After scoring a run against the North Shore Twins, White Rock Tritons third baseman Matthew Rachman returns to high-fives and fist bumps in the dugout. (Garrett James photo)

White Rock Tritons sweep Twins, fall to Royals in BCPBL action

Semiahmoo Peninsula squad set for Langley Blaze Tuesday night

It was a weekend of wild swings for the White Rock Tritons, as the BC Premier Baseball League team won big early, before being swept Sunday by the top team in the league.

On Saturday at South Surrey Athletic Park, the Tritons, led by hot bats and stellar performances from their two starting pitchers, won both ends of a doubleheader against the visiting North Shore Twins – both games finished 11-0.

Sunday, however, was a different story, as the first-place Parksville Royals came to town. The Vancouver Island squad won the first game 8-4 and followed up with an 8-2 win to complete the sweep. The Royals remain undefeated with a 6-0 win-loss record, and sit atop the BCPBL standings, while the Tritons are in a tie for fifth, at 3-3.

The first game Saturday – which followed official opening-day ceremonies for the White Rock-South Surrey Baseball Association – saw veteran pitcher Keith Manby get the start on the pitcher’s mound, and he showed no signs of offseason rust.

The Earl Marriott Secondary student – one of the team’s key returnees from last year, coach Mike Hughes told Peace Arch News earlier this month – earned the victory, while striking out eight Twins over just five innings, while allowing just three hits – two singles and one double from North Shore’s Dion Wintjes.

He had plenty of run support, too.

White Rock peppered the Twins with 11 hits in just five frames – at which point the game was called on account of the mercy rule. Left-fielder and leadoff hitter Jon Klassen led the charge with three hits, four runs scored and a stolen base, while centre-fielder Jackson Hogg also had three hits in the game, to go with four runs-batted-in and a stolen base.

The Tritons scored in each of the first four innings – helped by two Twins errors – and chased North Shore’s starting pitcher after just two innings of work.

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The script was much the same in Game 2, with the Tritons staying red hot to start the game. White Rock scored seven runs in the bottom of the first inning, again chasing the Twins’ starting pitcher early. The home team added three more runs in the second, one in the third and the game was over after just five innings.

White Rock rookie pitcher Noah Bryerton earned his first win in the BCPBL, striking out four batters while scattering five hits – all singles. His control was also on point, as he did not allow a single walk.

At the plate, White Rock finished with eight hits, most of which came in the high-scoring first.

Klassen and number-two batter Marshal Luiz opened the Tritons’ onslaught with a pair of singles, and then with two outs, the runs started crossing the plate thanks to a string of singles, walks and an error in the infield.

In the second inning, Hogg and Terrell Rogers each had doubles, as the team extended the lead into double-digits and cruised to the win from there.

On Sunday, however, the Tritons couldn’t stay quite as hot, though in the first game of the two-game series, they did come close to handing the Royals their first loss of the young season.

The two squads traded runs in the first inning, with White Rock’s coming after an error during a double-steal attempt by Klassen and Luiz cashed in a run.

Each team scored again in the third, with Parksville plating three, and the Tritons scoring once. The scored remained 4-2 for the visitors until the fifth, when White Rock tied it – Corbin Smith scored after an error by the Royals’ third baseman, and then Steven Lin hit a double that scored Lui.

The deadlock didn’t last long, however, as Parksville stormed back in the top of the sixth to score four runs, which proved to be enough for the win.

Pitcher Lukas Frers started the game for the Tritons, striking out nine over just five innings before he was relieved by fellow rookie hurler Ewan Hall.

Parksville never trailed in the second game, either, after taking a 1-0 lead in the first.

The Tritons managed seven hits off Royals pitchers Brady Radcliffe and Jacob Volkers but all were singles, and the home team didn’t put a run on the board until the bottom of the final inning, when they scored two.

White Rock is back on the field Tuesday night at McLeod Park in Langley to battle the Blaze, and return this weekend to South Surrey, where they’ll host the UBC Thunder for two games Saturday and the Mid-Island Pirates for a doubleheader Sunday.

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