The baseball season couldn’t have started any better for Logan MacNeil.
On Saturday at South Surrey Athletic Park, in his team’s first game of the BC Junior Premier Baseball League season, the White Rock Junior Tritons pitcher threw a no-hitter against the Whalley Junior Chiefs, leading his team to a convincing 5-0 victory.
MacNeil, a Semiahmoo Secondary student, struck out eight Whalley batters while walking just two.
In the first inning, MacNeil struck out two of three batters and cruised from there, sprinkling a half-dozen more strikeouts across seven innings, in between pop-ups and ground balls that were handled with ease by his teammates behind him in the field. He faced just 23 batters overall, and the final out of the game came on a fly ball to the outfield.
On the other side of the field, Whalley pitcher Max Ghilarducci was no slouch, either. He struck out three and walked four, and kept the Tritons off the board until the fifth inning.
The game was scoreless until that point, when White Rock finally went up 1-0. An inning later, in the sixth, they stretched the lead to 5-0 after a four-run outburst.
Shortstop Tanner Rowe went 2-for-4 with one run scored and two stolen bases, and right-fielder Kiestin Evans was credited with the team’s only official run-batted-in; the other runs were scored on a combination of walks and errors.
Catcher Marcus Bradley had the team’s only extra-base hit – a double.
In the second game of the Saturday doubleheader, White Rock made it two in a row, with a 7-1 win.
Rowe again had a strong day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a run and RBI; Kole Turner drove in a pair and both Colin Dolynski and Darius Optum Bak had RBIs, as well.
Jason Blouin was on the hill for the under-16 Tritons, scoring out five of the 21 batters he faced before being relieved by Taeo Maisonville.
Sunday’s doubleheader, against the Coquitlam Redlegs, didn’t go quite as well for the home team, as White Rock dropped both ends of the two-game series, 5-4 and 8-4.
Like their younger counterparts, the White Rock Tritons’ under-18 team got their BCPBL season off on the right foot, too, with an 8-0 win over the league’s newest team, the UBC Thunder, last Wednesday in Vancouver.
The Tritons wasted little time getting on the board against their expansion foes, as leadoff hitter Jon Klassen opened the game with a double, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and then scored when Marshal Luiz hit a grounder to second base for the first out.
The game remained 1-0 until the fourth, when White Rock extended its lead to 3-0 after a combination of a single, two walks and an error in the field.
In the next inning, Triton Jackson Hogg was hit by a pitch, stole second and then scored on an error in the outfield. Four batters later, in the same inning, the home team scored two more runs on a triple from Matthew Rachman.
The team tacked on two more runs in the sixth to push the margin of victory to 8-0.
Cam Dunn – one of the pitchers new head coach Mike Hughes said his team will rely upon heavily this season – earned the win on the mound for White Rock, striking out five, walking two and scattering five hits over five innings of work.
The Tritons – whose scheduled season-opener against the Coquitlam Reds two weekends ago was washed out by rain – were in tournament action last weekend, but return to their home field this weekend for four games over two days.
On Saturday, they’ll host the North Shore Twins for a pair of games, and Sunday will do the same against the Parksville Royals.