A weekend trip to Kelowna did not go as planned for the White Rock Tritons, as the BC Premier Baseball League team dropped all four games they played against the Okanagan Athletics.
The two under-18 rivals square off twice on Saturday, with the hometown A’s winning two close ones – 4-3, followed by a 6-3 game – and Sunday was much the same, with the Okanagan squad winning the first game of the doubleheader 5-1 and the nightcap 16-1.
Prior to the trip, the Tritons were hovering just under the .500 mark – firmly planted in the middle of the BCPBL standings – but the four losses, as well as a 6-5 defeats to the Langley Blaze last Tuesday night, dropped White Rock to a 5-10 win-loss record. They sit 11th in the 13-team league.
Some positives from the SR weekend in Kelowna: . 2019 INF @jon__klassen with a crafty slash bunt for an RBI . 2019 LHP @lukas_frers with a big K . 2019 INF @_mattrachman hits it hard thru the middle . @_mattrachman back at it with an over-the-shoulder catch in shallow cf . 2019 SS @ryandauph squares one up thru the middle . #baseball #beseen @pbr_bc #compete
In the first game Saturday, the Athletics jumped out to an early lead – scoring one run in the first inning and two more in the second. The White Rock bats warmed up late in the contest, however, as the visitors scored single runs in the fifth, six and seventh frames to tie the game 3-3.
In the bottom of the seventh, however, Okanagan batter Luigi Russo hit a walk-off double that scored teammate Jaden Parson and ended the game.
White Rock reliever Ewen Hall was tagged with the loss, after the rookie entered the game in relief of starting pitcher Lukas Frers. Frers struck out six and walked five, while allowing just one earned run, in five innings of work.
Offensively, the Tritons were led by leadoff hitter Ryan Dauphinee, who had three hits, and No. 2 hitter Jon Klassen, who knocked in two runs.
Like the opener, Game 2 was also close in the early stages, with a handful of lead changes. Okanagan led 1-0 after the first inning – leadoff hitter Kade Kozak singled and eventually scored from third on a passed ball – but White Rock took a 2-1 lead a half-inning later on a Keith Manby home run – his, and the team’s first round-tripper of the season – followed by a series of walks and singles that led to Noah Bryerton crossing the plate.
Okanagan regained the lead over the next two innings, with single runs in each, before extending the lead after a two-run fifth frame and another single run in the sixth.
Manby’s homer aside, White Rock managed just seven hits throughout the game, and were largely stymied by A’s pitcher Carter Morris, who struck out nine batters in just five innings en route to earning the win.
Terrell Rogers, Jacob Hart and Connor Schneider combined to pitch for White Rock.
In Sunday’s 6-1 loss, Bryerton led the Tritons’ offence with a pair of doubles, and Manby was credited with the team’s lone RBI. Cameron Dunn was tagged with the loss on the mound.
There was, unfortunately for the weary travellers, even less good news to report in the second game, and the home team had a 5-0 lead after three innings, then put the nail in the Tritons’ coffin thanks to a 14-batter, 11-run fifth inning that ended the game courtesy of the mercy rule.
White Rock will aim to right the ship Saturday when they head to North Vancouver’s Parkgate for a doubleheader against the North Shore Twins. On Sunday, they’ll return home to host the Victoria Eagles for two games at South Surrey Athletic Park.