Chiefs, Jays keeping pace

Victoria Eagles shortstop Jesse Thomson tags Whalley Chief baserunner Connor Prentice – but without the ball – during a BC Premier Baseball League game at Whalley Stadium Saturday.  - BOAZ JOSEPH / THE LEADER
Victoria Eagles shortstop Jesse Thomson tags Whalley Chief baserunner Connor Prentice – but without the ball – during a BC Premier Baseball League game at Whalley Stadium Saturday.
— image credit: BOAZ JOSEPH / THE LEADER

The Whalley Chiefs and North Delta Blue Jays finished the weekend exactly where they started, but each with four fewer games in which to make up ground in the B.C. Premier Baseball League (PBL) playoff race.

Both teams won two of four games, as did the eighth-place North Shore Twins. With 10 games left on their schedule, North Delta (14-24, won-loss)  trails the Twins (15-21) by two games, while the Chiefs (12-25) are three and one-half games out of the final playoff position.

The Blue Jays could have done themselves and the Chiefs a huge favour this weekend, but lost twice to the Twins  in North Vancouver Saturday. North Delta rebounded to win a pair of home games against North Shore Sunday at  Mackie Park.

The Chiefs split two doubleheaders at home, Saturday against the Victoria Mariners and Sunday with the White Rock Tritons the visitors.

The Blue Jays struggled offensively in Saturday’s first game, not getting three baserunners beyond first base, getting just one hit and a pair of walks in a 5-0 loss.

North Delta had seven hits in game two, but again lost by the same 5-0 score. Brad Antchak had a pair of singles to lead the Blue Jays.

A nine-run second inning lifted North Delta to a 10-8 victory in the first contest Sunday afternoon. Luke Manuel went three-for-three at the plate for the home side, with Clint Taylor, Shane Wlodarczak and Antchak getting two hits each. Manuel, Wlodarczak, Antchak and Sodai Hoshi batted in two runs (RBIs) each.

Hoshi was the winning pitcher in game two, allowing four earned runs on 10 hits and a walk in a 6-4 victory. Hoshi had five strikeouts in seven innings pitched.

Jordan Yamamoto and Jordy Cunningham were the offensive leaders with two hits each. Taylor and Manuel had two RBIs apiece.

The Chiefs began their weekend with a come from behind win over Victoria Saturday afternoon, scoring three times in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie the contest, then earning a 4-3 win when Jordan McComb tripled then scored when Connor Chorpita hit into a fielder’s choice in the seventh inning.

The Eagles earned a split when the Chiefs were held to just one hit, a single from Brendon Lim, in a 6-0 loss in the rematch.

The Chiefs were shutout again in the first game Sunday night against White Rock, losing 2-0. Roberto Bevacqua took the loss, allowing a pair of earned runs on six hits. Pitching all seven innings, Bevacqua didn’t allow a walk and collected seven strikeouts.

Whalley collected 10 hits in the final game of the weekend, defeating the Tritons 9-4. Will Motley had three hits, all singles, while Hayden Malcolm had two.

Both teams play a pair of double headers again next weekend.

The Blue Jays host the Victoria Mariners at noon Saturday at Mackie Park, then visit the Tritons Sunday at South Surrey Athletic Park.

The Chiefs are at home both days, hosting the Nanaimo Pirates at 1 p.m. Saturday, and the Parksville Royals at 11 a.m. Sunday.

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