Douglas Farrow/Contributor Ethan Soroka and the Okanagan Athletics dropped four close games to the North Shore Twins.

Cold, wet spring puts chill in Athletics

Okanagan pitches well in four games but suffers Premier Baseball League sweep to Twins

Facing the B.C. Premier Baseball League’s top team, the Okanagan Athletics pitching performance was more than adequate.

The Kelowna-based A’s simply didn’t generate enough offense against the hometown North Shore Twins.

Okanagan pitchers yielded just 19 hits all weekend to the first-place Twins, but the A’s could muster just three runs en route to being swept in a tight, four-game series at Parkgate Park in North Vancouver.

The Athletics now sit at the bottom of the PBL with a 5-13 record.

Between fielding a young team, key injuries, and a cold, wet spring where practise time has been minimal, the A’s have struggled to find consistency in their game this season.

Still, A’s head coach Evan Bailey isn’t making any excuses for his club.

“It’s been rough,” Bailey said of the start to the 2017 season and the recent four-game sweep. “(Against North Shore) we played well defensively and threw the ball well, but couldn’t get any key hits. If we hadn’t kept shooting ourselves in the foot, we could have easily split that series.

“We’re not getting any luck either, but good teams make their own luck,” he added. “We’ve had injuries, only eight or nine practises this spring so that hasn’t helped. But no excuses, we have no one to blame but ourselves.”

In the series opener Saturday, the Twins prevailed 2-0 on Cole Dalla-Zanna’s three-hit shutout. Keaton Mandryk put in a solid start for the A’s, allowing just three hits over six innings.

In Game 2, North Shore scored three times in the top of the eighth to down Okanagan 4-1. Starter Carter Morris (3-2) was steady for the A’s through seven innings, before yielding three hits and three runs in the extra inning. Cole Van Every had a pair of hits and the lone RBI to lead the offense.

In Sunday’s opener, the A’s had nine hits but left 12 runners on base in a 3-2 loss. Kade Kozak was solid in six innings of work, allowing three hits and striking out seven. Marcus Strother and Dylan Faulkner had two hits apiece for Okanagan.

In the series finale, Tim Walters held the A’s to three hits in a 3-0 Twins shutout. Three Okanagan pitchers held the Twins to five hits over seven innings.

The Athletics next home action is May 27 and 28 at Elks Stadium against the Whalley Chiefs.

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