Chiefs sweep Jays
The Whalley Chiefs have been a winning team over their last 20 games, but it’s not been enough to climb into the top eight of the B.C. Premier Baseball League (PBL).
Last week, winning three of five games over a four-day span couldn’t get them any closer to the eighth-place Abbotsford Cardinals. The Cards traveled to Vancouver Island, where they won three of four games to sit one and one-half games ahead of the Chiefs, who have a dozen games remaining on their schedule.
Eight teams advance to the PBL playoffs.
Whalley swept a double header from the North Delta Blue Jays Saturday, then won one of two games on the road Sunday against the Vancouver Cannons to improve to 15-21 (won-lost) on the season.
The Chiefs topped North Delta 4-1 and 1-0 Saturday, getting a pair of complete-game pitching efforts.
Max Williams was the winning pitcher in game one, allowing one earned run on three hits and a pair of walks with five strikeouts.
North Delta scored in the top of the first inning on an Evan Rogers single that scored Malcolm Boehm, but the Chiefs responded with a two-run single from Spencer Rankin that allowed Mitch Williams and Lichel Hirakawa-Kao to cross the plate.
In game two, Thomas Espig tossed a one-hit shutout with eight strikeouts for the victory. He allowed just one walk.
Jays pitchers Jonathan Cote and Bryantt Pawliw combined for a one-hitter, but a wild pitch in the fifth inning allowed Hirakawa-Kao to score the game’s only run.
In Sunday’s first game against the Cannons, the Chiefs left 11 runners on base in a 5-1 loss.
The offense, led by Lucas Soper, was more productive in the second game, a 4-3 Whalley win. Soper was three-for-four with a run batted in (RBI), and also stole his seventh base of the season.
The Blue Jays were also away from home Sunday, winning one of two games with the Coquitlam Reds. After the Reds rolled to an 8-2 win in the first game, North Delta rapped out 11 hits to win the second contest 6-2.
Kyle Lee was three-for-four with a pair of RBIs and a run scored to lead the offense. Boehm, Ryo Takenaka and Brock Morgan had a pair of hits each.
Both local teams lost last Thursday evening, with the Jays falling 3-2 on the road to the first-place Langley Blaze, while the Chiefs were blanked 4-0 by the Coquitlam Reds at Whalley Stadium.
Tyler Hoefer threw five solid innings for North Delta in Langley, but was forced to take the loss. The Sands Secondary student allowed three earned runs on seven hits and a pair of walks while stricking out five Blaze batters.
Takanaka led the offense with a pair of singles and an RBI.
In Whalley, Cole Hunt threw seven innings without surrendering a run, but didn’t get a decision as the game was scoreless going into the eighth inning. Hunt allowed three hits and a trio of walks while collecting nine strikeouts.
Coquitlam scored four times in the extra inning on three walks, a hit and a Chiefs error.
Max Williams was the top Chiefs batter, going two-for-four with a double.
The Chiefs and Blue Jays play at home tonight, with the Cardinals the visitors at North Delta’s Mackie Park at 6 p.m. while the Blaze are in Whalley at 7 p.m.