With the bat of Jaden Parsons providing the spark, the Okanagan Athletics remained the hottest team in the B.C. Premier Baseball League.
Parsons had 11 hits in 14 at bats, boosting his league-leading batting average to a whopping .452, as the Athletics swept a four-game series from the UBC Thunder over the weekend at Elks Stadium.
The A’s have won 13 of their last 14 games and now sit in fifth spot in the PBL, just four games back of first place Langley.
The Athletics (18-12) lineup swamped the Thunder pitching staff during the four-game series, scoring an eye-popping 47 runs on 46 hits.
“I’ve never seen any of our teams hit the ball the way these guys did in this series,” said Athletics head coach Evan Bailey. “All aspects of our game have been very good, we’ve been throwing the ball pretty well, too, but through this hot stretch it’s really been the offense that’s driving us.
“It’s been our whole lineup, from top to bottom, everybody is making contributions.”
In the series opener, Carter Morris (4-1) tossed a complete game six-hitter in a 6-5 victory. Parsons and Cole Van Every paced the offense with three hits apiece, while Luigi Russo had a pair of RBIs.
In Game 2 Saturday, Alex Wright drove in four runs, while Parsons and Colton Schaper-Kotter each delivered three RBIs in a 15-2 mercy-rule victory. Cole Van Every went five innings for the win to push his record to 3-3.
On Sunday, Russo’s sacrifice fly brought home Parsons with the deciding run in the seventh in an 8-7 A’s win. Parsons went 3-for-4, while Jackson Borne earned the victory in relief.
In the series finale, Borne (5-0) went five innings for his second win of the day as the A’s drubbed the Thunder 18-6.
Russo had three RBIs and Kade Kozak scored four times to pace the offense. Morris, Parsons and Van Every aided the attack with three hits apiece, while Alex Wright added his team-leading fifth home run of the season.
As for Jaden Parsons’ and his ongoing exploits with the bat, Bailey said the 17-year-old infielder is putting together a season like few he has witnessed in all his years of coaching.
“His approach at the plate is simple, he has a compact swing and just doesn’t get beat very often,” said Bailey. “Having a stretch like this, his confidence is through the roof and that allows him to be very selective. To be hitting what he is this far into the season is pretty amazing.
“It couldn’t happen to a better kid,” Bailey added, “he’s worked so hard the last couple of years to become the player he is.”
The Athletics are on the road this weekend for four games in Coquitlam against the Reds (15-12).
Congratulations to @colevanevery57 for committing to continuing his baseball and academic career at Southwest Baptist University in Missouri! Cole has been a workhorse on the mound for the A’s this year, and we see him continuing this into his college career! Congratulations to Cole and the Van Every family on this much deserved accomplishment!
In other A’s news, Cole Van Every has committed to Southwest Baptist University for the 2018-19 NCAA season.
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