Playing on the road against a struggling Coquitlam Reds team, the North Delta Blue Jays were hoping for a pair of wins to move into a tie for first place in the B.C. Premier Baseball League.
But a split of Sunday’s double header left the Jays a game off the pace being set by the North Shore Twins. North Delta struggled at the plate and fell 2-0 in the first game, but escaped with a 5-4 win in the second contest to improve to 12-3 (win-loss).
North Shore is atop the 12-team league with a 14-3 record, a half-game better than the 17-7 Victoria Eagles and one game ahead of the Jays.
In the first game Sunday, starting pitcher Tyler Hoefer took the loss despite throwing effectively for five innings. Of the two runs he allowed, only one was earned.
He had five strikeouts and did not allow a walk.
The Reds had five hits off Hoefer, including a solo home run in the first inning.
At the plate, the Blue Jays were held to four hits, including a pair of doubles by Noah Or and Matthew Poirier.
North Delta jumped on the Reds early in the second game, scoring three times in the second inning then building their lead to 5-0 before Coquitlam rallied to pull to within a run.
Eight batters went to the place in the second inning, with Trevor Gentles crossing the plate for the first run on a single by Dylan Dahl. Clint Taylor then drove in Dahl and Justin Maunahan with a double.
Logan Newman scored an unearned run in the fourth inning, going home on an infield error by the Reds.
Gota Kinoshita belted his first home run of the year in the fifth inning to complete the North Delta scoring.
Alex Davis was the winning pitcher, throwing five shutout innings and allowing just two hits and three walks.
The Reds rallied with four runs off a pair of Blue Jays relievers over the final two innings.
The Blue Jays were scheduled to be at South Surrey Athletic Park yesterday (Thursday) to play the White Rock Tritons, then will visit the 16-7 Langley Blaze Sunday at McLeod Park.