White Rock Tritons first baseman Scott Doucet reaches for the ball as Okanagan baserunner Surya Viswanathan runs up the line Sunday.

White Rock Tritons drop three to Athletics

White Rock falls to ninth in Premier Baseball League standings

Their weekend started with much promise, but fizzled by Sunday, as the White Rock Tritons dropped three of four games to the visiting Okanagan Athletics last weekend at South Surrey Athletic Park.

The Tritons – who sport an 8-18 record and sit ninth in the BC Premier Baseball League – opened the first of back-to-back doubleheaders with a 9-1 win over their Okanagan visitors Saturday, but dropped the nightcap 4-3 in extra innings.

On Sunday, White Rock went winless, losing 9-1 and 6-4.

In Saturday’s win, Scott Doucet was the Tritons’ pitcher of record, lasting the full seven innings, allowing five hits and one run, while striking out three.

The Tritons – who outhit the A’s 12-5 – scored three runs in the second inning, but did most of their damage with the bats in the fifth, when they played six.

At the plate, Liam Rihela and Tom Melenchuk each had doubles and two runs-batted-in, while Joey Gladman also had two RBI and a pair of singles.

The second game Saturday, however, did not go as well for the Peninsula U18 crew.

Okanagan – serving as the home team – scored twice in the bottom of the first inning, and it took until the top of the seventh for another run to cross the plate, when White Rock fought back with three runs to take a one-run lead.

In the bottom of the seventh, however, the A’s tied the game, sending it to extras, and in the eighth, scored a run to win.

The Tritons managed nine hits in the game; Dylan Yeager and Kieran O’Connor had doubles and designated hitter Matt Stephens hit his second triple of the season.

Jordan Stephens, and Aldergrove resident, was on the hill for White Rock, pitching three innings before he was relieved by Zach Campagne, who pitched 4⅓ innings. Jake Gill pitched the eighth frame, and was tagged with the loss after giving up one hit and a walk.

In Sunday’s 9-1 loss, the Tritons were victimized by three rough innings – the Athletics scored five times in the second inning, and twice each in fifth and six.

Okanagan had 10 hits – White Rock also made three errors in the field – and A’s pitchers Trevor Lofstrom and Josh Croft limited the Tritons to just a pair of hits.

Max Koltai was tagged with the loss for White Rock, pitching into the fourth inning before he was relieved by Campagne and, for the last two outs of the game, O’Connor.

The second game Sunday was closer – 6-4 – but still ended in defeat for the home side. Gill pitched the entire six innings for White Rock, scattering eight hits and allowing six runs.

Rihela had a pair of stolen bases, giving him eight on the season, and O’Connor also swiped one bag.

With the three wins, the A’s, leapfrogged the Tritons into eighth place with a 10-18 record.

Prior to the weekend, White Rock had won four of six games and appeared to be recovering from a rough start in which they won just four times in their first 18 games.

Last week, White Rock head coach Russ Smithson told Peace Arch News the next few weeks of the season were critical if his team was to make a push for the eighth and final playoff spot, calling the team’s upcoming schedule “winnable.”

White Rock played against the first-place Langley Blaze Tuesday night, and will travel to Mundy Park tonight (Thursday) for a game against the Coquitlam Reds.

On Sunday, they host Parksville.

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