Junior Jays win Premier league playoff

The North Delta Junior Blue Jays won the B.C. Junior Premier Baseball League playoff tournament in Victoria. - PHOTO SUBMITTED
The North Delta Junior Blue Jays won the B.C. Junior Premier Baseball League playoff tournament in Victoria.
— image credit: PHOTO SUBMITTED

After scoring twice in the top of the first inning, the North Delta Junior Blue Jays managed just two hits over the final six innings of their B.C. Junior Premier Baseball League (BCJPBL) championship game against the North Shore Twins.

But it didn’t matter.

Starting pitcher Gota Kinoshita held the Twins to just three hits and one earned run, helping the Blue Jays hang on for a 2-1 victory and their second BCJBL championship in four seasons.

The game, played Aug. 10 in Victoria, was the final of an eight-team playoff tournament. Kinoshita won the pitcher’s duel by allowing just one walk and striking out three North Shore batters. Daniel Gosselin received credit for a save, entering the game with a runner on base the seventh inning, then retiring the first three batters he faced to end the game.

Noah Or and Zach Besler led the game off with back-to-back singles, both runners eventually scoring for an early 2-0 lead after the top of the first inning.

Gosselin got the win earlier in the day, when he threw the last three and two-thirds innings of a 3-2 win over the Whalley Chiefs in a semifinal contest. The Blue Jays trailed 2-1 when they went to bat in the bottom of the fourth, but a single from Clay Sandover scored Kinoshita and Logan Newman. Gosselin allowed just one hit over the final three innings, maintaining North Delta’s one-run lead.

The Blue Jays were the third-seed in the tournament, behind the first-place Langley Blaze and the runner-up Twins. They won all three games to win their four-team group and qualify for the playoff round.

The Chiefs were the eighth-seed, but surprised the Blaze 3-0 and then upset the Abbotsford Cardinals 6-1 to earn second place in their group.

Ken Dubois and Jared Alleman drove in runs in the fourth inning of their semifinal with North Delta to give Whalley a 2-1 lead, but the Chiefs couldn’t hang on.

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