Jays open season with a sweep over White Rock

White Rock Tritons’ Talon Van Horn slides safely to first base as North Delta Blue Jay Sabastian Hayes waits for the ball during a Premier Baseball League season-opening game at Mackie Park on Sunday. - BOAZ JOSEPH / THE LEADER
White Rock Tritons’ Talon Van Horn slides safely to first base as North Delta Blue Jay Sabastian Hayes waits for the ball during a Premier Baseball League season-opening game at Mackie Park on Sunday.
— image credit: BOAZ JOSEPH / THE LEADER

The BC Premier Baseball League season got off to a good start for the North Delta Blue Jays last weekend, as they defeated the White Rock Tritons in a pair of games Sunday at Mackie Park.

In the opener, North Delta jumped out to a 4-0 lead and, despite a late surge from White Rock, hung on to win 5-4. The home team made it two wins in a row in the second game of the doubleheader, winning 2-1.

In the first tilt, the Jays got on the board early, scoring one run in the first inning when Brad Antchak walked, took second base on a wild pitch, and scored on a Bryan O’Hara single. One inning later, the Jays made it 2-0 when a single from Shoma Sasaki scored Clint Taylor from third base.

North Delta tacked on single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings before White Rock mounted a comeback attempt with two runs in each of sixth and seventh frames.

In the top of the sixth, trailing 4-0, Tritons’ first baseman Matt Stevens and third baseman Joel Lamont each crossed the plate on an error, and in the seventh inning, centre-fielder Jackson Temple scored from second base on an Evan Douglas single. One batter later, Talon Van Horn, who reached base after getting hit by a pitch, scored on a fielder’s choice.

O’Hara, the Jays catcher, went 3-for-3 with a walk in the contest, while the Tritons were led at the plate by their catcher, Douglas, who went 3-for-4 with an RBI.

North Delta hurler Shane Wlodarczak earned the win for the Jays, pitching six innings, allowing four hits and no runs, though he did walk five Triton batters.

Offence was harder to come by in the second contest, as the Jays scored twice in the third to eke out a victory. The Tritons’  one run came in the top of the first inning.

Pitcher Adam Shumka went the distance for the Tritons and gave up just three hits, but the team’s offence struggled against Delta pitchers Steven Van Vooght, Luke Manuel and Brett Sakaki, who combined for the victory.

The Tritons had just five hits – all singles, save for a double from Temple – and scored only when Temple scored from second base on an error.

• The Whalley Chiefs, meanwhile, went 1-1 in their season-opening doubleheader Saturday against the Abbotsford Cardinals.

The Chiefs dropped the first game 6-2 before rebounding in the nightcap for a 4-2 win.

Catcher Braeden Allemann paced the Whalley offence with two hits and an RBI, while right-fielder Connor Prentice and pinch-hitter Malcolm Upton also drove in runs for the victorious Chiefs.

Whalley pitcher Brandon Chernoff went the distance for the win, striking out four and allowing just six hits over seven innings of work.

The Chiefs managed six hits in the Game 1 loss, but just one – a double by Will Motley – for extra bases, as the team was stymied by Abby pitcher Matthew Forsythe, who struck out eight in seven innings.

Pitcher Roberto Bevacqua was tagged with the loss for Whalley, pitching three innings before giving way to relievers Yuta Kikuzaki and Evan Rogers, who threw two innings apiece.

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