Morning Star Staff
Vernon Canadians wanted to hit the road in style.
The AAA Midget baseball club took three of four games in the B.C. U18 League at Marshall Field, and now play their next 16 games away from home.
Ken Liefke’s squad swept the Nanaimo Pirates Saturday and split with the Cowichan Valley Mustangs Sunday to improve to 15-9, a half-game behind the second-place Victoria Eagles and one game back of the league-leading Aldergrove Dodgers.
“The boys played really good baseball,” said Liefke. “In our last game (4-2 loss to the Mustangs), we had the tying run on second but couldn’t cash it in. Three out of four wins is a pretty good weekend.”
Jarod Leroux went five innings, striking out two and allowing four earned runs in the loss to the Mustangs. Ethan Huizinga pitched the final two innings, giving up a hit.
Tyler Liefke was 1-for-3 with a single, a walk, stole three bases and scored a run. Brett Lambert and Dylan Eckland each went 1-2 while Eric Embleton added a double for the Cs, who won the opener Sunday, 12-3.
Corey Anderson improved to 6-1 on the mound, going six innings and allowed three earned runs. Noah Alleyne pitched a scoreless seventh.
Anderson helped his own cause at the plate, banging out three singles, stealing three bases and scoring three times.
Caden Doyle was 2-for-3 with a single, double and three runs scored. Huizinga had two hits and two RBIs while Alleyne and Eckland added two singles apiece.
Ty Wellman came within two outs of tossing a no-hitter versus the Pirates in Vernon’s 5-0 opening game win Saturday.
Wellman (5-2) took the no-no into the seventh inning before giving up a one-out hit. He struck out five batters.
Landon Currie broke open a 1-0 with a bases-clearing triple in the bottom of the fifth.
The Canadians took the nightcap 7-6 as Currie pitched five innings, allowing only three hits in a no-decision. Jake O’Quinn pitched the final two innings to get the win.
Vernon scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh when Wellman led off with a walk. Embleton came in to pinch-run, stole second and ended up scoring on a beautifully executed drag bunt by Tyler Liefke.
Currie was 2-for-3, stole four bases and scorecd three times while Leroux and O’Quinn each had two singles. Doyle drove in three runs.
In Okanagan AA Midget League action, the Penticton Tigers swept a pair of one-run games from the Vernon Atrium Hotel Canadians by scores of 1-0 and 9-8.
The only run in Game 1 came in the fifth inning when C’s starter Caleb Versteeg plunked a Penticton batter. Versteeg finished with eight strikeouts,
Penticton took the nightcap with a walk-off single with one out in the bottom of the seventh.
Hayden Vardon, Caden Bracken and Kalvin Blaeser took the mound for Vernon with Vardon and Shelby Porteous each knocking in two runs. Jake Crandlemire led the offence with three ribbies.
Cloverdale Paint Black Panthers put in a great defensive effort to beat the Sun Dial Lighting Red Jays 10-6 in Mosquito division play at Lakeview Park.
The Panthers snapped a 4-4 tie with four runs in the fourth inning, and held the Jays to two runs after the second inning thanks to solid pitching from Oakley Kemper, Ben Thompson and Reece Holmes, who struck out four batters.
Lucas McCool went 3-for-3 for the Panthers, scored twice and drove in a run. Evan Kashuba was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Luke Walsh drove in a pair of runs and Owen Both scored twice.
Luke Walsh drove in a pair of runs and Owen Both scored twice.
Noah Videgain delivered a game-winning RBI in the bottom of the sixth to help the Hi-Pro Sportswear Stingers improve to 4-3 with a 12-11 win over the Wayside Brown Badgers.
Brendan Fisher and Connor Jones reached base in all four plate appearances scoring two runs apiece. Kyle Wheeler pitched a perfect fifth inning and Simon Turnbull made some great defensive plays for the Stingers. Theo Van Wyk was solid behind the Badgers’ plate and scored two runs.