games Friday afternoon the Warriors came storming out of the gate Saturday, putting up three runs on starting pitcher Brad Smith. Corban took advantage of a pair of UBC throwing errors which helped advance base runners, thanks in large part due to rainy conditions which made handling the ball especially difficult.
But the T-Birds’ own bats responded in a big way with seven runs of their own in the bottom of the first, while Corban’s starter Tony Davidson was pulled before recording a single out leaving him on the hook for the loss and charged with five of UBC’s 13 runs.
With the ‘Birds up 8-3 after two, Corban second baseman Drew Lorea doubled to right field scoring a pair of runs to cut the T-Birds’ lead to three. The Warriors gave one of those runs back in the bottom half of the inning when Austin Holmes walked in a run with the bases loaded.
The already rainy weather got even worse in the top of the fourth with the umpire crew suspending play for about 90 minutes.
Resuming just before 2 p.m, Smith stayed on the mound for the Thunderbirds despite the lengthy break and continued to command the ball well going three more innings and recording his third win of the season with five earned runs on five hits and five strikeouts.
“Even after (the delay) I thought the key to the game was Brad Smith,” said Pritchett.
“He went right at those guys and threw a lot of strikes, a lot of first-pitch strikes to get ahead in the count, he didn’t waste a lot of pitches. And he pitched deep into that game and with that weather it was a tough assignment, I was proud of how he responded.”
Team 123 456 7 R H E
Corban 010 210 0 -- 4 7 2
UBC 101 000 0 -- 2 6 0
W:KERR, Thomas (1-2) L:McKILLICAN, Adam (1-1) S:BROGE, Dallas (1)
The second game featured Adam McKillican as UBC’s starter. The rookie pitcher went 3 2/3, with three earned runs on five hits and three strikeouts but didn’t get the run support the T-Birds were able to provide earlier in the day.
UBC opened scoring on a Robinson scoring fly ball to right field that brought home Anthony Olson, taking a 1-0 lead into the second. Corban tied the game in the top of the second when DH Jarrett Thoren singled to centre scoring Ethan Bragg.
The T-Birds restored their lead in the third thanks to a Corban fielding error that allowed short stop Kyle McComb to score.
Corban re-took the lead for good in the top of the fourth with a pair runs before tacking on another in the fifth inning.
UBC mounted a bit of a final inning rally. Down to their final out, Robinson and first baseman Vinny Martin both singled while Geoff Ehresman earned a walk to load the bases before Nick Spillman grounded out to end the game.
Thomas Kerr picked up his first win of the season with just one earned run on three hits through five innings of work with six strikeouts.
“I was pleased with the process and how we went about things,” said Pritchett following the series finale.
“As far as our at-bats went, we just couldn’t cash in. It was disappointing as I think it was a game we should have won but overall, I think this team is headed in the right direction.”
The T-Birds hit the road next weekend for a four-game series in Klamath Falls, Oregon against Oregon Tech before returning home the following weekend to host the College of Idaho Yotes. First pitch in game one of next Saturday’s double header in Oregon is set for 1 p.m. PT.