After a so-so start to the season, the Whalley Chiefs are establishing themselves as one of the best teams in the B.C. Premier Baseball League.
The 18U team has stretched their current win streak to seven games with a 6-3 win over the Coquitlam Reds Wednesday night at Whalley Stadium.Last Sunday, also in Whalley, the Chiefs topped the North Delta Blues 6-1. Sunday’s game was the first of what was to be a double header, but a steady rain prompted the umpires to call off the second contest due to a wet field.
Owners of a 13-3 (win-loss) record over their last 16 games, the Chiefs are now 19-11 on the season. They are chasing the Parksville Royals (22-12) for fourth place and home-field advantage in the best-of-three first round of the playoffs.
Walt Eschner pitched a complete game for the win Wednesday. Eschner struck out six Reds batters, and didn’t allow a walk. Only one of Coquitlam’s three runs was earned.
Nolan Weger and Will Chaba both went two-for-three at the plate, with Chaba driving in three runs.
Alex DeLuca picked up his fifth win in six decisions against North Delta, allowing one earned run on just three singles and three walks. DeLuca, who has committed to the University of Calgary Dinos for next season, struck out three North Delta batters.
North Delta’s lone run came in the top of the fourth inning, which tied the game. Whalley regained the lead with a solo home run from Weger in the bottom half of the fourth inning, then added two runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings.
Weger drove in two of the six runs, adding a run-scoring single in the fifth. Owen Napieralski and Eric Symons each had a pair of hits and two runs scored.
After a stretch that saw the Chiefs scheduled to play seven of their past nine games at home, they will spend their next two weekends on Vancouver Island.
Whalley visits Victoria for four games, playing twice against the 17-8 Victoria Mariners tomorrow (Saturday), before a doubleheader with the 9-20 Victoria Eagles on Sunday afternoon.
A week later (July 1-2), the Chiefs are in Nanaimo to play doubleheaders against the Mid-Island Pirates (9-26) and Parksville.