Two days after a sweep of the Victoria Mariners at home, the Whalley Chiefs lost a bit of ground in the B.C. Premier Baseball League pennant race, falling 3-1 on the road to the North Delta Blue Jays Tuesday night at Mackie Park.
The loss dropped Whalley to 12-5 (won-lost) on the season, a half-game back of the second-place Mariners (11-3) and one and a half games behind the first-place North Shore Twins.
The Blue Jays, the only other team in the league besides Whalley to defeat the Mariners this season, came from behind for the win Tuesday, and remained in fifth place at 7-5.
Ryder Mavis pitched all seven innings for the Blue Jays, holding the Chiefs to one unearned run on six hits and a pair of walks for his first win of the season.
The Chiefs took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Brendan Yip lead off with a double then scored on a Blue Jays error.
North Delta took the lead in the bottom of the third inning. Cole Evans singled to get on base, and Tyler Hoefer followed with a two-run home run.
The Jays added an insurance run in the sixth inning. William Quito singled and scored on a double by Logan Newman.
The Chiefs swept Victoria 2-1 and 6-1 in two games Saturday at Whalley Stadium.
After the Mariners went up 1-0 in the top of the fourth inning of the first game, Whalley responded with two runs in the fifth. Owen Napieralski led off with a single then moved to third base on an error that allowed Kenny Dubois get on base. Both runners scored, the first on a sacrifice fly by Brendan Yip and the second on a double from Stephen Horner.
Thomas Espig threw a complete-game two-hitter with 10 strikeouts, allowing one unearned run and just one walk. Espig, committed to Yale university in the fall, has yet to allow an earned run in three starts this season. He also contributed at the plate with a single and a double in three at-bats.
The Chiefs rapped out 13 hits in the rematch, but needed three runs in the sixth inning to put the game out of reach.
A sacrifice fly from Espig to score Yip opened the scoring in the bottom of the third inning. One batter later, Matt Legg drove in the eventual winning run with a single to score Nolan Weger.
With the home side up 2-1, Whalley blew the game open in the sixth. Weger doubled to score Dubois, then scored himself on a single from Braeden Massignani. Massignani then went home on Espig’s double.
Weger was four-for-four in the game, with Yip and Massignani getting two hits each.
Starting pitcher Alex Deluca improved to 4-1 on the season, allowing an unearned run on five hits and a walk.
The Chiefs can overtake the first-place Twins tomorrow (Saturday) when they travel to the North Shore for a doubleheader. The Blue Jays will host the 5-9 Victoria Eagles for two games at Mackie Park, the first starting at 11 a.m.