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Ontario 2 Scores First Runs, Upsets British Columbia

Ilderton Red Army’s Ryan Hartig is all smiles after scoring a run in the Red Army’s seven-run third inning. The Red Army would go on to a 9-6 upset of Coquitlam in round robin action Friday afternoon (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart

August 24, 2018, Victoria, BC – After going scoreless in their first two games of the tournament, the Ilderton Red Army (Ontario 2) broke out in a big way, scoring seven runs in the third inning, en route to an eventual 9-6 win over the previously undefeated Coquitlam Angels (British Columbia) in round robin action at the 2018 Baseball Canada Men’s National Championship in Victoria.

A Rob Wakefield two-RBI double was one of the big hits of Ilderton’sseven run third inning (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Prior to their big third inning, the Red Army looked to be headed to their third straight loss, getting down 3-0 to the Angels, thanks in part to an RBI double from Alex Graham and a sacrifice fly RBI by Nick Lindsay.

Ilderton’s Quinton Twohey dives safely back to first ahead of the throw to Coquitlam’s Jordan Varga (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

The Angels would begin to wear away at Angels starter Luke Manuel in the third, as back-to-back leadoff walks and a single would come back to haunt the right-handed hurler.  A Nolan Anderson double would plate Jordan Camara for Ildeton’s first run of the tournament, opening the floodgates for six-more in the inning, highlighted by a two-RBI double from Rob Wakefield.

Ilderton starter Ryan Beckett went nearly a full game, 6.1 innings, to get the win over Coquitlam Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Two more runs in the fourth would provide some insurance and give Ilderton starter Ryan Beckett all the cushion he would need to earn the win. Beckett went 6.1 innings, giving up the six British Columbia runs on 10 hits. He was helped by some great defence, including a pair of double plays and was relieved by Jeff Davis who got the final two outs to earn the save.

Coquitlam second baseman Taylor Lawrence awaits the throw as Ilderton’s Alex Thrower slides safely into second base (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

The win improves the Red Army’s record in Pool B to 1-2 and keeps their slim playoff hopes alive.  The Angels fall to 2-1 and now need to defeat Newfoundland in their final game Saturday to secure first place in Pool B and thus a bye into Sunday’s semi-finals.

In other 3:00 pm action on Friday, Team Newfoundland and Labrador would defeat Manitoba 5-1.  Alberta watched the game slip away early and couldn’t recover as  Newfoundland and Labrador scored on an error, a single by Dave Penney, a single by Trevor Clarke, and a stolen base by Dylan MacKenzie in the second inning. They pulled away for good with four runs in the second inning to score all the runs they would need.

Coquitlam’s Darren Honeysett would have a double and score a run in the game against Ilderton (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Dan Connors took the win for Newfoundland and Labrador. He surrendered one run on eight hits over seven innings, striking out five. Davin Gulbransen took the loss for Alberta. He lasted four and a third innings, allowing six hits and four runs while striking out four.

Alberta hit one home run on the day. JP Willner went yard in the first inning.  Jaret Chatwood led Alberta with two hits in three at bats.  Newfoundland and Labrador racked up eight hits in the game. Clarke and Andrew Paul all collected multiple hits for Newfoundland and Labrador.

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