The only thing that marred a two-win weekend for the White Rock Tritons was a mid-game dust-up in the fifth inning of their first game against the Parksville Royals Sunday at South Surrey Athletic Park.
The altercation – which cleared the benches – came midway through the game when White Rock baserunner Dylan Yeager crashed into Parksville catcher Mackenzie Parlow at home plate.
“It was definitely an aggressive slide,” said White Rock coach Russ Smithson. “It was just a bad idea.”
After the benches emptied, there was “30 seconds or a minute” of heated conversation and pushing and shoving, before cooler heads prevailed.
“They were just sticking up for their player, and we were doing the same,” Smithson said. “It happens.”
Yeager was ejected from the game, and did not play in the second game Sunday, either. The team was waiting to see if he would face further discipline from the BC Premier Baseball League.
“We’re not really sure – we’re waiting – but we might be without Dylan for a few games,” Smithson predicted. “It’s just one of those things that happened, and we’ll learn from it and move on.”
After the situation calmed down White Rock held on for a 3-1 victory.
Tritons pitcher Scott Doucet earned his team-best seventh win of the season in impressive fashion, striking out 11 – his best single-game total of the year – in seven innings of work.
The pitcher is 7-4 on the season.
“He’s just been outstanding for us – he’s been as close to automatic as you can get,” Smithson said of his veteran hurler.
Liam Rihela had the team’s lone run-batted-in in the victory – White Rock’s other two runs came on Parksville errors – and Yeager also had two hits.
The Tritons were quick on the basepaths, too, with Joey Gladman, Yeager, James Pavelick and Jaun Paez all credited with stolen bases.
In the second game of the Sunday doubleheader, the Tritons made it a clean sweep, winning 7-2 thanks to a five-run fifth inning.
The Tritons sent nine batters to the plate in the decisive frame, with Kieran O’Connor, Joey Gladman and James Pavelick all hitting singles and coming around to score, while two more Tritons – Daniel Cassino and Melenchuk were both hit by pitches before crossing the plate later in the inning.
Gladman, the team’s third baseman and leadoff hitter, finished the game 3-for-4 at the plate, with two runs scored, while Pavelick also had two hits.
Zach Campagne took to the mound for the home team, pitching four-and-two-thirds innings, striking out four while scattering five hits and allowing just two runs.
Despite the strong performance, however, it was relief pitcher Jordan Stephens credited with the win, as he was on the hill when the Tritons staked themselves to the lead late in the game.
Stephens pitched an inning and a third, allowing just one hit. Matt Stephens pitched the final inning, striking out one while holding the Royals to just one base hit.
The Tritons – winners of three in a row and six of the last 10 – are still on the fringes of the BC Premier Baseball League playoff picture. They sit 11th in the 13-team circuit, three games back of the Vancouver Cannons, who currently hold the eighth and final PBL playoff spot.
“We definitely have a chance to make up some ground here in the next week or so,” Smithson said.
The Langley Blaze – who White Rock beat June 4 to start their current streak – sit comfortably in first place, with a 34-6 record; they are 7.5 games ahead of the second-place North Shore Twins.
White Rock will look to extend its win streak to four tonight (Tuesday) when they travel to Delta’s Mackie Park for a tilt against the North Delta Blue Jays.
On Saturday, White Rock plays a single game against the Whalley Chiefs at Whalley Athletic Park, before returning home to South Surrey Athletic Park Sunday for a doubleheader against the visiting Victoria Eagles.