If the White Rock Tritons are to make a late push for a BC PBL playoff spot

Losses don’t dampen Tritons’ push for playoffs

White Rock Tritons seeking hot streak to finish off BC Premier Baseball League season

The White Rock Tritons face something of an uphill climb if they want to qualify for the BC Premier Baseball League playoffs.

But despite long odds – Tritons head coach Russ Smithson estimates they’d have to win at least eight of their final 11 games – the team is not giving up hope just yet.

The Tritons – who lost Tuesday night, 4-1 to the North Delta Blue Jays – currently sit with a win-loss record of 10-23, and have dropped to 12th out of 13 teams in the BC Premier Baseball League.

However, despite their current position near the bottom of the standings, there is reason for optimism; they’re just five-and-a-half games back of the last playoff spot, currently held by the Victoria Eagles, and they’ve also played more games than many teams in the league, meaning a losing streak by an opponent could boost them up the charts.

“It’s going to take a little bit of work, and a little bit of luck, but we’ll try to get it done,” said Smithson.

Though a team’s inconsistent play could give any coach fits, Smithson said his squad’s streaky performance throughout the 2016 season actually gives them hope that they can turn things around in a hurry and win enough to claw back into a playoff spot.

“We’ve had some real streaks this year. We started 0-6 but then we came back and won five in a row. And a few weekends (in late May) we played some really good teams and split with them,” he said. “So anything can happen. But before we can win two or three in a row, we have to win one in a row.

“We can’t get a streak going until we get over the hump and win that first one.”

White Rock has 10 full games left to play, and on July 3 – when they play the Langley Blaze twice – they’ll play the final innings of a game that began June 1 but was suspended due to torrential rains with the two teams tied 8-8 in extra innings.

“A monsoon came and we had to stop playing, but that game would be a big one for us to win,” Smithson said.

Part of the reason for the team’s struggles of late, Smithson said, was a lack of timely hitting. During a four-game road series against the Okanagan Athletics in late May, for example, the team had the chance to steal a win from the home side, down 3-1 late in the game, with the bases loaded and no outs.

“We popped out to the infield and then went strikeout, strikeout and that was it,” Smithson explained. “It was a tough one. There have been a few frustrating moments lately, but it’s all a learning experience for the guys.”

On Tuesday against the Blue Jays, the offence struggled to give much run support to starting pitcher Saylor Gray. Gray nursed a 1-0 lead into the sixth inning, but North Delta opened the frame with a walk and two hits, and suddenly trailed 3-1.

Quin Hall had the Tritons’ only run batted in, with a two-out single in the third.

This weekend, the team takes a break from the PBL schedule to compete in a tournament in Seattle.

Despite just four wins in the last month, the team isn’t losing confidence in themselves, Smithson said.

In looking for hope, players remaining from last year’s team need only to point to their late-season playoff push last summer. That team struggled mightily out of the gate, winning just three of their first 21 contests, before running the table late in the schedule. They missed the playoffs by just a single game, and were only eliminated from contention on the final day of the season.

“Definitely, we know it can be done after last year,” Smithson said.

“The guys aren’t down and out or anything – they’re ready to play, just like the guys were last year. Last year, we never felt like we couldn’t win, and now, when we go to the ballpark every game, we feel like we can win every time, too.

“It’s just a matter of getting it done.”

Feeling a draft

White Rock Tritons alum Alex Webb is expected to hear his named called in Major League Baseball’s amateur draft this week – for the second year in a row.

Webb, who pitches at UBC, was a 36th-round draft pick of the San Diego Padres last summer, but chose to return to school for his senior year.

Now, after an impressive season on the mound for the Thunderbirds, he has improved his draft stock considerably – most predictions suggest he’ll be chosen Friday, on the draft’s second day, when rounds three through 10 are held.

Just Posted

Road safety plan in the works for Surrey

Council to consider hosting ‘Vision Zero’ summit in new year

VIDEO: Hundreds of volunteers collect, wrap toys in Surrey at Sikh elementary school

Guru Nanak Free Kitchen, Sikh Academy partner together on annual toy drive

City of Surrey looks to reduce building permit wait times

Staff targeting a 10-week average processing time

Surrey considers 75% discount on senior rec passes, drop-in admission

Council to vote Monday on proposal to deeply discount rates for residents over 70

‘A promise is a promise’: Cloverdale lantern festival opens, two months late

After months of delays due to permit issues and uncooperative weather, Art of Lights finally opens

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

Hundreds attend Hells Angels funeral in Maple Ridge

Body of Chad John Wilson found last month face-down under the Golden Ears Bridge.

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Gas prices to climb 11 cents overnight in Lower Mainland

Hike of 17 cents in less than 48 hours due to unexpected shutdown of Washington state pipeline

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

B.C. fire chief pleads with Ottawa for traumatic stress support

Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty presented concerns to federal government

Most Read

l -->