The North Delta Blue Jays are off to a perfect start to their B.C. Premier Baseball League season, sweeping a double header at the expense of their closest rivals.
The Jays defeated the Whalley Chiefs 2-0 and 11-7 Saturday at Mackie Park in North Delta, the first two games of the season for the home side.
The Chiefs are struggling at the start of their schedule, with just one win in seven games.
Saturday’s double header began with pitching from both teams keeping offense to a minimum.
The Blue Jays received an outstanding effort from starting pitcher Daniel Gosselin. The left-hander allowed one hit and a pair of walks in five innings, while striking out eight Chiefs batters.
Reliever Clint Taylor was effective over the final two innings, allowing just a two-out single.
Thomas Espig of the Chiefs threw five and two-thirds innings, but allowing two runs on four hits and four walks. He had five strikeouts but took the loss.
William Quito of the Blue Jays singled and scored on a fielder’s choice in the first inning. Noah Or added an insurance run in the sixth, drawing a walk, stealing second then scoring on Braedon Miller’s single.
While the pitchers dominated the first game, batters on both teams improved their stats in game two.
The Chiefs had plenty of offense early in the game, building a 5-0 lead after they batted in the second inning. But in the bottom half of the frame, the Blue Jays crossed the plate seven times to take the lead.
The Chiefs tied the score 7-7 with two runs in the fourth inning, but North Delta responded with two in their half of the fourth, and three more over the next two innings.
Lichel Kirakawa-Kao was three-for-four at the plate for Whalley with three runs scored and two runs batted in (RBI). Espig had a single and a double in three at-bats, driving in two runs and scoring one.
For North Delta, eight batters managed at least a hit, paced by Trevor Gentles, Logan Newman and Dylan Dahl with two each. Gentles drove in three runs, with Dahl and Quito earning two RBIs each.
The Chiefs and Blue Jays will both be in the provincial capital next weekend, playing twice each against the Victoria Eagles and Victoria Mariners.