The North Delta Blue Jays missed an opportunity to put some distance between themselves and two rivals in the B.C. Premier Baseball League (PBL) standings.
As the regular season nears the midway point of its 44-game schedule, the Blue Jays are 9-10 (win-loss) after splitting weekend double headers on the road against both the White Rock Tritons and Coquitlam Reds.
“I thought we should have come away with three wins,” said North Delta head coach Gerry White. “These are the games we need to win as both White Rock and Coquitlam are right behind us in the standings.”
Eight teams qualify for the PBL playoffs, and the Blue Jays are 2.5 games up on the ninth-place Abbotsford Cardinals.
North Delta and the Tritons took turns beating each other up Saturday, with North Delta taking the first game 7-0 and White Rock winning the second 14-3.
Ryder Mavis pitched a complete-game shutout in North Delta’s win, giving up just three singles and a pair of walks to go with four strikeouts.
Cole Evans with three hits and Matthew Poirier with a pair paced the offense. Both hitters had a double, and Evans also drove in two runs.
White Rock struck for 16 hits in the rematch, which lasted just six innings, including seven doubles and a home run. Evans had another pair of hits and one RBI for the visitors.
In Coquitlam Sunday, each team posted a 3-1 victory, with the Reds winning the first game. Blue Jays batters struggled at the plate, earning just one hit in their loss.
Starter Tyler Hoefer pitched five innings for North Delta, allowing two earned runs while striking out eight batters.
Blue Jays pitcher Justin Olic shut down the Reds in the second game, allowing North Delta to even their weekend record with a 3-1 victory. Olic allowed one earned run on two hits and three walks. He struck out seven Coquitlam batters.
“Mavis and Olic pitched really well, and Hoefer had a good outing for his first start in about a month since returning from a strained oblique,” said White. “We just didn’t give him any run support.”
Evans had another strong game offensively with a pair of singles and a run scored in four at-bats, finishing the weekend with seven hits in 14 at-bats. His batting average climbed to .350, 10th-best in the PBL.
The Blue Jays have another four-game weekend coming up. They will visit the 9-15 Cardinals for two games Saturday, then host the 4-16 Parksville Royals for a double header Sunday morning at 11 a.m. at Mackie Park.