With the league’s two powerhouse teams now out of the way, the Okanagan Athletics can work on trying to scale their way up the B.C. Premier Baseball League standings.
The A’s lost three of four games over the weekend to the North Shore Twins to fall to 7-9 on the season.
But Okanagan has now played both the Langley Blaze and the Twins—the two overwhelming favourites this season in the PBL—going a combined 1-7 against them.
Against other teams in the league in 2014, Okanagan is a solid 6-2.
“Not taking anyone lightly, but if we play our kind of game over the next three or four weekends, we can really make some hay here and move up,” said A’s coach Evan Bailey. “We played okay against North Shore and I thought we hung in with Langley, so I like how we match up against the rest of the teams in the league.”
On Saturday, the A’s lost 11-5 and 8-3 to the Twins, then bounced back with a gutsy 3-2 win Sunday’s opener at Elks Stadium. Okanagan gave up two runs in the top of the eighth, only to rally back for a 3-2 win in the bottom of the inning.
“Although you’re only playing 48 games, every win is so crucial,” said Bailey. “I thought it was a good character win and good morale win, and I think that somehow over the last few seasons, that’s been the trademark of this team. It’s not over until it’s over. But what we do need is better starts to games.”
The Twins wrapped up the series with a 5-2 win in the finale Sunday.
Bailey said if his club can put injury troubles behind them, and with veteran players like Trevor Mlait and Jared Young returning to health, the Athletics should be able hold their own against most of the PBL.
“Our goal is to be top six and I’d be shocked if we didn’t make the playoffs (top eight),” he said. “I wouldn’t call us a great team right now, but we’re a decent team that I think we will be competitive the rest of the way.”
This weekend, the A’s will visit the Whalley Chiefs (4-10) for four games, before returning home May 24 and 25 for a pair of twin bills at Elks against the Nanaimo Pirates.
The junior Athletics came up empty on the road in four tries against the Abbotsford Cardinals.
The hometown Cards won 12-2 and 8-2 on Saturday, then added 6-1 and 8-1 wins on Sunday.
Henrik Terwoord led the A’s offensively with four RBIs over the weekend.
The Athletics (3-10) return to action May 24 and 25 at Edith Gay Park when they host the Nanaimo junior Pirates for four games.
The Okanagan Athletics split four B.C. Bantam AAA Baseball League games on the Lower Mainland against Victoria opponents last weekend.
On Saturday, the A’s took two games from Victoria Red 8-0 and 6-2. Keaton Mandyrk had an RBI and scored twice in the opener, while Nick Yaremovich drove in two runs in Game 2.
On Sunday, Victoria Black took both games from Okanagan 4-3 and 6-2. Colton Shaper Kotter had two hist and an RBI in the first game, while James Fischer homered and Wyatt Head scored twice in the series finale.
The A’s, now 6-14 on the season, will travel to Nanaimo for their next league action May 31.