The Vernon Canadians trimmed the West Kelowna Diamondbacks 7-6 early Saturday morning at Marshall Field.
The scorching heat then drained the nine-man Canadians as the Diamondbacks won 20-6 in Game 2 of the Okanagan Midget AA Baseball League twinbill.
Veteran Jake Crandlemire singled for the walk-off win set up by Rylan Henry, who took a fastball to the ribs followed by a clutch hit from James Eustache in the seventh inning.
Crandlemire went 3-for-4 with the walk-off RBI and one run, while Liam Alstad was 2-for-3 with a single and a triple and Ryan Gamage was 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs.
Gamage tossed 102 pitches and struck out 13 while allowing two runs in 6 2/3 innings. He walked three. Colby Geiger fanned a pair and gave up four runs in relief.
“With the early cool start to the day, the team showed what they were capable of in Game 1,” said Vernon coach Carl Vardon. Great pitching and solid defence and a walk off was truly Vernon baseball.”
The Canadians, with three starting pitchers on the disabled list, simply fizzled in the second-game sun.
Rylan Henry gave Crandlemire a break behind the plate for his second outing of the season, while Hayden Lewis, Alstad, Jaxson Cummings and Geiger handled the mound.
Geiger supplied two hits and two ribbies, a walk and two runs, while Crandlemire counted two hits and Cummings smacked a run-scoring triple, walked and scored twice.
The Canadians, who carry sponsorship from Marjak Leasing, Morgan’s Glass and Tolko, are 11-8 heading into their last five games. Playoffs start June 16.
Meanwhile, the Braden Robertson Construction Bruisers won both ends of their Mosquito twinbill during an electric atmosphere at the annual Vernon Baseball Picture Day and Bottle Drive Saturday at Lakeview Park.
The Bruisers opened with a 10-8 win over the Hytec Red Sox, using a four-run fourth and great pitching in the last two innings from Jordan Herrington and Charlie Swartz (who struck out the side in the final frame).
Mark Johnson was an offensive dynamo, going 3-for-3 with a double, a triple, and an inside-the-park homer to count three RBI and three runs. Jesse Vandenbrand was clutch, hitting a two-out RBI-single to keep a third-inning rally alive. Herrington registered six strikeouts in two innings for the win, while Kobe Smyth and Dane Somerfeld pitched very well for the Red Sox.
Both teams were dynamic on the basepaths. Five Red Sox stole at least two bases, with Vincent Sanfillipo leading the way with three steals. Bryce Cormier had three steals for the Bruisers, and scored on a passed ball in the pivotal fourth inning. Sanfillipo had an outstanding performance on the mound, striking out the only three hitters he saw in the fifth to hold the Bruisers to a two run lead.
The Bruisers snuck past the Wayside Mavericks 11-7 in their second game, again led by a dominant performance by 10-year-old Johnson, who was 2-for-2 with a walk and two runs, including a two-run HR in the bottom of the third that tied it 6-6.
Swartz hit a laser triple to the left center fence in the fourth but was thrown out at home attempting to stretch it into a round tripper by an excellent relay throw from Kaleb Murray to catcher Jamie Campbell who made a perfect tag to end the inning.
The Bruisers’ pitching staff of Ryder Halverson, Cole Breugom, Jonah Lee, and Ryan Cox did an excellent job of managing the strong Mavs’ lineup, including shutout innings by Lee (11 pitches) and Cox (13 pitches). Morgan Hackman struck out three Bruisers.
Devin Sorensen’s walk-off groundball to right field gave the Red Sox a thrilling 14-13 victory over the Five Star Awards Jays in other Mosquito play.
Deklen McDonald and Dominic Meyer led the Sox with three hits apiece and combined to drive in five runs. The Jays’ Drew Christensen had three hits while Jordie Brown and Grady Barg both added two.
The Jays took the early lead in the top of the first but the Red Sox answered with a Dominic Meyer line-drive RBI double. An overthrow allowed Meyer to score on the play, making it 2-2.
Solid pitching by Wylder Wigelund shut down the Red Sox in the second, allowing the Jays to stretch out a 7-2 lead after the top of the third. However, the Red Sox came roaring back with solid basehits by Liam Reid and McDonald to close out the third down 7-6.
The Jays added two runs in the fourth on a smashing line drive by Barg and singles by Jordie Brown and Christensen. The Red Sox immediately answered in the fourth with a double driven to the gap in right center by Marty Pare and a single by Everett Sidwell. The Jays responded with solid singles by Ben Bradford and Barg to take a 13-10 margin heading into the bottom of the fifth.
After a lead-off walk to John Gelz, singles by McDonald and Meyer set the stage for Sorensen.