The North Shore Twins came to Kelowna looking to solidify their grasp on first place in the B.C. Premier Baseball League.
The red-hot Okanagan Athletics were more than happy to send them back home empty handed.
The A’s completed a four-game sweep of the Twins over the weekend at Elks Stadium, running their winning streak to 12 games.
The result moves the Athletics (28-12) into a tie for second with North Shore (26-10), just 1/2 game back of first-place Langley.
“I think we outplayed them in every aspect of the game,” A’s head coach Evan Bailey said of the four-game sweep. “When we play the high-end teams, we tend to do pretty well. I’ve asked the guys to believe in themselves and they’re doing that. When we play the way we’re capable of playing, we’re right there at the top with the best. It was a great weekend.”
The series opened on Saturday with another stellar pitching performance by the A’s Matt Brodt who tossed a three-hit shutout in a 6-0 victory over the Twins. Brodt leads with PBL with a 9-1 record and a 1.00 ERA.
McCoy Pearce paced the offense with a pair of RBIs in a six-run fourth inning.
In Game 2, David Tongue (6-4) was equally effective, tossing a two-hitter in a 4-1 victory.
Sean Haylow supplied a pair of RBIs.
On Sunday morning, the A’s rallied with two runs in the bottom of the eighth to edge the Twins 4-3. A strong start by Cole Van Every was closed off by Brendan Coulter for his second win. Sam Avila and Markus Glowacki had two hits apiece.
In the series finale, the A’s gave up four runs in the first, but rallied for a 10-5 win.
Avila, who is now batting .411, paced the offence with two hits, two runs scored and two RBIs, while Coulter earned his second win of the day in relief.
Okanagan has now swept four of its last five series and is an eye-popping 25-5 over its last 30 PBL games. The A’s are also 21-3 at home.
Not surprisingly, Bailey and his Athletics have been enjoying the ride.
“I think that’s the most fun I’ve had in all my years in baseball,” Bailey said of the sweep over North Shore. “Every single kid contributed and in a big way. Guys stepped up when they needed to, and when guys made mistakes they redeemed themselves.
“To sweep a series is hard, but we did something fairly special,” he added. “To give a team four losses that came in here at 26-6, that’s impressive.”
Bailey said his team is already in playoff mode as it heads into the final weekend of the regular season.
The A’s, who are well-positioned to finish in the top three in the PBL, will be in Victoria for doubleheaders against the Eagles on Saturday and Sunday.