Evan Bailey has seen better weekends of baseball from his Okanagan A’s.
Still, it was the way his club battled back in taking three of four games from the North Delta Blue Jays at Elks Stadium that is the most encouraging sign for the head coach.
All three victories were of the come-from-behind variety as the A’s pushed their season record to 12-4, and a share of top spot in the B.C. Premier Baseball League.
“I don’t think we really played to our ability, but one important thing was we that got the result we were looking for,” said Bailey. “The other important thing is that those were character wins. Winning those one-run games, those can make a difference at the end of the year.
“It allows your guys to understand that when they are in those situations, they have the ability to come back. It’s a real shot for their confidence.”
In the series opener, the A’s scored three times in the sixth to knock off the Jays 7-6.
Josh Croft singled in James Ward with the game winner. Ward had three hits, while Rees Weninger picked up the win in relief.
In Game 2, more late heroics as the A’s rang up three runs in the seventh for a 4-3 verdict.
Dillon Kakoshke delivered a two-run pinch hit single to send his team to victory. Croft pitched 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief for the win.
On Sunday, the A’s rebounded from a 3-0 deficit to edge North Delta 4-3. Ward, who had two RBIs, knocked in Brandon Sonnenberg with the game winner in the 10th inning.
Starter James Walker went 8 1/3 solid innings and struck out nine but didn’t figure in the decision.
“He was great again,” Bailey said of Walker, whose ERA is a miniscule 1.04. “That’s by far the best he’s pitched.”
Croft won his second game of the weekend with 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
And when he wasn’t pitching or delivering key hits, Croft was making a number of spectacular plays at shortstop.
“He was absolutely stellar,” Bailey said of Croft. “He made a couple sliding plays up the middle that were unbelievable. He’s the best athlete we have, I can’t say enough about him.”
The Jays avoided a sweep with a 5-0 win in the series finale on Sunday afternoon.
The Athletics will have the weekend off from league play, but will be in Calgary for a tournament beginning Thursday.
The A’s return to PBL action May 12 and 13 against the White Rock Tritons.
The Okanagan junior A’s won the series opener, but couldn’t maintain the momentum as they dropped three of four BCJPBL games to the visiting Whalley Chiefs over the weekend at Edith Gay Park. The A’s are now 1-7 on the season.
In Game 1 Saturday, the A’s overcame a 10-2 deficit to edge the Chiefs 13-12.
James Walker had three RBIs and Christian Dupas scored three times, while Reid Foreman picked up the win in relief.
In Game 2, Whalley bounced back for a 6-3 win. On Sunday, the Chiefs won 13-4 and 3-2.
The junior A’s will travel to Surrey this weekend for four games with the White Rock Tritons.