A midweek loss to the Langley Blaze is the only thing that slowed down the surging White Rock Tritons this week, as the under-18 BC Premier Baseball League team aims to lift its record above the .500 mark.
On Tuesday, White Rock was edged by Langley 6-5, but on the weekend swept a Saturday afternoon doubleheader on the road against the Whalley Chiefs. The Tritons won the first game 10-5, and followed that with an 8-5 win in the nightcap.
White Rock currently sits seventh in the 13-team PBL, with a win-loss record of 5-6.
In Game 1, White Rock used a big sixth inning to beat their Surrey rivals, scoring seven runs. Prior to that offensive explosion, they’d been trailing Whalley 2-1. The Chiefs responded with one run in their half of the sixth inning, and the teams each scored twice in the seventh.
White Rock sent 11 batters to the plate in the sixth frame, and scored seven runs on seven hits, chasing Chiefs starting pitcher Max Masztalar in the process. Six of the seven hits were singles, while Matthew Rachman had a double in the middle of the inning, and two batters also got to first via a walk and hit-by-pitch, respectively.
For the game, the Tritons had 13 hits, led by centre-fielder Jackson Hogg, who went 3-for-4 with four runs-batted-in and a run scored. Corbin Smith, meanwhile, went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, and Ryan Dauphinee also had two hits.
Left-handed pitcher Lukas Frers – who is in his first year at the U18 level after being one of the Premier Junior Baseball League’s top throwers last season – earned the win for White Rock, striking out five Whalley batters in five innings, while allowing four runs and seven hits. Jacob Mahon and Ewen Hall each pitched one inning of relief.
Like the first game of the doubleheader – which was close for the first five innings – the second game of the two-game series was also close on the scoreboard until the very end. White Rock had a 2-1 lead after the first inning, and went up 3-1 after two, but the Chiefs scored four in the sixth – compared to just two for White Rock – and the game went into extra innings after a scoreless seventh.
In the top of the eighth, White Rock’s Steven Lin walked, moved around to third after a pair of wild pitches from the Whalley pitcher, and scored a few batters later when Dauphinee grounded out to the shortstop. One batter later, Jon Klassen smacked a double that scored two runners to extend the lead.
Cameron Dunn started the game on the mound for White Rock, striking out six batters in six innings, though reliever Jacob Hart who was credited with the win after pitching the final two innings.
White Rock runners gave the Chiefs fits on the base paths, stealing six bases – including three from left-fielder Terrell Rogers.
In Tuesday’s loss to the Blaze, the game was again tied going into the final inning, but the Blaze scored the winning run in the top of the seventh when Ethan Gray walked and then scored on a wild pitch.
This weekend, the Tritons head north to Kelowna, where they’ll square off against the Okanagan Athletics for four games – two each on Saturday and Sunday.