The North Delta Blue Jays remain two games out of a playoff position after they split a double-header against the Coquitlam Reds last weekend.
Playing at Coquitlam’s Mundy Park, the Jays dropped a close 2-1 decision in game one, before stopping the Reds 5-4 in the rematch.
Now at 11-16 (won-lost) and in ninth place on the season, North Delta trails the North Shore Twins (11-12), Coquitlam and the Victoria Eagles (both 13-14) in the race for the final three playoff positions in the B.C. Premier Baseball League.
Shut out for six innings in the first game, North Delta finally got on the board with a game-tying run in the top of the seventh inning. Jordy Cunningham scored on a sacrifice fly by Mitch Boychuk, knitting the game 1-1.
The Blue Jays had a couple of chances to take the lead, loading the bases with one out, only to have the next two batters retired.
Coquitlam won the game in the bottom half of the inning, when the leadoff batter doubled, then scored on a two-out single.
Luke Manuel went the distance on the pitcher’s mound for North Delta, allowing two earned runs on five hits and a pair of walks. The 17-year-old from Surrey struck out seven Coquitlam batters.
The Blue Jays jumped to an early 4-0 lead after one inning of game two, opening the scoring with a two-run double from clean-up batter Sebastien Hayes, who scored the third North Delta run on an error by the Coquitlam infield.
Bryan O’Hara crossed the plate for the fourth run, scoring on a single from Boychuk.
But the lead lasted just one inning, as the Reds scored four times on three hits and a pair of walks in the bottom of the second frame.
O’Hara drove in the winning run in the fifth inning, belting a double that scored Hays from first base.
Steven Van Vooght was the winning pitcher, throwing five shutout innings in relief, allowing just four hits and a pair of walks while collecting five strikeouts.
O’Hara and Shoma Sasaki each collected three hits for North Delta.
The Blue Jays will host the 5-20 Whalley Chiefs tomorrow (Thursday) at 6 p.m. at Mackie Park.