Season comes to an end for Jays, Chiefs
Any hopes of a playoff position by either the North Delta Blue Jays or the Whalley Chiefs were dashed on Vancouver Island last weekend.
Both teams were winless in their respective four-game road trips, falling short of a top eight finish in the B.C. Premier Baseball League.
The Chiefs were in the provincial capital for the weekend, losing twice to the second-place Victoria Mariners Saturday, the dropping a pair to the Victoria Eagles Sunday.
North Delta also dropped a pair of doubleheaders, losing twice each to the Nanaimo Pirates and Parksville Royals.
The Blue Jays finished the season with a 17-31 (won-lost) record, one win shy of the eighth-place North Shore Twins. The Chiefs were a game back at 16-32.
The Blue Jays were looking to sweep the last place Royals, but instead dropped a pair of 3-2 decisions Saturday.
After taking a 2-0 lead after three innings of the first game, North Delta allowed a tying run in the sixth inning and the winning run in the seventh.
Steve Van Vooght went the distance on the pitcher’s mound for the Jays, earning six strikeouts in six and two-thirds innings. The three runs came on nine hits and four walks.
Riley Grewal had two of North Delta’s six hits.
In game two, it was the Royals blowing a two-run lead. But after a two-run double from Clint Taylor in the top of the sixth inning tied the game 2-2, Parksville got the winner in the bottom half of the frame with a triple and a sacrifice fly.
Luke Manuel pitched well in a losing cause, allowing the three earned runs on six hits and a walk. He had six strikeouts.
The Blue Jays lost another pair of one-run games Sunday in Nanaimo.
Leading 5-2 after batting in the third inning, North Delta went on to lose the first game 6-5. The Pirates scored the winning run with a two-out single in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Jays hammered Nanaimo pitching for 11 hits, including doubles by Manuel and Trent Fletcher, but left eight men on base in the first three innings. Jordy Cunningham, Shane Wlodarczak, Taylor, Manuel and Bryan O’Hara batted in one run each.
The Pirates took game two 2-1 in a game called after five innings due to an unplayable field.
Taylor scored on a passed ball for the final run of the season for North Delta in the second inning. The Pirates answered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Whalley fell 5-1 and 8-2 to the Mariners.
Braeden Allemann singled to score Jordan McComb for the only Chiefs run of game one. Gage McLaren took the loss, striking out five Mariners batters.
Brendan Lim had two of Whalley’s four hits in game two, driving in one of two runs. The Mariners scored four times in the third inning and three in the fifth.
Sunday against the Eagles, Garrett Hasner had three singles in three at-bats, but six Chiefs hits weren’t enough in a 5-1 loss. Tyler Ang drove in the only run, a sacrifice fly to score Lim.
Whalley’s season ended with a 7-2 loss to the Eagles, despite an 8-7 edge in hits.
McComb led the Chiefs with three hits, including his sixth triple of the season.
FOUL TIPS: Connor Rogers finished the season as the top batter in the Chiefs lineup, hitting .286 with a team-best 17 runs batted in (RBIs). Garrett Hasner was the runner-up in the team batting race, with a .282 average.
Yuta Kikuzaki led all pitchers with a 1.66 earned run average (ERA). His 36 strikeouts was also the best among Chiefs pitchers.
Shane Wlodarczak led the North Delta batting race with a .333 average, including team-high 12 doubles and 33 RBIs. Luke Manuel was second with a .310 average, followed by Trent Fletcher at .304.
Brett Sakaki had the team’s low ERA at 2.56. Manuel had the most strikeouts with 59, seven more than Steven Van Vooght.