Sports

Falling behind

Steven Van Vooght of the North Delta BLue Jays dives back to first base, beating a throw from the Parksville Royals infield during Saturday’s B.C. Premier Baseball League game at Mackie Park. The Royals swept a double header.  - BOAZ JOSEPH / THE LEADER
Steven Van Vooght of the North Delta BLue Jays dives back to first base, beating a throw from the Parksville Royals infield during Saturday’s B.C. Premier Baseball League game at Mackie Park. The Royals swept a double header.
— image credit: BOAZ JOSEPH / THE LEADER

After sweeping two games against the 10th place Abbotsford Cardinals, the North Delta Blue Jays dropped a pair of contests at home to the Parksville Royals Saturday afternoon at Mackie Park.

The Blue Jays concluded play on the weekend with a 10-13 won-loss record, and are in sixth place in the B.C. Premier Baseball League, four games back of the 14-5 Parksville squad which is just a pair of games out of top spot.

“We’re a little behind where I thought we would be,” said Jays head coach Jason Rich. “Our pitching has been outstanding, but we’ve left a lot of guys on base. If we would get one or two hits in certain situations, we could have three or four more wins.”

The Royals rapped out 10 hits in the first game, and scored in each of the first three innings on their way to a 6-1 victory.

Cam Frick scored the lone North Delta run, getting on base with a lead-off single in the bottom of the sixth inning before coming home on a double by Dirk Van Ommen, his second hit of the game.

In game two, Blue Jays pitcher Shane Wlodarczak allowed just three hits and three walks in seven innings, but lost a 3-1 decision as two of the three North Delta fielding errors led to a pair of unearned runs.

Steven Van Vooght had a pair of hits and scored the lone Blue Jays run on a single by Van Ommen.

“Parksville has some guys who can swing the bat,” said Rich. “And we’re not getting the hits when we have guys on base and one or none out.”

The Jays won the first of two games against the Cardinals Wednesday night in Abbotsford, with Jeff Bouchard and Bryan Elias collecting two hits each in a 3-1 win.

Nick Crema was the winning pitcher, allowing an earned run on five hits and a pair of walks while striking out seven batters.

Friday night in North Delta, Van Vooght threw a complete-game shutout in a 4-0 Blue Jays win, allowing just five hits and a pair of walks while collecting 10 strikeouts.

He also contributed offensively with a pair of hits, including his third double of the season, a run scored and an RBI.

- The Fraser Valley Chiefs played .500 baseball in Kelowna last weekend, splitting a pair of doubleheaders with the Okanagan Athletics.

The Chiefs fell to 13-10 on the season, five games back of the 19-6 Langley Blaze at the midway point of the regular season.

On both days, the Chiefs were the winners in game one, only to drop the rematch.

The Athletics almost won the series opener in the bottom of the seventh inning. Trailing 2-0, Okanagan scored a pair to tie the contest, but left the bases loaded.

The Chiefs earned the 3-2 win in the eighth inning, after Jovan Ewusie tripled then scored on a sacrifice bunt by Brody Hawkins.

Caleb Lefebvre pitched all eight innings, striking out 13 Okanagan batters for Fraser Valley to get the win. The two earned runs came on five hits and four walks.

Saturday’s rematch also went into extra innings, with the home team scoring in the bottom of the 10th for an 8-7 victory. The Chiefs led 6-1 after batting in the top of the fourth inning, then gave up a half dozen runs in the bottom half of the frame.

Mitch Dornblut went three-for-four with a pair of doubles and three RBIs, with Jordan McComb and Ewusie collecting a pair of hits each.

Six runs in the sixth inning and three more in the seventh lifted the Chiefs to a 12-1 triumph in the first of two games Sunday. Eight of the nine Fraser Valley batters managed at least one hit, with Dornblut and Braeden Allemann having two each. Both batters also collected three RBIs.

Ty Walker got the victory, striking out 10 Athletics batters while allowing one earned run on four hits and a walk.

Okanagan used a four-run fifth inning to break a 4-4 tie and go on to an 8-4 win in the fourth and final game of the weekend.

Justin Pilgrim was the offensive leader for Fraser Valley with a pair of RBIs.

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